Rivian R1T enters 2023 Pikes Peak Hill Climb — its first time in the competition

A Rivian R1T will take on the famed climb to the 14,000-foot summit of Pikes Peak this year. This will be the automaker’s first time participating in one of the most intense hill climb events in the automotive world.

The Pikes Peak International Hill Club published this year’s competitors (via Rivian Forums), and the R1T is included on the list. Rivian’s Senior Performance Test Engineer, Gardner Nichols, will drive the all-electric pickup.

Nichols is an enthusiast of racing on all applications. In his two years at Rivian in his position, he has raced performance vehicles on the side, making him an ideal candidate for the Pikes Peak race.

Interestingly, Rivian R1T and R1S vehicles were spotted near Pikes Peak in mid-2021 but were there likely to perform various testing measures before initial deliveries began.

Pikes Peak is the highest summit of the southern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, and the track measures 12.42 miles with over 156 turns and a change of elevation of almost 5,000 feet. As the cars climb higher, they get less oxygen from the thinner air, which in turn saps the performance of both vehicles and drivers.

The most powerful version of the R1T from 2022 boasts 835 horsepower and a maximum towing of up to 11,000 pounds. The all-electric pickup was designed for both on and off-road applications, making it ideal for tougher terrain. Adjustable air suspension, optional all-terrain tires, and an optional carbon-fiber underbody shield complement off-road performance.

The 2022 Rivian R1T has an estimated range of 314 miles, but what is important in a hill climb event like Pikes Peak’s is performance.

The R1T packs a 0-60 MPH time of 3.3 seconds and completes a quarter-mile drag in 11.7 seconds at a top speed of 110.9 MPH.

EVs, such as the Tesla Model S Plaid, have succeeded in past climb events. In 2021, the Tesla Model S Plaid dominated with a time of 4:10.342 in the Exhibition Divison with a top speed of 140 MPH. Last year, a 2018 Model 3 driven by Daijiro Yoshihara finished second in the Exhibition Divison, with the Model S Plaid taking fourth after taking the crown the year before.

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