Ford CEO hints at Rivian-based SUV

Ford CEO hints at Rivian-based SUV

The executive also downplayed rumors that Rivian's EV architecture would underpin an all-electric F-150.

Ford may be collaborating with Rivian to build an all-electric SUV, rather than an F-Series pickup.The Blue Oval earlier this year committed $500 million to buy a minority stake in Rivian, opening the door for a joint development project. A recent teaser campaign for Ford's battery-powered F-150 fueled speculation that the partnership would focus on a pickup.

Speaking to Motor Trend, Ford CEO Jim Hackett suggested the company's parallel collaborations with Rivian and Volkswagen are in more of an exploratory phase. In the case of Rivian, Ford is learning about electronic systems integration strategies that could be used for many different types of vehicles.

"You shouldn't go down the path of assuming it's a pickup," he cautioned.

The executive was less dismissive of speculation surrounding a Rivian-based SUV, noting that a lot of the details "have been settled" by senior decision makers, though the company is not ready to talk about it.

Rivian has already revealed the R1S electric SUV (pictured), built upon a 'skate' platform that is presumably flexible enough to be adapted for a high-riding EV that meshes with Ford's SUV and crossover lineup.