Upstart electric vehicle maker Rivian got off on the right footing for its first production vehicle, the Rivian R1T. Its first vehicle won the 2022 MotorTrend Truck of the Year Award.
This is the first time that an automotive company that’s not a member of Detroit’s Big Three won the Truck of the Year Award since 2008.
Rivian R1T Wins 2022 MotorTrend Truck of the Year Award
Overall, the year 2021 is turning out great for electric vehicles. Rivian received the Truck of the Year Award just a month after the Lucid Group’s Lucid Air won the Car of the Year award. In both cases, both automakers won the award for their first vehicle.
Tesla won Car of the Year in 2013 with its Tesla Model S, but this was the company’s second production vehicle. Their first one was the original Tesla Roadster.
The award-giving organization, MotorTrend, started as a print magazine in 1949. Now, it calls itself the world’s largest automotive media company.
MotorTrend also operates cable and streaming video channels The annual “Of the Year” awards, which date back to the magazine’s founding, are a sought-after badge used by car companies when advertising vehicles.
Remarkable Win As Trucks Have Bigger Tasks
Ed Loh, MotorTrend’s editorial head, said that the Rivian R1T victory is remarkable for itself. Pickups provide a bigger challenge compared to cars and perform a broader range of functions.
Despite heavier workloads, pickups also often need to provide a comfortable ride. In addition, truck manufacturing companies often stay conservative when designing new models. In fact, the top-selling vehicles in the US are the Ford F-series and Chevrolet Silverado.
The requirements make the Rivian R1T’’s win all the more remarkable. It beat other nontraditional pickups such as the GMC Hummer EV, which is another all-electric truck.
It also beat the Hyundai Santa Cruz, which is essentially a crossover SUV with an open cargo bed.
Rivian R1T Features Four Motors
The Rivian R1T became the first commercially available electric vehicle with four motors. Each motor powers each individual wheel.
This feature allows greater off-road capability as the controls send power precisely to the wheels with the most traction. The individual motors also help with cornering when driving over pavements.
This gives the Rivian R1T on-road performance similar to a luxury sedan. In contrast, MotorTrend staffers liked the HUmmer EV’s power and quickness.
However, they came away less impressed with its excessive weight of over 9,000 pounds) or it’s weak brakes.
In addition, the Rivian R1T also features a body without any gaps between the bed and passenger cab like most trucks are.
While this feature is not unique, it allowed Rivian designers to include a cargo tunnel that runs across the truck.
When open, the cargo doors can also function as side steps to reach into the bed. The R1T also features a big storage area under its hood.
Rivian R1T Comes With a $70,000 Price Tag
MotorTrend also praised Rivian’s interior design and materials. The materials can justify the truck’s $70,000 price tag.
However, MotorTrend staffers aren’t much attracted to the Rivian R1T’s reliance on touch screens for most functions. But, they did admit the easy-to-use interface helped with the operations.
Watch the MotorTrend channel video reporting that the 2022 MotorTrend Truck of the Year goes to the Rivian R1T:
What do you think of the Rivian R1T? Do you foresee the coming dominance of electric vehicles in the next few years?
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