Ford to use Rivian EV platform for Lincoln SUV?

The all-electric model is expected to arrive in 2022.

An all-electric Lincoln SUV will reportedly be Ford's first model built upon Rivian's EV 'skateboard' platform.

The Blue Oval invested $500 million in the Michigan-based startup, representing a third of $1.5 billion the company raised so far this year as it attempts to bring its unique battery-powered R1T pickup and R1S SUV to market.

Rivian's skateboard architecture centers around a flat battery module below the height of the wheels to maximize design flexibility and keep a low center of gravity, with room for up to 180-kWh of energy storage. The proposed R1T and R1S will benefit from four separate motors, applying up to 200 horsepower independently to each wheel.

The quad-motor approach provides theoretical torque-vectoring advantages over the front and rear differentials employed by Tesla's dual-motor all-wheel-drive cars. Tesla is moving a similar direction with its upcoming tri-motor powertrains, debuting with the range-topping Model S next year and eventually reaching the Cybertruck and Roadster.

Reuters claims the Rivian-based Lincoln SUV is on track to roll off the assembly line by mid-2022, following a year after Rivian hopes to begin building its own R1S. It is unclear if the Lincoln will be toned down in terms of performance compared to the R1S, which is said to carry a $72,500 price tag and can hit 60 mph in three seconds.

Rivian is one of several startups promising to launch electric vehicles within the next few years. The Lincoln SUV's launch timing will presumably hinge on the R1T project staying on schedule for 2020 production, perhaps benefiting from Ford's expertise in bringing models to market. The projects will be closely watched, as the final steps between prototype testing and mass production have been notoriously difficult for other prospective EV makers to complete.

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