The first ‘sellable’ R1T was driven off the line at Rivian’s plant in Illinois just last week.

The only trucks being built at Normal during the first months are the so-called ‘Launch Edition’. The ‘Adventure Package’ and ‘Explore Package’ variants will be added from Q1.

It’s been quite a journey for this firm, and in contrast to other fledgling start-ups, there has been little in the way of controversy. Instead, quiet and steady progress with, inevitably, some delays.

Various big name investors have piled in yet Robert ‘RJ’ Scaringe has maintained a fairly low media profile. His policy seems to be one of having Rivian do its utmost to stick to stated deadlines and let the vehicles do the talking. With an expected US$5-8bn set to be raised via an IPO, this appears to be working.

The 5.5 m long ‘Rivian Number 1 Truck’ will hit 60 mph in fewer than three seconds, and the maximum EPA-rated range from the Samsung SDI-supplied pack is 314 miles.

There are three battery choices: 135 kWh and 180 kWh, to be followed in the second half of 2022 by a cheaper 105 kWh alternative. All trucks have four-wheel drive thanks to a 147 kW motor for each wheel.

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Power and torque outputs for next year’s base variant are 300 kW and 560 Nm. Equivalents for the 135 kWh and 180 kWh trucks are 522 kW and 562 kW while each produces 1,120 Nm.

Other elements of the R1T’s specification have been widely reported but to refresh, there is one body and this four full-sized doors. The big pick-up has two load bays: one a bay below a bed which rises to reveal a spare tyre and the other up front. Each has a capacity of 330 litres.

It’s too early to say how long Rivian will keep the R1T in production for but it will likely be six to eight years with a facelift in 2024 or 2025. Battery packs should also change as better chemistry becomes more affordable. The company has so far made no mention of cell-swap stations though.

Now that production of the first model has started, Rivian’s next task is add build of the related R1S. The firm’s first SUV looks similar to the pick-up and uses the same Skateboard platform. At 3,450 mm, the wheelbase is 375 mm longer than the pick-up’s although overall length is half a metre less.

The 5,040 mm long electric SUV has seven seats, a large trunk in the back and like the R1T, one in the front too. The life cycle will likely be very close to that of the pick-up’s.

Rivian is believed to be intending to expands downwards after its first two models. A smaller pick-up not dissimilar in size to the next Ford Ranger or Toyota Tacoma would be the company’s logical next move.

Such a vehicle could be named R2T and launched some time between 2023 and 2024. This model would likely be aimed at North America but a fourth vehicle – a VW ID.4-sized SUV – could do well in other regions too.

R J Scaringe has stated that he intends to expand the company into Europe and China. This would at first be via exported vehicles but further off local production could be possible in both markets. An R2S seems perfect for all three of the world’s major markets.

Rivian certainly has more than enough future model projects to be getting on with, including a delivery van for Amazon. Another electric vehicle – a luxury SUV for Lincoln – was put on ice but some believe that the project might be revived in a few years’ time.

Where the company goes after each of its first three or four models reaches production naturally depends on market trends. A luxury sedan could be possible for the second half of the 2020s, not to mention an entry to the C segment/Compact SUV class. Whatever happens, Rivian is certainly not lacking in opportunities.

Reports for many other manufacturers’ future models are grouped in the OEM product strategy summaries section of Just Auto.

Future platform intelligence

More detail on past, current and forthcoming models can be found in PLDB, the future vehicles database which is part of GlobalData’s Automotive Intelligence Center.

Tata Motors (including Jaguar and Land Rover) will be the next OEM in Just-Auto’s future vehicles series.