Outside the Cybertruck, Rivian’s R1T may be the most highly anticipated electric ute coming to market. Today the company updated their website to share a lot more detail about the R1T and their SUV EV, the R1S.
Let’s start with the R1T. This ute is designed for the adventurous types, demonstrated through imagery on their site of the ute/truck navigating off-road environments, while being the perfect camper and with roof racks can even carry surf boards.
On of the most unique aspects of Rivian’s design is the optional Camp Kitchen. This provides outdoor cooking, which includes a kettle, coffee grinder, hotplates all powered off the vehicles battery. Once you’re done, it all slides right back in the truck, in the gear tunnel.
Rivian also leverage their storage to enable you to haul gear like bikes and even tents to make this R1T the perfect vehicle for your weekend trip away.
Rivian are also offering a level of driver assist with Driver+. Similar to GM’s SuperCruise technology, Rivian are leveraging a driver monitoring camera that enables you to remove your hands from the wheel. Driver+ can automatically steer, adjust speed and change lanes. As is now the standard expectation, they are committed to over the air software updates to enhance this functionality over time.
The R1T comes in 3 variants, the Launch Edition, Adventure and Explore. The launch edition has some specific options like the option of 20″ All-Terain or 22″ Sport wheels and also includes a Special Launch Green pain option. If you cheap out and get the Explore, you’ll loose some of the nice items like enhanced 360 audio and powered tonneau cover.
Speaking of price, the Rivian R1T starts at US$75,000 with deliveries of the Launch Edition due to start in June 2021. Given the expected timeline of Tesla’s Cybertruck is later 2021, it seems Rivian will beat Tesla to market in this vertical. Given Rivian offers much more of a conventional design, while still being modern, it’s unlikely there’s much crossover in the market that would buy one over the other.
When it comes to the cheapest version, the R1T Explore doesn’t arrive until Jan 2022 and starts at US$67,500.
If we consider for a second what those prices convert to, we’re talking about the R1T starting at A$93,026.47 + 10% GST = A$102,329 before on-road costs and luxury car tax. Considering the price of a Ford Raptor Ranger is around $80k, it’s a big leap to make it to close to A$110k driveaway price for the Rivian, should we see it in Australia.
When it comes to the R1S, I think it’s a very smart looking SUV and gets the same range, but costs a little more, starting at US$70,000.
Its seems Rivian are positioning their electric vehicle offering as performance vehicles as well. Both feature a quad-motor design and offer an impressive 0-60mph time of just 3 seconds.
While the front end design of the Rivian vehicles won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, they are combining a very interesting set of features here that really places them in a unique, adventure lifestyle category.
In many ways Rivian feel more like a new automaker, making modern vehicles, for our modern lifestyles. They seem to have thought very practically about how people really use vehicles and that’s reflected in their product design and functionality. The fact that they’re powered by an electric drivetrain is almost a happy accident.
The R1S also gets the Driver+ technology suite that is made up of 11 cameras, 5 radars, 12 Ultrasonic sensors providing a 360 field of vision.
It is clear from both of these vehicles, that Rivian have created a great skateboard design that is capable of having different body types implemented to address additional markets.
Overall I really hope we see Rivian products offered in Australia, we need more electric vehicles in our country and competition will only serve to benefit consumers.
More information at https://rivian.com