After Tesla set the EV world on fire with the original Model S in 2012, just about every legacy automaker is scrambling to put together their own EVs, often trying to outgun themselves in range figures, power outputs, and innovations. As well as the legacy automakers, it seems as though new EV startups are popping up everywhere with the aims to dethrone Tesla. A lot of them aren't very successful, but one startup that has bucked that trend is Rivian.
Note: While we wait for the electric 2022 R1S SUV to officially launch, HotCars' 'Costs, Facts, And Figures' rating defaults to 1 out of 10. We'll be sure to update the score once it arrives.
They first appeared in 2018 with two similar models. The R1T pickup truck and the R1S SUV. The R1T recently proved itself as a fantastic electric pickup truck, beating the F-150 Lightning and Cybertruck to the market. We're definitely excited about this 2022 electric SUV model.
- First Rivian SUV
- Same platform as the R1T
- Quad-motor power
- Engine/Motor: Quad electric motors/135 kWh battery pack
- Horsepower: 753 hp
- Torque: 826 lb-ft
- Drivetrain: 4WD
- Transmission: Single speed gear reduction drive
- Range: 316 mi (EPA)
- Immense capability
- Fantastic technology and practicality
- Great range
- Too powerful for some
- Pretty pricey
- No dual motor version until 2023
Overview Of The R1S
The R1S is Rivian's first SUV, based on the same "skateboard" modular platform as the R1T pickup truck. This means the R1S inherits the same quad motor setup, and the same dedicated underpinnings optimized for an EV powertrain, not to mention, the same large battery pack.
On the outside, the R1S is essentially just an enclosed R1T. The front end features a unique lighting setup, with a full-length light bar, broken up on either side by two oval housings that contain the headlight pieces. The side profile is very simple, and the R1S's shape is very boxy overall.
The rear features a full length light bar, as well as RIVIAN spelled out in big letters across the tailgate. Alloy wheel and color options remain the same as the R1T, as do trim levels and battery/motor combinations. While the R1S is the first of its kind SUV in 2022, it's getting some serious competitors in the coming years, such as the (currently China-only) VW ID.6, the Hyundai Ioniq 7, which the SEVEN Concept previewed, and the Kia EV9.
Rivian R1S Powertrain And Drivetrain
Being based on the R1T, the R1S gets an identical powertrain setup. Four electric motors, one for each of the four wheels, paired to a giant 135 kWh battery pack. This means a colossal 753 hp and 826 lb-ft of torque. A single speed gear reduction drive pairs up to the motors, which sends the R1S to 60 mph in about 3.2 seconds. For a three-row SUV weighing almost 6,000 lbs, that's a seriously impressive figure.
According to various reports, a cheaper version of the R1S will join the lineup in 2024, with a dual-motor setup. This one should reduce the weight figure ever so slightly, as well as the cost, while retaining most of the range.
As things stand currently, there's essentially nothing that the R1S can't do on paper. It can tear your face off in acceleration runs, but it can also conquer just about every off-road course you throw at it, assuming you have the right tires/wheels. It's comfortable, serene and just very good to drive in general.
Rivian R1S Comfort And Quality
The R1S's interior definitely looks like a nice place to be. As we've come to expect, there are two screens dominating the dashboard. One of them is the instrument cluster, whereas the other one is the central infotainment display. The interior quality, in general, seems to be pretty excellent, with some very nice trimmings, upholstery, and a general solid feeling. In terms of technology, the R1S doesn't disappoint either.
It's safe to assume that the R1S will carry over a lot of the cool stuff we first saw on the R1T. That, unfortunately, means that the infotainment system does not include smartphone mirroring. But, the other tech will more than make up for that: a 360-degree camera system, a full suite of safety systems including advanced adaptive cruise control, the charming Gear Guard system with the animated character, and so much more. The R1S seats seven passengers, and the cargo area boasts a total of 105 cubic feet of space, with both the second and third row folded down.
Rivian R1S Pricing And Launch
Rivian is looking to get the R1S to customers a little later in 2022. Amidst the recent controversy surrounding the price increase and the global supply chain issues, it's safe to assume that customers will have to wait a little while longer to get their R1S. In any case, after the reversal of the hike, prices for the R1S start at $72,500 for the Explore trim level. The Adventure starts at $78,000.
This is not a cheap vehicle, then. But it's about half the price of a Model X Plaid, and if the R1T is anything to go by, the R1S has serious potential to wipe the floor with more than a handful of electric SUVs. As of 2022, it's the first of its kind, and we'll soon find out if the competition has something to worry about.