2023 Rivian R1T and R1S add range; quad-motor Max pack gets further away

2023 Rivian R1T and R1S add range; quad-motor Max pack gets further away

Rivian recently sent owners an over-the-air update for the 2023 R1T pickup and R1S SUV with wintertime convenience features like a Snow Mode and remote window defrosting. We don’t have the full tech details, but there could have been some powertrain efficiency measures included, too. The EPA published energy efficiency figures for the pickup and the sport ute fitted with the middle-sized Standard Pack battery, and both make gains over the 2022 models when comparing the stock 21-inch wheel. Rivian also offers optional 20- and 22-inch wheels for $2,500 and $3,500, respectively, and both result in lower range.

The new MPGe figures and their changes relative to the 2022 model year on 21-inchers are:

R1T (20-inch): 69 city (-5), 60 highway (-6), 64 combined (-6)
R1T (21-inch): 76 city (2), 69 highway (3), 73 combined (3)
R1T (22-inch): 68 city (-2), 63 highway (-3), 68 combined (-2)

R1S (20-inch): 69 city (-5), 60 highway (-4), 64 combined (-5)
R1S (21-inch): 75 city (1), 66 highway (2), 71 combined (2) 
R1S (22-inch): 73 city (0), 63 highway (-2), 68 combined (-1)

More important than the incremental improvements, the 2023 R1T with 21-inch wheels is given an estimated full-charge range of 328 miles, 14 miles more than on the 2022 model. The R1S on 21-inchers goes an estimated 321 miles, five miles more than before. Of the pickups available now, that puts the Rivian 21 miles ahead of the Ford F-150 Lightning with the extended range battery, a single mile behind the GMC Hummer EV (that still hasn’t been EPA-rated, even assuming you count it a pickup). The predicted 400-mile range of the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV is the only other challenger close by, with the Tesla Cybertruck threatening a 500-mile range toward the end of 2023.

But we should know by now that the giveth always comes with a taketh-away. Teslarati got eyes on a letter the automaker sent to reservation holders about removing the option of the Max battery pack paired with quad motors. Last month, Rivian postponed deliveries of the Max pack four-motor powertrain to 2024 — after delaying it to 2023 at the end of last year — saying the option accounted for only 20% of reservations. Shoppers could still reserve the model, though. Now the option has been taken off the menu. The letter says the configuration will return “at a later date” and that pricing will come closer to launch. We all know what that means, so the sticker shouldn’t shock you. Also, we won’t be surprised if the holdouts committed to their Max+quad orders get more bad news about 2024 delivery.  

The Max pack with dual motors remains on schedule for deliveries at the end of summer 2023. Rivian notes that customers who ordered the four-motor option before March 1 when price increases took hold will save $4,500 for sacrificing two motors. The company’s going to offer “an enhanced version” of the two-motor powertrain as well. It will put out 700 horses, roughly 100 horsepower above the standard dual-motor and the same amount below the mythical quad-motor. There could be a larger torque deficit, the four-motor drivetrain rated at more than 900 pound-feet, the standard dual-motor drivetrain rated at about 600 lb-ft. Rivian didn’t provide a torque spec in the letter.

The $4,500 savings comes with the standard dual-motor drivetrain. The enhanced version is going to cost more, but it hasn’t been added to the visualizer yet. 

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