Updated Rivian R1T & R1S Now Available With Over 1,000 HP

The Veyron-rivalling power figure is nevertheless just the tip of the tech updates with these Rivian EVs. 

In spite of it only (properly) arriving on the scene just over 2 years ago, Rivian has nevertheless decided that it was high time to launch a thoroughly updated version of its R1S and R1T electric SUV and pickup. And while it may look virtually identical on the face of it, both these models have been given quite the update underneath its skins.  

Now starting with the headline change with this mid-life update first, the existing quad-motor powertrain on these Rivian models has since been given a substantial power boost, and now is quoted to produce a Veyron-rivalling 1,039 PS and 1,622 Nm of torque. This in turn sees for the R1T pickup at least to be capable of a 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) sprint in less than 2.5 seconds, when Launch Mode is selected.

All new on the powertrain front with these Rivians meanwhile is a tri-motor option, which sits as in between the aforementioned quad-motored system and the unchanged dual-motor all-wheel drive systems offered. This particular new tri-motor configuration pairs two rear-motors with a single front unit for a combined output of 850 hp, with the EV maker further claiming that this particular setup yields a 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) time of as little as 2.9 seconds for its R1T e-pickup. 

Touching on what powers all those motors now, Rivian has made some construction changes to its Large and Max packs that made them easier to manufacture and service. A new heat-pump has been developed as well for these updated models to increase operational efficiency, while an entry-level 92.5 kWh Standard battery pack option with a promise of 435 km of range has also been introduced in the aims of expanding customer choice. 

Besides the motor and batteries, this update has further brought with it a tweaked hydraulic anti-roll system and revised air suspension setup, for which Rivian promises will deliver a “smoother on-road ride”. These R1 models have since adopted an entirely new electrical architecture too, that reduced the number of ECUs from 17 previously to just 7, which in turn saw a whopping 2.6 km of wiring being removed from each of these updated EVs too.

Though on the tech front, what will likely be more appreciated by buyers is Rivian’s new Autonomy platform that is featured in both the updated R1S and R1T. This in-house developed autonomy system brings with it 11 cameras, five radars, an Nvidia-powered AI prediction and the promise that its compute module is 10 times more platform than the previous system. There will also be the option to upgrade to the Rivian Autonomy Platform+ too, which will add automatic lane change functionality through a future software update.

Rivian has also been keen to point out on the tech side of things that its redesigned user interface is to be powered by the Unreal Engine, with which enables greater visual appeal rendering capabilities. The update has introduced a new digital key feature to both models as well, which allows users to use their iPhone, Apple Watch and select Google Pixel devices to unlock and start the vehicle. 

As for the other less flashy changes made within these R1 models on the other hand, there is to be a new Rivian Premium Audio sound system and a colour-selectable ambient lighting system. Also introduced with this update is an electrochromic Dynamic Glass Roof, which tints at a touch of a button. 

Finally finishing on the outside, despite it looking visually identical to its pre-update predecessors both Rivian models actually net new headlights and taillights from this facelift, with the former further gaining Adaptive Drive Beam technology later this year. There is also to be a new Storm Blue exterior color as well as blackout trim options on offer now, in addition to a set of restyled wheels that help to reduce drag. 

Despite these substantial changes under the skin, the base price for the R1T remains unchanged at $69,900 (RM 330,000), while the R1S rises slightly to $75,900 (RM 358,000). Deliveries for the updated R1S begin tomorrow, with a date for the R1T as yet unspecified.

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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