Avera Motors Becomes Rivian Automotive

Image: Rivian Automotive

How is it even remotely possible that a car manufacturer I’ve never heard of exists in my own state? Especially since they promise to bring mid-engine, rear drive performance to the masses, all with a focus on fuel efficiency and affordability. Think of a Toyota MR2 Turbo mated to a Toyota Prius, and you get the picture; unfortunately, that’s the only picture we have to date (except for the cloaked image above). Rivian Automotive, it seems, has spent the last few months fending off legal action from Hyundai, who was concerned that the Avera name was too close to Hyundai’s Azera. Not that buyers would likely confuse a fuel-efficient, American built sports car with a luxury sedan from Korea, but experience tells me it’s best to keep lawyers busy. That way, they have less time to protect us from ourselves.

So now that we know Rivian Automotive, what doe we know about them? The answer is not much, but they’ve made some big promises. First, they claim that their vehicle will be fun behind the wheel, with a mid-engine, rear-drive layout, lightweight space frame and double wishbone suspension. They claim their vehicle “won’t break the bank”, but they stop short of defining a price bracket. Using race car architecture, they say their vehicles will provide “industry leading safety”, and even display a yet-to-be earned five star rating. Finally, they bill themselves as a green company, without even telling us how the car will be built or what will power it. In fact, the only reference to the drive system is the vaguely ambiguous statement, “Rivian Automotive’s lightweight and aerodynamic platform enables fuel economy well beyond today’s best hybrids. That’s a bold statement to make unless you’re certain you can back it up.

If it seems like I’m being overly harsh on Rivian Automotive, it’s only because I want them to succeed. Scratch that, I need them to succeed, since they have the potential of single-handedly saving employment on Florida’s Space Coast. I’d much rather see former NASA engineers building a new and remarkable automotive platform than working at Denny’s or Home Depot (your two best employment options in Florida). If I’m skeptical, it’s only because experience tells me that anything that sounds too good to be true usually is. God, I hope I’m wrong about Rivian Automotive.