The $45,000 microcamping-ready Rivian R2 and lower-priced R3 bite into the e-SUV market

Rivian came out swinging today. In addition to the smaller R2 SUV that he had been teasing for several weeks, he also brought the new R3 and R3X, laying out an SUV product plan for the coming years. All three models share the automaker’s new mid-size platform and battery options, which enable a range of 300 miles (483 km) and acceleration from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in less than three seconds. The trio will lead Rivian into the mass market, with the R2 starting at $45,000 and the smaller R3 even lower.

Even before Rivian started teasing the five-seat R2, it was crystal clear that the company would need to bring some more affordable products to market as soon as possible. Two models aren’t made by one car company, especially when you’re talking about a $70,000 pickup and a $75,000 SUV.

A $45,000 electric SUV is definitely another step in the right direction, especially since the R2 appears to be an all-around compelling offering based on what Rivian has revealed about it so far. A range of 300 miles is a nice, capable target, although it will undoubtedly be more expensive than the $45,000 price tag as it relies on the larger of the two planned battery options.

Rivian is expanding its family of electric utilities
Rivian is expanding its family of electric utilities

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Rivian is not identifying the specific capabilities of the two planned battery packs, but says they are based on an all-new 4695 cell with improved energy density and output. It estimates a 10 to 80 percent charge time in less than 30 minutes at a DC fast charger and equips the R2 with native NACS and available CCS capabilities (with adapter) so it can take advantage of Rivian’s own Adventure Network and Tesla’s Supercharger network.

The new mid-size platform supporting both the R2 and R3 models is designed to optimize performance, range and cost-efficiency. To achieve that, Rivian cut and consolidated components using strategies such as high-pressure castings, simplified closure structures and a structural battery pack with a top that doubles as a vehicle floor. This helps keep the new SUVs affordable while maintaining the kind of all-round performance that Rivian has built its brand on during its short time on the market.

The fastest R2 model will be able to reach 100 km/h in less than three seconds... supercar territory not so long ago
The fastest R2 model will be able to reach 100 km/h in less than three seconds… supercar territory not so long ago

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Both the R2 and R3 come with three powertrains of the buyer’s choice: a single-motor RWD, a dual-motor AWD, and a tri-motor layout with two rear motors and one front motor. Acceleration tops out at 0-60 mph (96.5 km/h) in just under three seconds.

In terms of styling, the R2 looks very much like a smaller R1S sibling. We’re not sure the shorter, wider version of Rivian’s pill-shaped LED lights won’t make the R2’s front end look too close to a pig’s snout, but overall the SUV is clean, classic and simple on the same way as his big brother.

Rivian is unveiling the R2 ahead of a planned 2026 launch
Rivian is unveiling the R2 ahead of a planned 2026 launch

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The R3, on the other hand, deviates from the family with an old-fashioned angular hatchback shape. It may be old and outdated to some, but to us it’s the best electrified reinterpretation of the classic hatchback style we’ve seen since the Honda e. We like it even more than the Honda, the sharper, sportier, more robust shape reminiscent of a Lada 4×4 or classic VW Golf Country. We like the sharp, flat lines everywhere, the forward-swept rear pillars and the contrasting black arches, and even those short, chunky pill lamps look better on a short, chunky body.

Rivian describes the R3 as its own spin on “what a crossover can be,” and we’re glad it decided to find out. It takes the boxy, sporty crossover concept even further with the R3X, a rally-inspired performance variant that promises more capabilities. There’s no word on what specific performance upgrades will set it apart from the base model, or how the price tag will compare, but it’s nice to see it teased alongside the standard R3.

The rally-inspired R3X will be the performance model of the R3 series
The rally-inspired R3X will be the performance model of the R3 series

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“Our R1 flagship vehicles served as our handshake with the world – with R2 and R3, our obsessive goal is to stay true to Rivian’s product attributes while making our products accessible to many more people,” he explains. lead designer Jeff Hammoud. “Through a tight integration of hardware, software and human-centered design, we designed R2 by balancing form and function while building on our inviting and iconic design language.”

Rivian promises next-generation autonomous capabilities in both the R2 and R3 thanks to a new sensor suite with 11 cameras, five radar units and improved computing power. The built-in software allows the SUVs to evolve and improve over time, adding new features through regular updates.

Rivian plans snap-in accessories, including a bike rack, for use with the slots in the R2 frame
Rivian plans snap-in accessories, including a bike rack, for use with the slots in the R2 frame

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Even as Rivian moves toward the mainstream, it remains true to the adventurous roots that fueled original debuts, such as a camper pickup with a slide-out factory kitchen. Outdoors, a tool-free “accessory port” system on the rear of the R2 allows easy snap-in installation of bike racks and other carrying systems. Inside, all five seats fold flat, creating a flat surface all the way to the dashboard, making the R2 its own effective microcamper, without the need for even a rooftop tent or camper-in-a-box kit . Pop-out, ventilated rear side windows and fold-down rear glass provide fresh air during every escape on or off-road.

Rivian promises
Rivian promises “the ultimate car camping experience” with its five flat-folding seats – the glass roof will also be nice that way

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The R2 is available for pre-order now with a $100 refundable deposit. Rivian plans to begin production in the first half of 2026 at its production facility in Normal, Illinois. It says the R3 and R3X will begin production after the R2, but doesn’t give a more specific time frame.

The split screen on the R2/R3 intro below is a bit annoying, but it focuses more on real vehicles than the overdramatized R2 commercial, so it’s the best we’ve got. Plus, it’s less than a minute.

R2, R3, R3X | More adventure for more people | Rivaans

Source: Rivian

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