Rivian R1S: First Drive Review

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Published on 6 Jul 2022, 13:52
What is the Rivian 1S like to drive?
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While it's hard to doubt that the Ford F-150 Lightning is the most significant electric truck of the moment -- outside of Tesla's hyperbolic (and still non-existent) Cybertruck -- it's the Rivian R1T that seems to have captured the hearts and minds of most would-be EV truckers. Fast and capable with tons of range, the R1T is the perfect solution for a lot of the EV-curious out there, even though its recent price hike made it even less attainable than before. However, the R1T was always intended to be just the first wave, the tip of the consumer spear for this California-based startup automaker. The followup is the R1S, which takes the same basic formula and packages it in a likable SUV shape.

On the surface there's very little that differentiates the two Rivians. From head-on they look all but identical, and that familiarity continues from the driver's seat, too, where the dash, interior design and seating position again are the same. The specs are largely identical, as well. Both tip the scales at around 7,000 pounds and rely on 835 horsepower and 908 pound-feet of torque to move that mass around, resulting in a claimed 3-second 0-to-60-mph sprint. Power comes from four electric motors, one per corner, though a less-powerful (and $6,000 less-costly) dual-motor variant is coming.