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American EV startup Rivian is ramping up production of its R1T electric truck and R1S electric SUV, but it has a new, smaller, and more affordable EV in the pipeline: the R2. In a letter to its shareholders published in mid-2022, Rivian said it invested $17 billion cash to launch its all-new R2 EV platform by 2025.
In a recent Deutsche Bank global auto industry conference, Rivian CFO Claire McDonough added the cash infusion would allow the automaker to produce the first 200,000 units of the R2 in its Georgia manufacturing facility. Furthermore, the R2 platform will spawn smaller, more affordable iterations of Rivian’s existing R1T and R1S, which were previously scheduled for a 2025 release date — if not for chip shortages and delays in building the company’s brand-spanking new Georgia plant.
The incoming Rivian R2 platform will compete directly with electric bigwigs like the Genesis GV60, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Kia EV6, and Tesla Model Y. Rivian has yet to unveil prototypes or teaser images of the incoming R2T and R2S. Still, the prospect of a more attainable Rivian EV is something that EV fans and prospective buyers have been waiting for.
Rivian R2: Coming in 2026
Rivian CFO Claire McDonough had more to say about its newest R2 platform. At the Deutsche Bank conference, McDonough said the R2 will make its global debut by 2024, but production won’t start until early 2026. Moreover, the R2 is Rivian’s entry point for mainstream buyers, with targeted base prices of around $40,000 to $60,000.
And in the same Instagram Q&A session where Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe explained the reason for canceling the “Tank Turn” feature in the R1T, the CEO gave the viewing public a small glimpse of the R2, albeit a clay model covered in black cloth. The vehicle is smaller than the R1T and R1S, but with a similar boxy and rugged silhouette to its predecessors.
As for powertrain options, we expect the Rivian R2 to come in a single or dual-motor configuration with lower power output than its bigger siblings. What’s more interesting is Rivian may be building an all-electric Jeep Wrangler competitor based on this more compact R2 platform. Whatever the case, all R2-based Rivian EVs will have built-in Tesla-style charging ports to match seamlessly with Tesla’s supercharging network.