The Rivian R1T and R1S will have a "K-turn" mode according to these patents.
By now, you've probably watched videos of Rivian demonstrating the R1T's cool tank turn trick in which the wheels on one side spin forward and the other wheels spin backwards, causing the electric truck to spin 360 degrees on the spot.
If this new patent filing is anything to go by, the Rivian R1T and R1S could still have plenty of other tricks to surprise us. As discovered by the Rivian Owners Forum, Rivian has filed a patent for an intriguing "K-Turn" mode that will make the R1T truck and R1S SUV more maneuverable.
Looking at the patent, the K-Turn appears to increase the steering lock and angle and make the truck turn like the hand of a clock, while keeping the rear axle static as the pivot point. The system then adjusts the torque, wheel slip, and wheel lock accordingly.
"The K-turn mode is engaged in response to determining that an amount that at least one of the front wheels of the vehicle is turned exceeds a turn threshold," according to the patent application. "While operating in the K-turn mode, forward torque is provided to the front wheels of the vehicle. Further, backward torque is provided to the rear wheels of the vehicle."
"Yet further, the rear wheels of the vehicle remain substantially in static contact with a ground while the front wheels slip in relation to the ground."
This should make it easier to get out of tight spots during intensive off-road sessions. Since K-Turn is another term for a three-point turn, it could also potentially be used to make parallel parking in tight spaces easier. Hopefully, it won't be too long until we get to see Rivian's new K-Turn mode in action as customer deliveries for the R1T Launch Edition will begin this month, followed by other variants in 2022.