Video: Electric Rivian R1T flogged off-road

ByDean MellorJune 29, 2020
Video: Electric Rivian R1T flogged off-road

The upcoming all-electric Rivian R1T looks set to offer some impressive on- and off-road performance if these videos of the vehicle undergoing testing are anything to go by.

Start-up manufacturer Rivian has released a series of videos showing its upcoming electric Rivian R1T pick-up truck being tested at a proving ground in the Arizona desert.

Unlike the futuristically designed Tesla Cybertruck, the Rivian R1T looks much more like a traditional pick-up truck, but under the skin it’s anything but.

As reported in Unsealed 4X4 in April this year, the Rivian R1T features a quad-motor system that delivers a claimed 560kW for a 0-100km/h time of just three seconds, which sees it creeping into supercar territory in terms of acceleration. But unlike a supercar, the Rivian R1T offers a 5000kg towing capacity and genuine off-road capability thanks to its quad-motor set-up that allows power to be directed to each wheel independently. This off-road capability is clearly visible in the attached videos. Importantly, the Rivian R1T also offers a claimed 640km range between recharges.

Rivian R1t Testing Descent 2

As well as showing off the R1T’s impressive acceleration and all-wheel drive grip in the dirt, the video also shows how the R1T can tackle some pretty gnarly off-road terrain, inlcuding steep rocky climbs and tricky descents. And you can’t accuse the engineers of going easy on the test mule, with one of them stating, “What you might consider punishing it off-road but, you know, we’re learning and taking all that data in and constantly making it better on-road and off-road.”

And yes, there’s also some impressive on-road testing shown in the video, with the R1T sliding through corners at speed on a closed course with minimal body roll, exhibiting the vehicle’s low centre of gravity courtesy of its ‘skateboard’ EV platform with the weight of the battery pack down in the chassis.

Rivian R1t Testing Dirt

Backed by large companies including Amazon and Ford, Rivian was on track to start production of the R1T in 2020 but COVID-19 scuppered those plans. The company says, however, R1T production is now on track for 2021 and it is in fact taking (refundable) deposits for those who wish to preorder the vehicle.