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Rivian introduces two quad-motor, AWD “Electric Adventure Vehicles”

Rivian, an electric vehicle manufacturer, unveiled two “Electric Adventure Vehicles”—the R1T, an all-electric pickup and the R1S, an all-electric SUV—at events surrounding the LA Auto Show this week.


The R1T, a 5-passenger pickup truck, made its debut at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles on 26 November and the R1S, a 7-passenger SUV, was revealed at the automaker’s press conference at Automobility on 27 November. The Rivian vehicles feature up to 400+ miles in electric range, a wading depth of 1 meter, lockable storage bins that can fit the bulkiest of gear, and the performance and precise control of quad-motor AWD. Both vehicles will be produced at Rivian's manufacturing facility in Normal IL.


I started Rivian to deliver products that the world didn’t already have—to redefine expectations through the application of technology and innovation. Starting with a clean sheet, we have spent years developing the technology to deliver the ideal vehicle for active customers. This means having great driving dynamics on any surface on- or off-road, providing cargo solutions to easily store any type of gear, whether it’s a surf board or a fishing rod and, very importantly, being capable of driving long distances on a single charge. From the inside out, Rivian has developed its vehicles with adventurers at the core of every design and engineering decision. The R1T and R1S are the result of all this work and we are excited to finally introduce these products to the world.

—Rivian Founder and CEO RJ Scaringe

Skateboard Platform. The foundation of the R1T and R1S is Rivian’s skateboard platform, which efficiently packages the battery pack, drive units, suspension, braking and thermal system all below the height of the wheel, leaving the space above for occupants and their gear.


Beyond the packaging benefits, this architecture delivers a low center of gravity that supports the vehicle’s agility and stability. Adding to these inertial advantages is a sophisticated suspension architecture with unequal length double wishbone suspension in the front and a multi-link suspension in the rear. The suspension features dynamic roll control and adaptive dampers along with ride-height adjustable air-suspension—allowing the suspension to be adjusted for highway comfort, on-road performance or off-road capability.


Rivian’s vehicles also feature a quad-motor system that delivers 147 kW with precise torque control to each wheel, enabling active torque vectoring and maximum performance in every situation, from high-speed cornering to low-speed rock crawling.

With 3,500 N·m of grounded torque per wheel (14,000 N·m of torque for the full vehicle), the R1T and R1S can both reach 60 mph in 3 seconds and 100 mph in less than 7 seconds. This powertrain and chassis also enable the R1T’s tow rating of 11,000 pounds.

The beauty and elegance of our quad-motor setup isn’t just about brute power; this architecture provides instantaneous torque with extremely precise control at each wheel, which is completely game-changing from a dynamics perspective, both on- and off-road.

—Executive Director of Engineering and Programs Mark Vinnels


Battery System. Rivian’s energy-dense battery module and pack were developed with the most demanding journeys in mind—incorporating tough underbody protection and an advanced cooling system to give occupants the confidence to go further, regardless of terrain or temperature.

Adaptive control algorithms learn driver behavior, optimizing user-specific battery management for maximizing battery life, reliability and second-life reusability.

Three battery sizes are planned, with the 180 kWh and 135 kWh available at launch and a 105 kWh being made available within six months.

The battery is designed for fast charging with charging rates of up to 160kW. This enables approximately 200 miles of range to be added in 30 minutes of charging. In addition to DC fast-charging, an 11kW onboard charger facilitates rapid charging at a Level 2 charger.

Connectivity and Digital Experience. Rivian has developed its connected car platform from a clean sheet to allow full control and flexibility over the vehicle hardware, software and user experience. The system operates on a high-speed Ethernet backbone that enables robust security.

This platform supports granular over-the-air updates of vehicle software to enhance functionality and improve performance. All Rivian vehicles connect to a cloud-ecosystem for data exchange and processing, enabling machine learning and data services.

The digital experience extends beyond the vehicle into the cloud ecosystem and mobile/web applications and provides a consistent and seamless interface for vehicle status and control. The in-vehicle experience consists of a custom 15.6-inch center touch screen, 12.3-inch instrument cluster and a 6.8-inch rear touch screen.

Self-Driving. The R1T and R1S will launch with a robust hardware suite with multiple sensor systems including camera, lidar, radar, ultrasonic and a high precision GPS coupled with high definition maps. This hardware enables “Level 3” (hands-off wheel and eyes off road) autonomy for highway operation. Beyond the highway Level 3, the vehicle will have a range of self-driving features focused on enabling active lifestyles.

Safety. Rivian’s safety systems and body-structure design will deliver IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus and NHTSA 5-Star ratings. Safety features include 8 airbags for occupant protection and reinforcements of the skateboard platform to protect the battery. The R1T and R1S will also be offered with a full complement of active safety systems enabled by Rivian’s suite of self-driving sensors.

R1T pricing starts at $61,500 after Federal Tax credit. R1S pricing starts at $65,000 after Federal Tax credit. Deliveries begin in late 2020. Fully-equipped vehicles with the highest performance level and largest battery pack will enter production first. The 180 kWh pack (400+ miles range) and 135 kWh pack will be available at launch, with the base variant (250+ miles range) to follow within 12 months of the start of production.

Rivian is now accepting preorders for a refundable deposit of $1,000.

Founded in 2009 by RJ Scaringe, Rivian develops and produces vehicles, products and services related to sustainable transportation. The company has facilities in Plymouth, Michigan, San Jose, California, Irvine, California, and Normal, Illinois.

Headquarters in Plymouth, Michigan are dedicated to finances, engineering, and design. A facility in Irvine, California focuses on batteries, electrical hardware, and vehicle control software, while a facility in San Jose, California develops self-driving technology and data. The company’s 2.6-million-square-foot factory in Normal Illinois the home for manufacturing of vehicles and components such as battery packs. The Normal plant has a paint shop, robotics, stamping machines, and other production equipment.

Scaringe earned his MS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was a member of the research team in the Sloan Automotive Laboratory.

Mark Vinnels leads Rivian’s product development organization and is responsible for all engineering and program execution. Vinnels was previously the Executive Program Director at McLaren from 2004 through 2017. In this role he was responsible for all of McLaren’s road cars starting with the MP4-12C through the 720S. Before McLaren, Vinnels was the Head of Vehicle Programs at Group Lotus where he led the product development of all Lotus cars. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Nottingham.



I expected the price would be higher. They could could have something popular here. Many better turned out back-country enthusiasts (skiers, hikers, paddlers, mountain bikers, fishermen etc.) would probably find it within their price range. Day trips from Calgary for these sorts of activities can be in excess of 400 km, however, even with the lowest range option it would only mean a recharge stop at the end of the day which would give an opportunity for coffee and food which I'd expect might be welcome.


The one thing lacking in this thing is a provision for using the inverters to supply off-board power.  This would make it suitable as a work truck for job sites, supplying power tools without the cost and hassle of a temporary grid connection.

I could see a bed-carried or trailer-toted portable solar array as an option for "green" job sites as well.  Use the vehicle as the energy buffer, perhaps leave with a higher SOC than it arrived with in the morning.


Hard to see this high spec truck coming to market at anywhere near this price.
Next years Nissan Leaf has export power as standard with grid service in mind.
I would think that the random owners of ev's who would find export power a useful addition is unpredictable.
I see E.P. makes the point that using the existing inverter hardware should be a low cost accessory or standard fitment path however there may also be a case for dedicated integrated inverter and associated smarts in so far as quite a lot of the function is not associated with the primary transport function and especially that there are not universal standards for these functions. (I'm not sure how the existing V2G systems are configured but presume there need to be a charge point with vehicle specific communication protocol.)

I think the manufactures could supply technical information that enabled factory accessory option and after market installation of devices as required by the owner. This information would indicate acceptable tapping points for both the high current and available computer interface. This could be a selling point for the manufacture by allowing standardised fitting to be tested and documented downstream.
It is then up to either the vehicle manufacture to supply generic devices or specialists to fit tailored spec devices allowing a much wider range of options to the customer.

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