First Mile Drive - Suspension Tuning Questions And Brief Review

zefram47

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I had my First Mile Mobile Drive today. I'd gotten to crawl around the truck during the Denver open house already, so really I just wanted to get out and drive rather than poking around the truck for much of the experience. Obviously it's fast AF off the line and seems to launch harder with the current software version than when I got the ride along at the open house. I'm lucky to live close to a fantastic canyon road and got to drive up there.

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I know we've heard from a lot of the reviews that the lowest ride height is not good, but even in Stiff and Low I was surprised by a few things. Over big bumps / hard impacts it was well damped and seemed fine. But what was really strange was over smaller bumps or undulations in the road (Sport / Low / Stiff) the suspension seemed very underdamped and the rear end tended to pogo/oscillate for a second or two. That's really disconcerting at speed in the twisties. Any owners or other test drivers experience something similar with the suspension damping? If the damping is truly software adjustable, I can only imagine they should be able to tune this a bit better for high frequency bumps...especially in Sport mode. That all said, I was impressed with the throttle map in Sport and even in Conserve the truck still has plenty of power. It's also blatantly obvious that the 34" ATs let the truck down in the handling department. I really hope they eventually allow us to buy an extra set of wheels to throw some sportier rubber on when we don't want to go off-road. Yes, I'm aware the 22s are a thing, but I will be replacing my 4Runner that sees plenty of off-road trails, so I do want to the 20s right off the bat.

The turning radius does seem to be a little larger than my 4Runner, which is expected, but for a 135" wheelbase I guess I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't larger still. I did note the throttle mapping / feel that others have mentioned in reverse related to the Hold feature. It's definitely difficult to modulate off the hold in reverse without the truck wanting to lurch before being able to maneuver slowly. Obviously that's an issue for those who back into tight garages / parking spaces. Audio system is every bit as good as other reviewers have mentioned, especially when you crank up the quality setting in Spotify. I hope they add the ability to download playlists to the truck and/or give us CarPlay. Much of my drive was in an area without cell coverage and all we could use was the FM radio...though I spose you could use Bluetooth, but the quality isn't great by virtue of the protocol's low bitrate.

All in all, good experience, but the suspension pogoing has me curious and a little concerned. Drove about 22 miles and averaged 2.47 mi/kWh with a slightly spirited canyon drive. IIRC, I was seeing around 0.9 mi/kWh on the way up and the last 15 min graph shows 3.36 mi/kWh on the way down due to all the regen.

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IMG_8340.jpg

 

Engi_Nerd

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The smoking tire was the only outlet that mentioned the pogo-ing suspension in sport mode, saying it could cause you to hit the throttle pedal as you rock in a self-reinforcing cycle. I'm curious if wheel size impacts this / having the 22s makes it even more pronounced. Also wondering to what degree their suspension hardware is actually "software defined", and if they will be able to make noticeable improvements to the damping down the line.
 

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the last 15 min graph shows 3.36 mi/kWh on the way down due to all the regen.



IMG_8340.jpg
Rivian's method for displaying consumption completely obscures any information about that regeneration. Good job human factors guys!
 
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zefram47

zefram47

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The smoking tire was the only outlet that mentioned the pogo-ing suspension in sport mode, saying it could cause you to hit the throttle pedal as you rock in a self-reinforcing cycle. I'm curious if wheel size impacts this / having the 22s makes it even more pronounced. Also wondering to what degree their suspension hardware is actually "software defined", and if they will be able to make noticeable improvements to the damping down the line.
It was certainly bad enough that it has me questioning whether or not I really want the truck, that's for sure. I didn't notice it nearly as bad in Standard height, but in addition to my 4Runner the R1T will also be replacing my current daily driver, a MINI Cooper SE (EV). That car has a very stiff suspension, but is still pretty compliant and comfortable. It weighs less than half what the R1T does and is just a joy to toss around a canyon road. I'd still have my Corvette, so maybe I don't care so much. But with all the new owners talking about it handling like a sports car...I just don't get it. It's good, compared with a traditional BoF truck, but it's not *that* good. I really do hope that some of that can be tuned, but it depends on whether the adjustable nature is in the valving, magnetorheological fluid, or some other method. The fact that it worked well for harsh impacts is what is confusing while smaller bumps/undulations were just super underdamped.
 
