Finally, there is an electric SUV that aims to target the market monopoly Tesla has in this segment. A highly stylish electric offering enters the market which is here to give a true 7-seat on- and off-road experience. The 2021 Rivian R1S is pretty close to production and it is time to take a closer look at what could be a solid offering in this segment.
Not just the car but the brand Rivian is new to the market itself, and it is already on its way to secure a first; first brand to launch both an electric pickup truck (Rivian R1T) and a fully off-road capable electric SUV. The new entrant in the SUV market says that they will begin deliveries for the electric SUV in June 2021. As of now, the company says that the Rivian R1S will be sold directly to the customers. However, down the line, Rivian plans to set up a network of service centers and probably even physical stores similar to how Tesla has done.
Trims on offer
The brand has also laid a lot of emphasis on the Rivian R1S Interior, they sincerely feel it something to boast about. The first trim to go on sale is aptly named Launch Edition; it will retail at $77,500. It is not made sure that how long this trim will be on sale as a more affordable Explore trim will join the lineup and will retail at $70,000. The Adventure will be the top trim which has plenty of kit ad safety features as standard which should be in an adventure-focused SUV.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Most of the powertrains and the battery packs are the same between the siblings the R1S and the R1T. The Rivian R1S can be had with 3 battery packs, 105-, 135-, and 180-kWh battery packs. As far as the range is concerned, the largest battery pack boasts of a range of 400 miles, with the other two battery packs scoring 250+ miles and 300 miles respectively.
The top trim in terms of performance is the 754-hp, 135-kWh model which can sprint to 60 mph from a standstill in just 3 seconds. That being said, none of the cars are slow as the slowest car can hit 60 mph in less than 5.0 seconds. Each wheel of the car has an electric motor devoted to it, giving the SUV all-wheel-drive capability which helps immensely with its off-road performance.
Every version of the R1S ships with adjustable air suspension, so you can increase the ground clearance from 8.0 to 14.5 inches whenever you need it. This all-wheel-drive SUV can tow more than 7700 pounds. Do keep in mind that towing will severely impact the driving range, so the model with the highest battery capacity should be the obvious choice for someone who intends to tow regularly.
Real-world driving range
The economic estimate figures have not been officially announced by EPA yet. Considering the rivals in the segment such as the Model X and the Audi e-Tron, you should expect at least 80-100 MPGe.
Rivian R1S Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Finally, the part Rivian is quite proud to talk about, the interiors; and it is not that hard to realize. The cabin is beautifully designed and you will find wood trim, fancy leather all put together in some rather fancy styling. You get 2 large displays out of which one is for the driver gauge display while the other is for the infotainment.
When you need to stow some cargo, you get a 12-cubic-foot front trunk for that purpose which is quite large. The split tailgate along with the third row which is pretty spacious to be fair adds immensely to the utility of the Rivian R1S Interior.
Infotainment and Technology
The infotainment system is horizontally mounted on the dashboard which is quite cool to use. The tiles expand for individual features with more of the modern and primary options like media, navigation, and climate controls and they are available all the time at the bottom of the screen. This is quite helpful as instead of delving into submenus, the respective options neatly slide out of the side of the tiles and that makes the infotainment really easy to use on a daily. Not a lot of information is out yet on the connectivity, but it is reasonable to expect Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot on such a futuristic Rivian R1S Interior.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The car is yet to be crash-tested by agencies like National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) so you will have to take the brand’s word for the safety of this car. the brand says that every model of the Rivian will be outfitted with convenient hands-free driver-assistance technology. The main safety suite is named Driver+ and it will include safety features like
- Standard lane-departure warning
- Standard automated emergency braking
- Standard adaptive cruise control
The 2021 Rivian R1S then is worth every bit of the hype it creates, it is interesting to see a new vehicle manufacturer take on the like of Tesla who has an unquestionable dominance on the EV market and seconded only by Audi till now. This will be the second production unit from the Michigan-based manufacturer which aims to be a 3-row 7-seater SUV and will be the only one of that kind apart from the Tesla Model X.