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Rivian's electric R1S SUV will get an extended range 'Max' battery this fall

The Max Pack could deliver 390 miles of range.

Roberto Baldwin/Engadget

Rivian won't limit its longest-ranged battery pack to the R1T pickup. Founder RJ Scaringe has announced that a configuration with the Max Pack battery and dual-motor all-wheel drive will be available sometime this fall. The company projects a 390-mile range. Crucially, you won't lose the seven-person seating in the process. You can take the whole family on a road trip without as many charging stops as before.

The EV maker hasn't mentioned pricing for the Max Pack trim. As Autoblog notes, the option adds $16,000 to the price of the R1T but extends the range to 400 miles. At present, R1S buyers have to be content with a $6,000 upgrade to the not-yet-EPA-rated Large Pack. You can expect a claimed 260 miles with the stock battery.

The wait for the Max option doesn't come at a great moment for Rivian. The automaker has conducted two rounds of layoffs as part of a broader cost-cutting strategy meant to help the brand survive rough economic conditions. It While Rivian is one of the few EV startups to achieve meaningful production levels, it made just 24,337 cars in 2022, or less than half its originally predicted amount — and roughly half of those (12,700) were just recalled over an airbag deployment issue. The R1S Max model may boost demand, but its late-year arrival may limit its potential to improve Rivian's fortunes in 2023.