How Fast Is the Tesla Cybertruck? (2023 Update)
Its wild, futuristic design may be getting all the attention, but there’s more than meets the eye with Tesla’s upcoming Cybertruck. The brand’s premier entry to the electric pickup category looks to be a strong contender, with features and performance specs as compelling as the exterior stylings. On top-end models, drivers can expect top speeds of 130 mph and a whiplash-inducing 0–60 time of only 2.9 seconds!
The capabilities are unheard of but not unexpected from a brand known for setting and pushing industry standards. Details are constantly changing, as are production dates. But whenever the Cybertruck shows up, it seems we can be sure that it will impress on several levels, particularly speed.
How Fast Is the Tesla Cybertruck?
Electric pickups may be pricey, but the future-driven features and astonishing engineering make them some of the most exciting vehicles to drive. Buy one today, and you’ll likely be trading it in long before the novelty wears off. And while the Cybertruck is undeniably groundbreaking from every angle, the starting $39,900 price tag is relatively reasonable.
Tesla announced the Cybertruck in November 2019. They had three options in mind, a single motor rear-wheel-drive model and dual and triple-motor AWD options. Pandemic-related supply chain issues delayed the Cybertruck’s release, and the market moved on at a pace that Tesla failed to match.
GMC unveiled the Hummer EV in October 2020 and made the first deliveries of its all-electric supertruck in 2021. Rivian took its time since showing off its R1T in 2018, but it also began getting its customers behind the wheel in 2021. Then there’s Ford, who, after teasing EV pickup power capabilities for the last few years, completed a consumer showcase in 2021. It followed up with production in early 2022.
As disappointing as delays may have been for the growing number of people who put in a Cybertruck pre-order, the postponement may work out to everyone’s benefit. The holdup has given Tesla time to react to these new EV contenders and create an even more impressive offering for the market. There’s still no telling what the final product will include when R&D wraps later this year, but here’s a breakdown of the outlook so far.
Tesla’s single-motor Cybertruck is the economical EV pickup choice at $39,900. The RWD truck has a 7,500-pound tow rating, and you can drive 250+ miles on a single charge.
The single-motor Tesla caps out at 110 mph. Its 0–60 acceleration time is 6.5 seconds, the slowest of any Tesla model.
There have been rumors that Tesla may drop the single-motor option to give more attention to the recently announced quad motor Cybertruck. Looking at the fan-sourced reservation tracker, it seems few consumers would miss it, and the production schedule already puts it dead last after the other three models. Anyone ordering the value version would likely not see their Cybertruck until 2027.
The dual-motor Cybertruck is an AWD option with a motor for the rear wheels and one for the front. Moving from the single-motor version, it brings an upgrade to nearly every spec sans payload capacity, which stays at 3,500 pounds. Tow capacity jumps to 10,000 pounds with the extra motor, and the range increases to 300+ miles.
The governed top speed gets a 10-mph boost, bumping it to 120 mph, while you shave two whole seconds off the 0–60 time. The dual-motor version is still the third-slowest model from the EV brand after the single-motor Cybertruck and the Model 3 RWD. But its 4.5-second acceleration is remarkable among pickup trucks, if not other Teslas.
The insane quickness is hard to find in a gas-powered truck. The closest comparison may be the Ram 1500 TRX, a half-ton pickup with 702 horsepower from a 6.2-liter V8 and 650 pound-feet of torque.
The Cybertruck and the 1500 TRX have 4.5-second 0–60 times, but the Tesla wins in top speed, as the Ram has an electronically limited max speed of 118 mph. With the Cybertruck, you get a similar pickup, speed, and better hauling capacity for nearly $30,000 less than the TRX.
The triple-motor Cybertruck was the most potent option when Tesla announced the lineup in 2019. The third motor, which creates a pair in the rear axle to accompany the single engine up front, brings yet another 10-mph increase in top speed (130 mph max) and a mind-boggling 0–60 acceleration in 2.9 seconds.
There are seemingly no limits and zero compromises with the triple-motor Cybertruck. Tesla advertises a 500+ mile range and over 14,000 pounds of towing capacity. Although details are still sketchy on the in-development project, some experts initially estimated the triple-motor as having over 800 horsepower and 1,000 pounds of torque.
The quad-motor design was a late arrival to the Cybertruck party. Musk confirmed the four-motor model, likely as a response to other EV pickup competitor builds, in December 2021. With the fourth motor comes independent torque-vectoring alongside rear steering capability and a crabwalk mode.
The quad-motor Cybertruck’s horsepower, torque, and top speed are anyone’s guess, but early news says it could have a 0–60 speed of 1.99 seconds. That would make it even zippier than the Model S Plaid, Tesla’s speed standard-setter for production models.
Tesla took down the configurator on its website, so the final lineup is uncertain, and the questions are innumerable. Will Tesla drop the single-motor version? Can triple-motor Cybertruck reservation-holders upgrade to the quad-motor option? When will we finally see a Cybertruck on the road?
We’re no closer to any answers, and the announcement that they’ll push quad-motor production first, followed by the triple and dual-motor design, could possibly mean even longer wait times.
How Fast Is the Cybertruck vs. the Competition?
The Cybertruck will be driving into a growing competitive arena when it finally (or, hopefully) hits the road in early 2023. Thanks to their instant power generation, all-electric pickups are reshaping possibilities in terms of speed, acceleration, and hauling capacity. Let’s look at the top three rivals that will greet the Cybertruck upon its eventual introduction.
Ford F-150 Lightning
The latest and greatest in America’s most popular pickup series, the Ford F-150 Lightning, combines mainstream looks with cutting-edge features. The dual-motor AWD truck is value-rich, starting at around the same price as the Cybertruck, though it doesn’t boast the same performance specs. The new Lightning has a 0–60 acceleration in under 4.5 seconds and has a maximum speed of only 110 mph.
The Rivian brand may be young, but it didn’t take long to establish itself as a legit EV contender with its revolutionary R1T. Even Tesla took note of the quad-motor rear-steering design, stealing some ideas for their Cybertruck. Motor Trend’s 2022 Truck of the Year accelerates from 0–60 mph in 3 seconds and reaches a top speed of 115 mph.
GMC Hummer EV
At nearly 9,000 pounds, the Hummer EV from GMC is surprisingly agile for its size. It weighs about a ton more than many of its competitors. But that doesn’t stop it from racing to 60 mph in 3 seconds flat, thanks to 1,200 pound-feet of torque from its three motors. Top speed is its disadvantage, as its weight finally catches up to it and keeps its speed maxed at around 105 mph.
We’ve waited a long time for the Cybertruck to finally make its way to consumers, but if the current predictions have any value, patience will pay off.
The quad-motor design promises unprecedented handling and could potentially offer 0–60 acceleration in under two seconds, an insane number for any car, much less a pickup truck. And if it follows the same 10-mph increase as the other designs, that would raise the max speed from 130 mph to 140 mph. There’s still plenty of speculation around how the final product will perform, but no matter what, the Cybertruck will continue pushing the industry forward.
Featured Image Credit: Mike Mareen, Shutterstock