By on November 28, 2018

Having just unveiled a rather impressive all-electric pickup for the LA Auto Show, Michigan-based automotive startup Rivian is following up with another model. Rivian’s second vehicle will be a seven-passenger SUV, called the R1S, that uses the same platform as the R1T e-pickup.

That results in the pair playing host to nearly identical specs. This isn’t a problem, as the automaker vows to provide between 300 and 562 kW (402 and 753 hp) in combined output. Range is similarly good. The company is also promising figures that would make most other electric vehicles of this size blush, especially if you opt for the bigger battery. 

As with the pickup, the R1S can be had with a 105 kWh pack capable of about 240 miles of range, a 135 kWh version good for around 310 miles, and a 180 kWh unit rocking 410 miles. Those range estimates are slightly better than those cited for the pickup; they’ll surely fluctuate a bit when traveling with a full load in either vehicle.

Visually, the R1S resembles an EV concept from Land Rover with a dash of Ford Flex for taste. Interesting, considering it looks identical to the pickup from the front. But we didn’t really notice the R1T having so much in common with other models when we first laid eyes on it. Meanwhile, the R1S instantly makes us think we’ve seen it somewhere before.

Rivian’s SUV should be capable of reaching 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, according to the manufacturer. Higher-spec models should be able to shave at least a full second off that time. The R1S will have the same quad-motor setup as the R1T. Working together, the motors will yield around 400 horses on the base model, 750 hp when attached to the 135 kWh battery, and 700 hp with the 180 kWh unit.

The R1S also has the same frunk as the pickup, providing an additional 11.7 cubic feet of storage space where you’d normally find an engine. It also has a bin at the rear intended for a spare tire, but you can chuck whatever you want into it if you’re feeling bulletproof. The R1T’s “gear tunnel” does not carry over onto the SUV, however.

Less utilitarian and work-focused than the company’s pickup (towing capacity is down from 11,000 pounds to 7,700), Rivian claims the R1S will still be able to tackle bad roads and handle its business. There remains a clear emphasis on luxury, though. The SUV’s interior has a massive 15.6-inch touchscreen that’s impossible to miss. A second, 12.3-inch screen serves to provide meaningful data to the driver while a third 6.8-inch screen has been installed in the center console for rear passengers. According to the manufacturer, the model will come pre-equipped with sensors capable of some self-driving assistance at launch and upgradable over the air, like on a Tesla.

Scheduled for assembly in 2020 and on display at the LA Auto Show now, the R1S will be slightly more expensive than R1T pickup truck when it goes on sale. The base model starts at $72,500 (before the EV tax credit). If you’re interested, preorders begin this week via a refundable $1,000 deposit. Rivian has said both the SUV and pickup are both “extremely close” to what it plans to put into production.

[Images: Rivian, © 2018 Tim Healey/TTAC]

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30 Comments on “One-two Punch: Rivian Debuts Seven-seat Electric SUV, Promises 410 Miles of Range...”


  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    I think this and the truck are handsome. Proves that BEVs dont have to look like gimmicky spaceships (Model X? Yes I mean you).

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Well the Model X is likely a bit odd looking for the same reasons as the Prius – aerodynamics. Can you just ignore areo and build something better looking? Sure, but range will take a hit, mostly highway I bet.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        Gull wing doors help aerodynamics? I get that the general shape could/would influence it, but I believe it’s also meant to stand out and make everyone notice that *I* am saving the planet by driving this vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      I completely agree, these are the first BEVs that I think look great as utility vehicles and not something that doubles as a phone

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        and the 3 especially with that front robbie the robot look.

        but this is still somewhat on the cartoonish side. hopefully, they drop those odd lights. it has the look of the robot in The Day The Earth Stood Still.

        Robert Wise is calling his lawyer.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      Revenge of the Ford Flex.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    I dig all of it but weirdo headlights

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    I like it, but then I’ve always had a thing for the walking explosives from the Super Mario Brothers.

  • avatar
    vvk

    Will this turn the tide? With its roads infested by high and mighty trucks, America needs EVs that pack a good punch and hit above the waistline, sunshine. Meaning something that stands a chance in a collision with an F150. This one fits the bill nicely.

    • 0 avatar
      Menar Fromarz

      Finally…A “friends of Mr. Cairo” reference. Ive been waiting for that for a long time!

    • 0 avatar
      2manycars

      America doesn’t “need” EVs. The market is not demanding them based on their merits. Aside from a relative handful of gadget freaks consumers are not clamoring for them.

