TL;DR: Electric carmaker and would-be Tesla competitor Rivian has been working on its all-electric SUV and pickup truck for years now and both vehicles were finally supposed to launch in July (this month) after an initial month-long delay. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted Rivian just as much as everyone else, so it will be delaying both EV’s launches by several months.
Rivian’s electric “R1T” pickup truck, which seeks to offer a more practical alternative to Tesla’s flashy and controversial “Cybertruck,” is now set to arrive in customers’ driveways come September. The R1S SUV will follow shortly after, but we don’t have a more specific timeline there. If we had to guess, we’d say a November shipment window is likely, but time will tell.
Rivian cites ongoing semiconductor chip shortages as a key reason for the delay, as well as other “cascading impacts” of the pandemic, such as delayed facility construction and equipment installations.
For those who don’t know, the R1T starts at $67,500 with a base range of more than 300 miles. It can go from 0-60 mph in “as quick as 3 seconds” (depending on the tires you choose), it can tow up to 11,000lb of cargo, and it will off-road nicely. It’s no slouch on the road, either, boasting sports car-tier handling, or so Rivian claims.
And then there’s one of the R1T’s main stand-out features: Tank Turn. In short, Tank Turn aims to offer R1T drivers the ability to change directions on a dime, much like they could in an actual tank. Every wheel in the vehicle has an independent motor and can operate independently.
It’s pretty fun to see in action, so take a gander at the clip above. We hope Tank Turn works as well in September as it appears to in that video. If it does, Rivian owners are in for what looks to be a pretty fun time.
Whether or not the R1T will live up to all the hype Rivian has generated for it remains to be seen. One way or another, we’ll find out later this year. If you have around 70 grand to spare, you can configure an R1T through the official Rivian website, though you’ll need to put up a $1,000 deposit first.