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The 2022 Rivian R1S Is an Electric Seven-Passenger SUV Claiming Supercar Acceleration

Car and Driver logo Car and Driver 11/27/2018 Daniel Golson
a car parked on the side of a road: The second production vehicle announced from the new American startup brand is a seven-passenger SUV that is said to offer as much as 410 miles of range.© Rivian The second production vehicle announced from the new American startup brand is a seven-passenger SUV that is said to offer as much as 410 miles of range.

Just a day after unveiling its first production vehicle, the R1T pickup truck, U.S. startup Rivian has revealed the R1S, also in what it says is production form. The R1S is a seven-passenger SUV that's almost identical in length to the Tesla Model X, expected to be its main competitor. You can be sure that it will have many all-electric SUVs competing in the market by the time the R1S goes on sale as a 2022 model. Nevertheless, Rivian expresses confidence that it will be class-leading in both on- and off-road capabilities.

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The performance specs of the R1S mirror those of the R1T pickup, since they share the same "skateboard" platform and powertrain setup. Battery-pack size, horsepower ratings, acceleration claims, and top speed are all identical, but Rivian's range claims for the R1S are each 10 miles greater than for the R1T. There is a base 105-kWh model with 402 horsepower and 240 miles of range, a 135-kWh model with 754 horses and 310 miles of range, and a range-topping 180-kWh model with 700 horsepower and more than 410 miles of range. As with the R1T, the quickest of the three R1S versions is the 135-kWh model, which Rivian is claiming will hit 60 mph in 3.0 seconds.

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Every R1S has an electric motor at each wheel, providing all-wheel drive and independent control of the torque going to all four wheels. The R1S does lose out on maximum towing capacity compared to the R1T, though, with Rivian saying the SUV will tow up to 7716 pounds. That's almost 3300 less than their figure for the R1T, but it's a lot better than the Tesla Model X's max of 5000 pounds.

Slideshow provided by Inside EVs

a green car parked on the side of a road: Rivian Debuts R1S Electric SUV: Seats 7, Packs 180-kWh Battery

While the R1S shares its distinctive front end with the R1T, everything aft of the B-pillar is different. The R1S has a floating roof design with chrome trim running along the top edge, slightly boxed rear fender flares reminiscent of 1980s rally cars, and an upright body-color C-pillar. At 198.4 inches long, it's 0.1 inch longer than the Model X and a few inches longer than three-row luxury SUVs such as the BMW X5 and Range Rover Sport, which Rivian also is targeting. On the inside, the R1S is the same as the pickup, too, at least until you get behind the second row. There's a large central screen, tons of real wood trim, and a simple and modern overall design. The third row of the SUV features two full-size seats with what looks like a good amount of legroom; at least on visual inspection, it doesn't seem to be the tight third row that many other luxury SUVs have.

As on the pickup, there's a 12-cubic-foot trunk under the hood, but being an SUV, the R1S also has a large rear cargo area, although Rivian has not given its size. There is a six-cubic-foot storage area underneath the rear cargo floor, and both the second and third rows of the R1S fold flat. The rear liftgate is split in two, with the lower section opening downward to act as a step or a seat. Rivian will offer the same modular roof-rack system as on the R1T, which is designed to hold everything from tents to skis to roof boxes.

Rivian says that deliveries of the R1S will start in the United States in early 2021, a few months after the R1T goes on sale. The 180-kWh and 135-kWh versions will be going on sale first, with the 105-kWh model becoming available within six months. Pricing hasn't been announced, but the R1T starts at $69,000 plus destination charge, so we expect the R1S will begin at a similar price point. That would make it quite a bit cheaper than the Model X 75D, which starts at $85,200. 

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