Rivian has announced that it has started production of its new Enduro drive unit that will equip R1T and R1S vehicles powered by the new Dual-Motor powertrain developed in-house.
The company announced on Twitter that it recently started a next-gen drive unit production line, and that it took five months from the start of construction of the new line to the start of production.
That's obviously an important milestone for Rivian as this means the company will soon be able to start production of Dual-Motor AWD variants of the R1T pickup and R1S SUV. The automaker previously said Dual-Motor vehicles would enter production sometime this year.
The Dual-Motor AWD powertrain makes over 600 horsepower and over 600 pound-feet (812 Newton-meters) of torque in standard guise, or over 700 hp and over 700 lb-ft (948 Nm) of torque in the optionally available Enhanced Dual-Motor AWD. That's still less than the existing Quad-Motor powertrain's 835 hp and 908 lb-ft (1,230 Nm) of torque.
However, Rivian previously said the Dual-Motor powertrain will be more energy-efficient that the current Quad-Motor setup supplied by Bosch. Normally, this should result in increased range compared to current models that feature four electric motors.
But the bigger advantage will be the fact Rivian will no longer rely on an external supplier for its electric motors, with vertical integration giving it increased control of production and lower costs. All three major components of the EDU – motor, inverter, and gearbox – are assembled into a common casting, which has a lower cost of manufacturing.
Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe also posted a photo of the new electric drive unit production line on his personal Twitter account, with a caption that reads, "Ramping production of our new Enduro drive unit for our Dual-Motor R1 vehicles!"
According to Rivian, the Dual-Motor AWD system enables the R1T to accelerate to 60 mph (96 km/h) in just 4.5 seconds, or 3.5 seconds for Enhanced Dual-Motor AWD. Furthermore, thanks to a higher gear ratio on the rear motor, the powertrain distributes torque continuously between the front and rear drive units, "biasing torque rearward for enhanced performance, acceleration and robust towing."
Speaking of that, the Dual Motor AWD powertrain is able to tow 11,000 pounds (4,989 kilograms) in the R1T and 7,700 lbs (3,492 kg) in the R1S. More importantly, the R1T and R1S will be cheaper to buy with the Dual-Motor powertrain and the Standard battery pack, starting at $73,000 and $78,000, respectively (according to Rivian's online configurator).