Rivian R1S tackles Rubicon off-road trail, a production EV first



Rivian claims its R1S electrical SUV is the primary EV to deal with the Rubicon off-road path, lengthy thought-about a yardstick for hardcore off-road automobiles.

Situated in El Dorado County California due west of Lake Tahoe, and roughly 80 miles east of the state capital of Sacramento, the Rubicon Path is usually listed at 22 miles lengthy, however about half of that may be a maintained highway. Members of Rivian’s analysis and growth crew tackled the 12-mile true off-road portion, leaving Loon Lake at 7:45 a.m. on August 7 and reaching the top on the Tahoma staging space round 3:30 p.m. on August 9.

The automobile used was a quad-motor R1S that Rivian claims was mechanically inventory—together with the 34-inch Pirelli all-terrain tires. The one additions have been metal rock sliders, entrance tow hitch receivers, and a roof rack. The R1S wasn’t alone, nonetheless. It was adopted by two pre-production quad-motor R1T pickups for the primary leg of the journey, and a modified Jeep Wrangler after that.

Rivian R1S tackles the Rubicon Path

The R1S entered the path with round 80% cost and completed with roughly 10% cost, which was nonetheless sufficient to succeed in a close-by Stage 2 AC charger, in response to Rivian. That equates to roughly 75% of the overall battery pack power, equal to a few gallons of gasoline, the corporate mentioned.

No mechanical points or tire failures have been skilled throughout the drive, in response to Rivian, the one harm being “some beauty bumps and scrapes.”

Rivian’s all-wheel-drive system depends on software program controls, expressed by a variety of drive modes, somewhat than mechanical differentials, as in conventional Jeeps and the present crop of 4xe plug-in hybrids. Jeep hews so intently to the Rubicon Path that it applies the identify to its automobiles as a trim stage. However whereas Jeep has launched a Wrangler Rubicon 4xe, North America will not get an all-electric Jeep till the Recon launches subsequent yr.

Rivian R1S tackles the Rubicon Trail

Rivian R1S tackles the Rubicon Path

Software program additionally permits for less-practical options like a Tank Flip mode, however Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe has mentioned this isn’t coming to production models as a result of it clashes with the corporate’s “Tread Frivolously” philosophy, which emphasizes stewardship of off-road trails and the setting round them. The GMC Hummer EV additionally gives hardcore off-road functionality, nevertheless it’s probably more durable to maintain that a lot heavier EV from chewing up the paths.

Rivian very quickly will not be the one absolutely electrical mannequin on the hardest off-road trails. Ineos is amongst a number of area of interest makers engaged on hardcore absolutely electrical SUVs. Its present Ineos Grenadier makes use of internal-combustion powertrains, however the firm is planning an electric SUV, to be constructed by Magna on the latter’s Austrian manufacturing unit beginning in 2026. A fully electric Mercedes-Benz G-Class off-roader can also be on the trail to manufacturing, with silicon-anode battery cells as a expertise boast level.


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