Clash Of Two American Seven Seater Electric SUVs That Can Do Supercars Well

After the introduction of that cool Rivian R1T electric pickup truck, Rivian, a Michigan-based electric car developer, revealed the Rivian R1S - an SUV, of course. Despite the massive invasion of electric SUVs on the market (the E-Tron, the EQ C, the I-Pace), the only rational thing would be to compare the boldly massive R1S with the Tesla Model X. This is my take on what the Rivian R1S can do against the Tesla Model X.

How Does the R1S compare with the Model X?

How Does the Rivian R1S Compete with the Tesla Model X?
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Let me tell you right away. While the R1S and the Model X are both seven-seat electric SUVs that can do straight line performance supercar-well, they differ in some crucial areas.

The Rivian R1S is based on top of the so-called “Skateboard” platform not unlike the body-on-frame layout of regular trucks.

Meanwhile, the Model X is of unibody construction. Obviously, they sport a considerably different approach to SUV design, but for those who will actually be driving them, the interior layout, the speed, the range, and the stature probably mean more. Unfortunately, not many have taken Model Xs or even R1Ss to cross-country adventures.

Now, this is exactly where the two differ even more. The Model X is an obvious city and highway dweller. It shows it with all the makeup such as those cool doors, massive wheels, and swoopy lines. The Rivian R1S, on the other hand, took a slightly different approach to design. It’s kinda rugged and adventurous. Not only city posh. I like it more. It is not exactly a model with design cues of the R1T pickup truck, but it is more of an SUV than the Model X will ever be.

How Does the Rivian R1S Compete with the Tesla Model X?
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The cabin on the R1S does not differ a lot from the others.

It is futuristic for sure - thanks to two nice, large screens, and fine, polished wood inlays.

The Tesla Model X is equally impressive with its massive central screen. However, while the Model X interior somehow reminds me of the interior in a nice MPV, the R1S has an all SUV layout. That’s important as it is destined to fight its way against expensive ICE powered SUVs as well, not only against the Model X.

The aspects in which these two really go head to head are the drivetrain, range, and performance. The Model X, as you may already know, is available with 75 kWh and 100 kWh batteries with an estimated range of 237 miles and 295 miles. The Rivian went one step further and offered three different battery sizes for the R1S - 105 kWh (for 240+ miles), 135 kWh (for 310+ miles), and 180 kWh (for 400+ miles). Whether you like it or not, the numbers do weigh in for the Rivian.


  • The Model X 75D will do 60 mph in 4.7 seconds
  • The Rivian R1S with the smallest battery in 4.8 seconds

High-end machines?

  • The Model X P100D will do 60 mph in 2.9 seconds
  • The Rivian R1S with the 135 kWh battery pack in 3 seconds flat (the one with the biggest battery can do the deed in 3.2 seconds)
How Does the Rivian R1S Compete with the Tesla Model X?
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Obviously, I am writing about high-end electric machines that are capable of demolishing supercars - at least in the straight line and up or 60 or 100 mph.

Both of these can do what no supercar can - haul a whole lot of people and stuff. The Rivian R1S has 11.65 cubic feet (330 liters) of capacity in its trunk.

The back?

With all the seats up, it will swallow 6.36 cubic feet (180 l).

As some already reported, the Tesla Model X is even more insane in this regard, apparently offering storage of rather incredible 88 cubic feet (almost 2,500 liters). This, with the rear seats folded though.

Final Thoughts

We will have a much clearer picture of what the Rivian R1S is all about when it finally reaches the streets in a few years’ time. For now, I can only say that it promises a lot (even Level 3 autonomy), looks amazingly well, and gives what no Tesla or any other electric car can - ruggedness. I like it a lot. While I was researching it, I found one comment on the Internet that asked:

Could someone add some wood paneling to this?
This could be the E-Grand Wagoneer of my dreams.

This is the result:

How Does the Rivian R1S Compete with the Tesla Model X?
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Yup guys, Rivian made an awesome first impression. I like it, and that wood paneling that some unknown author put to it is something I can get behind. Well done.

Further reading

The 2020 Rivian R1T Electric Truck Middle Fingers Tesla with a 3-Second Sprint to 60 mph and 400 Mile Range Exterior
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The 2020 Rivian R1T Electric Truck Middle Fingers Tesla with a 3-Second Sprint to 60 mph and 400 Mile Range

2016 Tesla Model X High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2016 Tesla Model X.

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