The third model to come from new start-up electric car maker Rivian will be a rally-raid style performance car.
Speaking to Autocar at the LA motor show, Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe said that the model to follow its initial R1T pick-up truck and R1S SUV would be “bananas” in the way it performed.
“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,” said Scaringe.
Any car Rivian makes has a “combination of on and off-road performance, and a level of functionality that’s unique in its space”, according to Scaringe.
The UK is very much in Rivian’s plans for its models, with 2021 a likely launch date here for its initial offerings in right-hand drive. Construction will take place in a former Mitsubishi plant that’s currently being converted to Rivian’s requirements, with plenty of the existing infrastructure and machinery able to be used.
Rivian also has plans to offer its modular skateboard chassis to other car makers, so long as its products don’t compete. Scaringe said he had had several approaches from interested car makers already, and also some from non-car makers interested in launching into the automotive world on a ready-made architecture.
The electric skateboard chassis allows for all different types of vehicle to be spawned from it, from cars to public transport. “You could build an 800hp R1T truck or a goods delivery van, or a shuttle bus,” said Scaringe. It’s this that could bring other non-automotive players into the industry, such as online retailers launching their own delivery vehicles.