Even though Tesla was the first to promise an electric pickup with the Cybertruck, Rivian has delivered on its promise with a faster turnaround time. The Rivian R1T is here to grab a significant share of the pickup truck market, and it’s promising. It has a 0-60 mph time of a supercar, utility of any big and practical SUV, and an interior that’s among the best in the business.
Here’s everything we know about the Rivian R1T as of March 2022:
Rivian R1T Design
Neat & understated
Form and function go hand in hand on the Rivian R1T. It looks futuristic, but Rivian has not tampered with the design excessively. There are no overdone cuts, creases, or unnecessary badges. The surfacing is smooth, and there’s a full-width LED DRL bar upfront. The LED bar also doubles up as a charging indicator—turning green when plugged in. The headlamp units appear funky, and there are horizontal LED fog lamps housed in the bumper, which also has two tow hooks, a lower air dam, and a chunky metal skid plate.
The wheel arch gaps are enormous, and it runs on standard road tires wrapped around 21-inch aluminum wheels. The wheel options are extensive, with two 20-inch all-terrain tire options or 22-inch low-profile Sport tires—all priced USD 2500 extra. At USD 3500, customers can get the chunky All-Terrain Dark tire option, suitable for hardcore off-roading that the Rivian R1T is capable of. There are flush door handles and a full-width LED strip at the rear. The Rivian R1T appears neat from the rear with minimal design interference.
With the tailgate up, the rear bed of the Rivian R1T measures 54.1 inches long. With the tailgate down, it extends to 83.9 inches. Practicality is taken care of thanks to multiple heavy-duty tie-downs, gear guard security cables connecting to the Rivian app for active cargo status, and an air compressor. Two lockable tonneau cover options protect the cargo from light weather. On the Adventure Package, the tonneau gets retracted electronically via a button.
Interior & Features
Rivian R1T’s interior can be mistaken for that of a luxury saloon. It looks gorgeous. The dashboard is wrapped with natural-grained ash wood on the Adventure variant. There are three design themes to choose from on the Adventure; Black Mountain (dark), Ocean Coast (white), and Forest Edge (brown). On the base Explore Package, high-quality fabrics are used instead. The dark and white design themes are offered on the Explore variant, and only the seat colors differ. The dashboard and door trims remain the same.
Customers also get a beautiful 15.6-inch central touchscreen that appears as premium as the most expensive iPad. The screen gets LTE and Wi-Fi capability, Bluetooth and responds to Alexa voice commands. It also supports over-the-air (OTA) updates. However, there’s no Apple CarPlay, and some owners would find that disappointing. Throttle House, in its review, stated that the Rivian R1T’s in-built navigation showed incorrect time and distance, compared to Google Maps on the Apple iPhone.
A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster showcases essential driving information like range, charging status, speed, gear position, and more. There’s also a large panoramic sunroof and a Meridian sound system on the Rivian R1T. There’s also a removable Bluetooth speaker that functions as an additional speaker in the cabin, and when customers step out with the portable unit, it remains connected to the smartphone. That said, the cabin is devoid of physical buttons and has plenty of storage spaces.
Insane adventure gear
Rivian has maximized storage space. The gear tunnel space can be used to store items and can also be specced with a USD 6,750 ‘Camp Kitchen x Snow Peak,’ item list. The kitchen module can slide out of the gear tunnel. It has a two-burner induction cooktop, a collapsible sink, and an extensive 30-piece kitchen set custom molded to prevent rattles. There’s also a 4-gallon water tank with a pressure pump. The gear tunnel is waterproof, made from aircraft-grade aluminum, and has 120V AC and 12V DC power sockets.
Shell out an additional USD 3,000, and Rivian will provide a three-person waterproof rooftop tent. The tent has window grilles to keep insects out and let airflow in. Moreover, Rivian says it can be folded easily and gets securely connected to the crossbars while the pickup moves. What’s more, there’s a 21-inch spare road tire for USD 450, an underbody shield (USD 2000), an off-road recovery kit (USD 600), a pair of cargo cross bars (USD 500), among many other optional items.
