A man holding a reservation for the Rivian R1S SUV took to Twitter to ask the EV maker whether the glass roof he's seen on the demo R1S will be a sliding or fixed roof. The company responded with the news, "We will offer multiple roof styles including electrochromic glass (which turns from opaque to transparent on demand), a fixed glass panel, a two-piece removable composite roof and a standard fixed roof." As far as we can tell, this mean's the answer to the question is that the glass options are fixed, since Rivian's response didn't mention an opening glass panel. But now we know Rivian has even more interesting options up top, and word is that they'll be available on the R1T pickup and R1S.
Hi Steven! We will offer multiple roof styles including electrochromic glass (which turns from opaque to transparent on demand), a fixed glass panel, a two-piece removable composite roof and a standard fixed roof.— Rivian (@Rivian) August 13, 2019
That means four ways top off the electric ride. The Michigan-based startup demonstrated the electrochromic glass roof on the R1T at the New York Auto Show, with controls for tinting the glass apparently located in an infotainment menu as opposed to being a physical button. Based on Rivian wallpapers, it appears that the R1S roof will house two glass panels, the question being whether both will be able to darken, or just the front panel. Electrochromic glass hasn't become a widespread feature, but Mercedes-Benz has offered this kind of roof as Magic Sky Control for years on the SL- and SLK-Class convertibles, and the S-Class sedan. A poster on the Rivian Owner's Forum suggested the electric trucks could take matters much further, offering "Electrochromatic glass with 20 shade/color options."
The fixed roof could be a simple sheetmetal unit, and we figure the fixed glass panel will be permanently tinted and come with some sort of sunshade. The two-piece composite roof is the joker of the bunch. We wonder how much of the roof comes off the R1S SUV, and where the panels will be stored in the R1T. And could we be talking about... gasp... a T-top? Either way, it likely won't be an inexpensive option on a rig that starts at $72,500. The only other adventure-focused SUV out now with a removable roof is the Jeep Wrangler, its three-piece removable hardtop costing $1,195 in black or $2,195 in body color. With Rivian scheduled to enter production next year, this year's auto show season could fill in more blanks.