It’s been a long time coming, but Rivian’s second pure-electric passenger vehicle, the Rivian R1S SUV, has officially started deliveries. The first two examples shipped out earlier in December, just a couple of months behind the first handful of Rivian R1T pickup truck deliveries, landing in the hands of CEO RJ Scaringe and CFO Claire McDonough.
The electric automaker broke the news on its official Twitter account, tweeting a couple of photos of one of the R1Ses at the company’s assembly plant in Normal, Illinois.
We made our first R1S deliveries last week from our factory in Normal, IL to RJ and our CFO Claire. We’re working towards ramping production over the next few months on our way to full volume production. Thanks to our team for all the hard work to make it happen! pic.twitter.com/Ql9Di2ySBE
— Rivian (@Rivian) December 20, 2021
For now, much like the R1T, deliveries of the Rivian R1S electric SUV are expected to trickle out to customers slowly, starting mostly with company executives and other staff. While Rivian is working as fast as it can to ramp up production of both battery-electric passenger vehicles, it’s a monumental undertaking, and recent delivery figures indicate that the ramp-up of the R1T may be going more slowly than expected.
What’s That In The Back Of The Rivian R1S?
But that’s not the only news, as an eagle-eyed Rivian fan and follower of the Rivian Stories website spotted something intriguing in one of the EV manufacturer’s delivery photos: a set of four small sliding platforms mounted to linear tracks alongside the third-row seats. It’s hard to say what we’re looking at, but the sliding platforms appear to be something new.
The best theory we’ve heard is that the platforms are for mounting the roof racks in the back of the Rivian R1S electric SUV when they’re not needed on the roof, allowing owners to effectively have a bit of a storage shelf in the trunk. But conceivably, the tracks and their sliding platforms could have additional uses, like securing stowable camping gear and other accessories.
Meanwhile, the jury is still out on whether the Rivian R1S will indeed have rear hatch glass that can be opened independently from the hatch itself. That’s a feature that Rivian has been touting from time immemorial, but no one quite knows for certain whether it’s made it onto the production SUV.
If the utility wasn’t enough for you, the Rivian R1S packs an incredible 753 horsepower and 826 lb-ft of torque, making it one of the most powerful SUVs in the world, even more so than the late, great Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat.