Rivian R1S: Dual vs. Quad Motor – A Comprehensive Comparison

Rivian has taken the electric vehicle world by storm with its lineup of adventure-ready trucks and SUVs. As an innovative newcomer in the EV space, Rivian has focused intensely on performance and capability. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the powertrain options offered for the R1S SUV. Buyers are presented with a choice between a dual motor or quad motor variant, but what exactly is the difference and which is better suited to your needs?

This in-depth guide will provide a complete breakdown of the R1S powertrains to help you decide. We‘ll analyze driving dynamics, intended usage, cost considerations and more between the two configurations. You’ll also gain key background on Rivian as a brand and how the R1S fits into the wider EV marketplace. Let‘s dive under the hood!

A Brief History of Rivian

Founded in 2009, Rivian is one of the auto world’s most exciting young companies. This Michigan-based startup focuses exclusively on developing electric adventure vehicles (EAVs) – capable yet sustainable trucks and SUVs designed for off-road use.

Rivian unveiled prototypes of its first two models, the R1T pickup and R1S SUV, at the 2018 LA Auto Show. When production versions finally rolled out for the 2022 model year, Rivian had refined both into compelling alternatives for adventure seekers not quite ready to go fully electric.

Let’s look closer at the 7-seat R1S that forms the basis of our powertrain comparison.

Introducing the 2023 Rivian R1S

The R1S slots into an underexplored part of the EV marketplace – a battery-powered family hauler ready for outdoor escapades but refined enough for daily commuting. Its blend of on/off-road performance, range and smartly designed cabin makes the R1S stand out from both gas-guzzling rivals and off-road pretenders lacking true capability.

Rivian achieves this with clever touches like a modular gear tunnel that stashes camping gear or sports equipment. The R1S also promises up to 316 miles of driving range, more than enough for most expeditions before recharging.

Where this EV SUV truly shows its adventure-ready attitude though is the phenomenal torque and power unleashed by Rivian’s cutting-edge powertrain technology…

Dual Motor or Quad Motor – What’s the Difference?

Buyers choosing the 2023 Rivian R1S get the option between two advanced electric powertrain configurations – a dual motor or quad motor setup. But what exactly does that mean and how do they impact performance?

Dual Motor AWD

The dual-motor groups a motor at each axle to enable responsive all-wheel drive. With a motor powering both front and rear wheels, torque can be shifted between axles as needed for slippery conditions. This allows confident handling in everything from snow storms to muddy trails.

Rivian’s precision torque control enables the R1S to actively change the torque split depending on driving style and road surface. Weight shifts subtly fore and aft during acceleration or braking for balanced dynamics. This dual motor arrangement promises a thrilling yet manageable experience behind the wheel!

Quad Motor Torque Vectoring

For even greater performance, Rivian offers a quad motor configuration adding a motor at each wheel. This transforms the agile dual motor setup into a vehicle that drives like a sports car. Each wheel can be precisely controlled for sharper turn-in and reduced understeer.

Specially calibrated algorithms constantly monitor vehicle sensors, optimizing torque down to the individual wheel. This quad motor system can counter oversteer and understeer in real time by minutely calibrating torque across the four wheels. The result is superior stability at higher speeds and precise controllability exceeding a human driver.

Off-road, the quad motor R1S tackles uncertain surfaces by directing torque precisely where it’s needed most. In experienced hands, the R1S drives more like a rally car blasting across loose surfaces than a bulky family SUV!

Dual Motor vs Quad Motor – Side-by-Side Comparison

Now that we understand the fundamental difference in how dual motor and quad motor powertrains operate, let’s compare them head-to-head across some key metrics.

SpecificationDual Motor AWDQuad Motor Torque Vectoring
Peak Horsepower600 hp835 hp
Peak Torque600 lb-ft900 lb-ft
0-60 mph Time4.5 seconds3.0 seconds
Top Speed120 mph125 mph (limited)
EPA Range260 miles316 miles
Towing Capacity7,700 lbs7,700 lbs
Base Price$78,000$92,000

Analyzing this specification table reveals the quad motor’s performance advantages. With an extra 235 horsepower and 135 lb-ft torque over the dual motor, the quad motor R1S delivers sports car acceleration. The 3.0 second 0-60 mph time beats even the fastest electric sedans, nevermind a 5,000 lb SUV!

