Rivian Air Suspension

Dubs

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Hi all, I’m new to the forum. Apologies if much of the below has already been addressed.

As a former 2004 Audi Allroad owner, I’m cautiously optimistic about the air suspension for the R1S. After 70k miles, the allroad suspension bags started failing one by one. I recall spending serious cabbage to fix each as they failed. IMHO adjustable air suspensions are fantastic, especially with an SUV, just wondering if the technology for this feature has improved since then. Will be at the Austin event this weekend asking about

-durability of air suspension (any cycle testing that may have been done)
-anticipated service options
-GVWR for each of the battery pack configurations ( Section 179 IRS deduction potential )
-warranty details
-whether or not a trial period will be allowed upon delivery ala Tesla 1 week or 1,000 miles (scary thought to spend 80k on a vehicle I’ve never test driven.)
-anticipated test drive options
-what the engineers expect to be the most expensive parts of the vehicle to fix. (Likely battery replacement will be high on the list)

Appreciate any input!
 

aAlpine

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I don't have much to add other than I LOVE your questions! :) Please take notes and report back, though I suspect the answer to the warranty question will still be "we're not ready to share this yet".

I've heard anecdotal stories of Model S airbags being damaged on gravel/dirt roads by sticks. This doesn't mean it can't be implemented right, as the new LR Defender is also going the air suspension route.
 

EyeOnRivian

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-GVWR for each of the battery pack configurations ( Section 179 IRS deduction potential )
From the "prototype" vehicle spec sheet that has been circulating at least since Rivian did their reveal in Nov 2018 indicates both EAVs for all 3 battery pack options has a GVWR of 7650 lbs. I suspect Rivian figured this value would change (and I also suspect it has) as they make tweaks to the vehicle (which they have) before going to production.

-warranty details
Rivian has said they will not being releasing warranty details until just prior to production launch.

-whether or not a trial period will be allowed upon delivery ala Tesla 1 week or 1,000 miles (scary thought to spend 80k on a vehicle I’ve never test driven.)
Rivian has indicated they will be offering a subscription service, however, like with most things with Rivian very little to no detail has been released ... yet. Check out thread
Scaringe: Rivian Considering Subscription Based Ownership Option
I suspect this could be a popular purchase option for the reason you mention among others. An option I will be vetting thoroughly for an introductory vehicle from a new company. This is probably being hashed out with Cox Automotive, a global automotive services company that has invested $350m into Rivian.

-anticipated test drive options
See thread Rivian setting stage for introduction of a test drive program. Since then I've spoken to a couple of Rivian reps at the Normal event last October that were actually dealing with these topics (timing of test drives, online configurator - basically the purchase process) and were getting ready to propose something to RJ. Shortly after that I've read that test drives will be available closer to production which sounded like after the vehicle configurator becomes available online (around April or 2Q 2020). One Rivian rep said if you want to hold off committing / converting a pre-order to an order for whatever reason (e,g, until you can do a test drive), you can without losing your place in line but it certainly will delay your delivery of the vehicle.
 

Lmirafuente

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Great thread!

Question to also ask in Austin, what will the supply for part be like in case parts are needed...the big complaint I hear from Tesla owners where windows may have been broken due to vandals/robbery, the replacement takes weeks to over a month at times....
 

Pherdnut

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It's not just air-suspension. Speculation is that it's like the hydraulic/air-combo system found, pretty much exclusively, on a lot of Mclarens. I don't think they'll be phoning it on the suspension.

The CEO is an engineer. The more I've read and watched, the more I've been impressed by how much of an engineer culture this company has. I think they're unlikely to take shortcuts on the primary feature that probably got them excited about hiring the Mclaren guy in the first place.

Be warned, I'm turning into a little bit of a fan boy, but it feels like it's been earned. I like the way they geek out over their own product. I especially liked the way, at the debut, their head engineer said (paraphrasing), "I want very little to change about the car we are showing you right now, between now and release." They have been testing the crap out of this vehicle. They love their baby. The closest thing to a gimmick is the flashlight, which is a lot less inconvenient than a falcon door if it stops working.
 

aAlpine

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This discussion about the 2020 Defender was interesting: (listen for about 1 or 2 min from that point).

