Watch A Cybertruck Struggle Up An RTI Ramp

Tesla Cybertruck: at home on flat surfaces. - Photo: Kyle Grillot/Bloomberg (Getty Images)
Tesla Cybertruck: at home on flat surfaces. - Photo: Kyle Grillot/Bloomberg (Getty Images)

For a couple of months now, the Tesla Cybertruck has been out there clogging our roads, struggling with puddles and falling apart in myriad ways. Now, the truck has taken on a pretty basic off-roading test and failed quite spectacularly.

The test in question was a ramp travel index test, which seeks to uncover how much flex there is in axles of a truck or off-road cars. It shows off a car’s ability to keep one wheel planted on the ground, while the other flexes way into the air as it passes over an obstacle thanks to some pretty serious axle articulation. As explains:

The RTI test is a good indicator of how well a vehicle will do in many situations offroad while traveling over an obstacle. Ideally a vehicle will do better if it is able to keep all wheels on the ground for maximum traction. If a vehicle’s suspension is too stiff (less flex), it generally will lift a wheel or possibly two wheels while attempting to get over an object resulting in a loss of contact and traction at those lifted wheels.


So what kind of performance would you be expected from the electric truck that Tesla boss Elon Musk said could survive the apocalypse? Probably a pretty serious amount of flex, right? Wrong, it struggled to get up just one notch in the test ramp before its wheels started spinning.

On the RTI test carried out by Instagram user Tyler Garrett, who is the brains behind off-road specialists Appalachian 4x4, the Cybertruck is lined up alongside a ramp with 12 rungs evenly spaced up the incline. The truck edges forward, and its front left wheel mounts the ramp.

As soon as the wheel passes the second rung of the ramp, the right tire is spinning wildly in the air with little flex at all to keep it in contact with the ground below. From this point on, any forward movement is all from the rear wheels and traction is lost at the front, which is not what you want from a rugged truck like this.

Obviously the clip needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, as we don’t know the angle it’s inclined at or the spec of Cybertruck being tested.

However, as Elon Musk and his Tesla team repeatedly claimed that the Cybertruck would be a go-anywhere truck, this isn’t a great indication of its capabilities when it heads off-road. But neither was its historic performances on muddy tracks and run-ins with water, so was anyone really expecting it to be a Raptor killer?

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