2021 Rivian R1S – price, specs and release date

New start-up company Rivian will sell a Tesla Model X-rivalling electric SUV from 2021, and this is everything we know about it so far...

Rivian R1S front

On sale: 2021 | Price from: £70,000 (est)

American electric car company Rivian has revealed its first two models: the R1S seven-seat SUV and the R1T pick-up truck.

These closely related models are electric, and Rivian is positioning itself as a maker of premium electric off-roaders. It considers this to be an untapped niche, and unlike most start-up car makers, its vehicles are not simply CGI renderings or far-off fantasies, but real, working products that are ready for prodution.

Rivian R1S interior


Most intriguing of the brace of new models is the R1S. It's the same size as the Tesla Model X and Audi Q7, but in its go-anywhere ability, it has more in common with the full-size Range Rover.

It's built on a dedicated new architecture designed to realise the full benefits of electric power. The batteries are all mounted in the floor and three different pack sizes are offered: 105kWh for a 240-mile range, 130kWh for a 310-mile range and 180kWh for a 420-mile range.

As for charging times, Rivian says you’ll be able to get around 60 miles of range in a coffee break and 200 miles can be achieved in 40 minutes.

There are four electric motors, one powering each wheel, giving the R1S four-wheel drive and combined outputs of 754bhp and 826lb ft of torque. This is important for off-road driving, because it allows for full independent control of each wheel. While off-road performance is claimed to be impressive, the same is true for on the road. The R1S can crack 0-60mph in 3.0sec and 0-100mph in less than 7.0sec.

Rivian namechecks the Porsche Cayenne Turbo as a car the R1S is designed to perform alongside on the road, while Land Rover is referenced for off-road performance. Rivian believes these targets are achievable due to the benefits of electric power.

Rivian R1S interior

2021 R1S interior

The off-road theme continues inside the R1S’s spacious, modern interior. Rather than leather and chrome, it features natural woods and special wipe-clean fabrics, similar to those used on high-end outdoor sportswear from brands like Patagonia.

There are two screens inside, one for the driver’s instruments and a touchscreen for infotainment. The design and software are Rivian’s own, and it updates wirelessly. Rivian has recruited a senior ex-Apple figure to lead its software development.

The R1S's second and third row of seats fold flat, but Rivian is yet to confirm a luggage volume for the rear. In the front, under the bonnet, there's a 330-litre area that should give the R1S an exceptional total storage figure.

UK plans

The R1S is on display at the Los Angeles motor show this week. It will go into production in the US in early 2021 at a factory formerly owned by Mitsubishi. US sales are the first goal for Rivian, but it plans for a European launch within 12 months, including in the UK in right-hand drive.

It’s too early for any confirmed pricing, but it will cost around $70,000 (£55,000) in the US. Typically with American pricing, you can switch the dollar sign for a pound sign for a good look at how much it will cost in the UK.

Rivian R1T

The R1T truck

The R1S is joined at Rivian’s launch by the R1T pick-up truck. The two models share their underpinnings, electric powertrain, and battery pack options. The R1T has a payload of 800kg and a towing capability of five tonnes, which Rivian considers to be a conservative estimate.

The R1T will also come to the UK; it will enter production in the US a couple of months before the R1S and be the model Rivian launches its brand with.

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