They talk about how the "high mode" on a Jeep Grand Cherokee is "almost undriveable" due to the harshness, versus Land Rover's unique "multi-stage, multi-bellows" airbag suspension, making moderate and fast travel on uneven gravel/dirt road much more comfortable while still having the ground clearance.

I wonder how Rivian compares. Does anyone have additional insight into this? Maybe asked about airbags at a pre-order event?
 

skyote

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This discussion about the 2020 Defender was interesting: (listen for about 1 or 2 min from that point).

They talk about how the "high mode" on a Jeep Grand Cherokee is "almost undriveable" due to the harshness, versus Land Rover's unique "multi-stage, multi-bellows" airbag suspension, making moderate and fast travel on uneven gravel/dirt road much more comfortable while still having the ground clearance.

I wonder how Rivian compares. Does anyone have additional insight into this? Maybe asked about airbags at a pre-order event?
I'm knowledgeable on traditional suspensions, and have some experience with air bags, but not so much with air with hydraulic damping.

Air bags definitely do ride rough, and increasingly so at higher pressures; I have air bags on my truck for towing our fifth wheel.

I believe that the Rivian is using air shocks, not air bags, and I hope the height adjustment does not affect compression & rebound characteristics.

Anyone here know if the hydraulic handles ride quality, or if there are separate air chambers & valves for height vs. handling?
 
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johnyashalex

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Very informative ...but air suspensions are little costly i think
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skyote

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I happened to do some additional research on air suspensions & active damping yesterday, and I learned quite a bit. It was prompted by Sandy Munro's video on the cybertruck suspension:



I am confident that Rivian is using a dual chamber/bag setup for independent height adjustment vs ride quality/load pressure adjustment. This should be similar what is mentioned in the Defender video above...which I just now watched.
 

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skyote

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That one appears to be all spring rate though, and not independent ride height.
 

electruck

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It's also adjustable for ride height (although keep in mind this is for the Panamera and it doesn't need 6" of adjustability). The height chamber is at the top inside the bellows.

The adaptive air suspension has three chambers that allow for three spring rates depending on drive mode selected. A raised mode increases ride height by 0.8 inch, whereas a lowered mode — 1.1 inches lower at the front and 0.8 inch at the rear — makes use of the flat undertray for useful ground-effect downforce.

The Panamera though is using MR dampers not the hydraulically linked setup such as the Tenneco Kinetic system that I believe MotorTrend stated Rivian was using. This means Porsche also needs somewhat more conventional electromechanically adjustable anti-roll bars.
 
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Coast2Coast

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The Tenneco Kinetic system, referenced by electruck in #12, is used by McLaren, and Mark Vinnels, Executive Director for Engineering and Vehicle Development at Rivian, is a former McLaren and Lotus engineer. So, yes, it's likely Rivian will use this highly sophisticated and effective suspension system. Here's a couple of explanations of how Tenneco/McLaren's kinetic suspension system works.

https://www.caranddriver.com/featur...ennecos-kinetic-suspension-explained-feature/

https://www.carthrottle.com/post/wvp8myo/
 
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ElectricTrucking

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Just my observation on the accumulators, at least with McLaren, leaks at low miles and costly to replace. This seems to be a common issue with McLaren owners.I'm posting one quote from McLaren Life
"My accumulators were replaced under warranty about a month ago at about 21000Km. However, McLaren Vancouver has told me the accumulators will no longer be covered under the extended warranty as McLaren now considers them to be a "wear part"
 

electruck

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Just my observation on the accumulators, at least with McLaren, leaks at low miles and costly to replace. This seems to be a common issue with McLaren owners.I'm posting one quote from McLaren Life
"My accumulators were replaced under warranty about a month ago at about 21000Km. However, McLaren Vancouver has told me the accumulators will no longer be covered under the extended warranty as McLaren now considers them to be a "wear part"
Hopefully the quality of that tech has improved over the last 10 yrs, especially as it has been extended to SUV and off-road duty. But , if not, I suppose that will truly define Rivian as a luxury product.....

edit: wonder if they blew out the accumulators in the R1T going over that dune in Argentina? wonder if the accumulators in the mclarens were undersized and overstressed? wonder if high labor costs associated with mclaren accumulator replacements was due to lack of easy access to the accumulators (ie, having to take half the car apart to get to them which is all too common with exotics - even routine engine oil changes can get complicated).
 
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