Rivian R1T Dual vs Quad Motor: What’s The Difference?


Rivian R1T Dual vs Quad Motor: What’s The Difference?

One of the famous electric vehicle manufacturers, Rivian has an impressive lineup of electric SUVs. Dual Motor and R1T Dual are two of its variants. Can they go toe to toe? Let’s look at their motor configurations and more to understand how they work. So Rivian R1T Dual vs. Quad Motor, what’s the best? Keep reading to find the answers.

What is the Rivian R1T?

Rivian R1T truck
The Rivian R1T truck

Rivian is one of the premier electric car makers in the United States. The company produces autonomous electric vehicles, delivering around 25,000 vehicles in 2022. Although behind Tesla in numbers, they are growing and have contracts with large companies like Amazon.

The R1T is the primary vehicle offering from Rivian, essentially meaning the “Rivian Truck 1” with its initials. It is a five-passenger electric pickup truck that came out in 2018 and has a driving range of up to 400 miles on a single charge. The pickup truck can handle rough terrains and is semi-autonomous, with the company detailing plans for fully autonomous models in the future. The R1T really helped to put Rivian on the map when it comes to consumer awareness.

Dual Motor vs. Quad Motor

Electric cars use electricity to move from point A to B. However, EVs accelerate differently than conventional gas cars. Traditional gas cars have a large engine that generates power and subsequently turns the wheels through an axle. EVs have smaller localized motors that receive power directly from a battery pack to turn the wheels, which is more efficient than an axle. These motors can be placed in various setups, each with a specific impact on the vehicle as a whole.

EVs typically have motors in two places: on each axle or on the wheels themselves. Vehicles with two motors will likely have them on the front or back two wheels directly or on both the front and back axle. This setup is known as a “dual-motor” build for many EVs. Aquad-motor build will have a single motor for each wheel on the vehicle, totaling four.

Rivian R1s Charging Port
Rivians EVs have smaller localized motors and are more efficient than traditional motors.

The R1T comes in both dual-motor and quad-motor configurations. The quad-motor configuration is generally going to be the strongest and most capable configuration on any EV simply because it has the most power and individual control. Here is what’s listed on the Rivian website for their quad-motors system:

“Our Quad-Motor AWD is our most capable system. It features one motor for each wheel for the highest levels of performance, capability and control both on-road and off.”


The dual-motor system is a cheaper alternative as it has fewer parts. The trade-off, however, comes in the form of power, control, and off-road performance. Here’s what Rivian says about its dual-motor system:

“Dual-Motor AWD features one motor for each axle for exceptional power and control. The system is designed to excel on all road types while remaining highly capable off-road.”


R1T Dual Motor vs. Quad Motor: Which is Best?

The Rivian R1T was released in 2021


When deciding which system is best for you, here are a few things to consider.

Quad-Motor AWDDual-Motor AWD
All-wheel driveAll-wheel drive
One motor per wheelOne motor per axle
0–60 mph as quick as 3.0 seconds0–60 mph as quick as 4.5 seconds
More than 800 horsepowerMore than 600 horsepower
More than 900 ft-lbs of torqueMore than 600 ft-lbs of torque
via Rivian

If budget is your primary concern, the dual-motor is a good option because it’s affordable (in the EV world, at least). While not as powerful as the quad, it still has an impressive 0-60 time. This car has two powered axles, meaning the truck is still technically AWD (all-wheel drive). Additionally, having two fewer motors often results in a higher vehicle range, provided the battery packs are equal in size.

The quad-motor system is probably your best bet if you value performance. It has the best 0-60 time, over 200 horsepower more than the dual motor system, and has over 300 more ft-lbs of torque for towing or power needs. The only drawback to this amount of power is that it can come at the cost of range. Why? More motors draw more power. All the same, the quad-motor system is ideal for anyone who needs as much towing and offroad capability as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

What motor options does the R1T have?

The R1T has two motor configurations, the dual-motor and quad-motor systems.

Is the dual-motor or quad-motor R1T cheaper?

The dual-motor R1T is cheaper than the quad-motor system by around $8,000 USD.

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