Lincoln's Full-Size Electric SUV Could Be Built by Rivian, Hints CEO

It’ll reportedly be far more urban than Rivian’s own SUV, the outdoorsy R1S.

Lincoln Motor Company

Just before Thanksgiving, a report broke saying electric vehicle maker Rivian would build an SUV for Lincoln rather than Ford. Given the legacy manufacturer’s stake in Rivian, and that the partnered pair acknowledge plans to cooperate on the development of electric trucks and SUVs, it sounded plenty reasonable. In an interview published Thursday, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe lent the rumor additional credibility.

Scaringe confirmed to Motortrend that the first fruit of Ford and Rivian's trans-Lake Michigan partnership will be an upscale SUV, one whose development is already complete.

"It's a very different product from our own SUV, but it's still in the SUV space," said Scaringe, differentiating Rivian's own R1S from the upcoming model. The executive airily hinted that this vehicle will be "an impressive product, to say the least."

The original rumors of this vehicle outlined the SUV as fitting in the full-size segment, or roughly the size of the current Navigator. This model's market launch is allegedly scheduled for mid-2022, or up to a year and a half after Rivian launches the R1S. Though all Rivian-built vehicles from the tank-turning R1T pickup truck to the Prime-branded vans ordered by Amazon share a common "skateboard" architecture, the R1S and possible Lincoln E-SUV will not directly compete for sales. Rivian's target demographic is more outdoorsy, and Lincoln's more urbanite.

All Rivian vehicles will be built in the company's Normal, Illinois plant, where the Mitsubishi Eclipse was once manufactured. Rivian's first R1Ts are anticipated to roll off the assembly line this December, and the first R1Ss, the following February. Some time thereafter, Rivian will commit Ford's and Amazon's vehicles to production, the latter of which is expected to account for 100,000 of the plant's 264,000-vehicle annual capacity by 2024.

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