Rivian R1T electric pick-up truck demonstrates its 1,095 mm water fording capability in a flooded pool Leave a comment

The Rivian R1T is one of the most popular electric pick-up trucks currently on sale in the United States, and for good reason. First unveiled at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the R1T’s refreshing design and interesting features set it apart from traditional pick-up trucks, all with little compromise in terms of off-road performance.

This includes a maximum water fording height of 1,095 mm (43.1 inches), which is higher than the latest Land Rover Defender (900 mm), and the company is more than happy to demonstrate in a video posted on its official Facebook page. In the 46-second clip, a R1T is seen being driven through a pool where the water is at the height of pick-up truck’s oblong-shaped headlamps.

As you’d hope, nothing goes wrong during the exercise at the lap pool. However, the company insists that this stunt isn’t a “flex” but merely for testing purposes (insert eye wink here). In the same video, we also see the R1T’s SUV sibling, the R1S, following behind. The R1S’ water fording height is slightly higher at 1,097 mm (43.2 inches), but deliveries of the model have been delayed.

Besides being able to trudge through flooded zones (to a certain degree), the R1T also has an approach angle of 35.5 degrees, a departure angle of 30 degrees, a breakover angle of 26.4 degress and a maximum ground clearance of 378 mm (14.9 inches).

As for the powertrain, the R1T in its highest configuration gets a quad-motor setup with a total system output of 835 hp (623 kW) and 1,231 Nm of torque. This is good for a 0-96 km/h (0-60 mph) time of three seconds and a towing capacity of up to 4,990 kg (11,000 pounds).

With one electric motor for each wheel, the R1T can also perform a “tank turn,” which is a pretty good party trick and helps with manoeuvrability. A dual-motor configuration will soon be offered with 600 hp and 813 Nm to customers.

While Rivian’s test involving the R1T and R1S is done in a controlled environment, over in Malaysia, EV owners are inadvertently performing their own “tests” by encountering real-world floods on their commute. Earlier this month, we reported on a video that showed a Tesla Model 3 driver going through a flood in Kuantan back in January 2021 without issue.

As impressive as these scenarios may be (there are plenty of “demos” online), we wouldn’t recommend driving your electric car, or any other car for that matter, through floods if you can help it. There’s no certainty that your vehicle won’t encounter issues after a “swim” in the future, so it’s best to not take unnecessary risks. Should you drive through flood-prone areas often, opt for flood damage coverage with your car insurance to protect yourself (financially) if the undesired happens.


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