Rivian’s configurator is currently only live for reservation holders, but we were able to gain access to the system to build the electric pickups (and one SUV) that would be at home in the driveways of four Car and Driver editors.
With funding from Ford and Amazon, Rivian is one of those EV startups that looks like it’s going to actually make it. The 100,000 delivery van orders from Amazon will certainly help it stay in business for a few years. But we’re here to talk about its consumer vehicles, the 2021 R1T pickup and 2021 R1S SUV. Here’s how we’d spec our Rivians, and it turns out we’re happy to wait the extra six months to get exactly what we want. You’ll be able to spec your own soon. If you’re not already on the reservation list for one of these future Rivians, you’ll just have to wait until November 23 for it to go live on Rivian’s website.
Eric Tingwall’s $72,800 Utilitarian Rivian R1T Explore
A Rivian R1T is all about getting outside, right? So I’m skipping the luxe interior of the higher trims in favor of a cheaper R1T that is every bit as capable. To build that truck, I started with the entry $67,500 Explore spec and ruggedized it with the $1800 20-inch wheels with all-terrain tires and the $2000 Off-Road Upgrade, which adds underbody armoring, front tow hooks, and an air compressor. Those two options make the Explore model as capable as any Adventure or Launch Edition R1T you can build while saving at least $3700. By choosing the base model, I’m losing out on ventilated seats, passenger lumbar adjustment, the premium audio, the powered tonneau cover, and upgraded interior materials. That’s fine by me; I’d rather spend the money on gear for the next adventure.
Rivian offers some superb paint colors, but I believe that the more extroverted hues like Rivian Blue and Compass Yellow work best on the R1S SUV. My colleagues claimed dibs on Forest Green first, and you don’t need two pictures of the same color, so I’m choosing Limestone, another $1500 upgrade. I like the subtle hint of green that adds dimension to Limestone’s gray base. Interior options are limited to black or white seats in the Explore trim. I’m choosing the former, because this truck is going to get dirty. The only downside to ordering your Rivian R1T like mine? You’ll have to wait until January 2022 at the earliest to take delivery.
Colin Beresford’s $97,000 Long-Range R1T Adventure
After all of this waiting, it’s exciting to be able to build out one of Rivian’s trucks in a configurator—it makes it feel just a little bit more real. The R1T starts at $67,500, and that’s assuming you can wait beyond the Launch Edition, which is available beginning in June 2021. I wanted to go full send on my R1T build, so I decided I could wait for one with the Adventure package, which starts at $75,000, and the 400-plus-mile range (according to Rivian) battery, a $10,000 option. The Adventure package gives me a skid plate, an air compressor, and tow hooks to help me off-road, and then, to keep me comfortable, it gives me a leather interior, heated and cooled seats, and an upgraded audio system. Because I’ll be going far off-road, I’m splurging for the $5000 kitchen, which slides out from the side of the truck and looks cool as hell. Beyond that, I couldn’t resist the appeal of a color named El Cap Granite, perhaps a nod to Rivian’s partnership with climber Alex Honnold, who’s famous for his ropeless climb up El Cap, and the $3500 20-inch all-terrain dark wheels. I finished it off with a $2000 Forest Edge interior for a final price of $97,000. A full send price for a full send truck.
Roberto Baldwin’s $77,800 Kitchen-Enabled R1T Explore
Trucks are for hauling, camping, and doing wicked burnouts in the snow or dirt. An electric pickup should be no different. With that in mind, I built an R1T with the Explore package, starting at $67,500. Sure I could get the more expensive Launch Edition with most of the same options plus some fancy perks like additional interior colors, but I decided I’d wait the extra six months for the Explore package so I could use my money on something more important than special badging: an induction cooktop with an integrated sink that slides out the side of the R1T. I went with a Forest Green truck that’s outfitted with a 300-mile battery pack, the $1800 20-inch all-terrain tires, and the $2000 off-road package with a reinforced underbody, tow hooks, and an air compressor. I’m saving some cash by waiting and not opting for the pricier Adventure and Launch Editions. I don’t need a powered tonneau cover, but being able to pull a portable kitchen out of the side of a truck and cook up a steak in the great outdoors sounds like reason enough to go electric while camping.
Drew Dorian Goes against the Grain with His $81,000 R1S SUV Launch Edition
While everyone is focused on the R1T pickup truck, my interest has been on the R1S SUV. Not only do I prefer its squareback styling over the pickup’s, the SUV fits my lifestyle better. As a renter, I don’t have weekend home-improvement tasks on my to-do list so I’d rather have the third row of seats and the enclosed cargo area. The Launch Edition model starts at $77,500—or $2000 more than the R1T—and comes with the large battery pack and the Off-Road Upgrade package (skid plates, tow hooks, and an onboard air compressor). Rivian will include 20-, 21-, or 22-inch wheels—call me vain, but I’d happily sacrifice ride comfort for the look of the big rollers. I’m a big fan of green cars, but Launch Green is a little too camo-esque for me, so I’d pick the deeper Forest Green and add a matching Forest Edge interior theme, which includes a rich-looking dark wood trim. In total, my loaded-up R1S wears an estimated price tag of $81,000. If that seems expensive, I’ll remind you that the Tesla Model X—the R1S’s chief rival—has a base price of $81,190 and goes up from there.