VIDEO REVIEW: RIVIAN R1S SUV. Can It ROCK The Range Rover World?

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If you’re not familiar with Rivian, it is an American electric vehicle startup whose first product was the R1T pickup truck. The R1S SUV is the follow up. Compared to its closely related pickup kin, the R1S is 16.3 inches shorter nose to tail with a 14.7-inch shorter wheelbase. Otherwise, the R1T and R1S are quite similar mechanically.  

A $6,000 cheaper 2-motor setup is on the horizon for now the R1S uses 4 motors, one for each wheel. Their collective output is massive (835 hp / 908 ft-lbs), helping propel the R1S from 0-60 mph in as quick as 3 seconds according to Rivian. Despite that power, tow capacity drops in the R1S to 7,700lbs versus the R1T’s 11,000 lb max.

Regarding range it’s an EPA-estimated 316 miles for the R1S with the current 135-kWh “Large” battery pack. A cheaper “standard” battery paired with dual-motor AWD offering more than 250 miles is slated for future model years as is a “Max” battery pack exclusive for the pickup with more than 400 miles of range.
Like the R1T pickup, the R1S makes clever use of interesting textures, colors, and materials to convey an upscale yet welcoming feel.

Managing wheel movements is an air suspension featuring adaptive dampers and an electro-hydraulic roll control system that negates the need for traditional anti-roll bars. The suspension raises and lowers the vehicle up to 5-and-a-half inches as needed, returning a supple yet well-controlled ride.

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Talking money, an R1S Explore trim with the large battery pack and 4-motor all-wheel drive has an asking price of $84,500 not including destination charges. (Destination fee: $1,075). That sum includes vegan leather seats that are heated up front, a power lift gate, this panoramic glass roof, a built-in air compressor with a 20-foot hose to reach each tire, and Driver+, Rivian’s advanced driver assist system featuring 11 cameras, plus an array of radar and ultrasonic sensors.

Helping trim the R1T’s cost is a $7,500 tax incentives from the US government. State incentives may also apply.

For charging at home, Rivian sells a $750 wall charger that can add up to 25 miles of range per hour. And when covering distance, if you can find a 200 kW DC quick charger 20 minutes can add up to 140 miles of range.