The Rivian R1T measures 217.1 inches long, 78.2 inches tall, 81.8 inches wide (with folded mirrors), and has a wheelbase of 135.8 inches. It also has an incredible amount of storage capacity. According to Rivian, there’s 62 cu ft of storage between the bed, frunk, rear storage bin, under-seat compartments, center console, and gear tunnel. The frunk volume is 11.1 cu ft, while the gear tunnel volume is 11.7 cu ft.
Rivian has built its chassis in-house. The platform includes the battery, drive units, suspension, thermal management, and the lower body structure. All models come with independent air suspension that allows more than six inches of ride height adjustment. There’s automatic ride height leveling as well, that adjusts depending on the payload. Moreover, active damping monitors tweak the suspension every five milliseconds for better bump absorption and improved handling. There’s also a fully flat reinforced underbody shield to protect the chassis during hardcore off-roading.
There are two drivetrain options on the Rivian R1T: a quad motor AWD layout with one electric motor for each wheel and a dual-motor AWD option with one electric motor on each axle. The quad motor set-up is good for 835 hp and 908 lb-ft, blasting the R1T from 0-60 mph in just 3 seconds. The dual-motor set-up isn’t a slouch by any means, producing a combined output of 600 hp and 600 lb-ft with a 0-60 mph time of 4 seconds.
There are three battery packs to choose from; Standard, Large, and Max. The Standard pack is unavailable for now; it will be offered from 2024. It will provide over a claimed 260 miles of range. On the dual-motor R1T, the Large pack offers a claimed 320 miles of range while the Max pack is rated for over 400 miles (for dual and quad motors). The official EPA estimate for the Large pack on the quad motor Rivian is 314 miles. EPA rating for the rest of the battery-motor combinations is pending as of March 2022.
By the end of 2023, Rivian plans to have 3500 plus DC fast chargers across 600 sites. Along with level 2 AC chargers, Rivian’s entire network is projected to comprise 10,000 chargers by the end of 2023. They will be powered by 100% green energy sources and have an output of 200 kW, which will eventually be increased to 300 kW. The connected car technology lets owners locate charging stations and monitor charging status through the Rivian app.
|Rivian R1T Specifications||Value|
|Length (in. / mm)||217.1 / 5514|
|Width (in. / mm)||81.8 / 2077|
|Height (in. / mm)||78.2 / 1986|
|Wheelbase (in. / mm)||135.8 / 3449|
|Drivetrain layout||Dual motor AWD / Quad motor AWD|
|Power (hp)||600 (dual motor) / 835 (quad motor)|
|Torque (lb ft)||600 (dual motor) / 908 (quad motor)|
|0-60 mph||3 seconds (quad motor)|
4 seconds (dual motor)
|Battery||Standard, Large, Max|
|Range (miles)||260 (Standard)|
|Charging||200 kW (DC)|
|Storage||62 cu ft|
There are four off-road modes on the Rivian R1T; Auto, Crawl, Rally, and Drift. The pickup gets approach, departure, and break-over angles of 35.5, 30, and 26.4 degrees. When the suspension is raised, the maximum ground clearance is 14.9 inches (378.46 mm). The R1T can wade through more than 3 feet of water. The standard EV comes with road tires, but all-terrain tires can be purchased at USD 2500 or 3500. Customers with the Launch Edition can choose between the 20-inch all-terrain tire or 22-inch Sport tire without paying extra.
|Rivian R1T off-road specs||Value|
|Approach angle||35.5 degrees|
|Departure angle||30 degrees|
|Break over angle||26.4 degrees|
|Ground clearance (max)||14.9 inches / 378.46 mm|
|Water wading capacity||Over 3 feet|
Rivian R1T Price & Rivals
Reservations of the Rivian R1T are open at USD 1000. The base Explore variant starts at USD 67,500 (estimated), while the Adventure starts at USD 73,000. The Launch Edition with the quad-motor AWD costs USD 85,000, and has been sold out as of March 2022. Customers can choose the quad-motor set-up on at an additional USD 6000. The Large battery pack also costs USD 6,000, while the Max battery costs USD 16,000 extra.
