What you need to know

Rivian, the new American automaker that produces “electric adventure vehicles,” is still busy ramping up production of its R1T electric truck and R1S SUV, but it’s also looking to the future. I’m talking about the Rivian R2 platform, which promises smaller but more capable electric vehicles starting in the $40,000s.

First things first, the Rivian R2 isn’t necessarily a replacement for the R1 series. Instead, it will be a completely new platform in different sizes targeting buyers at a lower price. However, every automaker is working to make high-end electric cars less expensive, and here’s what you need to know.

Rivian R2 release date

Tyler Hayes/The How-To Geek

As the Rivian R1T continues to slowly trickle down to buyers and other customers taking delivery of the all-electric R1S SUV, which is still a long way from production and has thousands of pre-orders to fill, the R2 platform may seem forever away. However, the company is wasting no time in improving the manufacturing process and technology, reducing costs, and increasing production to launch more vehicles into the mass market.

Details are still a bit hazy, but Rivian has said the all-new R2 platform will be unveiled in 2024, and production may not begin until sometime in late 2025 or early 2026. But given how fast the industry is moving, I wouldn’t be surprised to see The company is accelerating these plans to reach a launch window in 2025.

The biggest question for potential buyers is which model will arrive first, the R2T or the R2S? So far, all signs point to a smaller, compact, more affordable R2S that will compete with Tesla, Chevrolet and others in the electric vehicle space. Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe recently confirmed that the company is prioritizing production of the R1S over the R1T, as demand for its SUV is higher. This leads us to believe that it will launch a new R2S SUV first, which could help the company gain more market share and sell additional units.

In fact, during a recent Q&A session on Instagram, which was uploaded to YouTube, the company gave us the first teaser of the R2 platform. As you can see from the image below, it’s a smaller SUV, which one can assume is an R2S. Overall, it looks similar in design, with that familiar sturdy, boxy design. It’s not uncommon for manufacturers to add more trim or body panels to hide design elements, so don’t think too much about it.

If all goes according to plan, we could see the new and improved Rivian R2S arrive towards the end of 2025, followed by the R2T electric pickup truck.

Rivian R2T and R2S pricing

Rivian R2 teased under a leaf.

Rivian showcases its new R2S electric SUV.

As we all know, electric cars are not yet affordable for everyone. However, that is exactly the goal of the new Rivian R2 platform. While the current Rivian R1T starts at around $73,000 and the R1S will set you back at least $78,000 (before destination fees), we’re hearing that the new R2 models could come in between $40,000 and $60,000. We expect similar trim levels to the current offerings, starting with the Adventure Edition, Adventure All-Terrain, and something similar to the high-end Launch Edition.

Over the summer, Rivian CFO Claire McDonough shared some comments at the Deutsche Bank conference and reiterated these price targets, which is certainly promising. If the company can offer a high-end R2S for nearly $40,000, it will give Tesla’s Model Y a run for its money.

Rivian R2 platform: possible specifications

Rivian R1T at Chargepoint station.
Tyler Hayes/The How-To Geek

Rivian vehicles are distinguished by their high ability to travel on and off-road. It features luxurious interiors, large infotainment screens with plenty of driving and camping modes, and quick 0-60 mph times. Unfortunately, some performance numbers and long-range battery packs may suffer from the pressure for affordability. CEO Scaringe said the R2 platform will have to make sacrifices, but we’re not sure what those sacrifices will be.

Given that the new Rivian R2 platform is still a work in progress and isn’t expected to be revealed until sometime in 2024, we don’t have any information on the engine, powertrain, range, charging speeds, or any of the other cool features of the Rivian R2. Rivian R1T. However, we expect battery advancements, dual electric motors, perhaps a three-motor option, and all-wheel drive configurations. Rivian is likely aiming for 300 to 330 miles of range, give or take, depending on the package.

The company recently confirmed its latest in-house designed dual-motor model equipped with the maximum battery pack Get over 400 miles per charge. And while that’s great, expect the smaller battery packs on the R2 platform to fetch a lower MSRP. We will update this article as more information about the Rivian R2 and its specifications emerges.

Confronting Tesla (and others)

Rivian R1S and R1T off-road driving.

We mentioned the Tesla Model Y earlier, it is currently one of the best-selling cars in the world. This is due to the excellent design, easy-to-use features, and fairly affordable price point. Well, for a luxury electric SUV. However, in the coming months, it will face stiff competition from the new Chevrolet Blazer EV, Equinox EV, and new Rivian R2S.

If Rivian can ramp up production to its goal of 150,000 units or more per year by 2025, all while offering the more affordable Rivian R2 platform, it will be well positioned to take on the electrified competition.

The goal is to reduce costs, improve profitability and provide premium adventure vehicles to the masses. In conclusion, Rivian says the R2 platform will help expand its portfolio “globally across different price points and form factors.” Which suggests that the R2S and R2T are just the first two of many new models.

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