Rivian has finally released its first vehicle to the market and what we have is the very trick, the R1T electric truck. This mid-sized, all-wheel drive truck has tons of features. In fact, some of them are unique to the R1T and can’t be found anywhere else. Tesla’s Elon Musk loves to puff himself and his company up -- as we saw with his Cyber Truck announcement, last year. During that time, Rivian has been busy with its head down and has successfully launched the R1T.
Back in 2019, Amazon CEO and Founder Jeff Bezos announced that he had struck a deal with the electric delivery van startup Rivian with the intention of using Rivian’s vehicles to attain carbon neutrality two decades from now. Ford and Cox Automotive have invested in Rivian as well for some of its technology. The R1T has a starting price of $67,500 with an EPA estimated range of 314 miles. Our test R1T was the Launch edition, priced at $73,000.
The R1T’s design is completely unique. From the front-end to the body-lines, it looks very distinctive. The vertical LED headlights and lower tow-hooks help to create an almost face-like look to it. The frunk up front gives ample storage for all kinds of gear or luggage and the cargo-hold under the back-side of the main cab, can also accommodate an optional outdoor kitchen. Yes, you heard that right. Rivian does sell a complete kitchen attachment that can easily slide under the cargo area and then slide out with a full cooktop and even a kitchen sink.
800 Horsepower, 950 lb.-ft. of Torque
The R1T has an electric motor on each wheel that, combined, produces 800 horsepower with a whopping 950 lb.-ft. of torque. This setup propels the R1T from 0-60 in 30 seconds and is good for a towing capacity of up to 11,000 pounds.
The bed features an easy-to-use button-release tailgate drop as well as a full-sized spare tire under the bed-liner. Putting the tailgate back up, however, still requires a manual push.
The center-mounted display screen allows you to adjust just about every aspect of the vehicle’s performance and braking ranges. Additional settings for drive modes include sport, battery conservation or towing. For those who want to take the R1T off-road, you can also adjust the overall height for additional ground clearance. The Meridian audio system provides stellar musical playback.
The modern design inside features real-wood surfaces, and a very high-end look. They use “vegan leather” for the seating surfaces that both look and feel very good. There’s also a removable Bluetooth audio speaker system that resides in the center console that allows you to enjoy your tunes outside of the truck. The rear center console features heated seat buttons as well as two USB-C ports and air vents.
The R1T drives very well as a daily driver. It feels glued to the road, has a comfortable ride with supportive seats. It’s very much a tame truck around town. Combine that with some good off-road prowess and its ability to traverse deep water, it seems as if Rivian has done a stellar job of getting this truck to market. All of the Launch editions are currently sold out, however, you can order the other trim levels.
Overall, Rivian has released a very compelling truck that has created a huge buzz in the automotive world as well as with truck enthusiasts. The Ford F-150 Lightning and Telsa Cyber Truck still won’t be out until next year at the earliest. In the meantime, The R1T will reign supreme in the EV truck market.
Lauren Fix, The Car Coach® is a nationally recognized automotive expert, media guest, journalist, author, keynote speaker and television host. A trusted car expert, Lauren provides an insider’s perspective on a wide range of automotive topics and safety issues for both the auto industry and consumers. Her analysis is honest and straightforward.
Lauren is the National Automotive Correspondent for Newsmax TV, a conservative news net carried in 23 countries and in over 35 million U.S. cable/satellite homes. She is also The Weather Channel and Inside Edition’s auto expert. Lauren Fix serves as a juror for the esteemed North American Car & Truck of the Year Awards (NACTOY).
Lauren is The Car Coach columnist for Parade Magazine and eBay Motors and writes a weekly column. She also appears weekly on USA Radio’s DayBreak USA. Lauren is the president and founder of Automotive Aspects, Inc., a consulting firm with a wide range of multi-media services, including media consulting, broadcast messaging strategy, public relations and television production.
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