The third generation Ford Focus RS was an incredibly exciting vehicle. It’s combination of great power, all wheel drive, a six speed manual gave and a snap crackle pop exhaust gave it a great balance of serious performance and fun. Since then, Mercedes have given their A45 AMG a drift mode, and Volkswagen followed suit with the latest Golf R. And now, another vehicle will hop on the trend and have a drive mode dedicated to getting the tail out. Only, it’s not a hot hatch like the others, but rather the Rivian R1T and R1S electric truck and SUV.
Rivian founder RJ Scaringe shared a video on Twitter of the R1S and R1T doing some cold weather testing at a frozen lake bed, and it looked like a hoot. The most exciting takeaway was the mention of that drift mode. Take a look:
Winter Testing 🙂 pic.twitter.com/QCGqszLy7q
— RJ Scaringe (@RJScaringe) February 22, 2021
Not only did he mention drift mode, but he also talked about it as a part of, “more fun drive modes.” This has us anxious to see what else Rivian has up their sleeve for the R1T and R1S. We’ve already heard about Tank Turn, and there will certainly be the usual eco, comfort and performance modes, plus some off-road programs. But will there be another unusual “fun mode?” We’ll have to wait and see.
It is no surprise to see an EV get a drift mode. After all, it’s mainly a feature in vehicles that aren’t really designed to drift in the first place. Rather than slinging the tail out with pure horsepower like you would with a rear wheel drive vehicle, these drift modes are mainly software based programming of the all wheel drive system and traction control. Because many premium performance EVs have at least one motor at each axle, they have lots of torque vectoring control, hence being able to play around with extreme drive modes like Rivian’s Tank Turn and the GMC Hummer EV’s Crab Walk.
The video also gives us one of our first glimpses inside a Rivian R1T while driving, and it does seem like a serene driving environment despite the monstrous quad motors below. The center screen has a super high resolution topographic map that looks like it’ll give Google Earth a run for its money, and there are subtle but pleasant sounds coming from the electric motors. We are excited to see how Rivian’s electric truck and SUV continue to put an emphasis on fun.