Rivian R1T electric pickup announced

Rivian's Tesla Cybertruck-rivalling R1T is set for to go into production by early 2021

Rivian R1T

A new electric pickup truck from US startup Rivian was launched at the 2018 Los Angeles Motor Show, giving Elon Musk’s Tesla Cybertruck a rival before it has arrived.

Called the R1T, it’s a five-seater, 5.5-metre long pickup, available with three different battery sizes: 105, 135 and 180kWh, offering a range of between 230 and over 400 miles.

Acceleration from 0-60mph takes a claimed three seconds, despite the R1T’s significant 2.6-tonne weight. This is thanks to four electric motors developing the equivalent of 197bhp and an enormous 14,000Nm of torque.

Rivian R1T

As well as rapid acceleration, the four-motor setup also promises strong off-road capability – a key requirement for US pickup customers. Adjustable air suspension allows for a maximum ground clearance of 360mm and the R1T has a wading depth of a metre.

The Rivian R1T joins the Rivian R1S SUV and a proposed 'rally-car' hatchback in the US start-up's fledgling range. It and the R1S were scheduled to start production in late 2020 at a former Mitsubishi factory in the US state of Illinois, but that has now been pushed back to 2021 due to production delays arising from the coronavirus outbreak.

Right-hand-drive versions of both models haven't been confirmed yet, but could start to appear approximately 12 months after production for the US domestic market begins, which would currently mean a 2022 launch date.