Seemingly out of nowhere Rivian emerged with a fully realised Pickup R1T and its wagon backed sibling the R1S. In 2018 the two models were rolled out in front of a global audience to the surprise of many industry heavyweights.
“We’re launching Rivian with two vehicles that reimagine the pickup and SUV segments,” said Rivian Founder and CEO RJ Scaringe. “I started Rivian to deliver products that the world didn’t already have – to redefine expectations through the application of technology and innovation. Starting with a clean sheet, we have spent years developing the technology to deliver the ideal vehicle for active customers. This means having great driving dynamics on any surface on- or off-road, providing cargo solutions to easily store any type of gear, whether it’s a surf board or a fishing rod and, very importantly, being capable of driving long distances on a single charge. From the inside out, Rivian has developed its vehicles with adventurers at the core of every design and engineering decision. The R1T and R1S are the result of all this work and we are excited to finally introduce these products to the world.”Rivian Founder and CEO RJ Scaringe
The skateboard platform has been developed over several years to take advantage of advances in battery, controller and motor advancements to efficiently package all that extra bulk low down below the wheel height. This enables a far better handling vehicle both on and off road.
The platform also features adaptive suspension with dynamic roll control and airbags to be able to adjust ride height dependant on the situation you find yourself in, be that on the highway or out in the sticks.
The quad motor setup is unique with the ability to control each wheel, making for superior handling on and off road. vectoring torque more precisely to each corner based on inputs. There is the added benefit of 14000 Nm of torque available with all 4 motors, and an estimated 0 to 100km sprint around 3 seconds.
As for design, the R1T cuts a striking figure and is well sculpted. It features a gear tunnel just behind the main cabin and under the bed. Some may call it a pass through and features two doors that are sturdy enough to sit or stand on. Rivian are developing accessories like a slide out camp kitchen just to name one.
Another handy feature due to a lack of a lump of metal under the bonnet is the now ubiquitous Frunk to store more cargo or luggage securely. There will also be optional power outlets in the frunk and in the bed so you can use the cars battery as a genset for power tools, campfridge or anything else you can reasonably think of.
The good news for Australians is that Rivian intend to build for Right hand drive markets, and have confirmed Australia is a market they will be targeting. As for pricing, when first announced the start price was around 70 thousand US dollars, however with the tie up with Amazon and Ford.
Both of whom have invested large sums in the startup, have recently stated that with new competition announced with Teslas Cybertruck, Nikola FCV/BEV Badger Pickup and others, it will likely levarage some of Fords no how to bring the Rivian models in at a significantly lower price point.
For now it’s a case of watch this space on pricing and also more information on markets and the all important Right Hand Drive production.