Unplugged Performance, a Tesla-focused aftermarket parts brand, recently demonstrated the capabilities of the Tesla Cybertruck by using it to tow one of its Tesla race cars to an event and subsequently lapping the track in Baja mode. The company lauded these achievements as pushing the boundaries of electric vehicle (EV) capabilities, although opinions on their impressiveness may vary depending on one's affinity for Tesla.
Towing with an EV presents challenges, and while the Cybertruck boasts a promised towing capacity of 14,000 pounds (6,350 kg), its actual maximum capacity falls short at 11,000 pounds (4,990 kg), still lower than some conventional trucks like the Ford F-150. Additionally, like all vehicles towing heavy loads, EVs experience a reduction in total range, compounded by longer charging times compared to refueling conventional vehicles.
Unplugged Performance proudly recounted towing its Model S race car from Hawthorne, California, to Buttonwillow Raceway Park, a distance of 140 miles (225 km). Along the route, they stopped to charge and engage with other Cybertruck owners in Santa Clarita. The Cybertruck completed the journey without incident and achieved a best lap time of 2:15 on the track, utilizing Baja mode and all-terrain tires.
While specifics about the track layout were not disclosed, the use of Baja mode and all-terrain tires suggests potential for improved performance with different configurations. Comparatively, while the Rivian R1T boasts similar towing capacity and power, independent testing suggests the Cybertruck's superiority in real-world performance.
While conventional trucks may excel in either towing or track performance, the Cybertruck's ability to accomplish both feats simultaneously is noteworthy. Trucks like the Ford F-150 Raptor R and RAM TRX may outpace the Cybertruck on the track, but they may fall short in towing capacity when faced with similar loads.
The demonstration by Unplugged Performance underscores the evolving capabilities of electric trucks and highlights the potential for broader adoption of EVs in various applications, including towing and performance driving.