After initially investing heavily in Rivian and making plans to utilize its Skateboard platform to underpin a future EV model of its own, Ford has since sold off much of its stake in the upstart automaker and ditched those same plans as it develops its own dedicated platforms. Now, with the two companies proving to be more like competitors than allies, Ford Authority has spotted Ford benchmarking the Rivian R1S, an all-electric SUV that we previously spied testing back in June 2021.
Though it doesn’t come equipped with the long-promised “tank turn” feature – which was canceled recently – the Rivian R1S is certainly a capable machine in most regards. It’s available in a few different configurations – dual-motor all-wheel drive, performance dual-motor all-wheel drive, and the range-topping quad-motor all-wheel drive model, with a starting MSRP of $78,000. Regardless of which model customers choose, they get plenty of power, with outputs consisting of 533, 665, and 835 horsepower, respectively, with the latter model’s 0-60 time coming in at a scorching 3.0 seconds.
For now, two battery packs are available in the Rivian R1S – either the “standard” pack with its 260 miles of range, or the “large” pack, which offers up 321 miles of EPA-estimated range. Customers can choose from a variety of wheel and tire options, including both larger, pavement-focused combinations and those suited more for all-terrain situations.
There are obvious reasons why FoMoCo is benchmarking the Rivian R1S, including the fact that it’s working on developing its own three-row all-electric crossover – the North American Ford Explorer EV – which will be built at the Oakville Assembly plant in Canada alongside the Lincoln Aviator EV starting in 2025. Thus far, The Blue Oval has hinted that the Explorer EV will offer up 350 miles of range with sleek styling, Pro Power Onboard, and a large frunk, among other enticing features.