Rivian Debuts All-Electric R1T Pickup With Supercar-Shaming Features

An electric pickup truck makes total sense — even more sense than an electric car. Pickup buyers want space, utility, the ability to go anywhere, and most of all, they want torque. In other words, everything electric vehicles are most known for. That’s why, when newcomer Rivian debuted its R1T ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show, we took notice and needed to immediately know more.

Started by MIT doctoral graduate RJ Sacringe, Rivian aims to deliver electrified trucks and SUVs to the public in the very near future. The first offering is the aforementioned R1T. Built around a now familiar electric skateboard chassis, the R1T has been designed to meet the average truck user’s needs, as well as go beyond what’s currently available in the market. Don’t believe us? Let’s run through some of the R1T’s specs.

When the R1T goes on sale in 2020, three different battery packs will be available. The first and cheapest pack, a 105 kWh battery, will offer 230-plus miles of range. Second is a 135 kWh with 300-plus miles. And finally, a 180 kWh battery that offers customer 400-plus miles of range. Power and torque are sent through four individual electric motors attached to each wheel hub. Horsepower and torque range from 402 horsepower and 413 pound-foot to a stomach-churning 700 hp and 826 lb-ft the latter of which is capable of hitting 60 mph in just 3 seconds and 100 mph in less than 8 seconds. FYI, that’s supercar-shaming.

But Rivian’s R1T isn’t just about power and torque — it has real utility, including a wading depth of over three feet, massive amounts of cargo space both seen and hidden throughout the R1T’s design, and fully independent suspension that’s been manufactured to handle whatever the R1T’s owner has in mind. The R1T is also capable of towing up to 11,000 lbs and a 1,600 lb payload in the truck’s bed. Included in that bed is also a 110-volt outlet and an integrated air compressor so that if things get sandy and you need to air down the tires, you can fill them back up once things get more compacted.

And as with all new automotive startups, especially electric ones, Rivian’s R1T will have some form of semi-autonomous capabilities. Rivian states that the R1T will come with “a robust hardware suite with multiple modalities including camera, lidar, radar, ultrasonic and a high precision GPS coupled with high definition maps.” This will allow the R1T to slot somewhere near Level 3 semi-autonomous driving. Not yet fully-self driving, but further along than any of its competitors.

As someone who grew up in truck country and has had his share of off-road experiences and mishaps, I’m really into the R1T’s proposed capabilities. I think this could very well be the perfect pickup truck. Plus, I dig the space-age design, something that more EVs should adopt. But here’s the best part of the R1T. Compared to the average price of today’s pickups, which runs between $50,000 and $65,000, the R1T isn’t much higher with a stated starting price of $69,000 before any state and federal EV incentives. Depending on where you live, and whether the EV tax credits continue, you could potentially nab an R1T for around $55,000. That’s a buy-it-now price if I’ve ever seen one.

That said, as I’ve mentioned, Rivian is still a new company and hasn’t produced a single vehicle yet. Like all startups, especially automotive startups, the follow-through will be key. But with the team Rivian’s gathered, and the product the company wants to build — which isn’t a far-out technical exercise like the Model X — Rivian has a real shot of making it to production. Fingers crossed.

Food & Drink

Bringing Beer Knowledge to the Masses is a Priority for Max Bakker

Need to know something about beer? You might want to ask this guy.
Culture

The New Fender Vintera Series Harkens Back to the Beginnings of Rock and Roll

It's time to rock out with your decade-appropriate guitar out.
Outdoors

Backpacking Checklist: 10 Essentials to Bring on Every Adventure

The only way to completely prevent accidents in the backcountry is to never go outside. The next best option is to carry these 10 backpacking essentials.
Fashion & Style

12 Best Men’s Athleisure Brands to Take You from Lay-Ups to Lounging

These brands will take you from the gym to the office to happy hour and back again.
Auto

The Secret to this Featherweight 298-Pound Teardrop Trailer Is Chicken Feathers

A trailer so light, you could almost tow it with your Vespa. Almost.
Travel

The List of Must-Have Gear, Gadgets, and Services for Your Next Road Trip

Because you can't survive a road trip on gas station snacks and Google Maps alone.
Auto

A Brief History of the Chevrolet Corvette, America’s Most Iconic Sports Car

Before this world-famous car was ever recognized as one of the best American-made models, it wasn't even called the Corvette. And it wasn't a sports car, either.
Auto

14 Best Road Trip Cars, From the Practical to the Drool-Worthy

You want a car that can go the distance — maybe even cross-country. But you also need to balance practicality with style.
Travel

Best Road Trips in the World: 12 Drives Worth Flying For

There’s no shortage of stunning road trips here in the U.S., but some of the world's most beautiful drives are worthy flying for.
Auto

5 of the Fastest Electric Cars in the World

We’re now in a whole new era where electric vehicles are shattering world records.
Auto

The Best Motorcycle Tents for Camping on Two Wheels

When you’re ready to overnight along the way and an ordinary roadside motel won’t do, you need a proper motorcycle tent.
Auto

The Airy Carapate Teardrop Trailer Is Your Window to the Natural World

The unique, playful aesthetic would feel perfectly at home in a Wes Anderson flick.
Auto

The Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato Shows Us What an Off-Road Supercar Would Look Like

The new concept car transfers supercar technologies and engineering to a frame designed to conquer more rugged environments.
Travel

Airstream Brings Back 2 of Its Most Popular and Affordable Travel Trailers

These two Kennedy-era Airstream trailers are among the most popular of all time. Even better? They're price tags aren't too steep.