It was probably supposed to be a secret.
Two of the most exciting new arrivals for the 2021 model year are the all-electric Rivian R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV. The original plan was for them to begin rolling off the assembly line in Normal, Illinois by the end of this year or early next, but the coronavirus pandemic had other plans. Rivian quickly adapted to this new reality by pushing back the first customer delivery dates to June 2021 and August 2021 for the R1T and R1S, respectively. So far, Rivian has accumulated a list of prospective buyers who understandably anxious to officially place their orders. When will that start happening?
Thanks to a member of the Rivian Owners Forum, it appears Rivian will launch its online configurator for both vehicles on November 16.
Interestingly, not long after this discovery was made on Rivian's official website, the configurator's launch date was removed from the home page. Could this have been a mistake on Rivian's part? Possibly, but in all likelihood, the company accidentally posted the date ahead of an official statement. In any case, Rivian is one of the most promising new automakers to arrive on the scene in recent years.
Last June, it completed a second round of major investment with some $2.5 billion in additional financing. This comes following Ford and Amazon investments of $500 million and $700 million, respectively. Also because of the pandemic, Ford decided to put on hold a new Lincoln crossover riding on Rivian's "skateboard" platform.
The Rivian R1T won't exactly be cheap when it goes on sale, initially priced from $69,000. Still, this premium and highly innovative truck will pack some of the highest-capacity production vehicle battery packs to date, at 105 kWh, 135 kWh, and 180 kWh. The largest will enable a total range of over 400 miles. That figure alone should eliminate any range anxiety amongst prospective buyers.
Another unique Rivian-developed feature includes the insanely cool Tank Turn which essentially enables owners to perform donuts in mud and/or gravel. The upcoming year will also see additional all-electric truck debut, including the Tesla Cybertruck and Lordstown Endurance. In 2022, the all-electric Ford F-150 will hit the scene and by that time Rivian production should be fully up and running.