After some delays, Rivian's R1T electric pickup truck is due to arrive very soon, but it clearly still has some surprises in store for us. In fact, we just learned that one of our favorite features is even cooler than we first thought.
Pickup trucks offer tremendous utility, but one fatal flaw can be enclosed storage. A bed is great for hauling furniture or a load of mulch, but it's not as awesome for keeping expensive gear dry — or preventing it from being stolen. Adding a rack for longer gear is likely to require an expensive bed add-on, and if you have something you really want to keep safe and accessible, you need to store it in the cabin — which isn't ideal.
Rivian's innovative solution to that storage conundrum is a gear tunnel located behind the rear seats. It's long enough to hold skis and snowboards, and accessible from either side of the vehicle. And it will house the optional pull-out camp kitchen if you're planning to use some R1T for overlanding.
What we didn't know until now is that the gear tunnel is accessible directly from the cabin.
Rivian Forums user Babbuino (as spotted by InsideEVs) recently posted a shot from the R1T cabin. When you fold down the center armrest in the middle seats, there's an accordion door that slides up, allowing an occupant to access the tunnel from the rear seats.
Accessing the gear tunnel from the cabin makes it more useful. Parents could store toy and diaper bags that may need to be accessible mid-drive back there, keeping the cabin less cluttered. We could picture someone building a custom cooler insert for long road trips. Maybe an open receptacle to temporarily store empty Spindrift cans? The possibilities are endless.