Although it's not the sort of rally you're probably picturing.
Right off the bat, with its two very first saleable product, startup EV manufacturer Rivian is hoping to make inroads with the off-roading community. Both the Rivian R1T pickup truck and the Rivian R1S SUV are engineered to perform off the pavement, with decent ground clearance, torque-vectoring AWD with quad independent motors, and up to 750 horsepower - plenty enough grunt for just about any challenge.
To prove it, Rivian will be entering its R1T truck into this year's Rebelle Rally - a women's off-road navigation rally raid where the goal isn't so much outright speed, as it is overcoming off-road hazards and effectively navigating checkpoints using nothing but maps, a compass, and a roadbook - no GPS or cell phones.
So then, it's not the sort of rally that Rivian's next electric vehicle, a 500-horsepower rally-inspired wagon dubbed the "R2R", might well be built for. But of course, it doesn't need to be; the R1T will still face plenty of tough challenges as it carves its way through 2,000 km of desert between Nevada and California over the course of eight days. That much is clear from the number of modified Jeep Wranglers, Toyota 4Runners, and Land Rovers that enter.
Piloting the Rivian R1T through this tough test of navigation, precision driving, and grit will be two-time champions Emme Hall and Rebecca Donaghe.
"Adventures like the Rebelle Rally are what Rivian vehicles are made for. It's meaningful to join as the rally's first all-electric vehicle," Rivian Creative Director Larry Parker said of the event.
Hall and Donaghe will be driving a pre-production Rivian R1T at the event, which starts October 8, as Rivian is still readying the truck for volume production. It had originally been planned for a late-2020 launch, but the global pandemic have pushed the projected start of production back to June of next year.