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zefram47

zefram47

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Rivian's method for displaying consumption completely obscures any information about that regeneration. Good job human factors guys!
Definitely not wrong...but I'm used to only seeing an average mi/kWh per trip. But really, capping the graph at seemingly 3 mi/kWh is kinda weird. This particular road probably dropped around 1-2k ft over the portion I drove on the way back down with loads of tight corners.
 

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Interesting thoughts. My first mile drive is next Monday. By the looks of the pic I'm guessing you are out west, north of Golden and did clear creek or maybe golden gate canyon? I'm on the west side of Denver (call it 44th and Sheridan). Do the people doing the drives have good ideas on where to go or is it basically free range (ie a foothills canyon?). I'm having a tough time figuring out where I would want to go since all the way out to Golden might be limiting, time wise.
 
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zefram47

zefram47

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Interesting thoughts. My first mile drive is next Monday. By the looks of the pic I'm guessing you are out west, north of Golden and did clear creek or maybe golden gate canyon? I'm on the west side of Denver (call it 44th and Sheridan). Do the people doing the drives have good ideas on where to go or is it basically free range (ie a foothills canyon?). I'm having a tough time figuring out where I would want to go since all the way out to Golden might be limiting, time wise.
Yeah, thankfully I live near Coal Creek Canyon, so I just went up there until I needed to turn back for time. I wound up with one of the normal delivery guys as the person who normally does mobile drives had something come up, so I'm not sure what the usual way is. But I think you can pretty much go where you want, inside their time limits. I spent almost no time poking around the truck short of setting the mirrors/wheel before heading out to maximize drive time.
 
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zefram47

zefram47

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Thinking a bit more on this, it's probably undersprung at Low and Lowest in addition to maybe being underdamped. Which then leads to the pogo effect. If it's undersprung at those ride heights, there's probably no fixing it with damping tuning. Anyone with a Land Rover or other vehicle with air suspension ever experience similar behavior at lower ride heights? It may just be the nature of air suspension where the spring rate decreases as you lower ride height and increases with higher ride height. Short of dynamically changing the volume of the air chamber (virtually impossible) or adding a progressive helper spring, I'm not sure how you fix that.
 

ajdelange

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Definitely not wrong...but I'm used to only seeing an average mi/kWh per trip. But really, capping the graph at seemingly 3 mi/kWh is kinda weird. This particular road probably dropped around 1-2k ft over the portion I drove on the way back down with loads of tight corners.
The graph isn't capped at 3 mi/kWH. It is capped at ∞ which value it appraches when the true consumption (kWh/mi) appraches 0 as it does every time we slow down to near 0 mph. In fact it crosses over to negative values during regen. I have had trips where the overage consumption is negative (downhill all the way such that battery SoC is higher at the end of the trip than at the beginning). What would the Rivian display show for such a trip? Why would they want to do it this way? It just defies common sense.

I intend to be fairly obnoxious about this in the hope that Rivian will eventually come to its senses and display the dependent variable rather than the independent one thus not obscuring potentially valuable, or at least interesting, information.
 

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Audio system is every bit as good as other reviewers have mentioned, especially when you crank up the quality setting in Spotify.
I’m sure this is a dumb question, but I cannot for the life of me find an option to adjust the Spotify quality setting on the truck. Do you remember what menu it was under?
 

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I’m sure this is a dumb question, but I cannot for the life of me find an option to adjust the Spotify quality setting on the truck. Do you remember what menu it was under?
It’s under your account info in upper right hand corner of the Spotify app. Might be covered be “now playing”. Swipe that away, if so. Setting is in lower right of account info. Might be defaulted to Automatic.
 

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Thinking a bit more on this, it's probably undersprung at Low and Lowest in addition to maybe being underdamped. Which then leads to the pogo effect. If it's undersprung at those ride heights, there's probably no fixing it with damping tuning. Anyone with a Land Rover or other vehicle with air suspension ever experience similar behavior at lower ride heights? It may just be the nature of air suspension where the spring rate decreases as you lower ride height and increases with higher ride height. Short of dynamically changing the volume of the air chamber (virtually impossible) or adding a progressive helper spring, I'm not sure how you fix that.
Never experienced this with my Range Rover at all.
 

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It’s under your account info in upper right hand corner of the Spotify app. Might be covered be “now playing”. Swipe that away, if so. Setting is in lower right of account info. Might be defaulted to Automatic.
Thank you!!

It was hidden behind the now playing screen. Just changed it from Automatic to Very High.
 

 
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