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Rivian’s Refined Revolution: The 2025 R1T and R1S Redesign Promise Efficiency, Comfort, and a Future-Proof Foundation

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Analysis: The latest models of Rivian's R1T and R1S enhance performance, offer more luxury, and provide a boost for sustainability. Significant improvements have been made to the battery system, powertrain, and vehicle framework of these Rivian models.

In 2021, the R1 series of vehicles will be equipped with their inaugural lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) batteries.

The redesign could result in the R1 models sharing more features with the soon-to-be-released R2 series from Rivian.

This week in Seattle, Rivian unveiled its updated R1 series, set to propel the brand, known for its adventurous spirit, towards greater efficiency and comfort.

Amidst a backdrop featuring the prominent Space Needle, I took to the wheel of various updated models, gaining insight into Rivian's improvements across the board. At the same time, Rivian is carefully balancing the desires of current R1 and luxury electric vehicle consumers, the requirements for compatibility with the much-awaited R2 series, and the necessities for the company's endurance as a standalone car manufacturer in the U.S.

Upon initial inspection, the exterior form and interior layout of the Rivian R1S electric SUV and the Rivian R1T electric pickup may appear strikingly familiar to earlier models. However, the majority of their internal elements and technological features have undergone significant improvements. The framework beneath the exterior has also been modified to simplify the assembly process and reduce the vehicle weight.

2025 Range of Rivian R1 Models

2025 Range of Rivian R1 Models

2025 Range of Rivian R1 Models

During a recent visit to Rivian's Seattle operations, correspondents from Green Car Reports gained insights into the company's meticulous approach to addressing feedback. Rivian methodically tackled each concern raised by their initial customers, implementing precise improvements across their product line. Additionally, they introduced a number of innovative features aimed at attracting and retaining new customers.

The upcoming 2025 models of Rivian's R1T and R1S will be available with a choice of Standard, Large, or Max battery packs, and will feature options for two, three, or four motor systems.

The previous summer introduced models equipped with Dual-Motors featuring Rivian's latest engines, which are also employed in EDVs. Currently, the R1 series is phasing out the old Quad-Motor configuration in favor of introducing two variants of dual-motor modules that integrate Rivian's proprietary oil-cooled engines.

Rivian has designed these engines for mass production, and indications suggest they could steer the firm towards expanding the compact R2 series. Despite the variety of their models, they feature identical coils and magnets, and both the front and rear utilize proprietary inverter technology developed internally. The company's approach prioritizes the front engines for better fuel economy, whereas the rear engines focus on enhancing performance and have the capability to be disengaged.

Rivian has pointed out that their latest Tri-Motor vehicles have a higher speed capacity than the older Quad-Motor variants. The Quad-Motor setup consists of two pairs of motors, with the smaller pair located at the front, collectively producing 1,025 horsepower and a torque of 1,198 pound-feet when in launch control mode, enabling the car to hit 60 mph from a standstill in under 2.5 seconds, as per Rivian's claims. On the other hand, the Tri-Motor configuration generates 850 horsepower and 1,103 pound-feet of torque using two motors at the rear and a single one at the front, achieving a 0-60 mph time of 2.9 seconds. The Dual-Motor models come in standard and high-performance options; the standard model delivers 533 horsepower and 610 pound-feet of torque, taking 4.5 seconds for 0-60 mph, while the high-performance variant produces 665 horsepower and 829 pound-feet of torque, reducing the 0-60 mph time to 3.4 seconds.

Externally, these versions appear quite similar. However, the Quad-Motor variants now feature Laguna Blue brake calipers and a subtle "QUAD" insignia centered on the rear emblem. In contrast, the Tri-Motor versions are equipped with yellow brake calipers and a yellow strip on the rear badge.

