There are many scandals surrounding Tesla and its statements about the capabilities of its electric vehicles. These include complaints about the overall quality of assembly, inconsistencies between final products and announcements, frequent delays in the production and delivery of new models, problems with the autopilot, etc.

A recent event to launch the delivery of the Tesla Cybertruck to customers was accompanied by a video in which the long-awaited futuristic pickup truck participated in a race with a Porsche 911, with another such car on the trailer. And, of course, the Cybertruck won.

In addition, during the official part, Elon Musk mentioned the advantages of the Tesla pickup over the legendary German sports car.

However, not everyone liked this comparison. YouTuber Jason Fenske, owner of the channel Engineering Explained, released a video in which he questioned some of the theses voiced.

To begin with, despite Elon Musk’s words during the presentation, the length of the drag race in the video demonstrated was half the standard quarter mile. Mr. Fenske also: compared the top speed of both cars; took into account the theoretical equipment of the demonstrated Porsche and independent tests, calculated the time and speed at a distance of 1/8 mile; and calculated the time indicators, which, according to his results, were not in favor of Tesla in such conditions.

It is worth noting that even with such calculations, the outcome of such a race can still be surprising.

The author also added a couple of interesting updates below the video. MotorTrend confirmed to him that the slowest car in the lineup, the Porsche 911 Carrera T (7MT), according to their tests, runs 1/8 mile in 8 seconds, accelerating to 93.1 mph.

That’s FASTER than the Tesla towing a 911 did it (~8.25 s), and ~0.38 seconds FASTER than the Porsche 911 alone did it in Tesla’s video. This implies the 911 beats the Cybertruck (while towing) in the 1/8th, as well. So… what’s up with the 911’s slow rime in the video? 

He also added a comment from Cybertruck’s lead engineer Wes Morrill, which was published on the X social media.

One underlying assumption, which is what any reasonable engineer would assume: the video showed was the best run. It was not. But it was the most dramatic finish.

So “why didn’t we do a full 1/4mi?”
The fastest 1/8mi CT hit while towing on the day was 7.808s at 88mph and the trailer tires were only rated to 80mph so we opted to call it a day before someone got hurt. Our simulations showed the full 1/4 mi race would be close but with the same net result, so no need to risk it. We also had some room to further lightweight the trailer but didn’t need to.

I’m glad this is so unbelievable that people care to do this analysis.

This is not the first time Mr. Fenske has criticized the Tesla Cybertruck. In 2019, the same channel already posted a video where the YouTuber expressed his opinion (with his own calculations, of course) on why the demonstration tug-of-war between an early version of the Tesla Cybertruck and the Ford F-150 (the most popular pickup truck in the United States) made no sense.

Let’s hope that enthusiasts who have the opportunity to replicate Tesla’s demonstrated experiment will be inspired to try it themselves. Given the arguments on both sides, it would be very interesting to see a real-life replication of the situation.