Rivian, a fledgling electric vehicle builder, is taking aim at both traditional rivals and new companies invading the automotive business with a battery-electric pickup truck capable of wading streams and climbing rocky hills with a unique blend of new technology and some traditional automotive engineering.
“We’re launching Rivian with two vehicles that reimagine the pickup and SUV segments,” said Rivian Founder and CEO RJ Scaringe. “I started Rivian to deliver products that the world didn’t already have – to redefine expectations through the application of technology and innovation.”
He started with “a clean sheet,” spending years developing the technology to deliver the ideal vehicle for active customers. Scaringe was after a vehicle that delivered top-flight driving dynamics on-road or off, but could also function as a regular vehicle – meaning “being capable of driving long distances on a single charge.”
Scaringe said Rivian has developed its vehicles with adventurer at the core of every design and engineering decision. “The R1T and R1S are the result of all this work and we are excited to finally introduce these products to the world,” he said.
(Rivian offers short video sneak peek at new vehicles. Click Here for the story.)
The R1T pickup unveiled in Los Angeles and the proposed R1S SUV, which is also part of the display in LA, are engineered so they can easily wade through three feet with a fully sealed underbody.
Both vehicles are designed with the capability climb steep grades found off road and can also travel from 0-to-60 in three seconds with zero emissions. It has a quad-motor system, meaning an electric motor at each wheel, for superior control both on the road and on rugged country off road.
The five-passenger truck will deliver “unmatched, capability, efficiency, utility and performance. The Rivian is also equipped with a digital dashboard, specifically designed to simplify navigation and connection to entertainment or work.
“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,” said Executive Director of Engineering and Programs Mark Vinnels.
Rivian’s vehicles boast a sleek design that is meant to “communicate strength and refinement while still inviting customers to get them dirty.” The proportions and continuous bodylines offer a modern, inviting stance while acknowledging the performance and level of technology integrated into the vehicle.
(Click Here for details about Sir James Dyson’s plans to build an electric vehicle.)
The main bodyline of the R1T wraps up and around the cab and gives the vehicle a distinctive silhouette, while highlighting the “Gear Tunnel” cutline and accentuating the rear fender flares. The R1T features short overhangs, high ground clearance and aggressive approach and departure angles for a confident and rugged stance, all enabled by Rivian’s unique skateboard platform.
A Rivian also comes with signature “stadium” headlights and daytime running lights that extend the entire width of the vehicle.
In harmony with the exterior, the interior of Rivian’s vehicles welcomes occupants into a premium environment that conveys craftsmanship yet invites rugged, daily use.
Color and materials play an important role in differentiating Rivian vehicles with sustainably sourced wood is used throughout the interior. The wood’s natural finish gives the cabin a warm and inviting feel. The most striking use of wood is as a structural element in the dash that integrates the main center display and driver cluster, integrating form and function beautifully, the company notes. In the high-wear areas of the interior, the materials take inspiration from sportswear and active gear, combining durable and innovative materials that can easily be cleaned.
“Although the exterior of the vehicle is what first attracts you, the interior is where you spend the most of your time, so we really focused on creating a transformational space,” said Jeff Hammoud, vice president of Vehicle Design.
(To see more about Rivian’s debut at the L.A. Auto Show, Click Here.)
“The biggest challenge was creating an interior design that delivered a premium experience, while still being comfortable as a space that is heavily used. To do this, we looked outside the automotive industry and took inspiration from contemporary furniture, as well as hiking and outdoor gear, to drive the design.”