For those that are in a rush, skip ahead to the 3:00 minute mark to see the races begin.
For the rest of you, we’d like to start by pointing out that this race, performed by the lucky guys over at Carwow, ultimately proves very little. While watching and enjoying the new Tesla Cybertruck Cyberbeast take on the magnificently excessive Lamborghini Urus is still awesome, it is very much an apples-to-oranges comparison. Unless directly pitted against one another as they are here, these two SUVs are not exactly direct competitors in any way, shape, or form, and the likelihood of them ever facing off in the real world is highly unlikely.
But with around five million views, it is pretty clear that everyone (yours truly included) still wants to see what the biggest and baddest Tesla can do against the reigning King of SUVs. So, without further ado, here are the stats for each challenger:
While the Cybertruck comes in three trims, we are focusing on the apex predator variant for this comparison, as it was the one used in the race.
As with the Plaid versions, the Cyberbeast utilizes a tri-motor setup, with one larger motor up front that makes 300 hp and two individual motors out back, one for each wheel. With a claimed total output of 845 hp, that means each of those rear motors makes 272.5 hp a piece. Or perhaps the front motor makes 301 hp, and the rears make an even 272 each… which sounds and feels much better, but we digress.
In any event, the questionable claims continue when it comes to torque output. Avid Tesla fans will be quick to point out that Elon’s company states that the Cyberbeast makes a ridiculous 10,296 pound-feet of torque, which is true, and yet not, all at the same time.
While we will put the original blame on the Hummer EV for starting this disingenuous marketing campaign, we have to ding Tesla for perpetuating it. That insanely inflated torque number is true, but it is not acquired by the generally accepted method by which we are all accustomed. Both Hummer and now Tesla are using the effective torque at the rear wheels versus the torque made by the motor(s) alone before any other forces are acted upon it.
We tapped Charles Ruggieri (yes, relation), Ph.D., who is the Assistant Professor of Professional Practice for the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers University. One of the benefits of having a brother who happens to have a Ph.D. in physics as well as a passion for muscle cars is that we get to ask him to help simplify things like the difference between motor torque versus wheel torque to his more word-oriented sibling. He tells us:
“Imagine two mechanics, Luigi and Leon, are equally strong at the arm and hands.
Luigi uses his bare hands to loosen a rusty nut that won’t budge. Leon uses a long wrench and successfully loosens the nut, then claims he’s stronger because he was able to loosen the nut.
The issue is that both mechanics were compared with different tools; Luigi used his bare hands while Leon used the mechanical advantage supplied by a wrench. Surely if we gave Luigi his own trusty wrench of the same length as Leon’s, Luigi could produce the same torque.
Much the same nonsensical comparison happens when we equate torque at the motor (Luigi’s bare hand torque) with torque at the wheels after gearing (Leon’s wrench-assisted torque), because, just like the length of Leon’s wrench, the gearing multiplies the torque output along the way. If the goal is a meaningful comparison of capabilities, then comparing motor torque to wheel torque ultimately results in the colloquial comparison of apples to oranges.”
Now, with all that out of the way, even by the generally accepted measurements, the Cyberbeast is still a torque monster, making an impressive 686 pound-feet at the motor. It also helps that, as with all electric motors, the Tesla makes one hundred percent of its torque at 0 RPM, and even with a mammoth 6,843 pounds to move, the Cyberbeast is a missile. 0-60 mph comes and goes in a stupefying 2.6 seconds. Top speed, however, is limited to just 130 mph, which coincidentally is probably right around where this truck will trap in the quarter mile based on its acceleration. If you’re reading this, Elon, we’d be happy to test the theory.
For some context on how fast that is, the big Tesla is a full second quicker to sixty than the venerable Ferrari F50, and fast enough to make even owners of Porsche’s 918 Spyder hypercar get a little nervous off the line. Of course, once the road begins to take any shape other than a perfectly straight line, those races will favor the lighter, faster cars, but those details are for another day.
