Rivian is gearing up to launch the R1T truck and R1S SUV. Currently the models are undergoing fine tuning, just as the company’s first production line does the same. New photos, shown on Twitter this week, show the R1S on and off that line wearing a Rivian Blue paint job.
First tweeted by RJ Scaringe, CEO of Rivian Automotive via his personal Twitter account, the R1S was shown on the line, likely at the Rivian plant that has been under construction near Chicago, a former Mitsubishi facility. The plant, which was busy being retooled during 2020, is 2.6 million square feet. The coronavirus slowed the progress of those renovations.
The R1S is the sister of the R1T. Both are all-electric vehicles that will not be sold at dealerships. Instead, vehciles will be able to be purchased online, as with Teslas, then they will be under the care of 41 service centers as well as a “robust” network of mobile service providers according to Scaringe.
Ahead of those online sales, Rivian is slowly leaking out details about the R1T and R1S. In December 2019 Rivian showed off the R1T’s ability to do a tank turn. In an all-electric truck, it is possible to achieve this sort of maneuvering using the four motors on the wheels, which can act independently and with varying levels of torque vectoring to cause the vehicle to turn in a very tight radius.
In July 2020, Rivian dropped three new videos on YouTube featuring the R1T’s off-road performance being tested.
And in November 2020, Pirelli announced that they’ve created three new tires specifically for the needs of the R1T and R1S. Pirelli and Rivian co-developed these products over a nearly two-year timespan.
The Rivian R1S SUV is expected to reach its first customers in late 2021. The first deliveries of the R1T pickup are expected to start this summer.