The Rivian R1T — An 800HP “Super Pickup.”

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The EV Rivian R1T has arrived. It’s an expensive, super-truck, not for every pickup driver. But if it’s for you — well, you know who you are. Seriously, no one really needs a 800-hp midsize pickup, and of course that’s the point. The fact is, this is an amazing electric pickup, from stem to stern. It’s no lightweight and it may be the template for the wave of pickups in the future. Here are a few quick credentials: The Powertrain: Quad-Motor, 0-60 mph in 3 secs. How about Towing capacity? Up to 11,000 lbs and its Wading depth is 3+ ft. It’s a bad-ass pickup.

The front looks like a robot face, doesn’t it? Right? It’s the new face of EV. The Rivian R1T all-electric pickup truck from new American startup brand Rivian, promising 300 miles of driving range and super quick acceleration. At 215.6 inches long, the crew-cab-only R1T splits the difference in size between mid-size pickups such as the Ford Ranger and full-size trucks such as the Ram 1500. The R1T is the first electric pickup truck to make it to production in what seems to be a huge commercial market, soon to include the Ford F-150 Lightning and the GMC Hummer EV SUT.

Comparisons are difficult because of the R1t’s size. It isn’t really a direct competitor to the likes of the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado and Dodge Ram 1500. At just over 217-inches long, it’s closer in size to the 211-inch Ranger than the 232-inch F-150 crew-cab. That makes it more of a midsize than a full-size pickup.

For many years now, the full-size pickup truck market has been dominated by three automakers that collectively produce four of the top-selling nameplates year after year. The Ford F-series, Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra and Ram pickups consistently outsell everything in America. Toyota and Nissan, despite great products in this category, have tried for nearly two decades to make a dent in that segment and still only sell a fraction of what the Detroit brands sell. But with Rivian (and others), the pickup market is about to go through an enormous shift with the introduction of electric propulsion.

 

While America continues its affair with big, bruising pickups, the slightly trimmer Rivian looks different, somehow. And it most certainly is.

The Purpose-Built Pickup, Crafted For Tomorrow.
The R1T has the enormous advantage of being purpose built as an electric truck rather than being a modified version of an existing vehicle. The Rivian retains anything that makes sense, all else is fair game to be re-imagined. Even the power is other-worldly — The R1T features 4 motors that can produce over 800-hp combined, with each driving one wheel. This makes fully independent torque vectoring possible for maximum off-road traction and on-road handling. Another of the details unique to this vehicle is the clutches between the rear motors and wheels. When driving at lower speeds or cruising on the highway with the Conserve mode enabled, the rear motors are decoupled from the wheels. 

This eliminates the drag caused by induction in the motors which would normally be used for regenerative braking. This effectively makes this a front wheel drive truck with on-demand all-wheel drive.

One criticism of Tesla, particularly on the Model S and X is that despite their high prices, they have never really felt like bona fide luxury cars. The same cannot be said for the R1T. At the $73,000 price of the R1T launch edition, it feels decidedly premium inside. The fit and finish of the early production truck I drove was very good and the mix of vegan leather, real wood veneers and aluminum looked like what you should expect at the price point.

The graphics are clear and easily readable. Given the very large investment made by Amazon in Rivian, it should come as no surprise that the voice recognition is powered by Alexa voice services.

Rivian R1T is an outstanding first effort from a new manufacturer. CEO R.J. Scaringe has used the extensive resources at his disposal an hired a lot of smart people with experience in vehicle development and manufacturing to create something that should be very appealing to consumers.

Starting at $67,500 with an EPA estimated range of 314 miles.

RIVIAN TANK TURN

 

 

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