Before we dive into everything this capable SUV has to offer, you’re probably wondering when you can get one. Well, initially, it had a mid-2021 arrival date shortly after the electric truck, but both got pushed back due to supply constraints and other issues.
And while Rivian delivered a few R1S vehicles to reservation holders in December and earlier this year, those were only special Launch Edition vehicles.
In June 2022, Rivian sent letters to reservation holders that it would delay the first deliveries of its long-awaited R1S electric SUV. Again. And while the manufacturer is busy ramping up production, those letters stated that reservation holders could expect delivery around August or later.
Furthermore, some buyers were told it may not arrive until October-December depending on the model, color, and trim.
Technically the Rivian R1S is available right now and has already been released. However, most reservation holders haven’t received theirs due to delays and supply issues. And to make matters worse, if you order one today, it likely won’t arrive until sometime in 2023.
As expected, this is an all-new electric vehicle with a high-end design, so it’s not cheap. Initially, the fully-loaded Launch Edition was only $75,500, but in May, Rivian increased prices, plus the Launch Edition was only for early adopters and quickly sold out.
The R1S currently costs $72,500 for the base Explorer Package, while the upgraded Adventure Package starts at $78,500.
There are nine different colors to choose from, two main packages, and plenty of add-ons for those looking to spruce things up. Both are available to pre-order now with a $1,000 deposit. Again, if you order today, we doubt it’ll get delivered until early 2023.
Like most electric vehicles as of late, the Rivian R1S is fast, powerful, and highly capable. Depending on the package, it can go from 0-60 in a little over three seconds, packs upwards of 835 horsepower, and come with two large battery options.
With the Rivian R1S, buyers have two main packages to choose from and two powertrain options. All 2022 models only come with the better quad-motor AWD system, with an electric motor at each wheel. Additionally, Rivian is only offering the large 128 kWh battery pack. This promises an EPA range of around 316 miles per charge and combines to deliver 835 horsepower and 908 lb-ft of torque.
The dual-motor R1S model is still competent, mind you, and makes around 600 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque. Depending on the battery size, it’ll still get anywhere from 260-316 miles per charge. The Rivian R1S can tow up to 7,700lbs, seats up to seven thanks to the 3rd-row seating upgrade, and has a water wading depth of over three feet.
Rivian will eventually offer three different battery packs on the R1S, along with a more affordable 2WD configuration. We expect a smaller battery in 2023 and an even bigger “Max” battery choice. Keep in mind that the biggest battery option that’ll arrive in 2023 is only for the AWD model, and the smallest battery will only be an option on 2WD configurations.
Once those options arrive, Rivian estimates 260 miles per charge on the cheapest variant, and around 400 miles of range on the Max model, giving many electric SUVs a run for their money. Unfortunately, the company says its smaller 105 kWh battery won’t be available until 2024.
More importantly, the battery pack and drivetrain on every Rivian R1S come with an eight-year/175,000-mile warranty.
Currently, the Rivian R1S can charge at speeds upwards of 196kW, which is pretty impressive but not quite as fast as many other luxury EVs on the market. However, that’ll change soon.
The company claims it will have over 3,500 DC fast chargers across 600 sites by the end of 2023. However, Rivian recently removed that promise from its website, so the project could take longer than anticipated.
You can charge the Rivian R1S using typical slower level 1, level 2, or level 3 chargers. According to Rivian, those who opt for a DC fast charger can get 140 miles of range in just 20 minutes. Then, in the future, that 200 kW speed will increase to 300 kW. Essentially, Rivian’s charging technology and speed are on par with much of the competition, but we’re unsure how quickly it’ll roll out the charging network or offer faster 300kW speeds.
The Rivian R1S shares much of the overall design, aspects, and exciting features as the R1T electric truck. While the SUV doesn’t have the same cargo space as the truck, there’s more room on the roof for a cargo rack, and the company even sells a roof-top tent buyers can toss on top for camping or overland trips.
It comes with an adaptive air suspension system, similar to the truck. Using the air suspension, R1S owners can raise its ground clearance to 14.9-inches for off-road trails or lower it to 8.8-inches for improved handling and mileage on the highway. Rivian has a $2,000 off-road upgrade that adds reinforced underbody sliders to shield the vehicle from rocks, a set of front-mounted tow hooks, and a few other goodies.
Around the back, the liftgate opens in two sections. The top half is obviously powered and gives you access to the spacious cargo area behind the rear seats. The bottom half can drop, too, making it easier to load heavy gear or luggage. Then, as expected, all the seats lay flat to haul oversized items or would make for an excellent spot to lay a sleeping bag while camping.
A quick look inside the R1S! pic.twitter.com/liEZVnNJnR
— RJ Scaringe (@RJScaringe) May 19, 2022
Rivian vehicles come with eight different driving modes, including Off-Road Auto, Off-Road Rock Crawl, Soft-Sand Mode, Off-Road Rally, and Off-Road Drift. And while we doubt too many owners will be drifting off-road, it’s nice to have options.
Another neat feature of Rivian vehicles is the tow-charge option. For those unaware, you can’t jump-start an EV like a regular car. In an emergency, your Rivian R1S can hook up to a towing vehicle and pull it forward to charge the battery with regenerative braking.
Then, like the R1T, the SUV has several power outlets throughout the vehicle, including a 110v outlet and 12v plug in the center console, and even more in the back. You can also find a 12v outlet in the front trunk, not to mention USB-C ports conveniently located to keep your gadgets charged.
The company plans to add all sorts of other neat features in the future. Some of those include pet mode, upgrading the dashcam controls, and taking full advantage of all the cameras and sensors located throughout the vehicle.
This is all we know about the Rivian R1S so far, but we’re expecting to learn a lot more in the coming months as orders get delivered to customers. Based on what we’ve seen from the R1T electric truck, Rivian is going all-out and hopes to contend with the likes of the Tesla Model X, Model Y, and EVs from big names, including Chevy and Ford, while blending the line when it comes to luxury vehicles.
Rivian took over 80,000 pre-orders between the R1T and R1S, so they certainly have work to do. The company needs to rapidly ramp up production, maintain pricing, build out the charging network, and become profitable as quickly as possible.
From what we’re seeing so far, the Rivian R1S ticks all the boxes for SUV buyers, plus delivers a few extras like the off-road capabilities. It’s a well-rounded all-electric SUV unlike anything else on the market today.
However, it’s only a matter of time until we see a full-size electric SUV like a Chevy Tahoe or something from Ford. For now, the company is almost playing in a league of its own. If you’re considering an electric vehicle and want as much space as possible, all sorts of comfort, but also plan on being a bit adventurous, consider the new Rivian R1S.
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