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Rivian Surprises with Three New Electric Vehicles: R2, R3, R3X

by | March 7, 2024

The long wait, which was somewhat spoiled by a leak, for Rivian’s next vehicle line came to an end today with a massive surprise: Rivian’s third vehicle.

Rivian R2 debut RJ and Greg

Rivian CEO R.J. Scaring, right, and Chief Design Officer Jeff Hammoud, talk about the all-new Rivian R2.

EV maker Rivian pulled off the impossible today by not just revealing the next vehicle in its portfolio, the R2, but the next two after that, the R3 and R3X. The R2 was what the crowd of family, friends and special guests assembled to see.

Rivian founder and CEO R.J. Scaringe walked everyone through the key points of the new vehicle, which is virtually a clone of the R1S, only smaller, including:

  • a frunk
  • a single motor rear-wheel drive variant
  • a two-motor all-wheel drive variant
  • a tri-motor variant racing from 0-to-60 mph in “less than 3 seconds”
  • a new structural battery
  • DC fast charging from 10% to 80% in less than 30 minutes
  • Enhanced self-driving capabilities
  • a flash light in the door, of course

And then the most important piece of information: it’ll cost $45,000, and reservations are being taken online immediately. It costs $100 to reserve a spot. The price is $2,500 less than expected due to a “leak” of information uncovered by someone poking around the Rivian website.

Rivian RJ shows frunk

Just like the R1S, the new Rivian R2 features a frunk capable of carrying at least three carry-on suitcases.

Deliveries of the R2 will begin in 2026, Scaringe said, adding that production schedules at the company’s Normal, Illinois plant were “accelerated,” in order to get the vehicle into the hands of the public as quickly as possible.

Inside the Rivian R2

The powered rear glass fully drops into the liftgate for carrying all types of gear and enabling a unique open air driving experience.

The interior is designed for ease-of-use, while being uniquely Rivian through a combination of inviting design and premium, sustainable materials that are easy to clean. R2 also features first and second row seating that fold completely flat, for gear, cargo, and even car camping, Scaringe noted.

The R2 is about 185 inches long, nearly 16 inches shorter than the R1S. It has seating for five people, unlike the seven-passenger R1S, which also starts at $76,700, not including destination charges.

Rivian RJ surprises R3

Scaringe said building the R2 at its Illinois plant instead of building the Georgia plant will save the company $2.25 billion.

He noted the materials inside the R2 would have the same focus on sustainability that the R1 vehicles do. Additional dimensions were not revealed during rest of the presentation. But the R2 is about the same size as the bestselling Tesla Model Y.

Change in plans

The move to build the R2 at its plant in Normal, Illnois was a bit of surprise. Scaringe didn’t address it during the presentation, but in an interview with CNBC afterward, he said the company would delay the opening of the Georgia plant, where the R2 was initially going to be produced.

Production at the Normal plant has been slowed during a stagnant period of EV buying in the U.S. so the company elected to reconfigure the plant to handle production of the R2. Scaringe told CNBC starting production of the R2 in Illinois will save the company more than $2 billion.

“Georgia is incredibly important to us,” he told CNBC Thursday. “The partnership we have with the state is outstanding and for us the most important thing is getting this vehicle into the market as fast as we can and leveraging what we have in Illinois is really enabling that.”

Rivian R3 debut with RJ and driver

Scaringe surprised attendees with the introduction of the R3, the company’s “take on a small crossover.”

Rivian R3 and R3X

It’s not often automakers manage to spring an entirely separate vehicle line during the debut of a new vehicle, but Rivian managed to do so, delighting the crowd in attendance. Calling it Rivian’s “take on a small crossover,” the R3 and R3X are about 180 inches long and features the same drivetrain offerings at the R2. It will also travel more than 300 miles on a full charge.

The R3X is EV maker’s take on an all-electric rally car, and during the reveal it showed footage of the R3X tearing it up on dirt roads and roaring around corners.

R2 and R3 will feature two battery sizes. The larger pack will achieve over 300 miles of range on a single charge and offer 0-60 mph acceleration in under 3 seconds for the quickest powertrain configuration. Without giving actual numbers, Scaringe said the R3 would cost less than the R2. It will also arrive after the R2.

Rivian R3X with RJ side

The R3X is a performance-oriented, rally-car styled version of the R3.

“I have never been more excited to launch new products – R2 and R3 are distinctly Rivian in terms of performance, capability, and usability, yet with pricing that makes them accessible to a lot of people,” he said.

“Our design and engineering teams are extremely focused on driving innovation into not only the product features but also our approach to manufacturing to achieve dramatically lower costs. R2 provides buyers starting in the $45,000 price range with a much-needed choice with a thoroughly developed technology platform that is bursting with personality. I can’t wait to get these to customers.”


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