2022 Rivian R1S: A Budget-Friendly Mercedes G Wagon EQG

Mercedes-Benz has revealed a radical new electric G Wagon. The EQG is an instant classic. This SUV retains the rugged look of the original G Wagon while adding quad-motor electric performance and retro-futuristic LED lighting. But the electric G Wagon is likely years from production and will almost certainly cost more than the $120,000 ICE G-Class. In the meantime, the 2022 Rivian R1S electric SUV has comparable performance, build-quality, and is already becoming an icon. Best of all, the new Rivian SUV starts at just $70,000.

The Rivian R1S features quad-motor drive

This is a promo photo of a green 2022 Rivian R1S electric SUV, an electric g wagon, budget-friendly
2022 Rivian R1S | Rivian

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Like the legendary G Wagon, Rivian engineers its vehicles for maximum capability. Several electric 4x4s will likely begin production in 2022. But the 800+ horsepower Rivian is the only one to feature quad-motor drive. That is to say, each one of the Rivian’s four wheels has its own designated electric motor. With maximum torque at each wheel, Rivian claims the R1S will be able to reach 60 mph in three seconds.

Another benefit of quad-motor drive is torque-vectoring. This fancy phrase just means adjusting each wheel’s torque instantly. On-the-fly torque adjustments are priceless while off-roading with limited traction or while on-road and cornering aggressively.

Motor Trend took the electric Rivian for a test drive and called the quad-motor drive a “superpower.” The reviewers pushed their Rivian to the limit. They steered into a corner, then gunned the accelerator. Instead of skidding, they felt the outside rear wheel speed up to push them through the corner. Motor Trend said it was a sensation few cars can replicate, and no full-size truck can come near. They concluded the Rivian would, “Change everything.”

The 2022 Rivian R1S interior is luxurious

2022 Rivian R1S Interior | Rivian

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The Rivian company hired Sophia Park as color and material designer for the R1S interior. Park has a Master’s in color and materials design. But before earning her Master’s, she studied art therapy. Park says, “A car is a second home. We spend a lot of time in it, often alone, so the environment should feel restorative.”

Park reveals that her quest for creating a restorative environment steered her to the dramatic, wooden dashboard. “Real wood has soothing properties so you won’t find the fake stuff inside our vehicles.”

Rivian’s mission for sustainability drove the manufacturer to assemble completely vegan leather interiors for the R1S. Rivian R1S SUV buyers can choose between three interior colors: 

Materials used in the Rivian R1S interior | Rivian
  • Black Mountain features dark ash wood and black leather seats with patterned stitching. The black interior pops with yellow accents–the color of the Rivian logo–throughout the cabin.  
  • Ocean Coast is Rivian’s sea-inspired white leather interior. This theme leverages natural wood for an eye-catching look.
  • Forest Edge is one of the most unique Rivian interiors available. This interior features richly stained wood and green leather.

The 2022 Rivian R1S is passionate

This is a publicity photo of the pre-production 2022 Rivian R1S electric SUV, an electric G Wagon at half the price.
2022 Rivian R1S | Rivian

The Rivian company has declared its mission to “keep the world adventurous forever.” The people who drive Rivian are driven by protecting the environment and exploring the outdoors. The electric 4×4 is their passion project. This SUV is a passion for its many preorder customers as well; many already gather at Rivian events.

Not only is the Rivian stylish, but it also signals a discerning consumer. This is likely the reason the number of Rivian devotees grows daily.

Current Rivian converts include solo free climber Alex Honnold, billionaire Jeff Bezos, and Rihanna. Jeff Bezos is so so taken with Rivian: he has ordered his own and invested in the company.

The Rivian R1S may someday be as iconic as the G-Class. If so, it will be the defining adventure vehicle of the 21st century. In the meantime, the 2022 Rivian R1S is shaping up to be as capable, as luxurious, and as cool as the electric G Wagon–at a fraction of the price.

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