- the startup rivian is not just teasing its upcoming r1t electric pickup in this video; it's exceeding our expectations for fun value.
- the r1t is shown spinning 360 degrees thanks to its four individual motors, one in each wheel.
- this is known as a "tank turn." you may be able to try it at home once the r1t goes on sale, predicted to be in late 2020.
rivian's new r1t electric pickup was already interesting for its looks and promised performance, but now we learn it has some surprise-and-delight tricks up its sleeve. the company has posted the video (above) of a feature called tank turn, in which the r1t can spin around on dirt just like—you guessed it—a tank.
despite how exciting it looks, there's not much magic to it. the rivian can do this because it has four individual electric motors, one driving each wheel. to make the r1t spin in place, on one side of the truck the motors spin forward while, on the other side, they spin in reverse. as rivian notes, the feature is only intended for use on slick surfaces such as grass, dirt, and gravel, and the company says that the vehicle will sense that the traction threshold is low enough before the feature is enabled.
rivian won't say exactly how it's activated but hints that there will be some sort of driver input required; we assume it'll be activated by a button within the touchscreen. it'll be optional on all versions of the r1t truck and r1s suv with a quad-motor setup.
the r1t is projected to be out in late 2020 as a 2021 model from a michigan-based startup that has backing from both ford and amazon. the truck, which will be accompanied by an electric suv called the r1s, is claimed to have up to 400 miles of range, a zero-to-60-mph time of 3.0 seconds, and a towing capacity of 11,000-plus pounds. all that and tank turn, too.