Rivian might have plans to launch a range-topping “Ascent” trim of its R1T electric truck and R1S electric SUV in 2024, according to a Rivian Forums member who was tipped by a “solid source.”
The leak suggests cosmetic upgrades and aerodynamic enhancements to the R1 models. The source claimed that the dual motors deliver over 1,000 horsepower, and the front wheels were “coming off the ground” during testing – Rivian is apparently tweaking the system to prevent the wheels from going airborne.
There are also claims of the new variant incorporating blacked-out exterior accents, presumably to connote enhanced performance, but there’s no confirmation of these additions making it to production. Only time will tell if these claims are credible.
The idea of two motors pumping over 1,000 hp could be sketchy and might put the quad-motor R1 models in an unusual position in Rivian’s portfolio. Currently, the quad-motor Rivian R1T and R1S produce 835 hp, and the performance dual-motor versions are good for 665 hp.
Most EVs pumping over a 1,000 hp, like the Tesla Model S Plaid, Roadster, and the Lucid Air Sapphire, use three traction motors. Although the Air Grand Touring Performance produces 1,050 HP with two electric motors.
Earlier this year, Rivian began producing its in-house developed dual-motor Enduro drive unit. Previously, the brand relied on suppliers like Bosch for its electric motors, and it is now looking to exercise more control over costs and production with its own systems.
EPA filings from June 2023 revealed that the dual-motor Enduro drive unit on the R1S exhibited slightly better performance and efficiency figures than the outgoing system – it’s unclear if the new alleged variant would employ an advanced version of the Enduro motors.
The RJ Scaringe-led young American start-up witnessed impressive Q3 2023 sales in the US, with over 15,000 deliveries – 136 percent higher year-over-year. The brand arguably needs more affordable versions to truly scale up, instead of the maniacal and presumably pricey 1,000 HP rumored variants that few people would purchase.