In every case, it was the primary time any automaker has received the award with its first automobile. Tesla received Automobile of the Yr in 2013 with the Tesla Mannequin S, one other electrical automobile from a startup automaker, however that was Tesla’s second mannequin, after the unique Tesla Roadster.
MotorTrend, which began as a print journal in 1949, now additionally operates cable and streaming video channels and boasts of being the world’s largest automotive media firm. Its annual “Of the Yr” awards, which date again to the journal’s founding, are wanted by auto producers and, when received, are touted in adverts.
The Rivian R1T can be the primary truck not made by one of many conventional Detroit’s Large Three automakers to win the award since 2008.
Ed Loh, head of editorial for MotorTrend, mentioned Rivian’s win is much more exceptional than Lucid’s due to the problem pickup vehicles symbolize.
Vans are known as upon to carry out a much wider vary of capabilities than automobiles, mentioned Loh, whereas offering a snug journey and good driving expertise. Truck producers additionally are usually fairly conservative when designing new fashions, MotorTrend writers mentioned, not desirous to danger confirmed and extremely worthwhile designs. The highest promoting automobiles in America are the Ford F-series and Chevrolet Silverado.
The Rivian R1T is the primary commercially accessible electrical automobile with 4 motors, one to energy every particular person wheel. That permits better off-road functionality, as a result of energy may be despatched exactly to the wheels with probably the most traction. When driving on pavement, it additionally helps with cornering, giving the R1T on-road comparable efficiency to a luxurious sedan, in accordance with MotorTrend.
When testing the Rivian’s competitor, the Hummer EV, MotorTrend staffers had been impressed with that truck’s energy and quickness, however not with its huge weight (over 9,000 kilos) or with its brakes, which, in accordance with the writers, weren’t up the duty of rapidly stopping all that mass.
The R1T’s physique has no hole between the mattress and passenger cab the best way most vehicles do. That is not fully distinctive -— smaller vehicles just like the Ford Maverick, one other finalist this 12 months, and Honda Ridgeline additionally lack that hole — however Rivian designers used that accessible physique space to incorporate a cargo tunnel that runs throughout the truck the place that hole would have been. When open, doorways to that enclosed cargo space can be used as facet steps to achieve into the mattress up onto the roof. The R1T additionally has an enormous storage space below its hood.
MotorTrend’s writers additionally lauded the Rivian’s inside design and supplies calling them worthy of the truck’s $70,000 price ticket. Whereas MotorTrend staffers did not take care of the R1T’s heavy reliance on a contact display screen for a lot of automobile capabilities, they mentioned the interface was at the very least moderately straightforward to make use of.
MotorTrend is a part of a three way partnership co-owned by Discovery Inc. CNN is a part of WarnerMedia which is predicted to merge with Discovery subsequent 12 months.
Rivian solely not too long ago started constructing the the R1T for purchasers and manufacturing was, initially, very sluggish, in accordance with paperwork filed with Securities and Change Fee. Whether or not startup corporations like Lucid and Rivian will be capable of provide automobiles and repair to their prospects within the years forward wasn’t actually a consideration for the award, Loh mentioned.
“It is Automobile of the Yr. It is Truck of the Yr,” he mentioned. “It is not Enterprise Plan of the Yr.”
Skeptics raised comparable concern when Tesla received the award in 2013, he identified, and Tesla went to change into the world’s best-selling maker of electrical automobiles.
MotorTrend, then spelled Motor Development, gave out its first Automobile of the Yr award in 1949. On the time, the award was given to an total automobile model and Cadillac received. The primary Truck of the Yr award was given in 1977 to the Ford Econoline van — additionally thought-about a truck — however the award wasn’t given in any respect between 1980 and 1989. Motor Development’s annual awards aren’t at all times predictors of market success. In 2002, the Automobile of the Yr award went to the retro-styled Ford Thunderbird, which continued in manufacturing solely three extra years after that.
In the present day, the awards are given to particular person automobile fashions which might be both fully new or utterly redesigned for the brand new mannequin 12 months.