Rivian is testing its Dual-Motor drive unit on icy Alaskan roads ahead of delivering the first R1S and R1T vehicles fitted with the powertrain that was engineered and is being built in-house by the American EV manufacturer at its facility in Normal, Illinois.
The carmaker’s CEO, RJ Scaringe, posted a short video teaser on his personal Twitter account (embedded below), saying: “The team out in Alaska, completing validation on our Dual-Motor powertrain, coming soon :).”
In the social media post, an R1T electric pickup can be seen skidding quite gracefully on a huge ice- and snow-covered piece of Alaskan soil, with all four wheels scrambling to gain traction, leaving a big cloud of snow behind.
Rivian first announced its “Enduro” Dual-Motor setup back in March 2022, when the two-model lineup of passenger cars went through an extensive list of changes as well as hefty price increases.
Since then, R1S and R1T prototypes have been spotted testing in New Zealand and other parts of the world, and production started at a pretty slow pace in February of this year, with the American EV brand making around 600 units until the end of April, with most of them going into the updated Electric Delivery Vans (EDVs) ordered by Amazon.
But as Rivian is preparing a ramp-up in production for the R1S and R1T, the output of the “Enduro” assembly line will also increase to keep up. In a previous video, the company’s chief operating officer, Frank Klein, said that at full speed, Rivian will be able to churn out over 800 drive units per day, which amounts to almost 17,000 dual-motor powertrains per month when running with two shifts.
Rivian Enduro electric drive unit production line
The first R1S and R1T vehicles fitted with the brand’s new dual-motor setup are expected to be delivered towards the end of the year, but now, with this latest tweet from CEO RJ Scaringe, who says they’re “coming soon,” reservation holders might get a nice surprise and take delivery a bit sooner.
The dual-motor powertrain makes about 600 horsepower and can be selected in combination with the standard and large pack batteries for the R1S, while the R1T can also be configured with the largest, Max Pack battery that offers up to 400 miles of range on a single charge.
Besides the standard dual-motor setup, Rivian offers a Performance dual-motor variant with approximately 700 hp, as well as the Bosch-sourced 835-hp Quad-Motor powertrain.
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