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Richard Vaughan, Rivian’s director-crafted quality, spoke at Informa Tech Automotive Group’s Summer Festival of Automotive and said that Rivian is taking cues from companies like Lamborghini, Bentley, Lincoln and Audi for its interior.

“We want to ensure our new vehicles are truly world-class,” he says, adding Rivian’s goal is to become “a world leader in quality.”


Startup electric-vehicle maker Rivian, which plans to introduce its first models next year, is taking interior quality cues from luxury and ultra-luxury brands.

“We’re benchmarking the greatest,” Richard Vaughan, Rivian’s director-crafted quality, says, citing Lamborghini, Bentley, Lincoln and Audi.

Early EV interiors were more utilitarian than luxurious. Rivian plans to wow customers with the latter, Vaughan says at an online session during Informa Tech Automotive Group’s Summer Festival of Automotive, held last week.

“We want to ensure our new vehicles are truly world-class,” he says, adding Rivian’s goal is to become “a world leader in quality.”

Consumers may fail to express what exactly makes up a crafted interior, but they know one when they see it, he says. “Quality planning goes further than understanding what customers want, because sometimes they don’t know what they want.”

He speaks of the visual allure of rich textures, the tactile appeal of solid-feeling haptics and the auditory draw of “sounds from moving parts and sounds generated by user interface.”

Vaughan is responsible for leading all aspects of craftsmanship for Rivian vehicles. His duties include “the careful management of sensory cues that consciously and unconsciously communicate a sense of quality.”

Prior to joining Rivian, he was creative director for CGT, a major supplier of automotive interior surface materials.

Rivian plans to introduce its first vehicle, the R1T pickup truck, next June, followed two months later by the R1S SUV, Vaughan says.
 

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Of course it would be great to see Rivian's interiors rival Bentley, but I'm expecting it to be closer to Lincoln and Audi.
 

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I personally want a nice interior, but if I were using this for 'overlanding' or general off-roading, the wash-out interiors or easy clean seats would be better... ie Jeep Wrangler or the new Bronco type floor and seating.
 

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For context before reading the details below, I have preordered an R1S.

From what I have seen on their website, they are on the right track. They've created an interior that speaks to nature and adventure with the wood trim and detailing, is also modern with the digital screens and comfortable/luxurious with the leather seating, but it's sporty as well. I think so far they have struck the perfect balance between luxury and sport. These pictures are what I am thinking of with the description above

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I work in interior design for commercial real estate, and although it doesn't directly translate it feels like Rivian is on trend with modern design.

I hope they don't over do it and are able to maintain a balance between luxury and the adventure market they are targeting! The second photo put me over the edge and made me place my deposit!
 

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Car Buzz wrote about how this announcement should worry Audi specifically.

Rivian's first batch of customers has regularly been kept up to date regarding the pre-production status of their all-electric vehicles. The Rivian R1T pickup truck and the R1S SUV were originally slated to begin production around the end of this year, but the coronavirus pandemic has pushed back that date to next summer. More new Rivian models are expected as well. While the delay can be a source of frustration, it does come with some potential benefits, such as additional time refinement time.

In any case, Rivian's Director of Crafted Quality has pledged in a recent interview with Ward's Auto the vehicles' interiors will rival or exceed the very best in the business. "We're benchmarking the greatest," said Richard Vaughan, specifically pointing out Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, and even Lincoln. "We wanted to ensure our new vehicles are truly world-class."

Vaughan also reiterated Rivian's desire to become a global leader in overall quality. "Quality planning goes further than understanding what customers want because sometimes they don't know what they want." Building extremely high-quality interiors with fantastic attention to the finest of details has long been one of Audi's trademarks. Even its rival German domestic luxury brands have not always been to beat Audi in this department. While having good exterior design is always important, interior design and material choices are equally important if not more so. Why?

Because owners spend the vast majority of their time inside vehicles, sometimes for extended periods of time. Cars and trucks are great to look at from the outside, but it's the interior that matters most.

Vaughan promises plenty of rich textures throughout and the alluring "sounds from moving parts and sounds generated by user interface." For years, several mainstream automakers didn't prioritize interior quality, believing high-quality build materials didn't matter much to customers. But foreign brands like Audi and most Japanese automakers have always considered interiors to be of the utmost importance.


It's good to see Rivian following suit. Perhaps it could set a new bar of interior excellence.


 
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