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Cybertruck v 911: Drag Race Vindicates Engineer Who Told Elon Musk To Apologize to Porsche

Tesla Cyberbeast Towing a Porsche 911 Carrera T v. Manual Porsche 911 Carrera T 11 photos
Photo: MotorTrend on YouTube | Edited
Tri-Motor Cybertruck Towing a 911 Carrera T v Manual 911 Carrera TTri-Motor Cybertruck Towing a 911 Carrera T v Manual 911 Carrera TTri-Motor Cybertruck Towing a 911 Carrera T v Manual 911 Carrera TTri-Motor Cybertruck Towing a 911 Carrera T v Manual 911 Carrera TTri-Motor Cybertruck Towing a 911 Carrera T v Manual 911 Carrera TTri-Motor Cybertruck Towing a 911 Carrera T v Manual 911 Carrera TTri-Motor Cybertruck Towing a 911 Carrera T v Manual 911 Carrera TTri-Motor Cybertruck Towing a 911 Carrera T v Manual 911 Carrera TTri-Motor Cybertruck Towing a 911 Carrera T v Manual 911 Carrera TTri-Motor Cybertruck Towing a 911 Carrera T v Manual 911 Carrera T
Four months ago, an engineer-turned-YouTuber, who makes a living out of demystifying math and science for anyone even remotely interested in machines or structures, analyzed the famous Tesla Cyberbeast + a Porsche 911 vs. a Porsche 911 drag race. His discovery? Elon Musk and Tesla grossly exaggerated the all-electric pickup truck's capabilities.
Many accused Jason Fenske of being anti-Tesla and trying to dig up a dead subject. Fans, customers, and even possible investors argued that he published the findings over a month after the world's most valuable automaker had officially launched the edgy, bullet-resistant EV.

Keep in mind that Elon Musk still had a good reputation at that point. The weird statements made at conferences about investors, the accelerated headcount reduction, and the impulsive firings did not happen.

At first, their stance was understandable. After all, we live in an era where something happening in Australia can immediately reach the US. The internet and social media ensured we wouldn't have to wait until the next day to find out about something of international importance.

But they forgot one thing: dismantling a (very popular) company's marketing stunt wasn't ever going to be easy. He had to be absolutely certain of all the figures and use the right data and information. Otherwise, the friendly engineer would have lost his credibility. And since he's not a wealthy and eccentric CEO, that could have had a major impact on his livelihood.

Tri\-Motor Cybertruck Towing a 911 Carrera T v Manual 911 Carrera T
Photo: MotorTrend on YouTube
So, his findings were the following:
  • the quarter-mile drag race was, in fact, an eighth-mile drag race;
  • the two Porsche vehicles were equipped with a manual gearbox (which is always going to be a handicap when the competitor has an automatic transmission or, even worse, only one gear and instant torque);
  • the tri-motor 845-hp Cyberbeast could have easily defeated the 379-hp manual 911 in an honest, head-to-head race;
  • Tesla's pickup truck (on off-road tires, mind you) could have never shamed the iconic sports car in a quarter-mile drag race while towing another 911.

But the most baffling thing about this stunt was the redundancy of it all. Elon Musk and Tesla really had no good reason to exaggerate the EV's capabilities. It already looked divisive and had impressive features. Why would you want to mess up the pickup truck's debut in such a way?

Anyway, it happened, and the engineer was scolded for his explanations. Some executives reacted to the video and revealed that they didn't show the best run. Cybertruck Lead Engineer Wes Morill said that was "the most dramatic finish" and pointed out that the trailer's speed rating was what stopped them from going for the full quarter-mile race.

Now, MotorTrend has recreated the entire race.

They hooked the same type of trailer with a 911 Carrera T on it to a privately owned Cyberbeast (Kyle's, from Out of Spec). That way, they made sure that nobody could have meddled with the EV. On the other side of the aisle, they made sure to use a manual 911 Carrera T, just as it was stated in the engineer's video. The track was different, but this one had the same prepped surface to ensure maximum grip.

After three very similar attempts, the results couldn't have been clearer – the Porsche won the quarter-mile drag race. However, the iconic sports car also defeated the Cyberbeast in the eighth-mile run, in their last two head-to-head fights.

Tri\-Motor Cybertruck Towing a 911 Carrera T v Manual 911 Carrera T
Photo: MotorTrend on YouTube
This outcome does not make the tri-motor Cybertruck look weak. The EV remains impressive, even though it still has its fair share of shortcomings.

But it does show that the engineer was right and puts everyone behind that marketing stunt in the corner of shame, including the automaker's CEO, Elon Musk.

Rivian could have made a similar video since its quad-motor R1T develops 835 hp (872 hp officially!) and has that amazing McLaren 720S-inspired suspension setup. But it did not, and that's why the Irvine-based brand isn't tied up in any controversy.

In a way, this was also a minor win for the internal combustion engine. The ol' dinosaur juice-powered mechanical beating heart still has something to say, even when it's paired with a manual gearbox.

Porsche must be waiting for that apology now.


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About the author: Florin Amariei
Florin Amariei profile photo

Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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