The folks over at Rivian have planned out their strategy impressively. The company launched with on-point adventure branding and attacked two key automotive segments with its first two EV offerings, the R1T pickup and the R1S three-row SUV. Now, Motortrend reports that Rivian's next vehicle may be even more exciting.
According to Motortrend, the new vehicle called the R1X will be a smaller, two-row, rally-inspired SUV (with the obligatory coupe-like roofline, of course). It will run on a shorter version of the R1 skateboard platform that underpins the R1T and R1S. And it will be a best of all worlds performance SUV, off-roading like a Jeep Wrangler or Land Rover Defender and morphing into a Cayenne Turbo when it hits the streets.
Power? The R1X will have it. Motortrend believes the top-spec version will outdo the Hummer EV SUT with a mind-blowing 1,200 horsepower and 1,200 lb-ft of torque. The R1X would achieve that output using four of their new in-house developed electric motors.
The report says that the R1X — launching as the smallest member of the lineup — could be a more premium offering for around $115,000. They expect Rivian's new SUV will arrive in Q4 2023 — hopefully without as many production ramp-up delays.
The R1X sounds like it will be mind-blowing. But perhaps we should recalibrate our perceptions for the EV era. EVs are blowing away combustion vehicles on performance. We're a few years into manufacturers taking EVs seriously, and high-end manufacturers are already pushing performance to realms that are borderline unhelpful and undesirable.
The truly groundbreaking electric SUV may not be the one that blows away the Jeep Wrangler, but the one that can match its performance for a $40,000-ish price tag and turn a profit for its manufacturer while doing so. Super SUVs and trucks are going to be a dime a dozen. Building the pedestrian ones may be where the cutting edge is.