The Rivian R2 Is a $45,000 R1S Junior

rivian r2
The Rivian R2 Is a $45,000 R1S JuniorRivian

In what can only be described as a tumultuous time for the EV startup, Rivian has just pulled the cover off of its fourth production model in the R2 SUV, which slots below the much larger and more expensive R1S and R1T offerings. With around 330 miles of range and a starting price around $45,000, it might be the most important model for the brand's future.

Despite looking like a shrunken variant of the R1S (which is not a bad thing), the upcoming R2 SUV is slated to ride on an all-new platform, which Rivian says has benefitted from the learnings provided by the larger models. The new setup should help the automaker keep manufacturing costs a bit lower, which will help the SUV undercut its larger siblings. When the R2 goes on sale sometime in 2026, the automaker plans to list it with a starting price around the $45,000 mark. That's significantly cheaper than the brand's current customer offerings, and places the R2 in line with your average new car purchase price.

For reference, a 2024 Rivian R1S Adventure currently carries an MSRP of $76,700. If the R2 manages to qualify for the federal EV tax credits, that price could drop by as much as $7500 in the real world.

The automaker also states that the SUV should provide around 330 miles of range per charge, while delivering sports car-rivaling performance. In fact, CEO RJ Scaringe claims the R2 will be capable of 0-60 mph sprints well below the 3-second mark. While those figures aren't mind-blowing in a world of hyper-quick EVs, it's a welcome party trick if you want your weekend getaway car to blow the doors off a Viper. It is worth noting that those performance figures are tied to the tri-motor variant, while a single-motor, rear-drive setup will also be available, as well as a dual-motor, all-wheel drive configuration.

If you were hoping for a radical departure from Rivian's Motorola Pebl styling, this will be a bummer, but I suspect people are not yet tired of the brand's design language. Rivians still look remarkably fresh on the road, distinctive and thoughtful.

This might be one of the more interesting new cars in quite some time -- a 300-odd mile range EV, as Rivian claims, and all of the usual fresh thinking from the American startup. The complete flat-folding interior, in particular, catches the eye. Customers can reserve an R2 from the Rivian website at the link provided here, requiring a $100 fully-refundable deposit.

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