On March 1, Rivian announced some changes to its R1T and R1S models effective in 2024. Among them were new dual-motor setups and smaller battery options, but what really captured attention was a not-insignificant price increase for quad-motor models. That's because the increase applied to existing reservation holders who thought they had a price locked in.

Apparently, that caused something of a stir in the Rivian world. Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe issued a letter on March 3 reversing course on the price increase for reservation holders. In the letter, he cites rising costs of materials as the reason for the increase but admits the implementation of the increase and the reasoning behind it could have been handled better.

"As we worked to update pricing to reflect these cost increases, we wrongly decided to make these changes apply to all future deliveries, including pre-existing configured preorders. We failed to appreciate how you viewed your configuration as price locked, and we wrongly assumed the announced Dual-Motor and Standard battery pack would provide configurations that would deliver price points similar to your original configuration. While this was the logic, it was wrong and we broke your trust in Rivian."

Gallery: Rivian R1T

The dual-motor versions with smaller batteries were announced with starting prices of $67,500 for the R1T, and $70,000 for the R1S – identical to the former MSRP for the quad-motor models. Now, Rivian will charge $78,975 for a quad-motor R1T and $84,000 for the R1S. Those increases fall between 17 and 20 percent, so it's not hard to understand why reservation holders might have been angry. Additionally, anyone opting to switch their reservation to the dual-motor model would've had another year to wait before delivery. Add it all up, and it becomes a PR nightmare for a company still trying to build a reputation.

Presumably, the price debacle led to some reservation holders exiting the scene. In the letter, Scaringe pledges to not only honor original pricing for current reservation holders, but to reinstate reservations at the original price for those who canceled a preorder on or after March 1.

The dual-motor Rivian models with smaller batteries, while not as punchy as the quad-motor offerings, aren't lackluster by any means. Range is said to be around 260 miles versus 314, and 0-60 performance is around four seconds flat.

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