Ford v Ferrari dramatises the story of an engineer team’s quest to build a Ford car that can beat Ferrari at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race so the American company can boost lagging car sales. The film, released earlier this month, has raised eyebrows and pumped fists alike, with reviews deeming it both a “climate change horror film” and “a celebration of three of the most important energy sources in the world: capitalism, gasoline and testosterone.”
It’s a bromantic love story for the simple days of the Man’s World when brute grease monkeys could still triumph despite engineering challenges and bureaucratic meddling. Ford won the race, along with the next three La Mans competitions, elevating the manufacturer’s brand for the long haul.
But times are different now, for we are living in the era of the Cybertruck. Last week, Elon Musk introduced the world to his dystopian beast of a play-tank. In his presentation, Musk presented specs for an electric car that, as Jalopnik put it, could “out-truck a Ford F-150, outperform a Porsche 911.”
Cybertruck pulls F-150 uphill pic.twitter.com/OfaqUkrDI3
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 24, 2019
Musk went on to prove that assertion three days later when he tweeted a video of his Cybertruck engaged in a tug of war with the F-150—a challenge the Doomsday Delorean seemed to conquer with ease.
But then a chorus of disputers called foul-play, contending that the Cybertruck was all-wheel drive and the F-150 could have been rear-wheel drive, that the F-150 model used in the test was lighter than the Cybertruck, and that the motorised polygon got a head start. The human embodiment of “well, actually” even got into the fray.
A badass @Tesla looking like it’s doing a badass thing. But if the @Ford F-150 is RWD **with no payload** then weight on the Rear Axle is greatly reduced, offering only mild traction for the Tesla to overcome. This contest is more about the Physics of Friction than Engine Power.
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) November 25, 2019
Then Sundeep Madra, vice president of Ford’s venture incubator, chimed in, tweeting that his company would do an “apples to apples” test.
Musk, of course, responded to the schoolyard taunt immediately: “Bring it on.”
Ford did not immediately respond to a Gizmodo request for comment on whether it has plans to test a Cybertruck against an F-150. Musk tweeted that he’s aiming to do a rematch next week.
Ford v Tesla is no 24-hour endurance race, but it is a dumb ego-fuelled challenge between car brands that we deserve.