EV off-roading is the future.
Rivian made history recently by becoming the first mass-producer of an electric pickup truck. That's quite an impressive feat, considering it was up against both the legacy manufacturers and Tesla.
As we found out on the Rivian R1T launch, it's not some half-assed EV pickup. It's a well-thought-out practical, game-changing kind of vehicle, and it set the bar extremely high for Ford, GM, and Tesla. You will see a demonstration of its abilities shortly.
We have to admit that we were looking forward to using it off-road. Reading the spec sheet, you know it's going to be good. The R1T has four electric motors, bespoke Pirelli all-terrain tires, and total power output of about 800 horsepower and 908 lb-ft of torque. What separates the Rivian from every other truck is its 4WD system. Each of the four motors can be individually controlled, which means if just one wheel has traction, the Rivian can provide a decent dollop of torque to that wheel. This car has so much torque that the throttle sensitivity has to be reduced to keep the driver from launching it over a boulder and into the next state.
Still, there are non-believers. We could debate for days about the instant torque delivery, wading depth, and the like, but nothing proves off-road prowess quite like a video.
As you can see, the Rivian R1T has no problems with the famous Hell's Gate/Hell's Revenge in Utah. This obstacle has become the Nurburgring for off-roaders. If a 4x4 can't get up there, it's no good. Ford famously completed the obstacle with the lightweight Bronco Sport, returned a few days later with the full-fat Bronco, and reversed up there. Both times in a stock car. Even Kia had a go in a 2018 Sorento, but with grippier rubber. The poor Sorento also suffered some damage, and as a result, Jeep made fun of them.
The Rivian in the video above is also 100% stock, right down to the Pirelli all-terrain tires.
Watching the Rivian go up Hell's Gate is an exciting experience. Typically, attempts are accompanied by raging engines, but all you hear is tires screeching in this video. Slap some rock crawling tires on there, and the R1T will make it look even easier. Rivian is well aware of the limitations of range, but it wants owners to do stuff like this. As a solution, Rivian is erecting an Adventure Network at key off-road locations across the USA.
Now we have to sit back and wait for all the upcoming EV off-roaders to partake in this unofficial right of passage.