Rivian R1T shocks Ford F-150 Lightning in tug of war display

The Tesla Cybertruck isn’t in production yet, but the electric pickup market is already in full swing. That became pretty obvious earlier this month when two all-electric pickup trucks, the Rivian R1T and the Ford F-150 Lightning, went head-to-head in a showdown. The results of the match were quite interesting.

Ever since Ford began its marketing efforts for the F-150 Lightning, the veteran automaker hasn’t been shy about building on the F-150’s reputation for toughness. The Lightning is essentially just an electric F-150, a rough and tough pickup truck that’s been a staple on American roads for decades. It made perfect sense then to advertise the Lightning as a true red-blooded pickup that happens to be electric.

The Rivian R1T, on the other hand, was marketed more as a lifestyle vehicle perfect for the outdoors. The R1T is incredibly tough and tough—testing the vehicle in tough terrain has proven that—but Rivian has generally promoted the R1T as a pickup that can take families anywhere outdoors. Unlike the Lightning, which is a full-size truck, the R1T is also slightly smaller.

There are other key differences between the two all-electric pickups. For one, the F-150 Lightning has two electric motors, while the R1T comes with a four-motor setup. The R1T, while slightly smaller, is also heavier than its Ford-made counterpart. More importantly, the R1T is equipped with all-terrain tires, while the Lightning is equipped with road tires.

Video of the tug of war match between the R1T and the F-150 Lightning was shared by an EV fan and advocate TeslaRaj. The two vehicles went head-to-head in a few matches, and in both rounds the Rivian R1T humbled its Ford-made counterpart. Footage from the fights showed the R1T barely sweating as he fired the Lightning across the grass.

There are a number of factors behind the Rivian R1 T’s victory over the Ford F-150 Lightning. The Rivian’s weight definitely worked in its favor, and its off-road tires certainly gave it a lot more grip than the Lightning’s road tires on grass. If the tug-of-war match had been done on the sidewalk, the Lightning might have performed better. That being said, the R1 T’s match with Ford’s all-electric truck echoes a certain excitement from years ago when the Model S P85 started battling and winning against supercars in the quarter of a mile.

Watch the tug of war match between the Rivian R1T and the Ford F-150 Lightning in the video below.

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Rivian R1T shocks the Ford F-150 Lightning in a tug of war match

Robert M. Larson