The range of Rivian R1 models for the

Upcoming Range of Rivian R1 Models for

2025 Range of Rivian R1 Models

The models with three and four motors are configured in a way that the rear motors provide additional power, thanks to a higher reduction ratio of 11.7:1 at the back compared to 9.1:1 at the front. When I tested the launch control on a model with four motors at a drag racing strip, I found that these trucks can rapidly accelerate from a complete stop and maintain near-peak power until they reach a greater speed than previously possible.

Rivian employs a complex system for managing how torque is distributed, which adjusts based on the selected driving mode. In the three-motor versions, two motors are placed at the rear, while in the four-motor versions, motors are located at both the front and rear without any mechanical connection, allowing each to independently power the wheels they are attached to. The front wheels of the Dual and Tri-Motor models are propelled by a single motor that works in tandem with a differential and the application of brake torque. Regardless of the setup, Rivian's R1 series is capable of engaging or disengaging the motors connected to either the front or rear axles to optimize traction or energy consumption. Typically, the R1 vehicles favor powering the front wheels under mild acceleration and during most travel scenarios. However, they shift more power to the rear motors when additional force is necessary, particularly for quickening the pace.

The maximum towing capacities for the R1T and the R1S remain unchanged at 11,000 pounds and 7,700 pounds, respectively.

Rivian has updated its battery pack models to be lighter and more cost-effective to produce, maintaining the design that includes a cooling plate placed between double layers of cells in the Large and Max Packs. The Standard Pack now has a capacity of 92.5 kWh, the Large Pack has increased to 109.4 kWh, and the Max Packs remain at a capacity of 141.5 kWh.

Certainly, the battery capacities for the Standard and Large options in the upcoming models have been reduced compared to the 2024 versions. However, Rivian has improved the efficiency to the extent that the starting range is now 258 miles according to EPA standards. The Standard Pack is anticipated to deliver 270 miles, equating to the range of the first generation's 106-kWh Standard Pack, highlighting the significant efficiency advancements. While the official range figures are still pending, Rivian projects that the Dual-Motor R1T with Max Pack could reach up to 420 miles, and the Dual-Motor R1S with Max Pack could achieve up to 410 miles. Rivian is confident that its second-gen R1T will set a new benchmark in truck efficiency, and there's much anticipation to see this performance in actual driving conditions.

The lineup's standout selection for aerodynamic efficiency are the new 22-inch wheels, in contrast to the 21-inch options. These contribute to an impressive drag coefficient of just 0.297, which is instrumental in extending the vehicle's driving range.

Heat pump system for the Rivian R1

Heat pump system in the Rivian R1 electric

Powertrains of Rivian vehicles

The heat pump has finally arrived for the full R1 series, providing an average increase in actual driving distance of about 10 miles, with even greater improvements under certain conditions. This advancement enables Rivian to eliminate the standard resistive heating system, choosing to use a component that warms up the coolant as necessary and retains the heat within the system.

Additionally, when considering the enhancements in productivity and production processes, it's reported that the R1's carbon emissions have been reduced by 15%.

The Big Pack and Max Pack options continue to use the 2170-format cylindrical batteries, maintaining the same NCA (nickel cobalt aluminum) composition. However, they benefit from approximately a 6% increase in energy capacity. The much-anticipated LFP batteries feature sizeable pouch cells arranged to match the height of the double-layer cylindrical batteries but with a completely distinct method for internal temperature regulation. Representatives informed Green Car Reports that these LFP batteries have a slightly lower energy capacity compared to the NCA batteries, and Rivian has not disclosed the manufacturer of these cells.

Rivian's lithium iron phosphate battery pack

The second generation battery pack from Rivian

First generation battery pack by Rivian

Rivian has introduced an updated design for its battery packs, streamlining the earlier version by reducing both weight and complexity. The casing for the battery is now created using high-pressure die-casting rather than extrusion, resulting in a more precise build and eliminating 55 pounds in weight. Overall, the new battery pack assembly, which now features a consolidated unit that integrates the battery management system, sheds a total of 154 pounds.

