Rivian announced Monday it plans to reveal a new vehicle called the R2 on March 7. Expected to slot below the company's R1S SUV and R1T pickup, it should occupy a smaller footprint and come in at a more affordable price.
Rivian hasn't released any info about the R2 aside from an Instagram story video published in May 2023 showing a covered clay model of the car (above). We know it'll be a small SUV set to compete against cars like the Tesla Model Y, Kia EV6, and Hyundai Ioniq 5.
CEO RJ Scaringe suggested in a December interview the R2 will have a starting price of around $45,000 to $50,000, or around half the price of its now-cheapest vehicle, the $80,800 R1T pickup. The vehicle is expected to go on sale sometime in 2026.
Scaringe says the Rivian R2 will be the brand's "Model 3 moment," pointing to all of the challenges that'll come with expanding production to meet the demands associated with a more affordable model line.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a 2018 CNBC interview the company "faced a threat of death" during its ramp up of production for the Model 3 in 2017. "The company was bleeding money like crazy," he said. "If we didn't solve these problems in a very short period of time, we'd be dead."
Rivian is looking to get ahead of the issues with a new $5 billion manufacturing plant, set to be constructed in Georgia leading up to the R2's start of production. The complex will cover roughly 1800 acres and create 7,500 direct jobs and 8,000 indirect jobs, according Clayco, the real estate firm responsible for the project.