2025 Rivian R1T Concentrates on Inner Beauty

The truck you see here is what Rivian is calling its second-generation R1T. Your eyes do not deceive you; it looks much like the model that launched for 2022. The EV brand has made a slew of changes under the hood, so to speak. Just about all of them amount to improvements for our favorite electric pickup truck.

Before we get into the spotter's guide of design tweaks, we'll address the big changes you can't necessarily see. And there are a lot of them.

Good Things Come in Fours

One thing the updated R1T arguably didn't need but is getting anyway: more power. The rest of the powertrain updates are thoughtful, though, and aimed at improving efficiency.


The menu again starts as it did last year with a Dual-Motor setup and tops out with the Quad-Motor. In between, Rivian has added a third motor configuration that essentially grabs the Dual-Motor's single-motor front unit and the Quad-Motor's two-motor rear to create a Tri-Motor. All drive units are now Rivian-designed and -manufactured from start to finish, whereas the former quad-motor powertrain used Bosch motors in a Rivian housing with the company's own gearbox and power electronics.

2025 rivian r1t

Numbers time: The Dual-Motor is unchanged and makes 533 horsepower and 610 pound-feet of torque, just as it did before. The Performance Dual-Motor (same hardware, different software code) again puts out 665 horses and 829 pound-feet. The new Tri-Motor beats the old Quad, with 850 horsepower and 1103 pound-feet of torque (compared to the first-gen Quad's 835 hp and 908 lb-ft). And the one you want but definitely don't need joins the four-digit club in both measures, delivering 1025 horsepower and 1198 pound-feet from its quartet of motors. Note that the Quad-Motor's horsepower rating is five up on the Tesla Model X Plaid's, and the Hummer EV Pickup makes a claimed 1200 pound-feet. Those differences are within a rounding error.

But how quick are these giant trucks? Rivian says a Dual-Motor will hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, while a Performance Dual should make the trip in 3.4, which is what we saw with a 2023 R1T PDM. The new Tri-Motor makes a claimed 2.9-second 60-mph run, which would best our result with the old Quad-Motor by 0.4 second, although we should note that truck was on less-than-ideal all-terrain tires. The new top dog is said to hit 60 mph in "under 2.5 seconds." (Weird that it would just nose ahead of Tesla's claim for the Model X Plaid, right?)

Delivery of that newfound torque to the ground is aided in part by new rubber exclusive to the Quad, a staggered set of Michelin Pilot Sport S5 tires with a 275 section width in front and 305 out back. Range-maximizing Pirellis with a 22-inch aero wheel will also be available, with a mostly flush wheel spat that you can remove with no tools before hitting the trails (and rocks). A new EV-specific Goodyear Adventure tire is meant as a jack-of-all-trades, balancing on-road comfort with off-road capability and, of course, efficiency. All of these tires are a unique Rivian spec and say so on their sidewalls.

2025 rivian r1t

The Quad gets a simple Launch Mode (stomp brake, stomp accelerator, release brake) that helps as well. Its top-speed limiter was raised from 111 to 130 mph, meaning it will now continue accelerating through the entire quarter-mile. We had the chance to launch a Quad-Motor on a drag strip, and it did not disappoint. Even with a prepared surface and warm tires, it struggled violently (and hilariously) for grip at first and then rocketed to a vehicle-claimed 2.99-second zero-to-60-mph time and a quarter-mile jaunt in 10.91 seconds at 130 mph. We'll need to confirm those numbers—on plain tarmac—with our test equipment, but it's safe to say the quarter-mile result will be flirting with the 10s. (One side effect of the higher top speed: Wind confuses the capacitive charge-door release, causing the door to deploy as a speed brake mid-run. So maybe subtract a couple hundredths.)

Rivian will again offer three battery packs for buyers to deplete in speedy fashion: Standard, Large, and Max. The Standard pack now uses lithium-iron-phosphate chemistry and has 92.5 kilowatt-hours of usable juice. Rivian worked with the supplier to concoct a pack with the same height as its other batteries so it would fit in the same space. (The LFP battery is already in use in Rivian's Electric Delivery Vans, the ones you see with Amazon Prime written on the side.) The Large and Max packs have been reengineered but still use 2170 cylindrical lithium-ion cells and get a die-cast carrier in place of one made with aluminum extrusions for lower weight and simpler assembly; usable energy is 109.4 kilowatt-hours (Large) and 141.5 kilowatt-hours (Max). The Large battery's capacity is actually less large than before by 19.5 kilowatt-hours.

Peak charge rate is 200 kilowatts for the Standard and 220 for the other two packs. The Standard pack yields an estimated 270 miles of range with a Dual-Motor, while the same powertrain will get you 420 miles with a Max pack. And no, it doesn't come with a NACS connector yet, because Rivian didn't have enough time between announcing its adoption and getting these new models completed and tested, but it's coming.

