Rivian's R1T AWD System Gets Praised by a Well-Known Engineer, He Calls It the Holy Grail

There’s no denying that Rivian is turning into a very likable manufacturer. Its vehicles are highly desirable. But besides being a cool, practical, innovative, and forward-thinking company, the R1T is stealing the whole show with its amazing characteristics. That’s why this famous engineer says the startup has developed what can be called “the Holy Grail of AWD systems.” Here’s what that means exactly.
Rivian R1T 6 photos
Photo: Engineering Explained on YouTube
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No matter if you like going off-road or not, buying a truck in America is something you’ll want to do. It’s a versatile machine. You’ll be able to do your grocery shopping in peace, while also having the confidence that there’s no job out there that you can’t reach or a decently sized load you can’t tow.

The Rivian R1T adds the zero-emission trait to this recipe. Given the times we live in, that’s something useful to have. Even if the price is a little steep compared to something like the F-150 Lightning with some option boxes ticked, this quad-motor pickup has the advantage of an incredibly good all-wheel-drive (AWD) system that works amazingly well with the McLaren-inspired, no sway bar suspension setup.

The engineer behind the Engineering Explained YouTube channel says that with the R1T there are no compromises when it comes to handling different types of terrain. That’s thanks to the four-motor configuration, where each wheel gets its own power unit. Even better, the truck can calculate the friction of the surface you’re finding yourself on. If this is easy to determine, then the vehicle can figure out exactly how much of the independently controlled torque and wheel speed is needed to keep moving.

Rivian’s R1T can determine the friction at the tire thanks to multiple sensors, which means it knows if you’re on snow, dirt, gravel, or asphalt. That’s how it allows the perfect amount of slip for each tire. Slip is important. It increases with load and is vital for torque production.

Now you’ll be able to move confidently on any road or path without worrying that a locking differential might be needed. Moreover, it avoids the internal combustion engine dilemma brought by torque split. Instead of evenly distributing the force needed to move, each wheel gets exactly the amount of power needed at any moment.

The all-electric pickup truck with the quad-motor configuration will always put down as much wheel torque as possible in any condition and on any type of surface.

The suspension system is also important since it uses a reinterpreted version of McLaren’s great hydraulic assembly. There are no traditional sway bars. When the truck is finding itself in need of proper articulation, no wheels are hanging in the air. All four of R1T’s tires are touching the ground, which in turn provides grip and data for the calculators to continuously figure out the surface type. Simultaneously, this system provides a comfortable journey while traveling on damaged roads because no solid axles or sway bars are getting in the way.

The exact formula used to determine the truck’s off-road and on-road abilities and why its all-wheel-drive system is downright amazing can be seen in the video down below.

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About the author: Florin Amariei
Florin Amariei profile photo

Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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