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Rivian reveals all-new electric pickup

26 November 2018 | by Michael Gooderham

Rivian has released images and info on its debut model, the R1T electric pickup truck. The first of two ‘electric adventure vehicles’ to appear at the LA Motor Show, it will be followed by an SUV-bodied R1S tomorrow.

Both models ride on a ‘skateboard platform’ in which the large battery pack (the biggest of which is good for a range of roughly 400 miles) is laid into the floor of the vehicle, leaving a completely flat platform to put the body and interior on top however they choose. The R1T is also all-wheel-drive courtesy of four 147kW electric motors.

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The design is clean yet rugged, with simple LED-strip lighting (punctuated at the front by vertical oval fog lights) and no superfluous grilles. Continuous lines, such as the one that starts as a panel gap at the front and then winds its way up and around the chamfered DLO to reappear symmetrically on the other side, help create simple but effective surface changes. The central section of the front light bar glows bright green when the R1T is charged.

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“Although the exterior of the vehicle is what first attracts you, the interior is where you spend the most of your time, so we really focused on creating a transformational space,” says design VP Jeff Hammoud. “The biggest challenge was creating an interior design that delivered a premium experience, while still being comfortable as a space that is heavily used. To do this, we looked outside the automotive industry and took inspiration from contemporary furniture, as well as hiking and outdoor gear, to drive the design.”

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The shape of the front fog lights is echoed in the pattern on four of the five seats, while radius-cornered rectangles also define the dished (and sustainably sourced) wooden dash trim, centre touchscreen and multi-layered centre console. In a clever packaging trick similar to the front-loading hole on the Bollinger B1, a ‘gear tunnel’ runs horizontally through the entire width of the body, just behind the rear seats and doors.

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Meanwhile, an additional luggage area in the front where the engine isn’t, and a spare wheel well under the truck’s bed, provide even more storage space.

Rivian claim the top-spec R1T will do 0-60mph in three seconds flat, 0-100mph in under seven seconds and tow up to 11,000lbs (4990kg) – although probably not at the same time.

Flick through the gallery for more images, absorb some nerdy tech specs below, and see what the R1S looks like tomorrow...

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