The Rivian R1S Becomes First Production EV to Tackle the Rubicon Trail

rivan r1s suv quad motor rubicon trail drive
Rivian Tackled The Rubicon Trail With the R1S SUVRivian

The Rubicon Trail is known as one of America’s most difficult off-road endeavors. Obstacles like Devil's Postpile, Little Sluice, and Arnold's Rock all ensure the journey requires a bit of 4x4 prowess. Rivian says the R1S has become the first production electric vehicle to complete the trail starting from the Loon Lake Trailhead. It did so without any serious modifications.

Rivian set off from the Loon Lake Trailhead on Monday, August 7 in a quad-motor variant of the R1S SUV. This 12-mile section of the larger 22-mile trail has become increasingly popular with off-roaders since new paving went in through the Georgetown entrance. It is also home to some of the best obstacles around. A pair of pre-production R1T trucks provided trail support through the early section of the trail, but they were replaced by a modified Jeep Wrangler when the going got a bit more intense. The top-trim Wrangler gets its name from this very trail after all. Rivian didn’t outfit the R1S with a ton of aftermarket hardware, opting for only a set of rock sliders, a roof rack, and a front tow hitch receiver. The team even choose to retain the stock 34-inch Pirelli all-terrain tires, which held up nicely over the course of the adventure. In fact, Rivian says the R1S escaped the trail with only a few cosmetic bumps and scrapes.

Just like with a gasoline-powered 4x4, off-roading can dramatically reduce your overall range. Rivian says the R1S entered the Loon Lake Trailhead with an 80 percent charge in its 135-kWh battery pack. When they completed the 12-mile journey on August 9th, the crew had less than 10 percent of the battery left to work with. While there happened to be a Level 2 charger available nearby, they must have a lot of faith in that range calculator. We don’t know whether or not the team was using the trucks to power other equipment during the trek, but those figures are a bit surprising.


It’s exciting to see some electric vehicles try and tackle established off-roading challenges, even if the results are relatively drama-free. Now that Rivian has gone ahead and given this a go, R1S and R1T owners are sure to follow suit. Hopefully it doesn’t take them a few days to make it through.

rivan r1s suv quad motor rubicon trail drive

You Might Also Like