Rivian R2, an Upcoming Compact Electric SUV, Set for Unveiling on March 7

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Rivian R2
Rivian R2 (Credits: Green Car Reports)

Rivian is currently in full swing, not only with the production of its R1T pickup trucks and R1S SUVs but also with the assembly of EDV vans for Amazon. In the initial quarter of 2023 alone, the company managed to manufacture over 9,000 vehicles at its plant in Normal, Illinois.

While this manufacturing momentum is ongoing, Rivian is simultaneously dedicating efforts to the development of its next electric vehicle (EV). Claire McDonough, the automaker’s chief financial officer, recently shared insights into this forthcoming vehicle, dubbed the R2, during an automotive conference, as reported by Carbuzz.

McDonough unveiled that the design of the R2 is nearly finalized and will further innovate upon the distinct styling that has distinguished the R1T and R1S among the burgeoning EV market.

Anticipated to initially launch as a compact SUV, the R2 may later introduce a pickup variant. Its public debut is slated for early 2024, with sales projected to commence in 2026.

Rivian R2, an Upcoming Compact Electric SUV, Set for Unveiling on March 7
Rivian R2 (Credits: Digital Trends)

In terms of pricing, McDonough confirmed that the R2 will be more accessible compared to its predecessors, with a price range of $40,000 to $60,000. She elaborated, stating, “R1 has an average selling price of $73,000, so this lives right below that.”

The R2 will uphold the adventurous spirit established by the R1T, with McDonough emphasizing that the “R2 really leans on the brand and ethos of what R1 has started.”

In addition to Rivian’s unique identity as an outdoors-oriented EV brand, McDonough highlighted the significance of the “UI/UX experience” as a distinguishing factor for the R2. However, to maintain affordability, certain compromises may be necessary. As RJ Scaringe, Rivian’s CEO, articulated earlier, “On a vehicle with a cost target, you have to decide where you’re going to spread your investment.”

It wouldn’t be surprising if the R2 prioritizes on-road comfort or interior quality over off-road capabilities. Moreover, Rivian has restructured its approach to engaging with suppliers to mitigate material costs, drawing from its learnings with the R1T and R1S.

The sales performance of the R1T and R1S has been commendable, particularly considering their initial high price point as debut products from a startup.

Nevertheless, the R2 holds promise as a transformative model for the brand, potentially broadening Rivian’s customer base and elevating the company’s sales figures, thereby solidifying its position in the mainstream market.

Nonetheless, as demonstrated by Tesla’s experience with the Model 3, the challenge of mass-producing an affordable vehicle is substantial, and Rivian will undoubtedly face hurdles in the years ahead.

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