This Truck’s Tailgate Could Be an Absolute Gamechanger for the Pickup World

It’s still several months away from hitting the streets, but it seems safe to assume that Rivian’s new electric R1S SUV and R1T pickup truck are set to be major disruptors in the automotive industry. The battery-powered adventure vehicles have already shown off a host of unique features that seem primed to grab headlines and hearts, from the ability to spin in place to a pop-out kitchenette designed to make overlanding easier than ever.

Now, a patent filing reveals that Rivian’s pickup truck may have yet another game-changing feature, one with far broader reach than a slide-out electric kitchen: a multi-mode tailgate.

The patent, which was published on December 12th and recently dug up by Teslarati, reveals that Rivian is working on what it calls a “swing and drop tailgate.” The basic idea, according to the filing, would be for a tailgate in two different manners: the traditional way, where it swings on a hinge from a closed vertical position to an open horizontal one; and the “drop” method, where a linkage is used to lower the tailgate more or less vertically down from its usual closed position.