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Its performance was already potent. Now Rivian R1S range capacity is improving to nearly 400 miles by borrowing a battery upgrade from its sibling, the R1T pickup. To top it off, Rivian will offer the battery upgrade with a standard dual-motor all-wheel drive drivetrain.

R1S Electric SUV will increase range with Max Pack battery

According to US News and World Report, Rivian will soon offer the R1S with the Max Pack battery system initially seen on the R1T. It’s a larger battery than the unit initially fitted to the R1S SUV. Rivian claims the Max Pack will extend R1S range performance to 390 miles from charge to charge. This range boost may give drivers more confidence when taking on road trips or longer tails out on the trails.  

US News and World Report says the news came down from Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe on February 28. Scaringe announced on Twitter that the new package would be available for seven-passenger R1S models starting fall of 2023. US News and World Report states that deliveries are expected in early 2024. 

US News and World Report also points to an initial concern that the Max Pack battery would reduce interior space due to packaging needs. Apparently that is not the case, however. Scaringe himself stated that interior space would remain the same for Max Pack-equipped models.

How fast is the Rivian R1S?

A yellow Rivian R1S electric SUV sits in front a green lawn under midday sun.
Rivian R1S l Kevin Dietsch, Getty Images

Like its pickup truck peer, the Rivian R1S’ performance benefits from the advantages of electric power. Electric batteries and motors don’t suffer the same power delivery delays as internal combustion powertrains. They deliver torque instantly. There is no “power band” — just full power all the time. 

The result is an SUV that can accelerate rapidly despite its size and weight. Rivian claims the R1S can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in as few as three seconds. That power is significant for towing, too, with a claimed capacity of 7,700 pounds. The draw back for this kind of aggressive usage, however, is it may cut down the range of the R1S. Adding the Max Pack battery option may help combat this while also injecting more power.

Is the Rivian SUV good off-road?

Close-up shot of the Rivian badge on a new R1S electric SUV.
Rivian R1S l Kevin Dietsch, Getty Images

Rivian equips the R1S to handle off-road use with ease. According to the manufacturer, the SUV offers 14.9 inches of ground clearance and standard all-wheel drive. Rivian also offers available all-terrain tires. There are even several selectable drive modes that tailor performance to the conditions at hand.

How much does the Rivian R1S cost?

At the time of this writing, Rivian offers the R1S with a starting price of $78,000. This number can climb with the addition of R1S options and packages like the quad-motor drivetrain. Rivian has not released pricing or other firm details regarding models equipped with the Max Pack. However, US News and World Report states that the Max Pack option costs $16,000 for the Rivian R1T. 

Rivian continues refining its model lineup through trial and error as the plucky upstart among electric truck and SUV manufacturers. The OEM tests what drivers want in its models and responds accordingly. Making the Max Pack available for new R1S orders indicates that Rivian owners crave more range. As battery technology develops, we’ll see how far these heavy EVs can go.