There’s something about removing the roof of an off-road vehicle that just makes the experience that much better. You gain a better connection with the nature surrounding you, and let in even more sounds, sights and smells than you would otherwise get. With an electric vehicle, it’s perhaps even more appealing, because all of your focus will be on the nature rather than an engine. That’s exactly why Rivian wants their customers to feel this same experience when off-roading in their R1T pickup and R1S SUV, and they’ve just confirmed removable roof panels are coming in 2022.
The information came via Rivian’s website, which updated the experience section of the R1T and R1S page to include the new information. It now reads:
“Take in the beauty of the world day and night with our all-glass panoramic roof. An open-air removable roof option will be offered in mid-2022.”
Currently, the Rivian R1T and R1S are offered with a glass panoramic roof. Back in 2019, Rivian said in a Tweet both vehicles would be offered with that panoramic glass roof, a electrochroamatic glass roof that can change opacity and the removable composite panels. It’s unclear when the electrochroamatic is coming, but it’s not listed as an option on any model or on their website anywhere. Hopefully this too is coming soon.
Unfortunately, we don’t have many other details at this time, as Rivian hasn’t shown us an R1T or R1S with this option. If we were to guess, only the middle part of the roof will probably come off, much like the GMC Hummer EV. These panels will hopefully get a dedicated storage solution onboard the vehicle in case the weather goes sour. The Hummer stores them inside the front trunk, but we aren’t so sure that will work given the shape of the Rivian frunk. The rear cargo area on the R1S or the bed of the R1T seems like the most logical place for Rivian to store them, hopefully with a protective case and tie down straps, a la Ford Bronco door bags.
It’s also worth noting that because Rivian announced the removable roof option back in 2019, they’ve had this in the plans for a while, and haven’t decided to offer the open-air experience in reaction to the GMC Hummer EV. It seems like it’s just a really nice thing for an electric off-roader to have when you’re out enjoying nature in silent motoring.