Rivian R1T and R1S: Top 10 hidden features that make an electric off-road vehicle

[Credit: Christian Prenzler/Teslarati]

Rivian came out of the shadows this week with a bang, unveiling two impressive all-electric luxury adventure vehicles — the R1T pickup truck and the R1S SUV. While both vehicles are armed to the teeth with cutting-edge tech, the R1T and the R1S are true-blooded off-road machines that are as capable off the beaten path as they are on paved highways.

The R1T and the R1S share the same platform, and both vehicles carry the brand’s no-compromises approach to utility and storage. Inasmuch as details of the two electric vehicles have caught the eye of the auto community, though, it should be noted that Rivian’s pickup truck and SUV have a number of compelling, almost “hidden” features that are yet to be discussed.  Here are ten of the most notable.

1. Dual LiDAR and front-facing cameras for semi-autonomous driving

Rivian notes that both the R1T and the R1S will eventually be capable of Level 3 Self-Driving on highways. To accomplish this, the company has equipped the R1T and the R1S with a suite of cameras, radar, ultrasonic sensors, high-precision GPS technologies, and LiDAR. Images taken by Teslarati reveal that two of the cameras are found behind the vehicles’ rearview mirror, while their two LiDAR units are situated below the pickup truck and the SUV’s “Stadium” headlights.

2. USB-C Ports, 110v outlets, and air compressors

At the back of the Rivian R1T pickup truck bed lies a set of 3 USB-C and 3 110V outlets, which would be an invaluable feature for owners who love to camp outdoors (the feature pretty much makes the R1T into a giant power bank). The built-in air compressor will also be useful for owners who are transporting bikes and inflatables during trips.

3. R1T liftgate and truck bed tricks

Both the R1T’s liftgate and truck bed are electric-powered, which gives the vehicle some nifty tricks. With the touch of a button, owners could open the pickup’s liftgate in either a 90-degree or 180-degree angle, the former being incredibly useful for transporting long cargo and the latter being a perfect way to access items on the truck bed easily. The R1T is also capable of automatically deploying or retracting its bed covering, which protects cargo from dirt and rain, to name a few.

(Photo: Christian Prenzler)
(Photos: Rivian)

4. Removable Carbon Fiber Aero Wheel inserts

Rivian’s R1T pickup truck debuted with a set of wheels that featured what appeared to be carbon fiber Aero inserts. Such design elements maximize range and improve battery efficiency, as observed by Tesla Model 3 owners who tested their electric sedan’s consumption with and without Aero covers in place. Considering that Rivian’s vehicles are built for tough environments, optimizations such as Aero inserts could go a long way in ensuring that the vehicles get as much range as they can.

5. Rivian’s “Launch Edition Lunar Rock” variant

While Rivian is yet to announce if it would release a special trim for its first production vehicles, similar to Tesla’s “Founders Series” and Audi’s “Edition One” for the e-tron SUV, photos of the R1S that we captured show a distinct branding — “Riv Launch Edition Lunar Rock.” As such, early reservation holders of Rivian’s luxury electric vehicles would likely find themselves in a special edition vehicle.

6. Ventless HVAC

Both the Rivian R1T and the R1S feature vents with automated controls, with the pickup truck and SUV’s air conditioning being managed by the vehicles’ fully-automated “Ambient AC” system. If the EV community’s warm reception to the Model 3’s air vents is any indication, there is a good chance that customers would be fond of the R1T and R1S’ “Ambient AC” system as well.

7. “Gear Tunnel” compartments

A key feature of the Rivian R1T is its “Gear Tunnel,” a storage space that runs the entire width of the pickup truck and is optimized to store long items such as fishing rods and golf clubs. That’s not all, though, as even the Gear Tunnel’s covers have hidden storage in them, which could fit a small bag. Considering the potential of the storage space, perhaps Rivian could even introduce a sliding rail for the Gear Tunnel in the future, which would make retrieving items easier.

8. Infotainment systems front and back

Both the Rivian R1T and the R1S are loaded to the teeth with tech. This is evident in the robust touchscreen interfaces on the vehicle, from the large center console in front to a smaller 6.8-inch touchscreen at the back, where passengers can set their preferences for features such as climate control.

9. A cool, hidden flashlight

Being an adventure vehicle, the R1T and the R1S are fitted with a novel and very practical feature — a flashlight embedded on the vehicle’s front doors. Simple? Yes. Useful for the outdoors? Most certainly.

(Photo: Christian Prenzler)

10. Eco-friendly flourishes

Rivian has made it a point to equip its vehicles with materials that are premium and eco-friendly at the same time. The floor mats, for example, are made from a thin, lightweight materials that almost feels like carbon fiber. The vehicles’ seats are covered in vegan-friendly materials as well. The company’s attention to detail is also notable, as evidenced by the subtle flourishes of the Rivian branding in areas such as the dashboard.


Reservations for the R1T pickup truck and the R1S SUV are now open. Interested customers can place a refundable $1,000 deposit for each of the vehicles here. Rivian expects to begin production of the R1T in 2020, followed by the R1S in 2021.

Rivian R1T and R1S: Top 10 hidden features that make an electric off-road vehicle
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