The Rivian R1T Is Too Smart to Have Any Fun

Rivian is one of the most exciting carmakers in the game, even if they are catching some flack lately. We know that Rivians are fast too. However, these electric pickup trucks are too smart to see just how quick they are on a dyno. Rivian has claimed some wild power specs, but no one can verify them. The Rivian R1T is too smart to have any fun.

Rear view of and orange-red 2022 Rivian R1T, the first production electric pick up truck.
2022 Rivian R1T | Rivian

How fast is the Rivian R1T? 

Rivian set up the R1T with several electric motors that, when their powers combine, make 835 horsepower and 908 lb-ft of torque. There is no question that Rivian built a fast truck, but dynoing the R1T is proving to be nearly impossible. 

According to The Drive, this video of an R1T on the dyno was posted by a dyno tester named Aaron O’Neil. The video clearly shows the Rivian struggling to get a full-force pull without the computer doing something to momentarily stop the flow of power. 

Why would the Rivian R1T struggle on the dyno? 

O’Neil claims power was cut during the test and that the Rivian lacks both a dyno mode and a way to defeat its collision control. The Drive mentions that the electric pickup truck’s safety systems were most likely the culprit. Those sensors are supposed to gauge throttle input and proximity to other obstacles. If there is no way to shut these features off, then it would make sense for the truck to behave like this. 

How did the dyno run go? 

The dyno run resulted in only 526 horsepower and 563 pound-feet—far below the factory’s claims. This is not to accuse Rivian of cooking numbers. It makes perfect sense that the R1T’s safety systems would interfere with full power delivery in this context. 

Tesla also used to have similar struggles with dyno runs. Tesla eventually gave its cars a dyno mode, limiting the safety systems and giving the “driver” full power. Of course, Rivian can, and may well, do the same thing in time. Considering the situation with production delays, I doubt we will see Rivian add much of anything before they catch up and get pricing figured out. 

How does the Rivian R1T do in the real world?

While dynos continue to give Rivian a hard time, if anyone is looking for some confirmation of Rivian’s power, just check out the many real-world examples of Rivian’s claimed power figures. 

Rivian has proven itself many times with multiple off-roading demonstrations, reviews, drag races, and much, much more. The Rivian R1T is the real deal; Of that, we are sure. However, the recent price jump makes some of these small annoyances hit a little different. 

If the Rivian had a few quirks but still cost around $69,000, then I feel like that might change things. However, things being what they are, the Rivian will cost over $80,000 by 2024. That drastic price jump on a car still missing some practical features like dyno mode feels silly. 

We still have a long way to go until then. Maybe we will be on to new issues by then.

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