Rivian R1S – What Can It Tow?

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The Rivian R1S is a fully electric large SUV and is the sibling to the R1T electric pickup. While the general public was introduced to Rivian in 2018, they have actually been working on their electric vehicle technology since 2009. The Rivian R1S will be competing against other large electric SUVs such as the Tesla Model X, and Audi E-Tron. However, the Rivian R1S will actually beat all of its competition on towing capacity at 7,700 lbs. Which is impressive in one sense, but disappointing in another (I’ll explain).

Rivian R1S
The Rivian R1S is a large, fully electric SUV with a towing capacity of up to 7,700 lbs: Image – Rivian.com

Key Rivian R1S Specs

  • Official Towing Capacity – 7,700 lbs
  • Availability – Now
  • Price – Starting $78,000 (Dual Motor, Standard Pack) > $92,000 (Quad Motor, Large Pack)
  • EPA Range – 260 Miles (Dual Motor, Standard Pack) > 340 Miles (Dual Motor, Large Pack)
  • Estimate Towing Range (50%) – 130 Miles (Dual Motor, Standard Pack) > 170 Miles (Dual Motor, Large Pack)
  • Maximum Charge Rate – 220 kW

Rivian R1S HP & Torque

  • Dual Motor, Standard Pack: AWD, 533 BHP, 610 lb-ft
  • Dual Motor Performance, Large Pack: AWD, 665 BHP, 829 lb-ft
  • Quad Motor, Large Pack: AWD, 825 BHP, 908 lb-ft

Electric Tow Car/Truck Database

  • Search/compare all new BEV & PHEV electric tow cars/trucks
  • Review real-world towing test results

Rivian R1S Towing Capabilities

As I stated in the introduction above, a 7,700 lb towing capacity is superior to any of its large electric SUV competition currently on the market.

For instance, the previous large electric SUV leader when it comes to electric tow cars was the Tesla Model X with a 5,000 lb towing capacity.

Hence, with the Rivian R1S offering a towing capacity of 2,000 lbs over that of the Model X is impressive.

However, at the same time, I’m actually disappointed with the towing capacity of the Rivian R1S. Why? Well, its because of its sibling, the Rivian R1T electric pickup truck.

The Rivian R1T
The Rivian R1T pickup is very similar to the R1S SUV, except when it comes to towing capabilities

The Rivian R1T electric pickup truck shares the same skateboard battery/motor platform with the R1S SUV.

Hence, both vehicles will have roughly the same range, though there will likely be some differences due to aerodynamic/weight differences.

As both the R1T and R1S are based on the same electric platform, they should have the same/similar towing capabilities, right? Well, unfortunately not.

R1S @ 7,700 lbs vs R1T @ 11,000 lbs

While I appreciate there may need to be some differences between the towing capacity between the R1S and R1T, I didn’t expect the difference to be so significant.

As it currently stands, Rivian is stating the R1S SUV will have a towing capacity much less than that of the R1T at 11,000 lbs.

Why? I’ve sent a message to Rivian’s PR department to ask. However, as yet, I’ve received no response. Once I do, I will update this article with more details.

Rivian R1S Review

My Thoughts On The Rivian R1S…

In one sense I’m impressed with the Rivian R1S and its towing capabilities. It will offer the largest towing capacity of any fully electric SUV currently on the market.

However, when I think about how the towing capacity of the R1S is significantly less than its sibling, the R1T pickup, I’m conflicted.

Personally, I would generally find an SUV more practical than a pickup. However, I also don’t like the idea of paying more for less, which is currently the case with the R1S over the R1T.

As I’ve stated above, I’m yet to receive an explanation from Rivian for the significant towing capability differences between the R1S SUV and the R1T pickup.

According to the MotorWeek review above, the shorter wheelbase of the R1S compared to the R1T is part of the reason for the lower towing capacity.

Electric Tow Car/Truck Database

  • Search/compare all new BEV & PHEV electric tow cars/trucks
  • Review real-world towing test results

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