Rivian adjustable air suspension

Discussion in 'R1T Pickup Discussions' started by GreenMonster, Jan 15, 2019.

  1. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster Member

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    I saw another member mention the air suspension in the Rivian vehicles and thought it'd be an interesting topic for a thread. The R1T and R1S both ride on adjustable air suspension.

    For anyone not familiar with air suspension, here's some history http://www.speedhunters.com/2015/07/no-compromise-a-modern-history-of-performance-air-suspension/

    Personally I think an adjustable air suspension is really best of both worlds and will add an element of adjustability to Rivians that you don't enjoy in other trucks/SUVs. Look at any truck/SUV forum and you'll see lift kits are one of the most discussed modifications - particularly what height to go with.

    Well with an adjustable air suspension that has over five inches of adjustable range, we never have to worry about which lift kit height to get!
     
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  2. CappyJax

    CappyJax Well-Known Member

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    As I mentioned, the problem with traditional air suspension is that is it rigid at its highest extension which you don't want for off road, and soft and squishy at its lowest extension which doesn't bode well for cornering performance. This could be remedied by having a relatively low pressure when at its highest, and using an opposing air bag to lower the suspension at higher pressure giving more rigidity for cornering.

    The change in height also tends to change the alignment. However, I suspect the truck will be self aligning in regards to toe with the electric steering.
     
  3. Revelation

    Revelation Member

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    I don't really see a big issue with that. When I took my aforementioned Jeep off-roading I enjoyed the stiffer suspension when it was raised up. It almost seemed like I had a better "connection" with the ground under the tires. I preferred the Off-Road Ride height of 1 in most of my daily driving. Just the right perfect balance of stiffness and softness in the ride. Unfortunately it would automatically lower to "normal" ride height once you passed 40mph.

    It would be nice is Rivian allows us to change such settings. I'd have preferred it to automatically lower at 50mph and further lower at 65mph for "aero-mode" for better aerodynamics.
     
  4. CappyJax

    CappyJax Well-Known Member

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    If you are off roading at low speed, that would be fine. But it you want to travel at speed, the stiff suspension is going to be uncomfortable.

    I think it will be completely user selectable. This company is working on a rally car, so they understand the need to have higher suspension at higher speeds.
     
  5. Gene

    Gene Member

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    #5 Gene, Feb 3, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
    Stiff suspension for climbing over boulders or up rock steps is a problem. You want supple with lots of travel to keep all 4 wheels on the ground all of the time. Historically coils with solid axles have been the best. Land Rover Defenders and Range Rover were much better off-road when they were coil sprung and supple.Current Jeep Wrangler has the proper setup suspension wise.

    I used to do work in Algerian Sahara traveling thousands of miles of not just dirt roads but roadless areas as well. Add to that thousands of miles of Arctic and mountainous terrain. Soild axles hold up. CV joints, air suspension, independent suspensions have failed as a rule and are difficult to repair in the field. Hopefully Rivian makes their's beefy but I fear the air suspension will not hold up in more than occasional rough conditions. Many thousands of miles of washboard can have its toll.

    In Africa, the last thing we wanted was independent front end. With soild axle you have a permanent front ground clearance that you can count on. Independent front end like Rivian is variable in ground clearance and worst is that when it compresses the most amount is at times it is in rough terrain with a crashing downward force on a likely rock...ouch! If you look at Toyota Landcruisers and Pickups in Africa and Australia you will see they are manufactured with solid front and rear axles for capability off-road and durability. The USA versions are sporting independent (like Rivian) front ends for comfort.

    All this being said, I'm done with fossil fuels and with all the short comings of the Rivian for really rough country travel, it is the best coming available soon. I'll just have to drive more carefully over the rough stuff.
     
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  6. mDvzamdH

    mDvzamdH New Member

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    Just to follow up on what Gene said, air suspension is prone to punctures, and it not suitable in my opinion for difficult terrain. I found this out the hard way when I destroyed the air suspension on my Tesla X75D on a Forest Road here in Oregon. Although I was really excited about Rivian's effort to create an adventurous EV, and I am probably the exact target audience, I will not buy a truck or SUV with air suspension.
     

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