2025 rivian r1t

There were no major changes to the R1T's chassis, which is fine by us. Only a few minor suspension tweaks carried over from the bigger overhaul the SUV has received, which we detail in our 2025 R1S first drive. The steering is still nice and direct, and the ride is well controlled, even supple, which is to say not trucky. Notably, the air suspension resists pointing the front end skyward during a hard launch, so you can actually see where you're going. In sum, it's still a very cohesive and well-engineered package—with tons more power.

Simplify and Add Brightness

Rivian made several changes that very few folks outside the assembly line or a service center will notice, all in the name of improving manufacturability, serviceability, and efficiency. The ECU count drops from 17 down to seven. Physical fuses have been replaced by e-fuses that are all diagnosable. A switch to a zonal electrical architecture (sort of like hub-and-spoke networking) removed 44 pounds of wire. The infotainment ECU acts as the central router between the Ethernet-connected East, West, and South zones. Ethernet also lowers latency between the nodes, and there's a CAN bus as a failsafe backup. All this helps reduce the number of connectors by 80, which saves people-time during manufacturing. Rivian also subbed a heat pump in place of the former resistive unit for better efficiency.

2025 rivian r1t

On the intelligence side, the company is introducing the Rivian Autonomy Platform, which powers current and future features with new NVIDIA DRIVE Orin processors and our new best pal AI. It's standard and includes 11 cameras, which have higher resolution than before, and five radars, including one long-range unit up front. With the improved vision, the Rivian now shows a view of the adjacent lane on the gauge display when the turn signal is active.

Rivian Autonomy Platform+ (we assume the kids will call it RAP+) adds more features through software and will be available on second-gen models sold this year. We sampled Lane Change on Command, which will handle the task when Highway Assist is enabled and you flip the turn-signal stalk. It was pretty aggressive in its operation, though we're told the feature is still being finalized before being released this summer. Enhanced Highway Assist is also on the horizon and will use a camera behind the rearview mirror glass to monitor the driver, and more mapped roads will be added as well.

The new R1T and R1S even move to software-defined headlights. The new units retain their unorthodox shape but have more aesthetic depth to them, as well as new features. A Dynamic Bending Light function is akin to adaptive headlights and already enabled, while the Adaptive Drive Beam feature coming later this year could be the first use of matrix lighting in the U.S., dimming sections of the beam for oncoming vehicles and highlighting more of the road for improved vision. A small thing, but the turn signal has been moved from the main lighting units to a location lower on the bumper where the fog lights used to live, allowing Rivian to avoid a DOT-mandated dimming of the headlights when the signals are active, which always looks odd.

We noticed that there are now only fog lights in the rear and were told to expect a headlight update for that. Isn't technology something?

The light bars spanning the R1T's front and rear now have 10 segments of RGB lights that enable giant charging progress bar animations, as well as some "drive around me" arrows when you're parked in the way of traffic, sort of like those giant signs on the back of trucks in construction zones.

Digital keys through Apple Watch and iPhone, as well as select Google Pixel models, make getting in and going even lower friction. A Connect+ subscription service lets you cast video to the display, which has a new UI that leans on cel-shaded drawings and animations instead of the stock-photo-look pics of yore. The same subscription also includes native Apple Music Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos, which sounds great with the newly available in-house premium audio system. Access to Spotify, Tidal, and Alexa is included too.

Tri and Quad Have Gone Plaid

As for that spotter's guide, you may notice the corner lights have a small indent below them, also meant to provide more visual depth. Dual-Motors still have silver brake calipers and black badge accents, while the Tri-Motor adopts the former Quad's yellow highlights, and the new Quad gets teal callouts, as well as a tailgate badge with Rivian's yeti mascot, Gear Guard, shown in profile with his fur blowing in the wind. A dark exterior package replaces the silver badging and window trim with black pieces but keeps the telltale color accents. An available Dynamic Glass Roof goes tinty at the touch of a button, and an updated wireless charging pad does a better job of preventing your device from launching off the center console.

2025 rivian r1t

The Tri and Quad models come with a new Ascend trim level (Adventure continues for Dual-Motor models), which brings some new upholstery combos. Ascend also features plaid fabric on the straps for the front door pockets and on the backs of the front seats, as well as on the carpet, although the way it's rendered on the floor mats looks like a zoomed-in version of the pattern.

The base R1T Dual-Motor is available to order now for $71,700, the same price as a 2024. R1S Dual-Motor configurations are available now with R1T Duals to follow, Tri-Motors expected in late summer, and Quad-Motors after that. After dropping all of this info, they have to keep you in suspense somehow, right?

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