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Auto review: Rivian R1T: The first electric full-size pickup has a cartoon guardian, 800-plus hp

Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Automotive News

I'm one of a handful of people who have driven both the R1T and GMC Hummer electric pickups, but it's way too early to compare them. That'll take days behind the wheel of each, driving in city, country and highways, charging batteries, loading their front trunks with groceries.

It's already clear both deserve to be taken seriously, though.

My R1T drive encompassed busy surface streets, an idyllic small town and washboard dirt roads. The pickup was absolutely solid, not a squeak or rattle, despite being an early model from a company that never built a vehicle before.

The steering was firm and precise. The adaptive air suspension kept the R1T level in hard acceleration — 0-60 mph in about 3 seconds, a once unimaginable statistic that will become common as we become accustomed to EV performance.

There was nearly no road or wind noise, despite 20-inch wheels, all-terrain tires and a one-piece glass roof.

The Riv's one-pedal braking — an EV-specific goodie that maximizes energy recapture during deceleration, slowing the R1T dramatically when you lift of the accelerator — is effective and intuitive. I got used to it in a few minutes, and would probably use it all the time if I had an R1T.

 

The R1T can tow 11,000 pounds and go 314 miles on a charge. A 400-plus mile package costs $10,000. Shorter range will be available later.

R1T facts and figures

—Electronically controller all-wheel drive

—Four motors, one at each wheel

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