Rivian A16 Concept Is A Futuristic Flatbed Hauler

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Behance markets itself a social media platform for designers, but it is a wild and lawless place where the laws of physics don’t necessarily apply. Copyright and trademark laws seem to be a bit flimsy there as well, with several iconic designs being re-hashed and repurposed almost daily by aspiring industrial designers hoping their latest design is good enough to get “the call” from a big OEM who thinks their vision is the way forward. So, now that you have some context, meet Ryan Schlotthauer and his incredible Rivian A16 flatbed concept.

Yes, Ryan’s Rivian concept is “just” an art-project. I also realize that it’s not officially connected with Rivian, Amazon, or any of the other companies you might think of when you see it (not yet, at least). That doesn’t really matter, though, because if there isn’t something like this being talked about as an upcoming Rivian model, the A16 is so well-realized that it makes you think that there probably should be. Take a look for yourself.

Rivian A16 Explainer, courtesy of Ryan Schlotthauer.

That slide indicates that the Rivian A16 concept is based on the very real, Rivian-developed “Amazon” skateboard that underpins the online retail giant’s electrified delivery fleet. The platform was intentionally developed to be durable, dependable, and able to haul massive amounts of weight in all kinds of conditions, day-in and day-out for years on end with minimal maintenance. It is supposed to be bulletproof, in other words, and that’s exactly the kind of thing you want when you call roadside assistance for help.

The concept’s promo page bills the A16 as just a brand-exposure exercise — but I think that’s missing the potential of a Rivian-branded tow truck. After all, Rivian couldn’t ask for better publicity than a viral Instagram video of Rivian’s electric truck coming to the rescue of a stranded Tesla Cybertruck or Ford Lightning, you know?

You know.

Up front, the A16 does a good job of sticking with Rivian’s established design language while “growing” the look onto a heavier-duty platform. The bright “Rivian” branding on the sides of the truck do a good job of establishing that, yes, this is a Rivian, but also serve to show how local/national towing companies might brand their A16s if something like this ever became a reality.

It’s also worth noting that more and more towing companies may be forced to adopt flatbed-style haulers in the coming years, especially as dual-motor, AWD EVs start becoming the norm. That’s because you don’t want to “drag” a vehicle’s drive wheels on the ground, which can damage the drivetrain. You want to tow FWD cars with the front wheels off the ground, and RWD cars with the rears off the ground. Getting that wrong can be a costly mistake as it is with an ICE’ed car, and might be even worse in an EV. So, yeah — now you know.

Enough about what I think of this particular art project — I’m obviously smitten! What about you guys? Do you think Rivian should get into the towing and recovery business with something like this, or do you think that’s best left to more conventional trucks for now? Check out some of my favorite images in the gallery below, and then share your take in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Can’t get enough of the A16? Check out Ryan’s original post, here. Enjoy!

Rivian A16 Concept | Gallery

Source | More Photos: Ryan Schlotthauer Design.

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