The new Rivian R1T features one engine for each wheel. This quad-motor drivetrain enables the Rivian truck to handle like a sports sedan on-road and 4×4 off-road with ease. No other production truck offers this feature: the R1T EV will leave its competitors in the dust.
Handling Like A Sports Sedan
Motor Trend took a Rivian R1T electric truck out on a weeklong test drive. The team was impressed with how well the truck handles.
In a straight line, the Rivian R1T is one of the world’s fastest trucks. The Rivian truck’s quad-motor drive system can put an incredible 800 horsepower to the wheels. On the proper tires, an R1T can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in three seconds. This reportedly makes the R1T the fastest truck in the world.
This new electric truck is even more impressive in the corners. The Motor Trend team attempted to break the R1T lose, steering sharply into a corner and revving the throttle. Then, “the outside-rear motor powered up and brought the R1T’s nose around, and we blasted out of the turn like the Millenium Falon.” The reviewers called it “a sensation we’ve experienced in only a handful of cars, and never in a heavily laden pickup truck.”
Off-Roading With Ease
The quad-motor Rivian truck’s ability to deliver torque to whichever wheel needs it is invaluable off-road. Off-roading enthusiasts have always struggled to send the torque from their internal combustion engines to the wheel that has the most traction. So engineers developed 4WD, then AWD, locking differentials, and even limited-slip differentials. But even the best systems are heavy, require maintenance, and never adapt instantly. Rivian’s quad-motor drive system represents the future of off-roading.
When the Motor Trend team took the R1T off-road, they were amazed by its capabilities. They said, “It moves smoothly and silently, its four-motor drivetrain sensing slip and meting out power to each wheel as needed.” An added bonus of the Rivian truck’s quad-motor drivetrain is its ability to execute tank turns, reversing its motors on one side to spin on a dime.
The Rivian’s four motors can also stop the vehicle in most situations. The truck has a brake pedal, but with regenerative braking set to “Maximum,” the friction brakes are only needed for emergency stops. While off-roading, the drivers can press the accelerator to go, and the truck will stop itself, at most any angle, once they let go. According to Motor Trend, this results in “precise speed control without worrying of locking the wheels as we might with friction brakes.”
The Quad-Motor Rivian Truck Has No Competition
Rivian currently offers two models of the R1T: the Explore Package starts at $67,500, and the Adventure Package–with a premium interior–begins at $73,000. Rivian equips all R1T trucks with a quad-motor drivetrain.
For comparison’s sake, the Ford F-150 Lightning starts at $39,975, and Ford will offer trims up to the $89,874 Lightning Platinum. But even the top trim levels of the new Ford electric truck only offer two motors, one on each axle.
The Tesla Cybertruck also starts at $39,900. This entry-level Cybertruck is a RWD model with a single-engine. The top-trim Cybertruck begins at $69,900 but is only a tri-motor AWD truck.
The most expensive mass-produced electric truck available in 2021 is the Hummer EV Sport Utility Truck. The launch edition of GMC’s self-proclaimed Supertruck goes for $112,595 and only has three motors. Lower trim Hummer EVs, such as the EV-2X, which costs $89,995, only come with two motors–one for each axle.
The Rivian R1T electric truck is not the cheapest option on the market. But with quad-motor drive and algorithms to distribute torque instantly, both on-road and off, it is the most versatile electric truck on the market. The Rivian R1T will leave electric supertrucks with six-figure price tags struggling to catch up.