Thursday, April 25, 2024
NewsRivian Unveils the R2, as well as the R3 and R3X

Rivian Unveils the R2, as well as the R3 and R3X

Rivian unveiled three new models earlier today: the R2, the R3, and the R3X.

  • The Rivian R2 is a smaller SUV inspired by the R1S which will arrive in 2026.

  • The R3 and R3X will be smaller crossovers built on the same platform.

  • The Base price for the R2 will be set at $45,000 in the United States.

While Rivian had announced it would officially launch the new R2 SUV today, the unveiling of the smaller R3 and R3X were a surprise to everyone.

Indeed, the small American automaker decided to introduce three models instead of just one, doubling its product lineup in the process.

The R2

Rivian R2 | Photo: Rivian

The new Rivian R2 is an electric SUV that looks quite similar to the existing R1S, albeit shorter by about 15 inches and lower by about 11 inches.

According to R.J. Scaringe, CEO of Rivian, this will make the new SUV able to fit in any garage, in addition to making it more maneuverable than its larger sibling.

Despite this smaller exterior size, the CEO is adamant that efforts have been made to make the R2 feel as large inside as the R1S.

Speaking of the cabin, here again, the influence of the R1 family is evident, and the main differences are the positioning of the screens on the dashboard and the use of new scroll wheels on the steering wheel that can be used to control a variety of vehicle functions.

Rivian R2 | Photo: Rivian

Another first for Rivian is the foldable front seats, which make it possible to use the entire interior for camping or as a lounge when stationary.

Rivian also showed another feature of the R2, which is a roll-down back glass and pop-out quarter windows that let more airflow into the vehicle, further solidifying Rivian as an outdoorsy and adventure-focussed brand.

Under the hood is where the most important news are since the R2 will use a new platform which isn’t just a shortened version of the existing R1 architecture.

Rivian R2 | Photo: Rivian

While every detail hasn’t been revealed, we know that the R2 will be available with three powertrain configurations: Single Motor RWD, Dual Motor AWD, and Tri-Motor performance AWD.

With the most powerful configuration, the R2 is expected to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in “well under” three seconds.

Interestingly, all three versions are said to be able to drive over 300 miles (483 kilometres) on a charge. We don’t know yet if Rivian will offer various battery sizes on the R2 as it does on R1 models.

The Rivian R2 is expected to reach buyers in the United States in the first half of 2026 with a base price of $45,000, making it significantly more affordable than the R1S, which currently starts at $74,900.

The R3 and R3X

Rivian R3 | Photo: Rivian

As mentioned before, the unveiling of two additional products today was a surprise from Rivian, but the decision makes more sense when a few details are explained.

Indeed, while Rivian usually names its vehicles according to the platform they are built on, the R3 and R3X will not introduce a third architecture for the autmaker.

Instead, these two crossovers will make use of a shortened R2 platform, which will make them about 5 inches shorter than the R2 SUV.

The R3 and R3X will also be significantly lower, but dimensions haven’t been revealed on that front.

Rivian R3X | Photo: Rivian

In terms of styling, the R3 will feature the same familiar Rivian face, but its side profile will be significantly different, adopting a sleeker shape with a slopier roof, somewhat reminiscent of the Hyundai Ioniq 5. While pricing hasn’t been announced for this model, it is likely that Rivian will position the R3 as a competitor of models such as the Korean crossover.

Inside, the R3 will look quite similar to the R2, and it will also feature folding front seats. A difference is at the rear, where the liftgate is of a split design, allowing the window to be opened alone to transport larger items.

The R3X will be a more rugged-looking version of the R3, featuring meatier all-terrain tires, a lifted suspension, and distinctive design elements such as unique wheels and more black plastic cladding.

Rivian R3X | Photo: Rivian

Since they share the same underpinnings, the R3 will offer the same three powertrain configurations as the Rivian R2, but it seems the R3X will only be available with the top-of-the-line Tri-Motor setup.

Unlike what had been previously reported, Rivian will begin production of the R2 at its current factory in Normal, Illinois, before scaling it up by adding shifts at the new plant which is being built in Georgia.

The R2 and R3 models will be very important for Rivian since the automaker needs to increase its sales volume further than what it can manage with the costly R1 platform in order to face mounting competition from legacy automakers who will be adding numerous electric SUVs to their portfolio over the coming years.


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