Rivian electric truck is cute and a beast

The rechargeable Rivian R1T, the first ripper in an oncoming wave of electric pickups, can soar unscathed over thorny rocks, deliver an 11,000-pound payload and burn 60 mph in about 3.5 seconds. The truck brings it all And Kitchen sink, with outdoor options like a rooftop tent and track-mounted Camp Kitchen, which lets owners prepare driveway-side omelettes and wash them afterwards. And after its hot initial public offering, Rivian was already worth nearly $100 billion, more than those giants like Ford Motor and General Motors.

All is well so far, for the company’s shareholders and stakeholders (including Amazon and Ford) and 9,500 employees. Some consumers may still have a question: What in the world is Rivian?

The R1T, now originating from a former Mitsubishi plant in Illinois, must navigate the awkward dating phase, just as the then-obscure Tesla did with the Roadster in 2008 and the Model S in 2012. Unlike Tesla, which pioneered the auto market Electric and once mostly self-owned, the Rivian faces immediate competition from the 1,000-horsepower GMC Hummer EV pickup, and from the Ford F-150 Lightning—based on America’s best-selling car for 39 straight years—scheduled to arrive in the spring. Tesla pushed Texas production of its Cybertruck sometime in 2022.

Rivian, based in Irvine, California, took 12 years to reach the market, but its timing seems perfect. Pickup trucks continued to gain strong market share as the pandemic eroded sales of conventional cars. A flight from major cities, such as the New York exodus, may have played a role. (Home Project, Meet a Pickup Truck). One in five cars sold in America is now a full- or mid-size pickup, or more than three million sales in a typical year.

Where Ford’s Lightning appears to be a more traditional, mission-oriented truck, the 16-inch Rivian is a born adventurer. Pioneering proof, too, that an electric four-wheeler can handle even the most restricted backcountry. This summer, the R1T successfully sailed the TransAmerica Trail, a nearly 5,000-mile crucible from North Carolina to the Oregon coast. If most buyers are satisfied by dirt road only to cabin or campground, They can always dream.

Starting at $68,575, the Rivian becomes the first electric car on the market to integrate four independent electric motors, each spinning at up to 18,500 rpm, allowing all sorts of “torque vectoring” tricks, splitting power in real time to any of the four wheels to increase performance. All while barely making a sound. “Tread lightly” is the mantra of any off-road driver, and the Rivian eliminates the noisy internal combustion engine and exhaust pipe churn.

“You can hear the current dripping as you go down the trail — and the birds,” said Brian Gass, director of special projects at Rivian.

However, not much will stand in the way of the R1T or its sporting offshoot, the R1S. Adjustable air suspension and four off-road modes—auto, rocker, rally and drift—allow for up to 15 inches of ground clearance. That’s 4.2 inches more than the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, and it’s a touchstone of wild ability.

Take to the slick city rooftops and this 835-horsepower beast will outrun or dance around any oil truck I’ve tested, claiming a 3.0-second dash to 60 mph. That’s despite the vehicle’s gross weight of about 7,150 pounds, about a ton more than a full-size petrol pickup truck. This truck doesn’t defy physics so much as an open-ended revolution.

Rivian never feels calm who – which Fast, automated flyers find 3.5 seconds to 60 mph more like it. Even that’s ridiculous acceleration for any four-wheel drive SUV, let alone one that weighs as much as two BMW 330i’s and can tow three Beamers quickly on the highway. Like most descending electric vehicles, the Rivian plays tricks with its own individual body system. Without auditory cues and frenzied pistons, the most reliable calculus of moving forward is watching tiny cars turn into smaller specks in the mirror.

On the mountain roads that surround New York’s tanks, Rivian slices BMW and Benzes like they’re holiday turkeys, and its clever anti-sway hydraulic system keeps the truck body as flat as a plate. Covered in a composite bottom shield, the roughly 135-kWh battery pack provides up to 314 miles of range, according to an EPA rating — reasonable, considering all that mass and drag. Switching to Conserve mode lowers the ride height and operates the front axle motors alone to save power.

For an extra $10,000, a 180 kWh battery extends over 400 miles. That’s better than the $112,595 Hummer EV, which should run about 350 miles with its roughly 200 kWh package, the largest ever for an electric vehicle. The Rivian also plans to offer a more affordable 105 kWh package with a range of approximately 230 miles.

