Rivian announces Enduro drive unit production start, which will equip R1T and R1S vehicles. These vehicles are ones with dual-motor powertrains developed in-house. This will be the company’s next-gen drive unit production line. It took five months to start the production line, including the start of construction.
This is a crucial milestone for Rivian, as the company will soon be able to start production of Dual-Motor AWD variants of the R1T pickup and R1S SUV. The automaker previously said Dual-Motor vehicles would enter production sometime this year. The Dual-Motor AWD powertrain makes over 600 horsepower and over 600 pound-feet (812 Newton-meters) of torque in standard guise, or over 700 hp and over 700 lb-ft (948 Nm) of torque in the optionally available Enhanced Dual-Motor AWD. That’s still less than the existing Quad-Motor powertrain’s 835 hp and 908 lb-ft (1,230 Nm) of torque.
We went from four walls to start of production on our new drive unit line in 5 months. Designing and manufacturing these motors fully in-house enables us to speed production and introduce Dual-Motor AWD, while simultaneously continuing to ramp Quad-Motor AWD production. pic.twitter.com/wWRqXSWANa
— Rivian (@Rivian) February 22, 2023
However, Rivian previously said the Dual-Motor powertrain would be more energy-efficient than the current Quad-Motor setup supplied by Bosch. Normally, this should increase range compared to current models that feature four electric motors. But the bigger advantage will be that Rivian will no longer rely on an external supplier for its electric motors, with vertical integration giving it increased control of production and lower costs. All three major components of the EDU, motor, inverter, and gearbox, are assembled into a common casting, which has a lower manufacturing cost.
Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe also posted a photo of the new electric drive unit production line on his personal Twitter account, with a caption that reads, “Ramping production of our new Enduro drive unit for our Dual-Motor R1 vehicles!” According to Rivian, the Dual-Motor AWD system enables the R1T to accelerate to 60 mph (96 km/h) in just 4.5 seconds, or 3.5 seconds for Enhanced Dual-Motor AWD. Furthermore, thanks to a higher gear ratio on the rear motor, the powertrain distributes torque continuously between the front and rear drive units, “biasing torque rearward for enhanced performance, acceleration, and robust towing.”
The Dual Motor AWD powertrain can tow 11,000 pounds (4,989 kilograms) in the R1T and 7,700 lbs (3,492 kg) in the R1S. More importantly, the R1T and R1S will be cheaper to buy with the Dual-Motor powertrain and the Standard battery pack, starting at $73,000 and $78,000, respectively (according to Rivian’s online configurator). Rivian also offers an optional upgrade to the dual-motor system called “Enhanced Dual-Motor AWD.” This gives equipped vehicles an additional 100 horsepower and torque to play with but remains roughly 200 horsepower and torque away from the highest-performance quad-motor variant.