Get to Know Rivian's Unconventional Design Decisions On the R1T Electric Pickup Truck
The Rivian R1T is a new electric pickup truck that has recently hit the market. It's an impressive vehicle, but some of its features have raised eyebrows. One such feature is the headliner, which appears to be held in place with magnets or clips instead of traditional plastic clips. This has surprised many people as it seems like an expensive and heavy solution compared to traditional methods.
It turns out that there are other vehicles that use magnets for their headliners, so this isn't totally crazy. However, it does seem strange that a company would choose to go with something more expensive and heavier when they're trying to make a new car that isn't profitable yet and weighs over 7000lbs. Weight reduction comes through iteration, though, and at some point Rivian needed to get into production.
Another example of Rivian going for cool/novel/different instead of proven is the key fob. The carabiner design looks great, but it doesn't work well because of this decision. On the flip side, metal parts need to be thicker on off-road vehicles like the R1T in order to withstand abuse during off-roading.
Overall, it's interesting to see how Rivian balances cost savings, weight reduction, and innovation with each of their decisions. While some of these may not always make sense from a practical standpoint, they certainly add character to the vehicle. It's also worth noting that the headliner issue is not a major problem and can be easily fixed with some adhesive or clips.
It's clear that Rivian has put a lot of thought into their design decisions, even if they don't always make sense from an engineering standpoint. They are pushing boundaries in order to create something unique and special, which is admirable. As long as they continue to iterate on their designs and address any issues quickly, then we should see more great things from them in the future!
Is the headliner falling down in the left side of the photo?
Yes, it appears to be. It has magnets on the backside, so pushing it back up should work.
Is it expensive and heavy compared to traditional plastic clips?
Other vehicles use magnets for the headliner, so it is not totally crazy. Weight reduction comes through iteration, which takes time. Rivian also suffers from tech-startup-syndrome, where “cool”/”novel”/“different” have won out over “proven” in many aspects.
Are there any features that could have been cut out to make room for something else?
The carabiner key fob is cool but a traditional active fob circuit would have been more reliable. For the frunk trim, motors for the center console don't have much of a wow factor. It would have made more sense to cut those and squeeze in a power tailgate or door motors.
What can be done to fix the headliner?
The magnets should hold it up, but if they don't, you may need to use some adhesive. You could also try using a vacuum cleaner to suck the air out and create a vacuum seal. This should help keep the headliner in place.
Is there any way to prevent this from happening again?
Yes, you can use a stronger adhesive or double-sided tape to secure the headliner. You can also add additional magnets to make sure it stays in place. Additionally, you can check the tension of the headliner every few months and adjust it as needed.