Rivian R2 and R3: Next-Gen EVs with Maximus Drive Units

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Rivian R2 and R3
Rivian R2 and R3

Stepping into the future of electric vehicle technology, Rivian is set to reveal its R2 and R3 compact EVs. These much-anticipated models mark the debut of the company’s second-generation Enduro drive units, an in-house development codenamed “Maximus.”

Maximus promises significant advancements in both manufacturing efficiency and cost reduction. While details on a dual-motor Maximus option mirroring the R1’s Ascent units remain undisclosed, Rivian has maintained a steady stream of updates on the R2 and R3 since their March reveal.

Understandably, some express doubt about the achievability of these ambitious goals. However, Rivian’s established competence in manufacturing, demonstrably evident in the high build quality of the R1T and R1S pickups, instills confidence in the success of the Gen 2 re-engineering.

Faced with challenging market conditions, Rivian strategically adapted its approach. Notably, the company reevaluated plans for its second factory in Georgia, originally intended for high-volume production of the R2/R3 vehicles.

Rivian R2 and R3
Rivian R2 and R3 (Rivian)

Recognizing the financial constraints, Rivian wisely opted to redirect resources towards optimizing and boosting productivity at its existing facility in Normal, Illinois.

Beyond streamlining production at its Normal factory, Rivian is making significant strides in cost reduction through the development of its Enduro electric motors.

Designed and built in-house, these motors surpass the performance and affordability of previous models from Bosch. They’ve already been integrated into Rivian’s electric vans and R1 vehicles, demonstrating their efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

The Enduro’s success paves the way for the Maximus, the next-generation motor slated for the upcoming R2 and R3 models. This promises even better packaging with a space-saving integrated inverter, all while achieving substantial cost reductions.

While Rivian can combine Enduro motors into a powerful Ascent unit for high-performance R1 variants, this solution might not be suitable for the smaller R2 and R3.

This hints at a potential two-pronged launch strategy for the R2: a starting lineup with dual motors and a possible tri-motor option introduced later.

Furthermore, Rivian might choose to adapt the Ascent unit for the rear axle of tri-motor R2 and R3 models, but its size and weight might pose challenges for these compact vehicles.

However, the advancements made with the Ascent won’t be lost. We can expect a second-generation Ascent unit in a more compact package, boasting improved performance and efficiency.

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