Absence of 800V means no major increase in charging speed

Conversely, the second generation doesn't encompass all the features Rivian had previously alluded to. There's no transition to an 800-volt system, despite past insinuations from CEO RJ Scaringe that such an upgrade could occur with the initial major update. While there have been suggestions that the R1 series could support bidirectional charging, representatives were reluctant to disclose any specifics regarding its activation or timeline.

Charging methods haven't seen significant advancements. Rivian has improved the duration and consistency of the charging phase, yet the highest charging capacity for their Large and Max batteries stays at 220 kilowatts. Their Standard Battery, using LFP technology, tops off at 200 kilowatts. Rivian claims a rapid charge from 10% to 80% can be achieved in 30 to 41 minutes, depending on which battery is used, and their vehicles can gain approximately 140 miles in range within a 20-minute period. The Level 2 charging rate continues to be capped at 48 amps (11.5 kilowatts), which may not fully recharge the largest battery option overnight.

The R1 has undergone a significant overhaul, streamlining its electrical system and addressing the problem of "vampire drain." The aim was to enhance efficiency and make the manufacturing process smoother. The vehicle's electrical design has been entirely reimagined, now featuring a simpler configuration with only 7 ECUs instead of the prior 17, and eliminating 1.6 miles worth of cables. Additionally, a new feature is the introduction of a compact DC-DC converter, which maintains the 12-volt battery almost fully charged and provides energy for low-power features such as the entertainment system and lighting.

People who love outdoor activities rely on their vehicle's battery to remain as full as it was when they started their journey. Rivian now boasts that it has the best figures in the industry for preserving battery range, that is when the Gear Guard feature is turned off since this feature consumes power through its camera usage and computing processes

Upcoming Rivian R1T Model Set for

The range of Rivian R1 models for the

2025 Range of Rivian R1 Models

R1 illumination collaborates with you

Rivian has maintained the iconic design and unique light pattern of the vehicle, enhancing it with even more prominent features—like the active-matrix headlights equipped with future-ready adaptive-beam technology that Rivian plans to activate later in the year. Initially, the lighting system will feature adaptive cornering capabilities, while the adaptive high beam is currently in the last phase of approval and will be activated in an upcoming software release.

The front-end lightbar, complete with new headlights, is proving to be quite functional. With its 10 separate RGB lighting segments, it can display an array of colors, with one of the first applications being a quick visual indicator of the battery's charge level, displayed in percentage. Rivian's chief design officer, Jeff Hammoud, suggests that the combination of the headlights and the innovative RGB light bar opens up possibilities for hidden features.

Hammoud believes that the updates bring a greater depth to the overall look of the lighting design, while maintaining its unique Rivian identity. "We're fond of its distinctive look," he stated. "Creating a design that is straightforward, easily explainable, and emblematic is quite challenging, and we're pleased with it and have no intention of abandoning it."

The R1 line now boasts a fresh glass roof feature, complete with adjustable tinting and a lighting system inside that offers a variety of colors.

Rivian has streamlined its user interface to enhance user navigation. To upgrade the graphical elements within the interface, Rivian collaborated with Epic Games, utilizing their Unreal Engine. Despite its eye-catching graphics, it continues to be one of the easiest interfaces to use, particularly for monitoring the various systems of the vehicle.

In addition to the user interface, notable features observed by the writer are the updated electronic door openers that operate with buttons—a sophisticated feature, though traditional manual handles remain available for frequent use—and the revamped materials and patterns used within the cabin, such as the checkered quilted pattern for seating and floor coverings.

Upcoming Rivian R1S Model Set to

Upcoming 2025 Model of Rivian R

The 2025 model of the Rivian R

The updated Rivian R1 series now offers a more luxurious experience, particularly in terms of the vehicle's performance and maneuverability, rather than just its features.

At that moment, when the Gen 2 starts moving—whether in urban areas or not—it becomes immediately apparent. Rivian has successfully eliminated the formerly stiff and occasionally loud driving experience in these models by opting for a gentler calibration throughout the range, which doesn't compromise on maneuverability and, in fact, may even enhance it when conditions get tough.

