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Rivian delays big-battery pickup, SUV models until 2023

CEO RJ Scaringe shared the news in a letter to customers.

Much like DJ Khaled, it appears Rivian is suffering from success.

Back in November, we wrote that Rivian reservation holders may not see their R1T electric pickup until 2023. Now, according to a new email from the company's CEO, it appears that will be the case for reservation holders of a certain vehicle spec.

Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said this week in an email to customers that the automaker will prioritize R1S electric SUV and R1T electric pickup preorders that combine the Adventure Package trim with its Large battery pack. First posted to Reddit earlier this week, then picked up by Reuters, the letter says that this combination represents a large majority of its approximately 71,000 preorders, hence its prioritization. Vehicles with the less expensive Explore Package and R1T models with the Max battery pack (which is not available on R1S) "will follow in 2023."

A Rivian spokesperson confirmed the email's contents.

The Adventure package is Rivian's upmarket trim, offering heated and cooled vegan leather seats, wood trim and a peppier sound system courtesy of Meridian, who also supplies high-end audio components to Jaguar Land Rover. Adventure-trimmed models also get a powered tonneau cover. By comparison, Explore variants get heated vegan leather seats, a non-Meridian audio system and a manual tonneau cover that can be stored when it's not being used. As for the battery, the Large pack delivers between 314 and 316 miles of range by Environmental Protection Agency estimates, with the R1T's Max pack offering a Rivian-estimated 400 miles of range.

Thankfully, those left waiting for their orders should get additional clarification in the coming year. In the email on Reddit, Scaringe wrote that Rivian's online account page will show delivery timing estimates starting in early 2022. Furthermore, Scaringe wrote that Rivian will be reaching out to Max battery pack and Explore trim reservation-holders to gauge interest in swapping to a variant that will be built in 2022.

We at Roadshow are big fans of what Rivian is up to. Our own Emme Hall was the first reviewer to truly put the R1T through its paces, as she conquered the Rebelle Rally in an R1T outfitted for the job. Earlier this year, we evaluated it in a more traditional manner as well. We found it to be worth the wait, providing loads of capability (and acceleration) both on road and off.