LeoH

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I reserved the first slot for Sunday and I got there early, hoping to get more time on the track; I did not, but I got to spend a long time in the testing vehicle messing around and picking the guide's brain. Found a lot of interesting info that some might not care about but here we go.

They had all the colors waiting except Canyon Red, so I walked around to see them up close The yellow is definitely more honey mustard hew than taxi ( sorry, can't find better work to describe it ) The blue was more AirForce blue and less sparkly yet very imposing. The rest of colors were same as the pictures. Those were the same vehicles that went to Colorado.

I got into the Rivian Blue with black interior, basically the configuration I have for my R1S. I am 5'11 and I found it to be a tad high for me to step into, expected from a truck. I was asked to adjust the seat in front of the guide so they can make sure I am in a safe position. Why? Apparently they had someone cocky get in there, and once they punched it to launch they ass slid back and they could not reach the breaks anymore; luckily the regen braking was on max which enabled the car to stop. We played a bit with the infotainment system, it had a great design, much friendlier and snappier than that of Tesla. Adjusting the mirrors was weird, you have to select the option from the menu, but then use the scroll wheels and button on the steering wheel to adjust, same for the steering itself. I think I can get used to it, its like I will be adjusting the mirrors often anyway. Then we moved to the climate controls, the ventilated seats work great! I never sat in ventilated seats that works this well, but butt froze so quick, I had to dial it back a lot. The vents are controlled by dragging the symbols on the screen, but there is 1 concern with the 2 large vents under the screen. The cup holder pop out of the arm rest, and if you have a drink in there, it does block the vent a bit, might not be a deal breakers, but I was annoyed by that. However after examining the wood trim, and seats maximum up and down travel, I realized that they are placed in the most practical position so I understand why they are where they are. Driving mode selectors and entertainment are very easy to navigate, it definitely puts the Tesla UI to shame.

There is no glove compartment, but the storage inside the arm rest is very deep, so you can put a lot of items in there. Arm rest opens like french doors, making less distracting that having to open it backwards, I like that. At this point we were ready to roll so we started in a small area to test the regen breaking. The multiple options are great, but I prefer max gen because it enabled true one pedal driving and it brings the car to a complete stop rather than a Tesla slow roll. After than we moved into an area and you are given the option to try backing up the vehicle. They had 2 spots marked by blue cones, so I decided to give it a show ( why skip on anything right?) I put the truck in reverse, and 3 extremely clear camera screen show up. A middle large one for the back camera, and 1 on each side that show you the side of the vehicle including the rear tires! The idea was that you could backup the vehicle without having to look at the main camera, rear view mirror, and 2 sides mirrors so you are less distracted and enables view of a trailer if you are backing up one. I backed up into the spot, and asked why they have 2 spots reserved, I was told that many people who are not used to large vehicle were hitting the blue cones, so they expanded to 2 spots. I pulled out and moved into the main track area.

At this point, you are asked to floor it until you hit 60mph then you step once you reach the speed gates; since it was early, they did not have the gates setup. I floored, and behemoth took off! The launch was strong, but much smoother than a Tesla ( I had P90 so that is my point of reference ) by the time I looked at the speedometers, I was at 95mph so I released the gas pedal. The guide made a cheeky comment, but was very nice about it and asked me how it felt to go that fast, I was on cloud 9 at this point :) then you make a turn and you got to another straight, here you are asked to do a slalom at about 35 - 45mph. I was up to 40MPH and swinging left and right trying to make the vehicle fish tail bit, but that thing never slipped even on the wet trail! It was insane, I was expecting some skidding at the rear tires, but I was proven wrong. Now it was time to make another pass, same things gun it, then Slalom. This time I was determined to make the tires skid, so I started swinging that steering wheel and got up to 60MPH, nothing. It would not budge. Its like I am not even trying to make it go loose. At this point I started laughing at the people who are ordering CT or the Lightning but also offered some sympathy, internally. I exited to the left and parked the vehicle. I played with the suspension a bit, opened the drunk, pressed buttons, moved the seats, I am sure the guide started wondering if I was a 5 years old trapped in a adult body, I felt like a kid in a candy store.

The fun ended, and I headed towards the field to check the parked show vehicles and pick some brains. Here comes the disappointing part. Even though I was in Normal, by the manufacturing plant, they was not technical staff. They only give you information that we already know, but here are my concerns if someone else happens to stumble upon a tech person in their journey.

The front area under the hood is plastic, which is fine but those pieces were uneven and stuck to the car using velcro straps. When I asked why, they said they do not have any information, but they are sure the real production vehicles would be different.

The rear hinges of the hood had dents on the lower area, I kept investigating, and I found that there is a bolt that acts as a stopper that is hitting that arm hard ( I did not know if I could take pictures at the time ) Again they said they have no answer, and they are positive it would be on a production vehicle. But the parts seemed welded already, so it was hard for me to buy that answer.


The tailgate was fine, but I noticed that the edges on the lights have gashes on them, so I tried closed the gate manually and I realized that the inner side of the lights on the tailgate, rub against the inner side of the lights that are fixed on the rear. I got the same answer again.

The guards around the rear of the vehicle are attached with hidden clips, but they were easy to pop out. I was tying to look under the tent ( btw, the tent is awesome! ) and I hit my elbow on the upper bed guard, and it just snapped off, so I put it back.

The last concern means nothing to me since I am getting the R1S, but the pull out kitchen has drawers to store the utensil and pots/pans, and I hut my forearm on the corners and edges. I am not sure who's idea was that, but that specific kitchen had some seriously sharp edges! But of course, it was not a production version either...so they said.

The rear seats were huge, comfortable, lots of space, you can fit 3 adults and a dog in there easily. There is so much head room for a 5'11 person in the front and back, it made me feel I was driving a giant tank. I was told unofficially, that the R1S second row is just as big.

