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Ford backs down from Tesla Cybertruck tug-of-war rematch

The Blue Oval claims an executive's rematch challenge was merely a "tongue-in-cheek" way to show the "absurdity" of the demo.

Ford may not be participating in a tug-of-war rematch against Tesla's Cybertruck after all, backpedaling from an executive's recent comments.

Tesla has not been shy in taking direct aim at the America's best-selling nameplate, promoting the Cybertruck as "better than an F-150" and showing a demonstration video of a tug-of-war match that is easily won by the all-electric pickup. The video sparked controversy, however, as viewers noticed the Cybertruck appeared to be going up against a rear-wheel-drive F-150.

Ford X vice president Sunny Madra then told Elon Musk "send us a Cybertruck and we'll do the apples-to-apples test for you," to which Musk responded "bring it on."

Other Blue Oval executives apparently do not share Madra's enthusiasm for another high-profile showdown, prompting the company to issue an official statement declining the opportunity for a rematch.

"Sunny's tweet was tongue in cheek to point out the absurdity of Tesla's video, nothing more," the automaker said in a statement to Fox. "With America's best-selling truck for 42 years, we've always focused on serving our truck customers regardless of what others say or do. We look forward to our all-new F-150 hybrid coming next year and all-electric F-150 in a few years."

Ford has already posted its own arguably-absurd demonstration video showing an electric F-150 prototype pulling a few rail cars weighing around one million pounds. The company has not clarified if its prototype is actually underpinned by an electric powertrain sourced from Rivian, a startup that is developing its own R1T pickup that is claimed to be not far behind Tesla's Cybertruck in terms of power and performance.

-- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 24, 2019

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