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Rivian R2 compact SUV: price, release date, design, and more

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Rivian R2 compact SUV: price, release date, design, and more

The Rivian R1T electric pickup truck has been a hugely popular first release from the new automaker. Both it and its SUV brother, the R1S, are considered among the best in their class. But they’re also both relatively expensive — the entry-level R1 starts at $73,000, putting it out of reach for many would-be buyers. Rivian, however, wants to serve the masses, and to that end has been developing its next-gen, cheaper platform, called the Rivian R2.

If Rivian ends up following its current naming scheme, the company will launch multiple R2 models. For example, it could release an R2S SUV and R2T truck, both at lower price points than Rivian’s current vehicles. For now, however, the only rumored model is an R2 compact SUV — which is the vehicle we’ll be discussing here.

Interested in getting a Rivian SUV at a lower price? Here’s everything we know about the Rivian R2 so far.

Rivian R2 design

There’s a lot we don’t yet know about the Rivian R2 compact SUV, but it’s expected to be smaller than the R1S, and may end up verging on more of a crossover size than a true SUV.

Rivian

What will it look like? The company has said that the car “maintains some of that adventure aesthetic” found in the R1S. And of course, we expect it will have the same oval headlights that Rivian has already made iconic. Everything else about the design of the R2 has yet to be revealed.

Rivian R2 price

The best thing about the Rivian R2 will ultimately be its price. The R2 isn’t a successor to the R1 — instead, it’s aimed at being more affordable than the R1S and R1T.

Rivian R2 compact SUV: price, release date, design, and more
Stephen Edelstein/Digital Trends / Rivian

How affordable? Rivian has said that the R1 will cost from $40,000 to $60,000. It’s currently unclear if the base price will be somewhere between $40,000 and $60,000, or if it’ll start at $40,000, and range up to $60,000 depending on the trim you get and the additional options.

Regardless of the exact starting price, the lower price in general will make R2-based vehicles very appealing for those who like Rivian’s approach, but can’t afford the more expensive R1S and R1T.

Rivian R2 release date

We might finally know when we’ll get our first look at the Rivian R2. According to a minutes sheet from the Laguna Beach city council, the California governmental body met recently to discuss a request by Rivian to hold an event on March 7 called “R2 Launch” at a local park. Rivian was looking for approval to park six cars as part of the launch event.

The dates aren’t really all that surprising. Rivian has previously said that it will launch the R2 in “early 2024,” and that sales will begin in 2026. In other words, it’s going to be at least a few years before you start seeing the Rivian R2 on the roads — and by then, it’s likely that the EV market will be a whole lot more competitive.

Rivian R2 colors and models

Rivian R1S
Rivian R1S Rivian / Rivian

Rivian has not announced models and colors for the R2 just yet, though it’s likely that it’ll offer similar trim levels as R1 models.

Rivian R2 charging speed and range

Because the R2 will be based on an all-new platform, we don’t yet know what to expect as far as charging speed and range. Hopefully, the R2 will offer a range of at least 300 miles or so.

The Rivian R1S and R1T can currently charge at a speed of up to 220 kilowatts, which is relatively quick, though not the fastest out there. Hopefully, R2-based cars will offer a similar speed, if not a faster one.

The Rivian R2 will most likely charge through NACS charging ports, meaning it’ll work with Tesla’s connector.

Rivian R2 performance

Rear-three quarter view of the 2022 Rivian R1T.
Stephen Edelstein / Digital Trends

We currently know nothing about the performance of the Rivian R2, however we expect it to be available in a single-motor or dual-motor configuration, just like its older brothers. That will also allow for an all-wheel drive model.

Rivian R2 tech features

Rivian is a new company that has built itself on a high-tech approach. The company has put a lot of effort into developing easy-to-use software, and including onboard Wi-Fi, wireless charging pads, and Alexa integration. It’s likely these features will continue with the R2. We’re also expecting the software experience to be the same, which will include the lack of CarPlay and Android Auto.

Rivian R2 compact SUV: price, release date, design, and more
Image used with permission by copyright holder

There are some helpful driving tools in R1 vehicles too, including automated emergency braking, lane-departure warnings, and an adaptive cruise control. We’re expecting these to be included on the R2 as well.

Rivian R2 tax credit status

Because the Rivian R2 is still a few years out, it’s hard to tell if it’ll end up qualifying for the federal EV tax credit. However, if current laws remain in place, it will likely qualify for the full $7,500 tax credit, considering the fact that it will most likely be manufactured in the U.S. Rivian currently builds vehicles in Normal, Illinois, and it plans to open a second factory outside Atlanta in 2024.

Our Rivian R2 wish list

We’re hoping that the Rivian R2 will offer at least 300 miles of range, including in the base model. Hopefully, it’ll also be able to take advantage of the ultra-ast 350kW chargers, but that seems unlikely given the fact that the R1S and R1T cap out at 220kW.

Apart from those things, we’re hoping that the R2 will offer a similar design sensibility and tech feature set as the R1. Those are the things that have made Rivian such a compelling option. If Rivian can capture the same aesthetic as the R1, but at a lower price, the R2 is sure to be a great choice for budget-conscious adventurers.

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