Electric car start-up Rivian Automotive is inching ever closer to a public debut of its R1T and R1S EV off-roaders, with the Detroit-based company luring punters with videos of its electric rigs doing cool things.
Posted to Twitter by Rivian's founder and CEO, RJ Scaringe, two new videos show the all-electric R1T pick-up variant successfully ascending and descending steep, rocky trails normally reserved for the more hardcore enthusiasts.
Steep grades. pic.twitter.com/3kClLD4rAF— RJ Scaringe (@RJScaringe) February 13, 2021
Testing in Arizona! pic.twitter.com/rREMaKReDe— RJ Scaringe (@RJScaringe) February 11, 2021
Another video released early in 2020 via Rivian's official Instagram page showed the dual-cab R1T ute performing a tank turn.
If you're not familiar with the term ‘tank turn’, it’s a manoeuvre that involves pivoting a vehicle – typically a tank – on an axis so that it can change direction in very tight confines.
The feature is available on the R1T and R1S models.
While it might seem like a cool party trick for an off-road vehicle, the tank turn actually has genuine off-road benefit. For example, when you can’t back up, you’re stuck on a narrow track and you lack the space required for a three-point turn.
Rivian first unveiled the R1T and R1S (the seven-seat SUV derivative) at the 2018 LA Auto Show, with the all-electric vehicles featuring a quad-motor system delivering 147kW to each wheel – hence the capacity to complete a tank turn.
At the time of the vehicle’s debut, the company's Executive Director of Engineering and Programs, Mark Vinnels, said: “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.”
Three battery sizes are planned to power the electrified 4x4s: 105kWh (400+km range), 135kWh (480+km range) and 180kWh (640+km range).
American deliveries are expected to begin later in 2020.