Is the all-electric pickup truck Rivian R1T as potent as the tried-and-tested Jeep Gladiator Mojave even when the road ends?
One of the most heated debates of recent times is the one about electric vehicles vs fossil fuel, and things just get better when two very able vehicles are put to the test against each other. Where the EVs boast about more power and torque at the tap of the throttle, the contemporary vehicles have earned respect by proving their worth time and again. This time, the folks at Edmunds.com decided to pick two of the most able pickups from both the worlds and put them head to head.
The all-electric Rivian R1T and the Jeep Wrangler Mojave are two giants in their own leagues. What makes this test more interesting is the fact that this test happened on terrains more suited for off-roaders. There is no denying the fact that the Jeep Gladiator does punch above its weight despite having a modest power delivery of 285 HP. The Rivian R1T, however, delivers a ridiculous 835 HP and 908 lb-ft of power and torque respectively. Thanks to its four motors, the R1T goes from zero to 60mph in just 3 seconds.
The Rivian R1T Vs The Jeep Gladiator Mojave In The Middle Of Nowhere
The video on Edmunds Cars’ YouTube channel starts with Ryan ZumMallen driving the Jeep Gladiator Mojave, and Emme Hall joining him in a Rivian R1T. Since the power delivery in the R1T is immediate, it eliminates the need of a 4-Low transfer case. The four-wheel torque vectoring decides how much torque goes to each wheel depending on the grip, hence eliminating the need of differential lockers. On the otherhand, having no front locker or sway bar disconnect, the Mojave seems to have its disadvantages.
Before hitting the first trail, tire pressures of both the pickups are lowered and immediately the R1T has its first problem. Lowering the tire pressure too much results in more grip, but reduced range. The curb weight of over 7,150 lbs makes matters worse. The Gladiator Mojave does the first two sections with ease after being put in the Off Road + mode. The R1T follows closely with its independent suspension which looks more comfortable for the occupants, but a little bouncier than the Mojave.
Can The Rivian R1T Do What The Jeep Gladiator Mojave Can?
Things begin to spice up on a bumpy steep incline that the Gladiator clears with ease. Interestingly, the Rivian R1T manages to outdo the Mojave thanks to its independent suspension and additional ground clearance. The R1T has electrically-adjustable ground clearance that goes up to almost 15 inches, while the Mojave has a ground clearance of almost 12 inches. Another menacing steep incline makes Ryan engage his 4-Low, get his rear locker on to get as much torque and traction as possible, and reaches the top with ease. Emme arrives soon with her R1T in Rock Crawl mode and manages to do it too but with a little effort, which seems more of a tire problem instead of R1T’s.
The third climb with a 35-degree incline is where the Gladiator Mojave fails to reach the other end of the trail, and the availability of a front locker might have solved the problem. After the Mojave gives up, the Rivian R1T attempts the same, and meets the same fate. But, the R1T does manage to get past the point where the Jeep Gladiator went freewheeling, and almost reaches the top when the tires just refuse to support the drivetrain. This says a lot about what a Rivian R1T can (or cannot) do. To be able to ‘beat’ the Gladiator Mojave in its own home ground is an achievement any off-roader should be proud of.
The Rivian R1T Vs The Jeep Gladiator Mojave On Paper
This should be straightforward. Or so we think. To begin with, the Rivian R1T is an electric truck that has four motors with two on each axle. Where the front two motors deliver 415 HP and 413 lb-ft combined, the rear two motors add another 420 HP and 495 lb-ft to the mix. This takes the overall numbers to 835 HP and 908 lb-ft. This is insanely high by any stretch of the imagination. The extremely intuitive four-wheel torque vectoring controls all the four wheels independently. This means every wheel on the R1T can accelerate, decelerate, and even turn depending on the need of the hour and traction available.
The Jeep Gladiator Mojave, however, looks extremely meek in front of the Rivian R1T with its 3.6-litre V6 engine delivering 285 HP and 260 lb-ft of power and torque. The current Jeep Gladiator Mojave has an electronic locking differential at the rear, and an open one at the front to get you out of that unwanted situation if you ever get stuck. Sadly, the sway bar cannot be disconnected to allow the front two wheels to move independently while crawling over those rocks. The crawl ratios of 57.3:1 and 52.6:1 (depending on which gearbox you choose) for maximum traction and torque on the steepest of climbs does make life easy though. All this works seamlessly together, and a ground clearance of almost 12 inches doesn’t hurt either. But the Rivian R1T in the video costs over $23,000 more than the Jeep Gladiator Mojave in question. That’s a substantial amount of difference between two pickups that are as good (or bad) as each other off the road.