Aside from acceleration, the Cyberbeast is as utilitarian as it comes. Baseball-resistant glass and bulletproof body panels aside, the Cybertruck is capable of towing up to 11,000 pounds and hauling up to 2,500 pounds of payload. There is a total of 120.9 cubic feet of cargo space and a full 17.44 inches of ground clearance when the Cybertruck is in Extract Mode. And provided you’re not racing Lamborghinis from stoplight to stoplight, the Cyberbeast has an estimated range of 320 miles.
Tesla Cypertruck Cyberbeast highlights
- 845 total hp
- 10,296 lb-ft listed (wheel) 686 pound-feet (motor)
- Weight – 6843 lbs
- 320 miles estimated range
- 0-60 mph 2.6 seconds (1 foot rollout)
- Top speed 130 mph
- Payload 2500 lbs
- Towing up to 11,000 pounds
- 120.9 cubic feet cargo
- 17.44 in-ground clearance in Extract Mode
Lamborghini Urus performance specs
While it doesn’t have the aesthetically captivating allure that its great-great-grandparent, the Lamborghini Countach, presented to the world decades ago, the Urus has been heralded as the king of the SUV world by many automotive enthusiasts, and for good reason. Until the recent invasion of torque-happy EV trucks, the Urus was unquestionably the quickest and fastest SUV on the planet.
Powered by an aluminum block and heads twin-turbo DOHC V-8, the Urus in its somehow sportier Performante trim pumps out an incredible 657 hp, which, for some perspective, eclipses the mighty McLaren F1 of the 1990s.
When it comes to torque, Lamborghini uses the standard measurement system, telling us the Urus Performante makes 627 pound-feet of torque. Just to make things fair, however, if we were to measure torque at the same point and through the same methods that Tesla utilized for the Cyberbeast’s five-digit output, the Urus makes 10,041 pound-feet of torque at the wheels.
All that power is funneled through an eight-speed automatic transmission and then onto all four wheels for maximum traction, helping the Urus’ 4,986 pounds get up and go with alacrity.
When compared to just about anything outside of the Cyberbeast, the Lambo’s acceleration numbers are just stupid for an SUV. When Car and Driver got their hands on one of these Italian stallions, they clocked it from 0-60 mph in a scant 3.0 seconds, while 0-100 mph took just 7.2 seconds, and the quarter-mile flashed by in a blisteringly fast 11.3 seconds at 121.3 mph on its way to a top speed of a (Lambo claimed) 190 mph.
Despite being essentially a big sports car, the Urus does have some utility. It can tow up to 7,716 pounds and has a max cargo area of 56.4 cubic feet. Despite being a somewhat thirsty, fossil-fueled V-8, netting an uninspiring fuel economy of 14/19/16 city/highway/combined mpg, the Urus does boast a range of 360 miles.
One of the more impressive stats is the fact that the Urus sports the largest rotors on a production vehicle to date. Manhole-sized 17.32-inch front rotors are clamped down by ten (yes, ten) piston calipers, while 14.57-inch rear rotors get matched with one-piston calipers out back, resulting in a 70-0 mph braking distance of just 152 feet.
Lamborghini Urus performance highlights
- Twin-Turbo DOHC V-8
- Aluminum block and heads
- Direct Injection
- 657 hp @ 6000 rpm
- 627 lb-ft @2300 rpm (motor)
- 10,041 pound-feet (wheel)
- 8-speed auto
- Weight – 4986 lbs
- 0-60 mph 3.0 seconds
- 0-100 mph 7.2 seconds
- 0-130 mph 13.1 seconds
- 0-150 mph 20.0 seconds
- [email protected] mph
- Top Speed (mfr’s claim) 190 mph
- Braking 70-0 mph 152ft
- 14/19/16 city/highway/combined
- Towing – 7,716 pounds
- Payload – Unknown
- Range – 360 miles
- Max Cargo – 56.4 cubic feet
- Approximately 1500 lbs
At long last, we come to the literal and proverbial finish line. After repeated tests, the Carwow drivers found that the Cyberbeast was clearly the faster of the two trucks, beating the Urus by multiple car lengths through the quarter mile. Even giving the Urus a one-second jump, the Telsa bolted (pun intended) past the Urus with relative ease.
