Saturday, September 23, 2023
News Rivian R1S Conquers Iconic Rubicon Trail, Making EV History

Rivian R1S Conquers Iconic Rubicon Trail, Making EV History

Rivian’s R1S electric SUV becomes the first production vehicle to master the legendary Rubicon Trail.


  • Rivian’s stock quad-motor R1S takes on the formidable Rubicon Trail, a renowned off-road challenge.

  • The trail demands exceptional off-road skills, presenting steep inclines, rocky obstacles, and tight turns.

  • Despite battery drain, the R1S completes the trail using around 75% of its total pack energy.


In a remarkable feat, Rivian’s R1S SUV has etched its name in electric vehicle history by becoming the inaugural production vehicle to conquer the legendary Rubicon Trail, an iconic off-road challenge known for its demanding terrain. Departing from the Loon Lake entrance, situated south of Lake Tahoe near the California-Nevada border, a stock quad-motor R1S, equipped with 34-inch Pirelli all-terrain tires, embarked on this historic journey.

2022 Rivian R1S | Photo: Rivian

Over the course of approximately eight hours, the R1S navigated an arduous 19-kilometer stretch, surmounting challenging inclines, rocky obstacles, and oversized boulders. This trek culminated at the Tahoma staging area. While a few enhancements were present, including front tow-hitch receivers, steel rock sliders, and a roof rack, the R1S demonstrated its remarkable capabilities with minimal modifications.

Rivian R1S 3-row all-electric SUV
Rivian R1S | Photo: Rivian Automotive

Despite the relatively short distance, the rigorous trail significantly impacted the R1S’s battery performance. Setting off with an 80 percent state of charge, the vehicle concluded the journey with “under 10 percent” remaining range. This substantial battery consumption amounted to approximately 75 percent of the total pack energy, a feat likened to consuming roughly three gallons of gasoline.

The Rubicon Trail is not only revered for its challenging terrain but also its isolated environment, where mobile networks cover only a small fraction of the route. Rivian’s successful navigation of this challenge underscores the vehicle’s exceptional off-road skills and precise control.

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A video shared by Rivian on Twitter showcased the R1S’s accomplishments, featuring river crossings, intricate rock navigation, and overcoming numerous obstacles. While the R1S endured some cosmetic impacts, it notably avoided mechanical damage and tire changes during the journey. The R1S boasts a remarkable maximum ground clearance of 14.9 inches and outstanding water-fording capabilities, underscoring its prowess in challenging terrains.

Rivian R1S
Rivian R1S | Photo: Rivian

Led by CEO RJ Scaringe, the brand has experienced a surge in production and deliveries. During the first half of 2023, Rivian produced 23,387 EVs, reflecting a remarkable 236% year-over-year increase. Additionally, the brand delivered 20,586 units, showcasing a substantial 262% year-over-year growth, highlighting its accelerating momentum in the dynamic electric vehicle market.

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