Release date: September 2021
Price: From $67,500
Power: Quad motor, AWD
Battery Range: 300 - 400 miles
0-60 mph: 3 seconds
Special Features: 11,000 lbs tow limit, trailer assist, Driver+ autonomous assistance, immersive audio, 4G and Wi-Fi.
Rivian’s R1T is one of the most exciting electric vehicles scheduled to launch in the near future. The R1T is, fundamentally, a reimagining of one of the most popular car types in the United States: a pickup for the electric generation. And Rivian’s decision to go after this market makes a lot of sense.
Across the U.S. pickups take the top three slots for total car sales. The Ford F series is the country’s most popular vehicle, followed by Chevrolet’s Silverado, which is tailgated by Dodge’s Ram range. In all but 11 states, the number one selling vehicle is some sort of pickup truck.
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So the R1T has a massive potential audience, and while this all-electric pickup isn’t cheap, it’s certainly not the the most expensive pickup out there, with Ford, Dodge and Chevrolet all offering options that take their vehicles up to a similar level to Rivian’s R1T. In EVs the R1T will have to compete with the GMC Hummer and Tesla Cybertruck.
Here's everything you need to know about the Rivian R1T.
2022 Rivian R1T cost and release
Rivian is taking orders now for the R1T with a $1,000 fully-refundable deposit. Configuration options, like many electric cars, offer expanded battery packs or improved interior equipment and trim.
Rivian originally claimed that the cars could be delivered as early as July, but has had to push that back until September. Apparently that's down to "cascading impacts of the pandemic", particularly the ongoing global chip shortage.
The base model Explore Package of the Rivian R1T, which includes a sport interior, costs $67,500. The Adventure Pack increases that cost to $75,000, which has a premium interior and off-road upgrades. Both of those prices can expand by another $10,000 if you want to boost the range from the standard 300 miles to 400.
A R1T fully specified will come in at $89,500, which includes the Adventure Pack, range extension and the most expensive paint variant, which adds $2,500 to the price. For those with cash to splash, this will deliver a lot of car with immense flexibility.
2022 Rivian R1T range and battery
The range of the Rivian R1T is nice and simple. You get two options, one for 300+ miles of range and one for 400+ miles, which costs $10,000 more. That’s the case at launch and information indicates that the 300-mile model is using a 135 kWh battery, while the 400 mile car uses a 180 kWh pack.
Electric car enthusiasts will note that those capacities are quite generous and that’s with good reason. For one, these cars are heavier than most EVs. But Rivian is also ensuring that there’s extra capacity, which helps the batteries to manage their load better and should keep the range over long periods of use and many charge and discharge cycles.
A smaller, 105 kWh battery is said to be coming a little later, likely with a shorter range and slightly cheaper price tag than that of the current R1T.
2022 Rivian R1T performance and towing capacity
The Rivian R1T's 0-60 mph time is a staggering 3 seconds. Only a small selection of hypercars and supercars can better that speed, and the most obvious current rival is the Tesla Model S Plaid, which takes just 1.99 seconds to hit 60 mph. Rivian’s three seconds sits around cars like the Porsche 911 GT3 RS and the monster 9,000lb GMC Hummer EV
It makes little sense to compare a pickup truck to a sports car, but it’s remarkable to see these heavy, off-road vehicles able to compete with some of the most desirable cars on the planet.
Rivian’s performance matters in one crucial matter for most pickup enthusiasts: its towing capacity. The company claims the Rivian R1T can tow 11,000 lbs, which is a solid number, although it can’t compete with the beefiest trucks on the market. Ford’s F450 Super Duty with the V8 Power Stroke Diesel engine can pull 32,500 lbs. But most people can probably get by with less power.
Rivian’s real advantage is in its powertrain design. The R1T is powered by four motors which are located as close to centrally as possible on each axle. The car is able to do some incredible things with torque vectoring that’s far more responsive than what you'd expect from a combustion engine pickups. This allows Rivian to make the R1T a powerful off-road tool. The car can even, potentially, do tank turns where the wheels on either side turn in opposite directions, allowing the car to turn on the spot. (We would only try this off road.)
2022 Rivian R1T autonomous drive mode
Rivian’s approach to autonomous driving is different to Telsa’s. All cars will come with Driver+, which will steer, adjust speed based on traffic and change lanes when you indicate.
However, Rivian doesn’t pitch this as self-driving — mainly because it's not. Instead it’s a driver aid, like a more advanced cruise control, that can make journeys more relaxing but still require the driver to be in charge of the vehicle.
The system is made up of 11 cameras, 5 radar sensors, and 12 ultrasonic sensors to monitor all around the car. Drive+ isn’t an optional extra, and the company says it will be updated over the air regularly.
2022 Rivian R1T design and storage
It’s a fair guess that you’re going to have a strong opinion on the styling of the Rivian R1T. The rear is less controversial, with its body width light strip and almost traditional truck styling. From the side too, it looks like a super-modern pickup, but its lineage is clear.
When you get to the front though, you’re confronted with one of the most interesting pieces of design of any recent vehicle that isn’t Tesla’s Cybertruck. A light bar stretches across the front of the car, and while charging it shows a green progress bar so you know how far through charging it is. The two long ovals look like eyes, and they are surrounded by more LED running lights. Within the ovals are the more traditional headlights.
It looks kind of surprised, to be honest, but it’s distinctive and cool. Everyone will know it’s a Rivian, or at least they will when a few more people know about Rivian.
They’ll also know it’s a Rivian when you open the side storage. Just behind the rear doors on either side of the truck are smaller doors which open to a compartment that stretches the width of the vehicle. This storage is ideal for snowboards, skis or some of the bespoke accessories Rivian has showcased. Those include a camping kitchen with cook top, which is going to make this the must-have truck for tailgate cookouts.
There are also storage spaces under the front hood and an additional space under the truck bed. Rivian includes a full-size spare wheel in this location, which customers can remove if they’d rather use the space.
2022 Rivian R1T interior
On the inside, things are a little more traditional, although not without surprises. Rivian has avoided using carpet, instead it’s using an easy-to-wash material that won’t stain. The company wants you to get this car dirty, and then just wipe it down before you start all over again.
In terms of equipment, expect the usual pair of screens that handle most of the car’s features. That shouldn't be a huge surprise, considering how electric car companies are increasingly following Tesla's example and offering touchscreen controls. We just wish that we could have something with a little more of a tactile feel, so you don't feel the need to take your eyes off the road.
2022 Rivian R1T outlook
The Rivian R1T certainly isn’t cheap, but it’s also not outrageously expensive. You can spec it to quite a high sticker price if you’re so inclined, but the standard model is likely to suit most needs exceptionally well. With loads of built-in technology and one of the most intriguing drivetrains of any electric car so far, it is likely take the world by storm.
Of course, the Rivian R1T will have to be available in high quantities to fulfill demand, and there’s no indication yet that Rivian will be able to produce enough to keep up. But America’s love of the pickup truck will likely be satiated by this versatile EV pickup vehicle, and it could be a roaring success.
Time will tell on this one, but R1T has enormous potential.