Rivian revealed R2 and R3 – smaller, affordable off-road EVs

American electric vehicle startup, Rivian, is gearing up for a new chapter with the introduction of its more affordable SUV lineup, the R2 and R3. These compact, adventure-ready vehicles aim to broaden Rivian’s market appeal and make electric mobility accessible to a wider audience. With a starting price of $45,000, the R2 leads the charge as Rivian’s next ambitious step towards establishing itself as a new competitor in the electric vehicle market.

Battery and performance

Scheduled for production in the first half of 2026, the Rivian R2 promises an interesting blend of performance, range, and affordability. With an estimated range exceeding 300 miles on a full charge, a rapid 0–60mph time of three seconds, and a starting price that aligns with the current average for internal combustion vehicles, the R2 aims to make electric adventure more attainable for consumers.

The R2 introduces Rivian’s new 4695 cylindrical battery cells, standing 15mm taller than Tesla’s 4680 cells. The SUV will be available in single-, dual-, and tri-motor variations, with the top-tier three-motor model, the R3X, positioned as a high-performance off-road rally racing car. Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe emphasized that the R3X is not a rock crawling vehicle but a higher-speed exploration machine for adventure enthusiasts.

Design and features

Compact and versatile, the R2 measures 185.6 inches (471 cm) in length, making it slightly shorter than a Tesla Model Y and significantly more compact than Rivian’s earlier R1S. The vehicle boasts a roomy front trunk, suitable for a carry-on suitcase and backpack or up to six reusable grocery bags. Rivian’s commitment to adventure is evident with a convenient bike mount system that connects easily to the rear accessory ports.

Rivian has redesigned the R2’s interior to cater to a broader audience. Addressing previous critiques, the R2 now features two sizable gloveboxes, offering ample storage space. The steering wheel is equipped with two giant scroll wheels, providing dynamic haptic feedback for an enhanced driving experience. The rear seats fold down to create additional space, presenting an ideal configuration for those interested in overnight stays inside their R2.

The R2 boasts a powerful computer and an advanced sensor suite comprising 11 cameras and five radars, promising dramatically enhanced autonomous capabilities, although the company didn’t specify the exact level of automation.

The R3 and beyond

In addition to the R2, Rivian unveiled the R3, a sportier compact SUV, and its performance variant, the R3X. While exact pricing details for the R3 are yet to be revealed, Rivian aims to position it as an even more affordable option than the R2, further solidifying its commitment to a future where electric adventure is accessible to a broader audience.

Rivian navigates through financial challenges and operational adjustments at the moment, but it hopes that the R2 and R3 will play a major role in keeping the company afloat.

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