Will the Arrival Of Rivian Be a Game Changer For Tesla.
The future of Electric Cars after Rivian achieves a 650 kilometer range, supercar acceleration on a pickup and SUV is uncertain. It’s for the first time that am happy as Tesla is given a run for their money, I have had stories of how consumers have suffered on delayed repairs under the hands of Tesla, the limited certified mechanics from Tesla which to date there are insisting that ordinary garages can’t repair their cars.
Leaving that behind, “these days, I feel like technology is leading us further away from what’s real. The noise and pressure within our daily lives can be intense. It’s time we find a way to unplug and charge on in a new direction. Define a new path forward. Join Rivian as we launch into space. By space, we mean the world around us, not beyond us. There’s more out there and our vehicles are designed to bring you back down to Earth, and lead you further into nature than ever before.” In the words of the entrepreneur who after 15 yrs of automotive research he settled and founded Rivian.
Rivian is a thrill for the ordinary man. This is Electric Adventure. Zero to 60 mph arrives in a ridiculous three seconds. The highest power figures actually come from the middle-sized battery pack with 754 horsepower and 826 pound-feet of torque, from the combined output of four electric motors, one for each wheel. Just like the truck, this allows the Rivian to independently distribute torque to each wheel, making it an incredibly competent off-roader.
Rivian also claims great on-road handling due to its fully independent suspension at all four corners. An air suspension system allows for real time adjustments in ride quality and ride height. Towing is limited to 3.5 tones, which is a step back from the truck’s 5 tones rating, but still pretty good. Overall range is a step above the truck too. Rivian claims the 180 kWh version will get at least 650 KMs of range. From there, the 135 kWh versions can go about 500 kms and the 105 kWh goes 380 kms. All those figures are a few kilometers more than what the truck can do, which is most likely just a factor of aerodynamics. This happens in all vehicle the roads and the lab report have some discrepancies, due to weather conditions, wide flow etc. This is not just news but reality as Rivian revealed its R1T electric pickup truck to the world a few months ago, and now we get to see the company’s second vehicle: the R1S SUV. They’re essentially the same vehicle but with different bodies set on top of Rivian’s skateboard chassis architecture. This means the same otherworldly acceleration and long range figures apply to the SUV, even though its shape is a fair bit different than the truck.
We’ll get to technical stuff later though, because we should start with the design of this SUV. It’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between the truck and SUV from the front. Both have the distinctive vertical oval headlights with the LED DRL running across the whole bow. Move to the side, and it’s clear Rivian was going for a boxy look with an off-road capable flavor. Somehow it’s able to pull off this “tough truck” persona while still having an air of luxury — the silver trim wrapping all the way around the roof and into the body is a nice touch. The unusual front light arrangement is growing on us, although it definitely looks more at home on this vehicle than the R1T pickup.
Interior styling is identical to the truck as well, but the SUV seats seven to the pickup’s five. From what we can tell, the floor looks entirely flat, which should lend itself to some impressive passenger room. The same digital display dash and instrument cluster layout gets carried over from the truck, and the rugged materials do too. A roof and more storage space take the place of the bed and tailgate, but the SUV features a tailgate as well. Rivian decided to go with a combination liftgate and tailgate like the BMW X5 or Range Rover has, to allow people a place to sit. Both the second and third rows fold flat to allow for a ton of extra storage space inside the R1S.
Level three autonomous driving will be standard for all Rivian vehicles, including the R1S. Both the truck and SUV will use a combination of lidar, radar, ultrasonic and GPS to make that possible. This ability allows Rivian to include all the normal active driver assistance features on many new cars today. Rivian also says it expects its cars to be an IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus recipient and receive a 5-Star NHTSA crash test rating.
Keep in mind the truck is a good bit larger than the Rivian SUV. Overall length drops about 15 inches and the wheelbase is shortened a similar amount on the closed roof vehicle. For reference, this SUV is about the same exact length as a Ford Explorer. It will be expensive, though. The R1S is slated to start at $72,500 for the smallest battery pack version. However, you’ll only be able to buy the large battery pack versions at the beginning, which will bring the price well above $90,000, according to Rivian’s estimates. You’re able to reserve either a truck or SUV now for a refundable deposit of $1,000.
The Origin of Rivian, as a startup Rivian created the biggest buzz of the L.A. Auto Show by coming out of virtual oblivion to deliver not one but two battery-electric off-road vehicles with supercar-worthy acceleration and Tesla-fighting range figures. So who are these guys and how did they stay so undiscovered all this time? To be sure, it’s not like the company, which was founded as Mainstream Motors in Florida in 2009 and quickly changed its name to Avera Automotive before settling on Rivian, flew completely under the radar.
The company was the brainchild of then-26-year-old R.J. Scaringe (he’s now 35), a nature and car enthusiast who grew up on Florida’s Indian River but was frustrated by what he saw as a lack of environmentally sustainable automobiles. Scaringe earned a master’s and doctorate in mechanical engineering from MIT, where he worked on the research team at the Sloan Automotive Laboratory. Rivian moved to the Detroit area from Florida in 2015 and now makes its de facto headquarters, design and engineering center in a former cash-register factory in suburban Plymouth, Mich. “There was literally no sign on the building,” says Ken Shuman, chief communications officer.
As of today Rivian has four other locations: a battery lab in Irvine, Calif.; a connected car and autonomous research and development center in San Jose, Calif.; a small engineering office in the U.K.; and a manufacturing center under development in Normal, Ill., where the company bought a 2.4-million-square-foot former Mitsubishi factory for a reported $16 million, with plans to sink more than $40 million into the plant by 2022. Production is set to begin there next year. Rivian says it expects to start shipping vehicles to customers sometime in 2020.