The Telsa posted a best time of 11.2 seconds, while the Lambo only managed a best of 12.3 seconds. But even the Carwow staff admitted that the times they achieved were slow compared to other Urus they’ve driven in the past (mentioning they clocked a best of 11.5 seconds in previous races). But to be fair, given the acceleration of the Tesla, its quarter-mile time could also be significantly quicker as well.
Both trucks seem to downplay their weak points by omitting them. The Urus’ maximum payload capacity is nowhere to be found on the Lamborghini website, presumably because it is not as impressive as some of its other stats. The Cybertruck, on the other hand, neglects to show off its braking abilities, presumably because they are not much to brag about.
In the final “race” of the video, the Carwow folks brake from 70-0 mph, and for once, the Lamborghini beats the Cybertruck, stopping as badly as the Tesla beat it going. If the Lambo comes close to the 152-foot distance measured by C&D, then the Cybertruck takes in the neighborhood of three Urus lengths in the video (which approximates to roughly 200 feet).
Given the nearly three-and-a-half-ton mass of the Tesla and the fact that one of the issues that caused the Cyber-delay was issues with brakes, this result is not terribly surprising.
While no slalom course was attempted, we’re quite sure the Lamborghini would also have been victorious in that aspect of competition as well. But as it stands, the Cyberbeast is clearly the quicker of the two SUVs. However, if top speed is to be factored in, the Lambo embarrassed the Tesla much like it got smoked through the quarter mile. Being limited to 130 mph, the Urus has another 60 mph to go, making it still the fastest SUV on the planet, even if it is no longer the quickest.
By and large, most people who purchase a Cybertruck are not going to opt for the mega-powered Cyberbeast. Beyond that, even for those who plunk down the nearly 100K (before markups by dealers or resellers) it takes to own one of these monsters, drag racing will likely not be their main source of excitement. Despite its freakishly fast acceleration, the Cybertruck is still nearly 7,000 pounds, and around any sort of curved road, races with Lamborghinis are probably not going to be recommended by Team Elon.
This race did prove something to some of us, however. Yes, the Tesla is quicker than the Urus, and it’s not particularly close, but for our money, we’d still take the Lambo (despite it costing nearly double the MSRP of the Tesla).
This conclusion may be because the upstart nouveau riche Tesla just doesn’t have the fit and finish of the elegant and prestigious Raging Bull from Sant’Agata Bolognese. Of course, this may also be an internal revelation as much as an external interpretation. Perhaps it comes from automotive maturity or just getting old. When we were young, it was speed at all costs. Lowering springs that made our muscle cars rattle out dental fillings, long tube headers, and exhaust cutouts that were so loud we risked noise violations in ritzy neighborhoods, anything and everything in the name of speed. Today, speed still matters, but so does our driving environment.
The Lamborghini Urus may be slower, but when you watch those videos, the cutaways inside the Lambo show a posh and lavishly appointed interior that is catered to make the driver feel like Italian royalty. Beyond that, the sound of that wonderfully crafted twin-turbo V-8 howling to redline evokes a visceral reaction in just a few seconds. Listen to the exterior camera shots, and the snarl of the Lambo dominates the video’s volume, and even in loss, sounds glorious.
The Tesla, on the other hand, with its minimalistic benign interior, just feels like nothing. Then combine that lack of emotional reaction with the fact that the Cybertruck sounds like a supercharged vacuum cleaner, and the overall effect results in the most monotonous humdrum eleven-second quarter mile we’ve ever witnessed.
The Lamborghini unquestionably puts the “Sport” in Sport Utility Vehicle, while the Cybertruck unequivocally embodies the “Utility” of the two. But again, these two cars are playing on different fields. The Lamborghini is a sports car with a lot of cargo room, while the Cyberbeast is a tank that also happens to be frighteningly quick off the line.