Rivian: Electric carmaker shows off 'tank turn'

Need to get out of a tight spot – or keen to impress some mates in a deserted carpark? Check out Rivian's new tank turn feature.
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Electric ute- and SUV-maker Rivian has teased a feature that allows its vehicles to spin on the spot.

With an electric motor on each wheel, the Rivian R1T and R1S are capable of spinning the wheels on their right-hand side in the opposite direction to those on the left-hand side.

In essence, that means the R1T and R1S will be able to rotate on the spot – essentially, the car can perform a 360-degree turn without moving forwards or backwards, like it's on an automotive lazy Susan.

Although it's a cool party trick there are also practical applications for the feature, which should make it easier for drivers to escape tricky situations on tight off-road trails.

It's worth bearing in mind, this isn't a feature that will work in all conditions. Tank turning on pavement is likely to torture tyres at best, and the car's very structure at worst – we'd suggest it's best saved for gravel or mud.

Rivian says its ute and SUV could be in Australia as early as 2022, with a company spokesperson telling CarAdvice "right-hand drive is coming, it's been in the plan from the beginning".