      EVs really make no economic sense. A $90,000 electric car has less overall usability and convenience than a $15,000 ICE econobox. The EV will probably wind up in the junkyard a lot sooner as well once the battery pack fails out of warranty and costs more to replace than the EV is worth.

      Call me when we have deKalb receptors or Mister Fusion. Until then – thanks, but no thanks.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        “The market is not demanding them based on their merits.” Really? Where is your marketing data?

        “EVs really make no economic sense”

        No cars make economic sense. Get a bike and a bus pass if you want to make economic sense.

        ” A $90,000 electric car has less overall usability and convenience than a $15,000 ICE econobox”

        Total BS.

      • 0 avatar
        Erikstrawn

        ICE alternatives to this truck in similar trim run about $70k, and battery packs aren’t quite the Achille’s Heel ICE apologists are making them out to be. If the battery pack fails at 200k miles and the car’s still in good shape, it’s worth replacing. If the battery pack fails at 100k and the owner’s treated it like a $#!+box, then sure, it won’t be worth replacing.

  • avatar
    Paul Alexander

    I am also taking $1,000 fully refundable* deposits on my brand new 600 mile range SUV-pick up-cargo van-sport truck that does 0-60 in under 2 seconds, can tow 20,000 pounds and seats 10 in Bentley levels of luxury. Oh yeah, it’s also fully charged in 20 minutes using a normal 120 wall outlet and will have a price tag a shade under $50,000. Please act quickly as the initial run will be extremely limited!

    * – Refundable up to the amount not spent on R & R, er, R & D.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Lots of questions here. It all sounds good, but…

    1. Where is the big assembly factory?
    2. Where will they source the GWh of batteries they will need?
    3. Where are the thousands of people needed to build and support their products?
    4. How is this company funded?
    5. What is the expected sales volume?
    6. What charging protocol do they use?
    7. Is the CEO prepared to camp on the factory roof?

  • avatar
    NeilM

    Yes, they bought that DSM factory in Normal. Rivian appears to have funding — they’ve been developing this product for a while. They’re kind of the anti-Tesla as far as self-promotion goes.

    They’ve said they’ll start production small and gradually work up from there. If the former DS folks could find enough workers to make cars in central Illinois then I don’t see why Rivian can’t do the same. The Bloomington-Normal area would draw workers from at least a 50 mile radius.

    Rivian’s software and battery development are in California, while vehicle design and development are in Plymouth, MI, near Detroit.

    The best part of what Rivian claims it can do is the 400 mile range, even if that turns out to be closer to 300 miles in real world conditions.

    The worst part is of course those headlights…

  • avatar
    Jacob

    Damn, these pictures should not be shown without warning. My eyes are now hurting. I wish I could unsee it.

  • avatar
    SPPPP

    Well, I won’t count it out before they get started. It should be interesting to see if they can make it work. Sort of like a more realistic Faraday Future or Elio.

  • avatar
    tylanner

    I think both Rivian designs are comically tragic…not just different, not just unfamiliar, but fatally boring…and neither concept seems to account for or include the unavoidable compromises of long-range EV transportation.

    “Rivian is developing a portfolio of vehicles and services that inspire people to get out and explore the world.”

    That vision doesn’t even make sense when you look at their concepts…borrow from Subaru’s progressive/libertarian image and then produce an f150 and an explorer…

    It may have done well in focus groups but it doesn’t feel genuine or remotely promising….

    It should just be “we will make the impractical scraps Tesla hasn’t made yet, badly.”

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    It’s nearly perfect. All that’s missing is a wee Diesel range-extending engine and a 10 gallon fuel tank. They should fit nicely in that ‘frunk’.

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    This much too large for me. Not interested.

    But on the upside, starting too large and then downsizing worked for Tesla.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    That interior kicks Tesla into the ground, then throws six feet of dirt over it, and then puts a foot of concrete over the dirt.

  • avatar
    JoDa

    “180 kWh unit rocking 410 miles”

    $250/kw x 180kw = $45,000 battery pack

    Where do I sign up!

  • avatar
    Erikstrawn

    Top pic looks like a stretched Kia Soul.

  • avatar
    JoDa

    After 10 years when this $100K truck is totaled because it needs a new battery pack, put a Hellcat crate engine turning a generator in it. It should weigh the same as the 180kw battery pack.

    That’s a far better rich man’s toy.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    Really nice work. The thing has presence and class, like a Range Rover. Individual motors on each wheel. Useful range. No tailpipe. And it’s silly-quick to boot. If I were in the market for a six-figure SUV, this would be it: everything else seems obsolete and backward by comparison.

    Dealer network, tho???


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