I think those are all the details I have, if I remember something else later, I will add it to the comments. But the 90 minutes drive home was the longest 90minutes in my life, and probably the least economical trip because I trying to stay on the R1T mode and floor the sorry little ICE Mazda the whole trip.

(UPDATE)
I did ask them if the screen were automotive or industrial grade, and they did not know. The questions stems from a Tesla issue where the screen would develop yellowish areas around the screen and eventually stop responding to touch at the edges. The reason is that the screen they used is industrial and not automotive and there was a big debacle on whether it is warranty covered or not.

Charging at home was very odd, they limited the charging without the in-home gadget at 7.2KW ( 7.something ) which means you only get about 14-16 miles an hour, and you must have the home charger to get into the 11.xKWH to receive a 23-26 miles an hour when using the same exact 50amp NEMA 14-50. Apparently they restricted it at the module level that comes built in the mobile charging cable, so if you travel a lot, it seems a 10 hour stay at home will get you 150miles as opposed 250miles, not sure how that factors in your budget of adding the $500 dollar chargers. They also mentioned that scheduling the charging happens on the home charger box. In other words, if you have a Tesla, you can program the car to let it know when to start charging so you can take advantage of off-peak hours, but with RIVIAN this is on the home charger itself. They did not have any other information as how you would do that or whether that is also available in the vehicle itself.
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mikeB

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Did you happen to look at the trailering and light receivers?
 

Rivuylkill

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Honest question, is there a legitimately good reason to be sending pre production trucks to all the reviews, all the customer first mile events, etc? I feel like they'd want to put their best foot forward but sometimes it seems like they just did that so they could see what breaks/gets complained about and get hand-wavy about it.

I'm still excited and still have a reservation and still want them to succeed as much as anyone else but just feels weird.
 

BigE

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Honest question, is there a legitimately good reason to be sending pre production trucks to all the reviews, all the customer first mile events, etc? I feel like they'd want to put their best foot forward but sometimes it seems like they just did that so they could see what breaks/gets complained about and get hand-wavy about it.

I'm still excited and still have a reservation and still want them to succeed as much as anyone else but just feels weird.
Agree, with “Pre-Production”, all responses seem to be we don’t know, or it will be fixed with final production. Final production and reality of mass production is hitting home how difficult it really is, even for OEM’s that have been doing this for 100 years. As I wait for my Max Pack I’m in no hurry at this point to take delivery. Later next fall would be fine. Just work the bugs out SOON.
 

Frankdatank24

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Did you happen to look at the trailering and light receivers?
@mikeB If you are wondering what they have on the truck for light connectors it's just the 7-pin connector. I saw a video and they pulled the receiver cover off and I only saw the 7-pin.
 

R_1_T

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Honest question, is there a legitimately good reason to be sending pre production trucks to all the reviews, all the customer first mile events, etc? I feel like they'd want to put their best foot forward but sometimes it seems like they just did that so they could see what breaks/gets complained about and get hand-wavy about it.

I'm still excited and still have a reservation and still want them to succeed as much as anyone else but just feels weird.
There's nothing new about OEMs using pre-production vehicles for media events. While it's far from ideal, it's also a heck of a lot better than waiting even longer for reviews. Why as a startup would you allocate production vehicles to a media event rather than sell them? The media event likely had to be done when it was in advance of the IPO as they enter the quiet period.
 

BigE

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There's nothing new about OEMs using pre-production vehicles for media events. While it's far from ideal, it's also a heck of a lot better than waiting even longer for reviews. Why as a startup would you allocate production vehicles to a media event rather than sell them? The media event likely had to be done when it was in advance of the IPO as they enter the quiet period.
We’re talking about the “First Mile Event”. It’s a road show with what 8 R1T’s? Not significantly meaningful impact as supposedly they have already started final production. These are Test drives. If you test drive at a local dealer it it a pre-product unit?
 

R_1_T

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We’re talking about the “First Mile Event”. It’s a road show with what 8 R1T’s? Not significantly meaningful impact as supposedly they have already started final production. These are Test drives. If you test drive at a local dealer it it a pre-product unit?
You shouldn't compare Rivian to your local dealership. The reviews were also mentioned in the post I replied to. My previous comments still apply. You have to take a leap of faith as an early adopter that the any promised refinements will make it to production.
 

RunnerPaul

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Nice write up, thanks for posting!
 

bd5400

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The multiple options are great, but I prefer max gen because it enabled true one pedal driving and it brings the car to a complete stop rather than a Tesla slow roll.
Just a note, but newer Tesla models (3, Y, and the "Raven" S/X) have regen that can bring the car to a complete stop. Only the older Model S and X cars do the "regen until 5mph" thing.
 

fromSf

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We’re talking about the “First Mile Event”. It’s a road show with what 8 R1T’s? Not significantly meaningful impact as supposedly they have already started final production. These are Test drives. If you test drive at a local dealer it it a pre-product unit?
Rivian not using production builds for these events and test drives is a smart move. As time goes by, for sure Rivian will have production builds for test drives.
 

paariv

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This is a great writeup, thanks.

It is a bit concerning to hear of all the hand-waving around the "not ready for prime time" issues with the R1Ts. It's going to be harder to mass-produce without little fit/finish issues than to hand build pre-production vehicles to tight tolerances. I'm not wholly optimistic there are quick and/or easy fixes.

All the more reason to be anxious to have real external customer deliveries begin, so we can get an unfiltered opinion and experience. I can't imagine that happening until the tonneau issues are fixed at the very least..
 
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LeoH

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Did you happen to look at the trailering and light receivers?
I did, it is a cover under the license plate on the undercarriage but I did not look at the pins or anything specific.
 
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