The Rivian R1T is a groundbreaking electric pickup truck that we've been anticipating for years. Configured for outdoor adventuring, it offers many unique options for carrying gear beyond its obvious truck bed, and its so-called Large battery pack—which isn't as sizable as the Max pack they'll soon offer—is good for 314 miles of range.
The R1T is powered by four separate electric motors, and they team up for 835 combined horsepower. You obviously won't get 314 miles of range if you wail on the accelerator pedal and unleash all of those ponies to execute the 3.3-second zero-to-60-mph runs we found the R1T to be capable of, of course. And though it's also rated to tow 11,000 pounds, latching on a trailer doesn't do much for range, either. Look for more on that subject in the future, especially after the Max pack becomes available.
But I'm here for the suspension. You may know that I used to tune suspensions for two major automakers before I joined Car and Driver, so I've developed the habit of pulling the tires off of new and interesting vehicles to see what's going on in those wheel wells. This truck should be especially interesting for a variety of reasons, among them the hydraulic roll control system that it shares with none other than the McLaren MP4-12C and 720S.
The R1T rolls on a four-wheel independent suspension, which isn't the obvious choice for a pickup, let alone an off-road focused one that's obviously aimed at the Overlanding set. You want a generous amount of clearance, suspension travel, and articulation when you're going off road, so that's why I've also driven the R1T up my 20-degree suspension flex ramp to measure its Ramp Travel Index or RTI.
Does the R1T have what it takes to acquit itself well when driven in challenging conditions off-road? We'll answer that question in full detail as we get more seat time in real-world situations, but for now we can get a good idea by eyeballing the suspension and measuring how the R1T does in an RTI test.