When it comes to off-roading, any vehicle is just as good as its driver, so the Rivian has shown mixed results in various situations. Some complained that their Rivian R1Ts have lost the underbody protection after driving through a puddle, which is laughable for an off-road vehicle. In other cases, the Rivian EVs have shown confidence in circumstances that made other EVs hesitate. The stair-step climb at Hollister Hills was one of those cases, with the Rivian R1T teaching the Tesla Cybertruck a lesson.
Given how Rivian is promoting its vehicles, it's inevitable that many buy an R1T or R1S to enjoy some off-road trails occasionally. In this case, Rivian recommends the Quad-Motor variants as offering the best off-road performance. With plenty of power (835 horsepower) and the ability to control each wheel individually, it seems that nothing can stay in the way of a Rivian R1T Quad Motor. And yet, real-life experience suggests otherwise.
In a video shared by the TFLoffroad channel, which resurfaced on the Rivian subreddit over the weekend, people were surprised to see the Rivian R1T losing traction. The pickup truck was stuck with the front right and rear left wheels in the air despite having four electric motors, one for each wheel. It's unclear whether the problem was caused by a limitation of the Rivian's traction control system or the driver, who didn't want to push the R1T hard enough to get out of that situation. After all, reviewers tend to be cautious when not driving their own vehicles, fearing damage.
Based on the information Rivian offers on its website, the Dual-Motor variants of the R1T don't feature lockable differentials either. However, they can use the ABS to selectively brake the spinning wheel, thus sending the power to the wheel that can provide traction. It seems like an improvement, but it's not necessarily so.
The power of the electric motors on a dual-motor R1 vehicle (about 250-300 horsepower) is comparable to that of a single motor on a quad-motor variant (over 210 horsepower). This means that even if it can send most of the couple to the other wheel (torque vectoring), it would not have much more power than a single motor of the quad-motor version. What do you think? Is it better to have two motors and a lockable differential or four motors?