The R1T has been delayed again.
Rivian customers must be getting antsy. The Rivian R1T electric pickup was first supposed to be delivered in 2020, then it was pushed to June this year, then July, and now people won't be seeing the first trucks until September, according to a letter sent to customers and reviewed by The Drive. The culprit is the semiconductor shortage, as the company is currently building its truck, SUV and its commercial vans simultaneously at its Illinois plant.
The R1T is part of the early first wave of electric EVs with a claimed 0-60 mph time of only 3 seconds, a range of around 400 miles, a towing capacity of 11,000 pounds, and more than 700 horsepower. It will be offered with three battery pack options, 105-, 135-, and 180-kWh units, and is expected to start at $69,000 when it eventually goes on sale.
Other than the powertrain specs, we've also seen the R1T's front trunk, which has a volume of 11 cubic feet, with enough room to fit a half-dozen full grocery bags or two full-sized coolers. It also opens and closes automatically with the app, fob, in-vehicle controls, or an exterior button under the lightbar.
We also recently learned from a patent application about the truck's ability to "K-turn," where the rear end of the truck stays stationary while the front end swings around like the hand on a clock. It can do this because of its independent wheel control. It's the same system that might give us the "tank turn," when wheels on one side go forward and the others go backward, causing the vehicle to basically spin in place.
We are excited for this truck, which compares favorably to the new Ford F-150 Lightning. We're also excited about the SUV from Rivian, which should have similar specs. That SUV, along with the non-First Edition pickups, are now scheduled to be delivered in early 2022.
And this delay should surprise no one. Between the pandemic and worker shortages, the chips and the general speed it takes to bring a new car to market, we can accept these as just teething pains. We guarantee it'll still be on the streets before the Tesla Cybertruck.