Rivian on Friday gave the first preview of its R2, a smaller successor to the automaker’s R1T electric pickup truck and R1S electric SUV due for release in 2026.
CEO RJ Scaringe and design chief Jeff Hammoud displayed a clay model of the R2 under a sheet during an event Instagram Question and answer session with Scaringe. Content from the Q&A was posted to Instagram Stories, which will disappear after 24 hours unless the content is revamped elsewhere. In case that doesn’t happen, we took a screenshot.
The covered clay model shares the same boxy profile as the R1S SUV, but appears to be slightly smaller. This is consistent with previous reports pointing to a smaller model adopting the R1S design, but in a smaller package more akin in size to the current Jeep Grand Cherokee.
2022 Rivian R1S
The R2 is expected to be a larger volume model with a lower base price than the R1 models, which currently start at $79,000 and $84,000 (pre-destination) for the R1T and R1S, respectively. Scaringe said earlier this year that Rivian is simplifying assembly and component sourcing for the R2, which should help keep costs down. Rivian originally planned to launch the R2 in 2025, but announced last year that will be the case postponed until 2026.
The R2 is expected to be built Rivian’s new Georgia factory to complement its current Illinois plant, a converted facility previously used by Mitsubishi. The $5 billion Georgia plant, east of Atlanta, was scheduled to start construction later this year, with the first vehicles rolling off the assembly line in 2024, but it’s unclear if that will be the case Loss of tax breaks from the state government will affect this schedule.
Rivian has also announced plans for smaller EVs are targeting China and Europe, but it’s unclear if that’s referring to the R2 or other future models. Rivian trademarked multiple names in 2021 and gained control over them R1S to R5S and R1T to R5T.
Pre-production Rivian R1T
In the same question-and-answer session, Scaringe also addressed the lack of the tank rotation Function in current production vehicles from Rivian. Rivian first demonstrated the feature that allows a four-engined R1T or R1S to turn in place like a tank in 2019. A patent application for an apparently related “K-Turn mode” emerged in 2021. But the tank turn feature has now been shelved, Scaringe confirmed, because it doesn’t fit with Rivian’s ethos.
“Over the last year and a half we’ve come to believe that this is a feature that is possible but is so easy to abuse and it’s so difficult to make sure we’re not breaking paths and actually doing things who they are.” contrary to what we stand for as a company,” said Scaringe.