Tesla has advertised the Cybertruck not only as this groundbreaking EV that revolutionizes truck design and manufacturing but also as a versatile truck that can take care of the dirty stuff, like venturing beyond the beaten path and navigating rugged landscapes with all the electro-mechanical wizardry at its disposal. Things that trucks are normally expected to be good at.

However, it appears that one Cybertruck driver may have overestimated its capabilities while crossing the Coral Hollow OHV trail in California.

A video shared by Instagram user Matt Chambers is going viral online. In the video, a Cybertruck release candidate can be seen being pulled out of a snowy hill off the trail by a Ford 350. It is carrying a Christmas tree in its bed, and its wheels have no traction whatsoever. It's unclear if this video was shot before or after the delivery event, but this situation has triggered all sorts of online reactions questioning the Cybertruck’s capability.


We could not independently verify this clip, but if the Instagram user who shared it is to be believed, there are a few things to note: He said the release candidate suffered from a software glitch that prevented the rear brakes from acting like “lockers” — this means that the truck couldn’t brake the wheels that were slipping, which prevented it from redirecting the torque to the wheels with traction. It's unclear if the variant in question is the Cyberbeast or the AWD.

In all fairness, no wheel seemed to have any traction here, and the Cybertruck appears to have driven onto hard ice. Moreover, the tire pressure wasn’t optimal for off-roading, and it did not have recovery hooks — it was recovered by attaching the rescue cable to the suspension, the X user said.

To have traction on hard and stubborn ice accumulated over days and weeks, you need really good snow chains, and sometimes even those won't work. In my experience driving in the Himalayas — one of the most dangerous snow terrains in the world —  being prepared and having a good judgment of the road ahead goes a long way in ensuring that you don’t get stuck — that includes carrying all the necessary gear, and ensuring that all systems on your vehicle are functioning properly.

This is not the first time we’ve seen the Cybertruck in the wild, and certainly not the first time we’ve seen it being juxtaposed with a Ford truck. On paper, it has the specs that deem it fit for the dirty stuff. It has an adaptive air suspension with up to 12 inches of travel, and it can raise its ground clearance to up to 17.44 inches in Extract Mode. With knobby tires and a boatload of torque, it's hard to argue that it won't perform well on such trails, provided its software and other systems work as intended. 

So there's probably more to its off-road capability than what we have seen so far on social media, which is why I’d like to guard my opinions until after we see some expert off-road reviews.

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