Rock Crawling With a Stock Rivian R1T Is a Breeze, Here's Proof

Believe it or not, all-electric vehicles are well suited for extreme off-roading. Even though they are generally heavier than their internal combustion engine-powered counterparts, the ability to deploy most of the torque almost instantaneously coupled with a low center of gravity is a massive advantage. The quad-motor Rivian R1T with torque vectoring is among the best such vehicles. And now, there's extra proof.
Rivian R1T 11 photos
Photo: MisAdventure Lab on YouTube
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A slightly modified 1999 Jeep Cherokee and a Rivian R1T with one Bosch motor for each wheel enjoy a wild adventure together in a remote area where people go to test their builds out and escape monotony. They're visiting John's Trail in Utah. It's been given a seven (hard) rating, meaning you should have high clearance, large tires, and lockers for your vehicle.

But the all-electric pickup truck made in Normal, Illinois, boasts no important upgrades. All it has as extra is a set of rock sliders. It rides on manufacturer-provided 21-inch wheels with Pirelli rubber rings.

The Rivian owner that was brave enough to test it on this trail decided to drop the tire pressure to around 15 psi and put the electric vehicle in its highest ride height setting. He ensuree he could at least keep up with the Cherokee. Keep in mind that the R1T's air suspension has a vertical travel of 7.9 inches minimum and 14.4 inches maximum.

The 835-hp R1T has 10 driving modes, and one of them is Rock Crawl. That stiffens the suspension, nearly deactivates brake regen, keeps the stability control system on, adjusts the torque distribution, and should also change the acceleration pedal response.

Running through the wavy and bumpy desert road first showed that an air suspension can work wonders for the comfort of those inside the vehicle.

But they reached the first ridge, and after a short visual inspection, the R1T owner was ready to admit defeat. However, they continued moving together.

Even though the track landed on its underbody after a tricky climb and the right-side wheels remained in the air, the R1T managed to unstick itself after the driver carefully pressed the acceleration and maneuvered in the right direction.

Rivian R1T
Photo: MisAdventure Lab on YouTube
The owner takes a small break and says it would be complicated to add a larger tire because of sensors and cameras in the wheel well. However, the "Spartan" R1T we told you about has beefier tires suited for challenging off-road adventures.

They ended the drive with a slopy descent that proved that rock sliders were a smart addition. It was a success! The R1T ran the course elegantly and proved once again that it should be considered by anyone that loves venturing into the wild from time to time.

Ultimately, the quad-motor Rivian R1T's behavior on this trail is yet another proof of the young EV maker's capability to manufacture fantastic vehicles. It pulled off a win for both the customer and the automaker, given the absence of any off-road-specific upgrades.

However, it's clear that it needs some more software adjustments. The pickup truck should mimic the 4x4 low mode found on gas-powered off-roaders that engages all four tires to rotate together slowly. On top of that, the video below shows that road-going Pirellu tires aren't the wisest choice for such shenanigans.

Fortunately, that system changes and motor behavior in certain scenarios could be just one over-the-air software update away.

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About the author: Florin Amariei
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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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