Rivian’s next car will be an electric rally car, according to the company’s founder.
Last week, Rivian finally unveiled both their electric pickup and SUV. Powered by 4 electric motors with a combined 750 horsepower, both vehicles were also reported to have incredible off-road performance despite the size and weight of an electric powertrain.
Now we’re getting reports that the same technology that underpins Rivian’s R1S and R1T will be used to make a performance vehicle: a rally car.
“The third vehicle will have a smaller wheelbase [than the R1S SUV] and will be the Rivian interpretation of a rally car with a lot of ground clearance,” Rivian CEO and founder RJ Scaringe told Autocar at last week’s Los Angeles Auto Show.
That sounds like a pretty tempting choice. Every other electric carmaker has focused solely on on-road performance, and while we’ve got some pretty impressive electric supercars (Rimac’s C_Two comes to mind), no carmaker has dared take their big and heavy batteries off road.
With Rivian’s experience in making off-road vehicles, an off-road rally car makes a lot of sense.
Not only will Rivian make a third vehicle, Scaringe also said that the company would make their modular “skateboard” electric chassis available to other carmakers, so long as they don’t compete in the same markets. Scaringe admitted that he’d already been approached by several carmakers to lease his design to make their own vehicles.
Since everything is self-contained, with battery, motors, and wheels all mounted on the chassis, it’s incredibly simple to build whatever sort of vehicle you want from Rivian’s electrified design. The skateboard can be stretched out into a bus, compacted into a rally car, or anything in between. It’s both flexible and modular, making it a very attractive technology, especially to non-carmakers that might want to break in to the segment.
Scaringe also revealed that Rivian would take a “direct to consumer” model similar to Tesla for their own vehicles, except in countries that do not allow that sort of thing (we’re lookin’ at you, China).