In most areas, it’s still unusual to see a Rivian in the wild, but the business is already planning for new products even though its R1T and R1S EVs haven’t yet attained widespread adoption. On his WVFRM show, YouTube star Marques Brownlee recently had a conversation with Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe about the company’s current lineup and potential future goods.
Brownlee initiated the meeting by asking Scaringe for some background information on the EV startup. Scaringe explained that the primary goal of Rivian when it was first developed (13 years ago) was to build a sports car. Any Tesla supporters recognize this?
Choosing an Adventure Course
With the R1T truck and R1S SUV, the business eventually changed its focus and started aiming for a different type of sporting EV buyer. The main goal, according to Scaringe, was to create a brand that encourages and facilitates adventure.
In order to do that, “We identified the flagship products, with R1S and R1T intended to be truly a flagship,” stated Scaringe. “Following those, we have a smaller set of products that we creatively call R2, R3, but they move in various form factors and obviously different sizes.”
If the R1S and R1T are the brand’s flagship models, it stands to reason that any cars in the R2 series should be more affordable. Scaringe reaffirmed this, describing how developing a vehicle with a target price is different from developing flagship vehicles. Because we have less money to spend on the R2 product selection, Scaringe added, “things that we didn’t have to debate as much on a flagship product we really are debating heavily.”
Scaringe pointed out that there is a heated argument within the company over which R2 features are essential to the brand’s identity and which ones are merely extraneous. How off-road capable can it be while still preserving on-road driving characteristics? How about Easter egg goodies like the Bluetooth speaker and the door-mounted flashlight? These are the kinds of issues that century-old firms have figured out, but younger businesses like Rivian are still trying to establish their brand identities. The intention behind these, according to Scaringe, is to maintain the core of what we’ve accomplished here while using alternative packaging and smaller form factors.
Scaringe also concentrated on some more recent details that Rivian watchers are interested in learning about, such as software and the R1S and R1T’s absence of Apple CarPlay support. Scaringer compared internal software management to excellent dining in relation to this subject:
“We have to make sure we integrate with the best platforms for a lot of the things we do, whether it’s music or mapping, but controlling the systems just allows us to be the arbiter or head chef of the experience you get,” says the company’s CEO. It appears that the Rivian lineup won’t be getting Apple CarPlay or Android Auto anytime soon.
Scaringe did, however, announce the arrival of two additional options, one of which is the replacement of the Bluetooth speaker located under the front seats with a tiny storage container. The speaker’s latch will be used to prevent it from becoming a projectile in a moving vehicle. He added that a modernized camp kitchen was being created for the gear tunnel. The outdated camp kitchen, which Scaringe assures would be a more manageable size, will be smaller than the model that was eventually retired, which virtually filled the entire gear tunnel.