We are excited to see the truck in the real world, but a number of minor changes have dampened our spirits somehow

We’ve seen the Rivian R1T during various events and we are mighty impressed with what RJ Scaringe, the CEO, has managed to come up for it. Rivian has released trailers and pictures of the pickup truck and it sure looks great. However, it was never really spied or seen on the roads to get an idea of what it looks like in real-world conditions; after all, things can be deceiving when viewed under shiny lights. But the truck was recently spotted testing in Argentina and we have to say, it does not disappoint.

Is This The Same Rivian Truck We Saw Before?

A pair of Rivian R1T pickup trucks were spotted in Tierra del Fuego, an island chain shared by Chile and Argentina. It is known for its glaciers, snowy mountains, and wind-sculpted trees. The fact that the trucks were seen here shows how extensively and vigorously Rivian is testing the pickup truck. The photos were uploaded on Rivianforums.com and enthusiasts were quick to note down the differences this potential pre-production version has in comparison to the concept version we’ve seen previously. First, let’s talk about the exterior. This is the first time the R1T wears the badges and logos on the body. It’s also the first time the truck is seen in white shade. Tow hooks can be seen on the front bumper, where the concept version had glossy black panels, whilst the rear bumper is seen with changes made to the shape and diffusers.

The quarter windows on the rear doors did not make its way here from the concept version, and neither did the silver metal hooks on the rear bumper.

Another big change is the location of the charger port that has been moved from the passenger side to the driver’s side at the front. The door handles look slightly different whereas the wing mirrors are a tad bit larger than what we have seen previously. This R1T, just like the concept version, rides on Pirelli Scorpion all-terrain tires, and the front fenders come with orange reflectors on them. The back of the truck is seen with a thicker spoiler at the edge along with two high-mounted brake lights and two slots to channel air down the backlight. The R1T concept showcased an exciting feature - two fold-down steps under the rear bumper that would enable easy access to the bed with the tailgate up. But, as it turns out, even those are missing here. Looks like the R1T has lost out on a lot of cool features.

I Hope It’s Not Some Cost-Cutting Exercise

Someone Caught the Rivian R1T Testing in Argentina - Here's Your First Look!
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On the inside, the steering wheel has lost all its charm. The concept’s steering wheel came with two scroll wheels and a square center design, and it represented a very minimalist design. However, Rivian seems to have replaced it with a full black unit that comes with a round center and numerous spoke controls, so it looks like it’s borrowed from a regular sedan.

To make things worse, carbon fiber inserts between the concept wheels' spokes have also been eliminated.

If it’s of any consolation, the interior shows off the Black Mountain color scheme in black and gray. This theme will be offered along with the other two interior themes - Forrest Edge and Lunar Rock.

What We Know About The Truck Until Now

Someone Caught the Rivian R1T Testing in Argentina - Here's Your First Look!
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Speaking of the truck, Rivian is marketing it as an off-road, lifestyle adventure pickup, and is targeting it as a family camper. The performance specs are very impressive, as Rivian claims it can sprint to 60 mph from a standstill in three seconds. While Tesla and Ford are on a towing war, Rivian prefers to remain out of it. When Tesla announced that its pickup truck will be able to tow up to 300,000 pounds, Ford decided to counter it. The Blue Oval released a video wherein the F-150 electric prototype can be seen towing up to 1.25 million pounds.

Rivian, on the other hand, comes with a towing and payload rating of 11,000 pounds and 1,760 pounds respectively. This is nowhere close to its rivals’ figures.

Nevertheless, Rivian is offering some attractive features like an adjustable air suspension that can raise the R1T from 7.9 inches to 14.2 inches by the press of a button, a 15.6-inch touchscreen system on the dashboard, a 12.3-inch instrument cluster, and Level 3 autonomy, to name a few. Rivian also announced a camper for the R1T. This comes with roof rack-mounted Maxtrax recovery boards, a built-in air compressor, a shovel, and a Hi-Lift jack. Other than this, the Ford and Amazon-funded company will also offer a pull-out kitchen for the R1T. This retractable kitchen includes two induction burners, cookware, utensils, and a sink with five gallons of water storage to prepare the meals with and wash the dishes. The battery consumption for the same is 20 kWh to cook for a week; or just 11-percent of the largest 180 kWh Rivian battery pack. Rivian has also offered a 12V refrigerator in the front trunk.

As of Now, It Looks To Be The Strongest Of The Lot On Paper

Someone Caught the Rivian R1T Testing in Argentina - Here's Your First Look!
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In terms of storage, there is a horizontal hollow space in the truck which is disguised as a storage space, but that’s actually where the gear tunnel would go in a combustion engine. The frunk is also quite large at 11.6-cubic feet. Coming to the powertrain specs, The R1T churns out 788 ponies that gallop you to the 60 mph mark in three seconds flat.

Four electric motors - one connected to each wheel - make 197 horsepower each.

Rivian has made the R1T available in three battery pack options; 105 kWh, 135 kWh, and 180 kWh. The R1T with the biggest pack can be driven for 400 miles on a single charge. The 0-60 mph mark is achieved in 4.9 seconds with the smallest battery pack and in 3.2 seconds with the largest battery pack.

Rivian R1T specifications
Powertrain: 105 kWh, 135 kWh, 180 kWh battery pack; electric motors
System Output: 788 horsepower
0 to 60 MPH: 3.2 - 4.9 seconds
Top Speed: 125 mph
Range: 400 miles


Someone Caught the Rivian R1T Testing in Argentina - Here's Your First Look!
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As for the pricing, the Rivian R1T starts at $69,000 and can be booked by paying a $1,000 deposit. When compared to the Tesla pickup’s price, you’ll have to shell out around $20,000 more for the R1T. With all these feature cuts, is the higher asking price justified? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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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Read our full review on the 2020 Rivian R1T Pickup.

Source: Rivian Forums

Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
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