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Rivian R1S: a sleeper electric SUV starting at $70,000 and coming for the luxury market

The Rivian R1S has been somewhat of a sleeper model living in the shadows of the R1T pickup truck, but the electric SUV’s production version is now being unveiled starting at $70,000 and could be coming for the luxury market.

While Rivian has been distancing itself from a luxury branding and instead focusing on “adventure,” the R1S electric SUV seems to fit right in with vehicles like the Cadillac Escalade or Lincoln Navigator.

And now that Rivian has unveiled its final pricing and configurations for the first version of the R1T and R1S, the price also fits the luxury segment.

They have two other battery pack options, one smaller and one bigger, coming after 2022, but for now they are offering three configurations all on a battery pack that is going to enable more than 300 miles of range.

For the R1S, it starts at $70,000 before incentives and goes up to $77,500 for the Adventure package or Launch Edition:

All versions come standard with Rivian’s Driver+ hands-free driving system:

Rivian Driver+ is standard on every vehicle we build. Delivering true hands-free driving assistance along with our full set of safety features, the system continually adds functionality through over-the-air updates. By making Driver+ standard, our goal is to make driving safer, easier, and less stressful for everyone.

The dimensions are what you would expect from a full-size SUV:

It is big enough for a third row and it is going to be offered in both 5-seat and 7-seat configurations:

The first version of the R1S is also going to have a towing capacity up to 7,700 lbs.

These are all things that you can expect in other luxury SUVs, but the R1S is built with the same quad-motor electric powertrain as Rivian’s very capable electric pickup truck, and those quad motors can deliver enough power for the electric SUV to accelerate from to 60 mph in just 3 seconds.

That’s not the kind of performance that comes with a Cadillac Escalade or Lincoln Navigator.

Rivian has also adopted the conencted car approach with over-the-air software updates:

Our cloud-based architecture and network of onboard computers integrate your vehicle, charging and Rivian app through a single user interface. Over-the-air updates continuously enhance the vehicle, updating everything from driving dynamics to the games on your touchscreen.

The Rivian R1S is coming to market just a few months after the R1T electric pickup truck.

The first deliveries are expected in August 2021.

Electrek’s Take

We often forget to talk about the R1S because the R1T is taking center stage in the race to build the first all-electric pickup truck, but the vehicle is built on the same platform and it is nicely packaged to compete in the luxury full-size SUV segment.

In that segment, it is priced competitively, and I think outperforms virtually every vehicle currently available.

On top of being a luxury vehicle, it has been thoroughly tested in the worst conditions possible over the last few years and it seems to be ready to take on about everything that you can throw at it.

When you also take the $7,500 tax credit into account, I think Rivian might have a winning product here that could convince quite a few big SUV fans to go electric.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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