Range also sees a meaningful bump thanks to the quad motor’s larger battery capacity. Towing and hauling ability remains strong regardless of powertrain choice though. Rivian rates both R1S configurations to handle a max trailer weight of up to 7,700 lbs.

Of course, this amplified performance comes at an increased cost – quad motor shoppers should budget an extra $14,000 over the base dual motor model. Determining whether the quad motor’s upgrades warrant the price premium depends greatly on the buyer and their intended usage.

Dual vs Quad Motor R1S – Making the Right Choice

We’ve explored what sets dual motor and quad motor Rivians apart under the sheet metal. Now let’s analyze the deeper question prospective owners must answer – which configuration better aligns with my priorities?

Everyday Family Hauler

The dual motor provides more than enough hustle for the majority of drivers. As a capable daily driver, its well-rounded performance will satisfy most shopping for a family/gear hauler. Saving $14,000 makes the dual motor a smart money move if you don’t require the quad motor’s ultimate performance.

Off-Road Explorer

Venturing deep off the grid requires every bit of capability your vehicle can muster. The quad motor’s precisely controlled torque vectoring gives it superior traction over tough terrain. Its added battery capacity also extends driving range between charges when deep in the wilderness. For serious overlanders eyeing remote adventures, the quad motor is worth stretching the budget.

Performance Fiend

With supercar rivalling speed out of the box, the R1S quad motor versions appeal to drivers craving neck-snapping acceleration. Performance fanatics will relish its sports car dynamics, made even more startling by its imposing SUV form. If you live for lateral Gs through fast sweepers, the choice is obvious.

Additional Considerations

A few other factors beyond the powertrain itself could sway your R1S buying decision one way or the other:

Battery Range – Dual motor shoppers can opt for Rivian’s Extended Range upgrade adding over 85 miles range for $6,000. This helps narrow the gap to quad motor models if maximum mileage matters most.

Release Timing – Supply chain issues have delayed the dual motor model‘s production. Rivian aims to ramp up dual motor manufacturing late 2023 once their Georgia assembly facility opens. The quad motor remains available for immediate ordering and delivery.

Resale Value – It’s no secret that used car buyers pay extra attention to vehicle specs. As the higher performance variant, quad motor R1S models likely will enjoy greater residual value in the pre-owned market.

How Does the R1S Stack Up to Rivals?

Rivian so far faces fairly limited competition in the electric off-road/adventure segment they essentially created. A few luxury players like Mercedes, BMW and Audi field rugged SUVs but none offer the R1S’s compelling balance of eco-consciousness and toughness.

Mainstream brands also lag behind as Ford’s first electric explorer lies years away while the gas-powered Jeep Wrangler 4xe outputs just 375 horsepower. Of course, segment pioneer Tesla lacks any production off-roader though persistent rumors suggest that may eventually change.

For now, we consider the R1S in an EV niche of one – which only elevates Rivian’s impressive achievement further.

Conclusion – Finding the Right Rivian R1S for You

Rivian’s emergence adds a welcome jolt of excitement to a passenger EV marketplace that can still feel monotonous. The startup’s R1S SUV proves electric vehicles need not forego fun nor function in pursuit of sustainability.

Clever touches like the versatile gear tunnel give the R1S legitimate adventure chops, while its advanced quad motor torque vectoring technology unlocks sports car agility. Yet perhaps most impressively, Rivian delivers this duality without compromise. The R1S retains eco-friendly sensibilities like 300+ mile range that don’t dilute its dual nature.

Within Rivian’s own lineup, buyers have the option between standard dual motor models focusing more on efficiency or wilder quad motor variants maximizing outright performance. Weighing factors like intended usage, priority features and pricing differences helps steer you towards the best configuration.

Regardless of the powertrain chosen though, the 2023 Rivian R1S stands out as a uniquely flexible new entry in the maturing EV marketplace. Boring this electric explorer is not!

Did you like those interesting facts?

Click on smiley face to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

      Interesting Facts
      Login/Register access is temporary disabled