The Rivian R1T is a new electric truck, will do 0-60mph in 3.0s
That’s right, an all-electric, 2.6-tonne truck that’ll out-accelerate a supercar
This is a pickup truck. It comes from a company called Rivian working out of California and London, and – to be blunt – it is extraordinarily quick. Welcome to the all-electric, five-seat R1T pickup.
Yes, all-electric. The new R1T is the first vehicle to emerge from Rivian, with the aim of helping “customers get out and explore the world”. You’ll be exploring it rather quickly, because the R1T comes with four electric motors – one on each wheel.
They’re attached to Rivian’s new ‘skateboard’ platform, said to package the battery, drive units, suspension, braking and thermal system all below the height of each wheel. Which means a) lots of passenger space, but more importantly b) a low centre of gravity.
Three battery sizes will be offered: 180kWh (400 mile range) and 135kWh (300 mile range) packs available at launch, and a 105kWh battery (230 mile range) offered six months later. Each one is said to feature “tough underbody protection” along with better cooling and an algorithm that learns your driving style to better optimise its charge.
Opt for the 135kWh battery and – allied to those quad motors and torque vectoring and an actual truckload of total torque (10,325lb ft) – you’ll be able to see off 0-60mph in three seconds flat. You’ll also be able to go from 0-100mph in under seven seconds, with a top speed of 125mph. IN A TRUCK.
“The beauty and elegance of our quad-motor setup isn’t just about brute power,” explains engineering director Mark Vinnels. “This architecture provides instantaneous torque with extremely precise control at each wheel.”
Size-wise, it’s longer, wider and taller than a Nissan Navara, weighs 2.6-tonnes, is capable of towing 11,000lbs (4,990kg), features double wishbones up front and multi-link suspension at the rear, and also things like dynamic roll control, adaptive dampers and ride-adjustable air suspension.
If you don’t want to go loopy off road yourself, it’ll self-drive. Rivian has fitted a range of hardware – cameras, lidar, radar, ultrasonic and GPS – to allow for ‘Level 3’ autonomy. Inside there’s actual wood, used as a structural element that integrates the central display and driver cluster, while other “high wear” areas are made from more durable stuff, akin to sportswear.
Load space? Well, there is loads. Up front there’s 330-litres in the bonnet (it’s electric, so there’s no engine), there’s a 350-litre space in the R1T’s lockable ‘gear tunnel’, and a 200-litre sealed bin beneath the rear bed floor.
“I started Rivian to deliver products that the world didn’t already have,” explains Rivian boss RJ Scaringe. “Starting with a clean sheet, we have spent years developing the technology to deliver the ideal vehicle for active customers.”
Rivian is prepping the R1T for 2020. We suspect it just shot straight up on your most-wanted list…
Also enabling off-road articulation is a hydraulic anti-roll system. Rather than traditional anti-roll bars, the R1T uses hydraulically linked cylinders to provide lots of roll control and comfort for on-road driving while allowing for wheel travel off-road. Vinnels didn't provide many more details on the system at the preview event.
As Scaringe's presentation about aspirational brands alluded, the R1T will also be pretty expensive. It will start at $69,000, or $61,500 with the $7,500 federal tax rebate, though pricing would of course vary depending on which battery pack and options a buyer selected. (One intriguing option: a "Marathon" model which would have a low feature set but the largest battery pack, designed for people who plan to take lots of long trips off-road.) Stay tuned over the next two years as we see how those plans evolve as the all-electric truck heads to production.