Inflation increases prices
A customer on Rivian Owners Forum complained about the Rivian R1S price on March 1, 2022. The configurator jacked up the initially quoted price by USD 17,000. Rivian R1T prices for new buyers and current reservation holders soared by USD 6,000. Rivian justified the price increase in an official press release on March 3, 2022. CEO RJ Scaringe stated that semiconductors, sheet metal, and seat prices have shot up. However, the CEO acknowledged the lack of transparency in communications and backtracked the price hike for reservations before March 1.
Rivian R1T rivals include the Ford F-150 Lightning, which starts at USD 40,000, and the Chevrolet Silverado EV, which is due in 2023. The GMC Hummer EV Pickup, though not a competitor, is also another option and is expected to be priced USD 80,000 onwards.
|Rivian R1T variant||Rivian R1T price|
|Explore Dual Motor||USD 67,500|
|Adventure Dual Motor||USD 73,000|
|Explore Quad Motor||USD 79,500|
|Adventure Quad Motor||USD 85,000|
|Launch Edition Quad Motor||USD 85,000|
Production & Release Date
The Rivian R1T is manufactured in Normal, Illinois. The first electric pickup rolled off the production line in September 2021, and deliveries began only for Rivian employees towards the end of 2021. According to emails received by reservation holders, customer deliveries of the Launch Edition are lined up from March 2022. Deliveries have already begun, as per Rivian Owners Forum. Deliveries of regular variants are not expected to begin before the second half of 2022.
Rivian also confirmed plans to expand its manufacturing by constructing a second facility in Georgia from summer 2022. The upcoming ‘carbon conscious’ campus would be located east of Atlanta, in Morgan and Walton counties. Rivian would invest USD 5 billion in this forthcoming facility. It would create 7,500 jobs, and the plant will have a production capacity of 400,000 vehicles annually. Production will begin in 2024.
Backed by Amazon & Ford
In 2019, Ford invested USD 500 million for a 12% stake in the brand. Rivian and Ford had also agreed to jointly develop an EV. Ford was slated to use Rivian’s skateboard platform. However, agreement was axed late in 2021. Ford CEO Jim Farley told Automotive News in November 2021 that the brands would pursue EV development independently. Amazon also is an investor with a 20% stake in Rivian. The e-commerce giant is also a customer; it has placed an order of 100,000 electric delivery vans with Rivian. You can read our story about the Rivian Amazon EDV van for more details.
Great balance in extreme winter conditions
Kyle Connor from Out of Spec Reviews tested the Rivian R1T in the mountains of Colorado. He drove the quad-motor variant with the 135 kWh battery, and the EV was running on Pirelli Scorpion winter tires. In the video, dated March 17, 2022, the R1T appears to be incredibly sure-footed while being driven uphill on snow. He initially tests the Conserve mode, which is purely FWD, and the R1T continues to climb effortlessly.
After switching to the Auto Off-Road mode, the R1T comes to its own. Its near-perfect weight distribution makes it handle like a charm even on ice. Traction control remains turned on at all times (even after switching it off). The R1T drifts playfully in the Rally mode, albeit in a controlled manner. There’s mild oversteer mid-corner, and when the system detects the limit of the drift angle, power is sent to the front wheels to straighten the EV and pull it out of the corner.
Given its curb weight of over 7000 lbs, the R1T shouldn’t be able to handle it the way it does. However, the pickup manages an impressive performance thanks to a precisely calibrated chassis and the quad-motor set-up.
Featured image source: Rivian