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Rivian's R2 is a direct shot at the Tesla Model Y, and the R3 is a stunning surprise

March 7, 2024

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Rivian shocked the EV world Thursday by unveilling not only the R2 model, a smaller sized version of its existing R1S SUV, but also the R3 and R3X, a more compact crossover and its high-performance counterpart. Deliveries for the R2 start by June 2026, and you can reserve your spot in line for $100 on Rivian's website.

See below for a quick high-level comparison of comparable models, but note that in order to properly compare range/price or performance/price, you will need to look at specific trim levels (i.e. the starting price never includes the best range or performance). As always, the full list of electric vehicles has those details.

Comparable Mid-Size SUVs

Vehicle Starting Price Max Range Top 0-60 Dimensions
(L x W x H)
Rivian R2 $45,000 300+ mi <3.0s 186 x 75 x 67
Tesla Model Y $43,990 (-$7,500 tax credit) 310mi 3.5s 187 x 74 x 64
Ford Mustang Mach-E $39,895 312mi 3.5s 187 x 76 x 64
Kia EV6 $42,600 310mi 3.4s 184 x 74 x 61
Hyundai Ioniq 5 $41,800 303mi 5.1s 183 x 74 x 63

We think Rivian has a winning formula for the R2. Take the design and functionality that owners already love, add a few missing items (most importantly an NACS charger, but also a glovebox and folding front seats), and shrink it down size-wise and price-wise into a more mainstream model. This thing is going to sell like hotcakes.

Rivian's biggest challenge is going to be getting cars off the line and into the hands of owners. Initially the R2 was set to be produced exclusively at a new manufacturing facility in Georgia, but Rivian announced that they would start production at their existing plant in Normal, IL. Does this mean the Georgia plant is delayed? That demand for R1S and R1T is not keeping the Normal plant busy enough as is? Time will tell, but good for Rivian showing flexibility instead of betting the entire product on a new manufacturing facility coming online.

Rivian stuns with "one more thing" - the R3 and R3X

The biggest surprise at Rivian's event was the unveilling of R3 and R3X, an even smaller crossover based on the Rivian R2 platform (R3X is the high-performance variant). Details on the R3 and R3X were limited but you can see images of the new vehicle below. It will be around 5 inches shorter than the R2. There is no information yet on pricing or availability.

In general Rivian seems to be knocking it out of the park with their product development, but a more cynical take is that their production has been lower than expected, and the most recent event was a chance to turn around perception by surprising the world with multiple product announcements. Still, the products look great, and we can't wait to try them.

Images in this story courtesy of Rivian.

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