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Rivian R1T Pickup Truck Could Perform Zero-Turn Maneuvers Thanks to Innovative ‘Tank Steer’

This CGI video shows how the feature would work when in a tight, tough spot off-road.

Rivian Automotive stands as arguably the most serious electric vehicle startup with worthwhile concepts and even financial backing from Detroit by way of a $500-million Ford investment. Its R1T adventure truck packs real-deal off-road equipment, not to mention stellar range, and with the recent leak of a supposedly genuine feature coming to the four-wheel-drive EV, it’ll be extremely agile for a full-size machine—or for a machine of any size, really. 

Judging by a CGI video that has floated around YouTube after being deleted and re-uploaded several times, the R1T will boast what Rivian apparently calls Tank Steer, or Tank Turn. Essentially, the truck makes use of its four electric motors—one at each wheel—to pull off a zero-turn maneuver. This would undoubtedly come in handy when on a tight road or trail with no way out except the way you came.

While Rivian has said the video was not released in an official capacity, the terms “Tank Steer” and “Tank Turn” were both trademarked by the forward-thinking automaker lin September 2018, as Inside EVs revealed. This matches the video’s title, “Rivian Tank Steer Reveal,” although it doesn’t necessarily prove anything. In an email to The Drive, Rivian explained, “Tank Turn is a potential feature we have discussed, but we have no comment on future specifications beyond those already revealed.”

The video utilizes CGI to show off the undeniably cool feature, and it’s unclear if any Rivian RT1 prototype built to date can pull off such a stunt.

Sings seem to point toward this being a real capability of the R1T eventually, giving off-roaders and EV fanatics even more reason to anticipate Rivian’s initial offering. We already know the pickup, along with its R1S SUV sibling, will ride on a modular “skateboard” platform and have an all-electric range of over 400 miles in top trim. Pair that with innovative characteristics like its pass-through bed design and the supposed Tank Steer and you’ve got what seems like the perfect zero-emission adventure-mobile starting around $70k.