The brake pedal on the R1T feels a bit squishy for my steadier tastes, but there’s no denying the truck’s great ability to shed speed. In an objective test, Edmunds.com found that the Rivian set new records in stopping, acceleration, and road grip. Owners who don’t drive for hours or even days without this brake pedal can: The intelligently selected, driver-adjustable regeneration function allows effortless “one-pedal” effort to bring the truck to a smooth stop by lifting the accelerator pedal.

Despite her crushing strength, Rivian is very gentle. The vogue of today’s pickup, embodied by Hummer or Cybertruck, is like a Mechagodzilla, all trampling, fire-breathing menace. The Rivian’s clear LED oval eyes, clean lines, and cheery surface are more than Iron Giant: rated for all ages, genders, and personalities, not just Costco cosplayers in trucker hats.

The interior takes a safe path with the Apple-esque simplicity that’s popular with electric vehicles. Longer than mid-size trucks, much shorter than full-size trucks, the R1T provides a comfortable rear seat for two or three adults. Most traditional switches are ditched in favor of controls on a 16-inch touchscreen, and not always for the better.

Company representatives believe that a cloud-based navigation system will handle directional tasks, and the Meridian 18-speaker audio system will work well with built-in apps like Spotify, or smartphone connectivity via Bluetooth. But the lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – the standard fare in most budget cars – may require a lane correction.

However, the design, materials (including vegan leather and genuine ash wood) and craftsmanship are convincingly luxurious. and rules of ingenuity. A portable Bluetooth speaker is detached from the center console, ready for campfire, with a 1,000-lumen flashlight in the driver’s door. USB ports and 110-volt outlets are sprayed across the cab and charging bed. This bed features an electric tailgate, an optional air compressor to “down” the tires for off-road exploration and a refill for the ride home. There’s no need to pack the light: There’s a large “storage box” under the hood and another under the 4.5-foot cargo bed, with a drain plug that doubles as an icebox aft.

The so-called gear tunnel will puncture the outer cores. This door-to-door abdominal cavity behind the passenger cabin, made possible by the lack of an internal combustion engine shaft, swallows merchandise or extras like the optional $5,000 Camp Kitchen. This eclectic item isn’t cheap. But launched from the Rivian, the industry’s number one unit will stop traffic at any tailgate or campfire, with a two-burner convection stove, foldable sink with spray faucet and water tank, Snow Peak 30 Piece Kitchen Set.

Now all Rivian needs is to increase sales. Like Tesla’s baby, the company expects to spend a few billion dollars before it can generate positive returns. Amazon has a 20 percent stake — currently worth about $20 billion, more than five times its original investment — and has ordered 100,000 Rivian delivery trucks through 2030. We’ll see if these fleet trucks become a side hustle for Rivian or the main job .

Whichever electric truck early adopters prefer, it is best if one gets a place in line. Ford says it has 160,000 customer reservations for its Lightning, but expects to build just 15,000 next year before production expands rapidly. Rivian, in a federal filing, cited a backlog of 55,400 orders for the R1T and R1S.

Ford lowered the initial Lightning price at about $42,000, but for a working version with a modest 230 miles of range. Good luck finding one at the dealers. The larger Lightning XLT will start around $55,000, with the brush-loaded Platinum version $90,000.

Ford (along with General Motors) promotes its broad range, sales networks, and manufacturing expertise, albeit in fossil-fueled trucks. Like Tesla, Rivian plans to abandon traditional showrooms in favor of direct selling in all 50 states. The company plans to open dozens of service centers in North America, but it also depends on remote diagnostics, over-the-air updates, and mobile technicians that can service Rivians in homes, even when owners are away.

Either way, Ford could win: It owns 12% of Rivian, even though it just dropped a plan to develop an EV in partnership with Rivian. Founded by RJ Scaringe, Rivian hopes to meet its existing orders by the end of 2023, from a plant that can build 150,000 units annually.

Whatever happens, the Rivian can lay claim to being the number one mover in the electric truck space. Driven by this David electric motor, the R1T fires an impressive first shot. Let’s see what Goliath does when they get off the rug.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: