Pickups have evolved over the decades. The world has seen technological advancements that offer versatility in every department and offer a wide range of experiences.
The truck’s purpose has not changed much, as hauling goods is a utility that is crucial for both commercial and recreational purposes.
You may think that truck manufacturers have tried and tested everything by now; Rotating frames, solid and independent axles, a range of gearing that puts to sleep tractors and Bonneville flats racers alike. Trucks have taken numerous forms throughout the years.
However, the truck world has yet to see one very prominent feature used in the design of pickups. With the increase in hybrid and electric vehicles, a new contender has struck the consumer truck market and is making waves.
The Rivian R1T is the markets first ever all-electric pickup. That’s right; electric utility trucks are no longer a dream of the future. Welcome to 2019; welcome the Rivian R1T.
Since debuting at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the Rivian R1T has shown much promise. It’s fulfilling the claims of being the electric dream truck folks have been wishing for.
It’s 2019, and the R1T is preparing to come off the shelves. It, along with its equally luxurious SUV sibling, the R1S, should be available by the end of 2020.
Rivian is a US-based manufacturer out of Florida. Manufactured in Normal, Illinois, there isn’t much normal about these rigs. The R1T and R1S are all-electric, battery-powered vehicles, ready for every season of on and off-road driving you take on.
It’s No Transformer But.
The Rivian R1T has revolutionised the word truck. Rivian has cut no corners in the design of their vehicles, as the R1T stands out as one of the most dynamic, feature-packed vehicles ever built.
We don’t mean complicated useless gags. We’re talking utilitarian, no-nonsense gear and features that tech geeks and overland pros alike will love.
Let’s take a look at the features of the R1T starting from the floor. Equipped with air suspension that gives you a three-inch lift on demand, you get 14.1 inches of ground clearance from the factory. You can run 33s without a problem.
Air doesn’t only control your ride height. Armed with an onboard compressor, you can inflate and deflate as the trail demands. The R1T makes quick work of raft inflation once you’ve reached camp or bicycle tube changes at the trailhead.
Behind each wheel is a 200 horsepower independent torque vectoring electric motor that puts power where you need it when you need it. The independent motor design offers specific capabilities not yet offered in any offroad vehicle.
Be it ice, sand, or three-wheeling; you won’t have a problem. The beautiful central display shows the torque vectoring of each motor, allowing you to see exactly what your truck is doing.
No one-tire-fires, only pure traction.
From The Ground Up
Offroad capability isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when discussing electric vehicles.
However, that will soon change. The skid-plated composite underside of the Rivian can carry the entire gross vehicle weight within a two-inch point of contact. It’s as flat as a level, meaning no catches when cresting questionable terrain.
This durable and smooth skateboard platform makes for a worry-free trail drive as high centring can be easily managed.
However, high centring will never even be a threat. This electric wheeler has frontal downward facing cameras to show you where you’re aiming your tires if you come up a steep and blind incline.
You’ll see this on the in-cab screen as well.
Super Electric Utility Trucks
Its no race car, but zero to sixty in three seconds from this 750 horsepower truck makes the typical “sports car” look a little stone-aged. The R1T might change the way you view your hotrod.
This power output is thanks to the four independent motors previously discussed. The R1T puts out an astonishing 1032 foot-pounds of torque. That’s enough to pull you away from traditional trucks altogether.
The hypercar rivalling acceleration and competition-beating torque isn’t the only on-road capabilities this vehicle offers. Reports claim the handling to be as great, being agile and holding its own in the corners.
This is in part due to its low centre of gravity. The volume of the truck is mainly body and cab components because of the position of the motors and batteries at the wheel level.
So what gives this truck the juice to perform such astonishing feats? Let’s check it out.
The Rivian features a solid frame chassis. This frame centres around the four batteries that run the Rivian R1T. The frame rails bordering its edges protect the battery like a safe. The full skidplate composite bottom protecting the underside and cab covering the top protects the battery from common wheeling threats.
The one main enemy of batteries is water. The Rivians design completely seals both the batteries and motors vulnerable components. This design, along with other safety measures allows for the Rivian to ford up to a meter of water.
The power given to the RT1 is well taken care of. It distributes to the four motors and through the independent axles for impressive suspension travel.
The R1T holds its own as a trail rig and can knock out some racecar’s zero to sixty times. But there’s more than impressive numbers with this truck.
The R1T harnesses cameras, lidar, radar, and ultrasonic sensors to keep you and yours safe on the road.
Another huge milestone in these electronic adventure machines is level three autonomy. This lets you turn your primary focus on vehicle life while the truck takes care of the road.
Though accidents in a Rivian seem impossible, Rivian aims for an IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus as well as a 5 star NHTSA crash test rating.
With no explosive fuel, a wide, low centred stance, and plenty of cushion around, the Rivian should perform very well safety wise.
Though the Rivian is an element worthy rig, if you found your self inside one, you’d have a hard time believing it. The R1T’s interior makes for an incredibly comfortable ride.
Like the spacious seven-seater R1S, the R1T offers plenty of leg room, seat adjustment, and comforts found in most luxury vehicles.
While you let the R1T tote you home from a long day on the trail, you relax in a trimmed chic environment. Matte wood trims the interior along with polished metal accents.
Its a luxurious blend of rustic and modern styling that nature lovers and artists will love. Nothing is overbearing, but everything is eloquent. Navigation and display units are large and clean-lined.
The beautiful interior is excellent, but what makes a Rivian so worthy? Despite its elegant design, the interior can handle the elements as much as the rest of the truck! Dirty dogs and shoes are welcome aboard.
There are rubberised and sealed floormats, and the upholstery is durable, water wicking, and allows for easy cleaning. The electric vehicle aspect means no pesky driveshaft tunnel to trip over.
The door jams even feature a self-charging pop-out flashlight. Slide in gear till it’s packed and hit the road!
Another way the R1T is revolutionising the pickup truck as a whole is by its ability to do that, pick-up! The R1T has more storage than you can imagine. Let us start with the front.
Pop the hood on the R1T, and you’ll notice something shocking. As you may have guessed, there is no engine up front as the four electric motors are wheel-side.
In its place, you have a large 11.6 cubic foot storage compartment for gear and groceries alike. The frunk, as Rivian calls it, is lit up and accessible. You pop it like a hood and store anything you need to take with you.
Moving rearward, we stop behind the cab. Underneath the rear passenger seating, accessible from the exterior of the vehicle is a well-executed gear tunnel.
This dual sided accessible tunnel can store anything from snowboards to golf clubs and locks as the truck does. The central truck aspect of the R1T, the bed, is also pushing the limits of truck design.
Featuring an electric tonneau cover, electric tailgate drop, and locking gear strap that alerts your phone if it’s cut, the bed of the R1T ensures every piece of equipment you haul has a safe and secure spot.
Looking deeper, underneath the bed itself resides the full-size spare tire.
Time Will Tell
2020 is right around the corner. As the delivery date of this truck comes closer, more information will surface on its components and variation.
Upon its release, we will see the ways it is applied to peoples lives and what kinks Rivian may need to iron out.
But the future of electric utility trucks looks quite promising with Rivian, and we look forward to the evolution and integration of a rig such as this.
Keep locked into our blog to stay up to date with the Rivian RT1, and other electric vehicles soon to hit a market near you!