Performance Pack Acceleration Boost Helps Rivian R1T Achieve Faster Times

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Rivian R1T
Rivian R1T (Credits: Motortrend)

If you’re considering purchasing an electric pickup truck or SUV, specifically the Rivian R1T pickup truck or R1S SUV, you’ll need to make an important decision: Dual-Motor or Quad-Motor. And if you choose Dual-Motor, you’ll also have to decide between the standard and Performance variants. But what exactly does the extra $5000 for the Performance version get you in terms of performance? To find out, we conducted a comprehensive back-to-back test.

The dual-motor Rivian is a recent addition to the R1T and R1S lineups. It offers all-wheel drive through a simplified powertrain that uses a single motor at each end with mechanical differentials for torque distribution. In contrast, the initial AWD Quad-Motor setup had four Bosch-sourced motors. The Dual-Motor system features in-house electric motors designed and built by Rivian. While the regular Dual-Motor version delivers a respectable 533 horsepower and 610 pound-feet of torque, choosing this option saves you $8000 compared to the Quad-Motor version.

For those looking for an extra boost, the Dual-Motor models offer a performance pack for an additional $5000. This increases the power figures to 665 hp and 829 pound-feet of torque. Importantly, there are no mechanical differences between the standard and Performance versions. The difference lies in the software, with the Performance model offering additional drive modes such as Sport and Soft Sand, in addition to the All-Purpose, All-Terrain, and Snow modes found in the regular model.

In our comparison, we tested a single Performance-spec R1T against the regular R1T Dual-Motor model. Since both versions have identical EPA ratings, we conducted acceleration tests in both All-Purpose and Sport modes to see the impact of the Performance upgrade. The results were clear: the Performance model had quicker acceleration in Sport mode, shaving off valuable seconds in various scenarios.

The Performance-enhanced truck, equipped with 21-inch Pirelli Scorpion Verde all-season road tires, showed a noticeable difference in acceleration. In Sport mode, the launch was more aggressive, resulting in a 60 mph sprint in 3.5 seconds, compared to 4.3 seconds in the standard launch mode. The Performance upgrade demonstrated superior performance across different speed ranges, making it a compelling option for enthusiasts.

However, it’s important to consider whether the enhanced performance justifies the $5000 price difference. The Performance upgrade offers faster passing times, nearly a 20 percent reduction in 60-mph time, and a quicker quarter-mile. If you’re the type of driver who appreciates added horsepower and torque, similar to someone who might upgrade their vehicle with aftermarket enhancements, the Performance model is an enticing choice.

But it’s crucial to acknowledge that the regular Dual-Motor R1T and R1S are impressive machines on their own. The Performance upgrade doesn’t bring any aesthetic or mechanical changes beyond the software-driven performance enhancements. It won’t change the exhaust note, brake calipers, or top speed, which remains limited to 111 mph.

Ultimately, the decision depends on your driving preferences. If you primarily use All-Purpose mode, the Performance upgrade may not be necessary. Sport mode must be manually selected to access the extra performance, as the vehicle defaults to All-Purpose when you exit. This default mode is important for EPA range and consumption ratings, which remain consistent whether you choose the Performance upgrade or not.

While frequent use of Sport mode may affect range and consumption metrics, the Performance upgrade caters to those who desire an exhilarating driving experience. The added Sport and Soft Sand modes, along with improved acceleration, make the Performance version an appealing choice for enthusiasts who are willing to invest in an enhanced driving dynamic.

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