2022 Rivian R1T: A blank slate explodes with creativity


When Rivian was founded in 2009, no one thought about electric pickup trucks.

In 2013, the interior of the Tesla model S became the template for electric cars: it had a large central screen and a cabin with few buttons.

When it came to electric pickups, there were three choices: make the interior look like a conventional truck, a spaceship, or a Tesla.

Rivian chose “none of the above”. Instead, it drew inspiration from timeless American mid-century modern designs outside of the auto industry, such as Frank Lloyd Wright houses and Inge chairs.

This inspired design and brilliant execution wins the Rivian R1T pickup a 2022 Wards 10 Best Interiors & UX award.

“The mid-century modern approach fits in perfectly with current design trends in furniture and architecture, so the look is instantly sympathetic,” said judge Dave Zoia.

With a modern yet familiar look, the R1T cockpit doesn’t overwhelm you with technology, but the details, colors and textures scream camping and outdoor adventure. Even the lock/unluck chirp is the sound of a real bird.

“Rivian could have been totally futuristic when making this truck, but this design will have a wider appeal. There are still some interesting modern details such as the hidden vents and the generous displays. I especially like this truck in the green color trim – very eye-catching and fitting with the outdoor theme in general,” adds Zoia.

The large, bold surfaces are easy to clean and made from durable materials. A powerful rechargeable flashlight is located in the driver’s door. In the center console is a removable Bluetooth speaker that turns any campfire into a party. There is also a light on it.

“Lots of clever features, like USB-C ports hidden on the back of the front headrests above the coat hooks,” said judge Christie Schweinsberg. She also appreciates the daring Chilewich woven floor mats for their cool “mottled” look. Stylish mottled textiles create visual irregularities and a dynamic surface of moving colors. This is the first time this type of material has been used for floor mats in a vehicle.

A transverse tunnel behind the cab – which would be impossible with an ICE platform with a drive shaft tunnel – offers plenty of storage space. Lots of skies fit in or an optional electric camping kitchen that can be extended sideways for tailgating or grilling outdoors. When folded, the sturdy tunnel doors become perfect seats to put skis or waders on.

“I love the tunnel – very innovative, says judge Bob Gritzinger. “As a skier, I love the hatches of the seats/gear tunnel. They are the right height to put on ski boots (or hiking boots, etc.). People who can afford this truck will love it, as will their friends. “

Gritzinger also likes the “Mountain Bluebird” lock/unlock chirp. ‘Why haven’t others thought of this? So much more pleasant and unique than just another horn.”

We once feared that electric cars would be boring. Instead, it turns out to be a blank slate for great new ideas — especially our 2022 10 Best Interiors & UX winners.