newsdog Facebook

EV manufacturer Rivian plans rally-style performance car

Autocar 2018-12-05 00:00:00
  • Rivian's R1S SUV is based on a modular 'skateboard'-style architecture...
  • ...which it shares with the R1T pick-up
  • A big selling point of Rivian vehicles will be their uncompromised utility, as demonstrated by this storage space mock-up at LA

Electric start-up Rivian unveils R1S SUV and R1T pick-up to rival Tesla

Rivian also has plans to offer its modular skateboard chassis to other car makers, so long as its products don’t compete. Scaringe said he had had several approaches from interested car makers already, and also some from non-car makers interested in launching into the automotive world on a ready-made architecture. 

The electric skateboard chassis allows for all different types of vehicle to be spawned from it, from cars to public transport. “You could build an 800hp R1T truck or a goods delivery van, or a shuttle bus,” said Scaringe. It’s this that could bring other non-automotive players into the industry, such as online retailers launching their own delivery vehicles. 

The appeal for car makers is that new architectures are very expensive to develop, and Rivian now has an infinitely flexible one available off the shelf, and can even build the car so long as it does not compete with its own offerings.

To that end, Rivian plans to keep its own-brand products to smaller, more limited volumes, to stop the brand being too diluted and trying to appeal to a wider customer base.

Rivian is planning a full global launch for its models, including in both left- and right-hand drive. “California is a huge market here,” said Scaringe. “But China, Europe, North America too, and in right-hand drive [for UK] – in Australia, South Africa.

“I’ve had lots of requests in the past 24 hours, it’s been a united nations of countries.”

Rivian plans to sell direct to the consumer where it can, but will partner with dealers in places where that doesn’t allow.