Back in late 2019, EV automaker Rivian showed off its “tank turn” feature, which gets its name from the way military tanks are able to turn in extremely tight spaces by rotating treads in different directions. This sort of feature would be incredibly useful in various off-road conditions, but while Rivian said that tank turn would be available on its R1T pickup and R1S SUV when both launched some time ago, it was ultimately delayed with no word on when we might see it arrive. Now, a little over a year since Ford filed a patent for a tank turn feature of its own, the company that enjoyed a significant investment from The Blue Oval in its early days has canceled plans to add tank turn to its vehicles, according to Automotive News.
Rivian first showed off its tank turn feature in a video posted back in late 2019, where we got to see an R1T pickup performing the maneuver out in the dirt. Both it and the R1S utilize four electric motors – one at each wheel – and when this feature is activated, the left-side motors push forward while the right-side units pull backward, enabling the pickup to spin on its center axis. But while fans have been patiently waiting for it to launch in the automaker’s production vehicles, CEO RJ Scaringe recently revealed that the company has ditched plans to incorporate it altogether.
“This was something early in the program that we planned to do,” Scaringe said. “In fact, we showed a video of it. Over the last year and a half, we’ve arrived at the view that it’s a feature that, while we can do it, it’s so easily abused and so hard to make sure that we don’t tear up the trails and really do things that are in contrast to what we stand for as a company.”
Additionally, a Rivian spokesperson also noted that the company found that this feature could prove difficult for drivers to control, making it potentially dangerous as well. “Rivian discovered the amount of power needed to get all four wheels spinning results in a lot of wheel speed, which ends up making the truck spin around very fast. From the inside of the truck, it’s a hell of a ride, so much so there’s concern it’ll scare drivers who aren’t ready for it, which could result in a loss of control if the driver panics,” they said.