Rivian shows off R1T on- and off-road ability set with drive-mode differences

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Rivian on Monday released a video showing off its R1T electric pickup truck’s abilities both on-road and off-road, as well as detailing the truck’s drive modes.

The R1T includes eight modes—four for on-road driving and four for off-roading—that change the ride height, suspension stiffness, accelerator pedal response, and the behavior of the all-wheel drive system for different conditions and driver preferences.

Aimed at on-road performance, Sport drops the ride height to its lowest setting, stiffens the suspension, and sends most of the power to the rear wheels. It also backs off the stability control so drivers can get a little sideways, if they wish.

2022 Rivian R1T

2022 Rivian R1T

On a similar note, the Off-Road Drift mode is designed for sliding around in the dirt. It turns the stability control off, and again sends more power to the rear wheels and keeps the suspension stiff. However, it also raises the ride height to the standard setting and increases regenerative braking.

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Off-Road Rally mode is essentially a less-extreme version of Drift mode. It keeps stability control partially engaged to allow for some sideways action without completely leaving drivers to their own devices.

Rivian also included an Off-Road Auto mode that raises ride height to the maximum 13.5 inches, with soft suspension, standard regenerative braking, and more or less even distribution of power between the wheels. An Off-Road Rock Crawl mode is also included for climbing over boulders. The main difference between Auto and Rock Crawl is the latter’s stiffer suspension setting.

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2022 Rivian R1T

2022 Rivian R1T

All Purpose mode is exactly what the name suggests. Aimed at everyday driving, it includes standard settings for the ride height and regenerative braking, soft damping, and an even front/rear torque split.

An efficiency-focused Conserve mode switches the R1T to front-wheel drive, maximizes regenerative braking, and lowers the ride height. Finally, Towing mode includes the standard ride-height setting, stiff suspension, the highest level of regenerative braking.

R1T was one of the top EV introductions of this past year, and the first to focus in on the off-road crowd. As we reported in a first drive, it offers off-road abilities that are unmatched by internal combustion models—mostly because of the finesse allowed by these EVs’ four-motor control.

2022 Rivian R1T

2022 Rivian R1T

The Tesla Cybertruck has since added a four-motor version. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in December 2021 that four-motor versions would be built first, but with no production-spec details it’s become lumped in with the also-delayed Semi and Roadster.

So far, Rivian hasn’t enabled or detailed what’s likely its the biggest party trick of all—the Tank Turn.

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