That’s right, an all-electric, 2.6-tonne truck that’ll out-accelerate a supercar
This is a pickup truck. It comes from a company called Rivian working out of California and London, and – to be blunt – it is extraordinarily quick. Welcome to the all-electric, five-seat R1T pickup.
Yes, all-electric. The new R1T is the first vehicle to emerge from Rivian, with the aim of helping “customers get out and explore the world”. You’ll be exploring it rather quickly, because the R1T comes with four electric motors – one on each wheel.
They’re attached to Rivian’s new ‘skateboard’ platform, said to package the battery, drive units, suspension, braking and thermal system all below the height of each wheel. Which means a) lots of passenger space, but more importantly b) a low centre of gravity.
Three battery sizes will be offered: 180kWh (643km range) and 135kWh (480km range) packs available at launch, and a 105kWh battery (370km range) offered six months later. Each one is said to feature “tough underbody protection” along with better cooling and an algorithm that learns your driving style to better optimise its charge.
Opt for the 135kWh battery and – allied to those quad motors and torque vectoring and an actual truckload of total torque (14000Nm) – you’ll be able to see off 0-100km/h in three seconds flat. You’ll also be able to go from 0-160km/h in under seven seconds, with a top speed of 201km/h. IN A TRUCK.
“The beauty and elegance of our quad-motor setup isn’t just about brute power,” explains engineering director Mark Vinnels. “This architecture provides instantaneous torque with extremely precise control at each wheel.”
Size-wise, it’s longer, wider and taller than a Nissan Navara, weighs 2.6-tonnes, is capable of towing 4,990kg, features double wishbones up front and multi-link suspension at the rear, and also things like dynamic roll control, adaptive dampers and ride-adjustable air suspension.
If you don’t want to go loopy off road yourself, it’ll self-drive. Rivian has fitted a range of hardware – cameras, lidar, radar, ultrasonic and GPS – to allow for ‘Level 3’ autonomy. Inside there’s actual wood, used as a structural element that integrates the central display and driver cluster, while other “high wear” areas are made from more durable stuff, akin to sportswear.
Load space? Well, there is loads. Up front there’s 330-litres in the bonnet (it’s electric, so there’s no engine), there’s a 350-litre space in the R1T’s lockable ‘gear tunnel’, and a 200-litre sealed bin beneath the rear bed floor.
“I started Rivian to deliver products that the world didn’t already have,” explains Rivian boss RJ Scaringe. “Starting with a clean sheet, we have spent years developing the technology to deliver the ideal vehicle for active customers.”
Rivian is prepping the R1T for 2020. We suspect it just shot straight up on your most-wanted list…
STORY Vijay Pattni