Test Prototypes Popping Wheelies
A recent post on the Rivian Forums has made a claim that a 1,000-horsepower version of the Rivian R1T and R1S is being developed. The user, larrydallas, stated that the information was provided by a “solid source” and that the new model will be powered by a two-motor powertrain instead of the 835-hp quad-motor setup used in the top-of-the-line model.
Rumours of the Ascent have appeared recently, claiming that it will hit roads by 2024 and boast features such as darker logos and increased aerodynamics. Equally impressive is that its pre-production versions are reported to be so forceful that during testing the front wheels have been seen leaving the ground after a standing start.
These claims are verging on preposterous, so whilst gossip of an 1,200-horsepower Rivian R1X off-roader has already been heard by us, we believe that this newest rumour be taken with a hefty dollop of cynicism.
From the beginning, top-tier R1 platform models have been equipped with four electric motors, one per wheel. After the launch of these halo vehicles, they provided Rivian with an unparalleled reputation as a manufacturer of some of the fastest pickup trucks available. Following that, two-motor versions have been added to the lineup; they are equipped with the new Enduro motors fabricated and built at Rivian itself, replacing the erstwhile Bosch motors. Although the current performance dual-motor models have maximum outputs of 665 hp and 829 lb-ft of torque, Rivian would need to find an extra 335 hp to live up to their claim for figures in the four-digit range.
Whilst it might be hard, achieving 50% more power is very achievable. Generally speaking, a tri-motor build-up has been the go-to choice for Electric Vehicle’s (EV) producing in excess of 1,000 horsepower, such as Tesla’s Plaid and the GMC Hummer EV; however, Lucid have shown recently that a dual-motor arrangement can generate an even better output, exceeding 1,000 horses.
It is uncertain whether Rivian would choose to employ a variety of the Enduro engine or some other design altogether. If implemented in practice, though, what would happen with the quad-motor models? They might find themselves in a stalemate circumstance.
We encounter an issue with the allegation of wheelie-popping. A participant on the forum detail the two conundrums regarding this: centre of gravity and friction.
Wheelies can only happen when there is so much grip that the vehicle has no other choice but to lift off the ground as a result of the sheer torque. Generally, road-going cars do not provide enough friction for this to occur, though Dodge Demon 170 when fitted with drag radials and on a properly prepped drag track may be able to produce it. The only other car known to have achieved a wheelie with regular street tires is the Porsche 911 Turbo S, due chiefly to its rear-mounted engine, setting up the back wheels of the car as a pivot point upon powerful acceleration.
The R1’s battery positioning results in a remarkably low center of gravity and the rear axle remains in position under speed, making wheelies difficult to attain, even if the rear suspension was ludicrously soft.
The subsequent assertion is most improbable. Although we cannot completely discount the possibility of a 1000-hp Rivian vehicle based on the R1 framework (just like the formerly rumored R1X), there is highly doubtful chance that it will be powered by dual motors.
Rivian definitely has impressive ideas for upcoming offshoots, and if these anticipated models end up being actual true to the claims discussed, this compositionist will unabashedly accept that he had been incorrect. Yet in the meantime, let us consider this as a hypothesis and not more than that.