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WELCOME TO HYUNDAI’S HAPPINESS MACHINE
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Driving

What is it like to drive?

As you can imagine, the ride of the R1T is very, well… truck-like. But it’s far from feeling like a rattly box on springs. It’s stiff and the heft of the batteries can be felt, but the adjustable air suspension does well to negate most of the nasty stuff. Instead, it’s firm but floaty, either around town or on the highway.

With the cabin conformed to your preferences, you feel very commanding in the Rivian, as you might in a classic Range Rover.

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How different does it feel from the R1S?

As they’re nearly identical twins, the ride isn’t wildly different, though the R1T feels tighter and maybe a bit more lithe. But there’s hardly a dramatic difference between them. Not having a third row and all that ostensibly makes the R1T the quicker one, though it’s splitting hairs, really.

With the quad-motored R1T, we were able to hit sub-three-second runs from 0 to 60mph, the same threshold as the R1S. Are those fractions of a second going to make or break the experience? Nah, your brain is getting squished into the back of your skull either way, the only difference is the number of people you can take with you on the launch.

How about off the road?

As its remit dictates, the R1T is quite capable of handling things off the beaten path, much of which is done without too much of input from the driver. Lacking hardware such as a differential, the software has to mimic the functions when it comes to situations where it’d be locked to un-stick itself in certain situations. The Rivian’s air suspension is also capable to adjust the ride height on the fly while the different terrain modes dial in the correct amount of power for the situation at hand, be it sand or up to 41.1 inches of water to ford.

Let’s say you’ve crossed all the rivers, hills and boulders between you and your destination. How about tearing it up in Rally mode? Like its SUV sibling, the sportier R1T models can rip it in loose terrain at speed, drifting through corners like a champ. If you’re feeling particularly talented, the drift mode hands over almost full control of the power delivery, with much more rear wheel bias and fewer digital boundaries.

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