Roughly two and half years after California-based electric vehicle start-up Rivian launched its first models—the R1T pickup truck and the R1S SUV—the brand now appears to be poised to unveil its next big EV on March 7, 2024.
It’s been a long time coming. We already know that the upcoming model will wear some sort of R2 badging, but the exact model names remain undisclosed. What we do know is that the first R2 model will be a mid-size SUV or crossover, and likely lock horns with the Tesla Model Y, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, and more.
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California EV startup Rivian’s first two models—the R1T truck and R1S SUV—earned a reputation for being quirky and fun to drive. But with a starting price of over $73,000, they are out of reach for most people. With the R2 models, Rivian hopes to target a larger audience.
Given how obsessed America is with crossovers, evident with the Model Y’s astronomical sales, it’s logical for Rivian to set its sights on this immensely popular segment. The extent to which the R2 EV might pose a threat to the Model Y will depend on several factors, including pricing, range, fast charging capability, and the brand’s ability to deliver volume sales, among others.
Rivian’s current offerings, the R1T and R1S have a starting price of $73,000 and $78,000, respectively, before fees and tax incentives. These prices make them out of reach of the masses. But Rivian hopes to sell the R2 EV at a much lower price point. CEO RJ Scaringe indicated previously that Rivian hoped to fill a “vacuum” in the $45,000-50,000 price range.
The R1T and R1S are manufactured at Rivian’s inaugural plant in Normal, Illinois. The R2 models are expected to be manufactured at a second site, a brand new $5 billion factory east of Atlanta, Georgia. Rivian earlier indicated that it intended to start production of the R2 models in 2026 after the Georgia plant’s completion.
The upcoming R2 model will also use Tesla’s proprietary charging connector. Rivian confirmed in June 2023 that its future models will get the NACS charging port, giving owners access to thousands of additional charging stations across the U.S. That’s pretty much all we know so far about the R2 EV. Further details will follow in due course.
What’s your outlook for the Rivian R2 EV? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.