Home Automotive Here’s How the Tesla Cybertruck’s Big Off-Road Update Compares to Rivian R1T

Here’s How the Tesla Cybertruck’s Big Off-Road Update Compares to Rivian R1T

Here’s How the Tesla Cybertruck’s Big Off-Road Update Compares to Rivian R1T

Top Gear

The Tesla Cybertruck wasn’t much of an off-roader at launch, with even the Ford F-150 Lightning upstaging the supposedly revolutionary pickup. Tesla has now done something that is truly revolutionary. No Man’s Sky and added some features that should’ve been in at launch: Those crucial off-road modes. Now, the Cybertruck can finally prove what it’s made of, and that it’s pretty hand off-road. There are some caveats.

The Cybertruck’s off-road functionality has been added in a patch detailed in a post on XTesla seems to address the public in this way today. You can also find out more about the following: update, “installing on wave 1 vehicles right now” per lead engineer Wes Morrill, introduces driving modes for various terrains, locking differentials, adjustable torque split, crawl control, “Tent Mode,” and more. In theory, they’re what Tesla‘s truck needs to compete with the electric pickups that beat it to market, like the Rivian R1T, on their turf. In practice, it seems it’s now a close contender as evidenced by a test filmed by Top Gear.

Tesla News photo

The Top Gear crew took both trucks, including a Cybertruck that appears to have the new software, to California’s off-road Mecca, Johnson Valley, for a test over terrain ranging from dunes to a rocky trail. They prepared by airing down both trucks’ tires, as well as removing the wheel covers from the Cybertruck. The main reason was to avoid damaging them. However, not rubbing the sidewalls through was also an advantage.

In a crawling test the two trucks were about equal, neither of them getting stuck nor struggling with traction. In a bumpy, fast trail, however, the two trucks differed a little, with the stiffer Cybertruck bouncing about more. Not only did the hosts report hearing unusual noises as it drove (which turned out to be the tonneau cover jarring out of place), but the Cybertruck ended up finishing the two-and-a-half-minute course some 20 seconds slower than the competition. That may be chalked up to the Tesla’s driver encouraging the Rivian’s to go faster (the R1T tackled the course second), though the more pliable Rivian also seems to be more stable at speed.

Though the test of Baja and Rally modes in the Tesla and Rivian, respectively, suggested an advantage for the R1T, the hosts fairly pointed to the Rivian’s tires doing much of the heavy lifting. Both trucks were sent over the jump to conclude their experiment. well. The Rivian’s bed-spanning tent bars bent on impact, their dynamic load limit having presumably been exceeded. Cybertruck suffered no visible damage.

The Cybertruck has performed better than expected in most areas. Top Gear’s gauntlet than we’d seen previously. With its new software, Tesla’s pickup is starting to realize its off-road potential, even if the stiffness of its chassis clearly limited it in some scenarios. Rivian’s gap with the Tesla could close again, however. Rumors suggest that a new R1T model could be released this year. Surely it’ll be only a matter of time before Tesla tries to answer with a Cyberbeast Plaid—though hopefully it’ll have a better name than that.

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