Every Rivian will be "an electric adventure vehicle" | Top Gear
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Friday 8th December
LA Motor Show 2018

Every Rivian will be "an electric adventure vehicle"

New EV company's 3.0s-to-60mph SUV and pick-up are just the start

Published: 29 Nov 2018

If 911s aren’t quite your thing, then the star of the LA motor show has surely been Rivian. Somewhat out of the blue, the electric vehicle company has shown two apparently production-ready cars with outlandish performance figures.

The R1S seven-seat SUV and and R1T five-seat pick-up both claim 0-60mph in 3.0secs, up to 400 miles of electric range and Level 3 autonomy, while starting at around £50,000 in the States.

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But we ought not to be too shocked. The company’s been going almost a decade and has former McLaren people on board. “The company started about nine years ago, and electric adventure vehicles have been our focus for seven years,” says Rivian’s Ken Shuman. “This is really what electric is made for because of the torque of EV systems.”

Indeed, both R1S and R1T claim a frankly baffling 10,325lb ft of torque, which is around nine Bugatti Chirons’ worth. The company’s only kept quiet for those seven years because it reckons it’s found a real gap in the market, and wanted to keep its cards close to its chest until the cars were fully ready.

The models revealed at LA are described as ’99 per cent’ production standard, though cars won’t be with customers until the end of 2020. Order books are open now, however, with the pick-up starting at $69,000 before EV grants (about £53,000) and the SUV at $72,500 (around £57,000).

Other markets will follow, and that includes the UK, where Rivian has recently opened its advanced engineering base with former McLaren and Lotus man Mark Vinnels as director. Shuman is insistent that those buying a Rivian will use it properly, too.

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“There’s two different groups of folks at our core: the modern explorer who’s out kite boarding, rock climbing and kayaking. That is how they spend their free time. Then we have the active family, driving kids home from soccer in their muddy boots but then they’ll drive up to Lake Tahoe on the weekend as well.

“Everything will always be an electric adventure vehicle, we’re not going to do a sedan. We want people to get these dirty. But they’ll come in at different price points and levels. We’re doing our own thing. We’re aiming to sell tens of thousands of cars to start off with, not hundreds of thousands. These are only the first two.”

Yep, that means Rivian’s cars will get smaller and cheaper. Which has the potential to be quite exciting if UK's pricing can reflect the US.

Like what you hear? Let us know below…

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