In a nutshell: Electric automaker Rivian has finally published video of a long-discussed feature that’ll allow its R1T pickup and R1S SUV to more or less turn on a dime. Inevitable shenanigans aside, the feature could be immensely useful when needing to turn around in very tight spaces.
The feature, dubbed tank turn, essentially allows the vehicles to spin around in place without moving forward or backward. The secret is in the quad-motor configuration – because each wheel has its own motor, it is able to be driven independently of the others. By putting the motors on one side of the vehicle in drive and the others in reverse and mashing the accelerator, you end up with a ride that can make very tight turns.
Worth noting is the fact that the feature is demonstrated in the mud, a low friction surface. As Electrek highlights, since the truck’s wheelbase isn’t square, it needs a tiny bit of momentum to get the spin going but once in motion, it looks to be a surefire way to build up your tolerance to motion sickness.
And it’s refreshing to see an electric automaker catering to the off-road community with its pickup. That’s in stark contrast to Tesla’s Cybertruck, for example, which hasn’t even been mentioned in the same sentence as the word “mud.”
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