The company made adjustments by boosting the stiffness of the front springs while reducing it at the rear. They also introduced a fresh damper calibration and installed new bushings. Although all models maintain their air spring suspension, the modifications are designed to enhance performance in line with the vehicles' weight distribution and power output, which leans towards the back.

The Tri-Motor models' new Rally and Drift modes significantly enhance the suspension's performance. While testing the R1S's handling on a muddy terrain designed for testing, I noticed a distinct contrast between the modes, primarily due to the variations programmed into the hydraulic roll control.

I had the opportunity to test the R1T on a challenging off-road track, which really showcased its capability in terms of wheel movement and proficiency on rough terrain. The R1T and R1S models boast peak ground clearances of 14.6 and 14.7 inches, respectively. During the test, the R1T's light bar skimmed the surface of the water at the deepest point of the course. With the ability to handle water up to 43 inches deep, the R1 trucks had no trouble, despite the heavy rain and significant water crossings we encountered.

The 2025 range of Rivian's R

Enhancements in Rivian R1's tech: Upgraded sensory and autopilot capabilities

Rivian has given a significant overhaul to its system for sensory perception and autopilot assistance. Under the newly-coined Rivian Autonomy Platform, a combination of 11 cameras, five radar sensors, and advanced AI algorithms provide a comprehensive 350-degree view with camera resolution that's eightfold better than previous models. This enhancement ensures sharper visibility even under poor weather conditions and low-light scenarios. The standard offering of this platform will feature systems to monitor blind spots and assist drivers with maintaining lane discipline and adjusting cruising speed dynamically. An advanced iteration, termed "plus," will soon introduce the capability for drivers to initiate lane changes and will be followed by an even more sophisticated version, details of which are forthcoming.

Rivian has introduced an upgraded sound system featuring Dolby Atmos, and it's set to debut with built-in support for Apple Music and its Spatial Audio feature. The subscription service, Rivian Connect+, priced at $14.99 monthly, will provide subscribers with Apple Music access, the capability to use a wifi hotspot, among other benefits. Additionally, users can now stream both video and audio content from any Google Cast-supported app directly onto the vehicle's display, a convenient feature for entertainment during charging breaks. However, it's important to note that the integration of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is absent, preventing a seamless transition of your smartphone's functionalities to the vehicle's system.

Vehicle proprietors have the capability to employ their iPhone or Apple Watch's Apple Wallet, or select Google Pixel smartphones, to access their Rivian or distribute access permissions to relatives and companions—or even grant a temporary one-day access to their automobile.

Upcoming 2025 Range of Rivian R

The latest generation of Rivian's R1 series is set to begin deliveries this coming Friday, the 7th of June. The new 2025 Rivian R1T is priced from $71,700, which includes a $1,800 delivery fee, while the R1S starts at a base price of $77,700. The current range is capped by the Tri-Motor Max Pack options, with the R1T version priced at $101,700 and the R1S at $107,700. Pricing details for the Quad-Motor Max Pack variants are pending, as these models will be released at a later date. Rivian will offer these vehicles in two trims: Adventure and Ascend, although the specific details on the features of each are yet to be disclosed. The Dual-Motor and Performance Dual-Motor configurations will be exclusively available in the Adventure trim, whereas the Tri-Motor and Quad-Motor will come solely in the Ascend trim.

As Rivian progresses with the concluding phases of its R2 series, this range is considered vital for the company's endurance. The expectation is that the R2 vehicles will inherit the motor systems from the R1 models among other features. However, the R2 is set to make significant strides in becoming more economically accessible to a broader audience, ensuring profitability, and securing Rivian's future prospects. Judging from the current developments and potential updates to the R1 line, there's substantial optimism surrounding the company's capability to achieve these goals extensively.

Rivian arranged for lodging in Seattle and offered nutritious meals to support the conduct of this review.

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