The Rivian R1S–and we presume the R1T, too–will soon get a mid-cycle refresh and now we have photos of the undisguised EV before its official debut, courtesy of the Rivian Forums.

Dozens of updated R1S electric SUVs were spotted in the parking lot of the company’s assembly plant in Normal, Illinois, showcasing the rather subtle design changes, including different headlights, wheels and accessories. But as we previously learned from a leaked certification document, the R1S will get a couple of updates that are more than skin-deep.

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The R1S freshens up

The Rivian R1S debuted way back in late 2018 but deliveries only started four year later, in 2022. Now, Rivian's first SUV is getting a mild refresh that includes few cosmetic changes but compensates with a few important upgrades under the skin.

Design-wise, the refreshed R1S comes with a chiseled front light bar similar to the smaller R2 and R3, blacked-out badges, silver brake calipers, new wheel designs and no chrome in sight. Previously, the quad-motor R1S came with yellow accents and yellow brake calipers, while the dual-motor version had gray accents. The CCS1 charging port on the front-left is still there, which leads us to believe that Rivian won’t update the R1 EVs with the NACS inlet anytime soon and the R2 will be its first series production model to feature the new connector from the factory.

The Rivian Forums user who posted the photos said that the facelifted R1S also features new cameras and advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) and faster charging capabilities, but it’s impossible to verify this information at this time.

The biggest changes coming under the skin of the electric SUV, according to the certification document referenced earlier, are a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery pack and a heat pump as standard. The outgoing models feature nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) batteries and the HVAC system has a resistive heater. 

Facelifted Rivian R1S spotted in the wild (Source: Rivian Forums)

Facelifted Rivian R1S spotted in the wild (Source: Rivian Forums)

2022 Rivian R1S

2022 Rivian R1S

The two additions should make the adventure-oriented EV more efficient. In regard to the charging speeds, the certification doc said that the same 210-kilowatt peak rate of the current NMC battery packs will apply to the new 92.5-kilowatt-hour LFP battery. The new pack has a smaller capacity than the non-LFP battery currently offered by Rivian, but it’s also lighter and needs less space.

We don’t know when the refreshed Rivian R1S will debut, but judging from the dozens of ready-made cars waiting for delivery in the company’s parking lot, we’d argue that June 27 will be the day. Rivian will hold its annual Investor Day then, so it makes sense to reveal its latest and greatest on the same day.

In the meantime, you can jump to the comments to let us know what you think of the refreshed R1S.

Gallery: Facelifted Rivian R1S spotted in the wild (Source: Rivian Forums)

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