Rivian’s R1T electric pickup finally ships next month after a series of delays — about three years after it debuted at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Before launch, however, MotorTrend must spend a handful of days with the all-electric adventure truck, and the team there were impressed with its performance. Plus, they offer one of the best interior looks of the R1T, which borrows as much from Tesla as it does from other high-end off-road-focused vehicles.
None of this is exactly surprising – Rivian has actually been quite open about the development of the R1T since its debut, regularly posting his own articles, photos and videos along the way – but the truck has two large, bright displays on the dash, In the pre-production version MotorTrend tested, those screens were surrounded by a wood grain dashboard with silver accents.
There are only two physical buttons on the steering wheel, which resemble the scroll wheels Tesla uses in its cars. That means a lot of the controls are guided by the touchscreen. Some people may not like that, although Tesla has proven it’s not an approach that hurts sales. But the R1T should be just as capable off-road as it is on the highway or in town, and tapping a touchscreen while rummaging through the woods may seem like a pain.
It seems that all the storage compartments on the outside of the R1T can be accessed via the touchscreen, such as the huge trunk, the doors to the “gear tunnel” that sits between the cabin and the bed, and the tonneau cover. The main touchscreen also allows you to switch between the R1T’s riding modes or adjust the ride height.
Over the years, Tesla has somewhat redefined what “luxury” means in a modern car – or at the very least has been able to find buyers who care more about technology and minimalist design than the kind of traditional luxury details found in something like a Mercedes Benz. Rivian looks like it’s going to try to transcend those two worlds a bit with the R1T, with the added complexity of appealing to buyers looking to use its vehicles in really rough environments. We won’t know how that plays out until the first customers receive and start using their trucks next month, but MotorTrend seems to have stumbled upon one potentially risky compromise: there are only two cupholders in the front seats.