Rivian’s New SUVs Could Be Its Best Electric Cars Yet

Rivian has some tricks up its sleeve.

After weeks of teasing the debut of the midsize R2, the EV maker also unveiled another new model Thursday, the R3. The sleek SUV will fill the role of the brand’s entry-level offering but might also be its most intriguing vehicle.

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The R2 may just be a smaller version of the hulking R1S, the R3 is something brand-new. It will be built on the same platform as the R2, but thanks to a five-inch-shorter wheelbase and barely-there rear overhang it’s comfortably Rivian’s smallest model though the brand still calls it a midsize vehicle. It has the same face and general smoothlines of its larger siblings, but a stance and profile that’s all its own. We’re especially fond of the rear hatch with life-up glass that gives the vehicle the look of an Eastern Bloc equivalent of the first-generation Range Rover. It is the all-too-rare EV that you could genuinely describe as looking cool.

The Rivian R3X from the side
Rivian R3X

The interior is spartan, highlighting the R3’s entry-level positioning. Upfront you’ll find a digital gauge cluster tucked behind the steering wheel, a prominent touchscreen infotainment system perched atop the center of the dashboard, and not one but two glove compartments. The ribbed seats have a nice clean look and can be folded down flat in both the front and back (which could come in handy if you take the EV camping). There’s also a large glass roof that gives the space an airiness shared by the rest of Rivian’s SUV.

Only limited technical details have been made available, but the R3 will be available with single-, dual- and tri-motor powertrains. It’s unclear how powerful any of the setups will be, but you can probably expect each to deliver a range of around 300 miles. There will also be an even sportier variant called the R3X. This version of the EV will come with a top-level tri-motor powertrain, wider wheels, chunkier tires, and a higher ground clearance, upgrades that suggest it can handle itself off-road. Based on the images shared by Rivian it almost looks like an electric rally car.

Inside the Rivian R3X
Inside the R3X

The R3 may have stolen the show on Thursday, but we have a feeling the R2 will appeal to plenty of EV-curious drivers out there. It’s not as big as the R1S—the brand’s first SUV is 15 inches longer, seven inches wider, and 10 inches taller than the new EV—but looks identical otherwise. The R2 will also be available with a single-, dual-, or tri-motor powertrain.

The first option will have rear-wheel drive, while the other two will offer all-wheel drive. No output was announced, but Rivian estimates the most potent R2 will be able to launch from zero to 60 mph in three seconds. No range figures were provided either, but the company is expecting all three versions to travel over 300 miles on a single charge.

A rear 3/4 view of the Rivian R2
Rivian R2

The one problem with the R3, as far as we can see, is that it won’t be here for a while. The SUV is expected to arrive after the R2, which won’t be out until 2026 if everything goes right. We also don’t know how much the EV will cost, but the expectation is that it will be lower than the R2’s reported $45,000 starting price.

Click here for more photos of the Rivian R2, R3, and R3X.

The Rivian R2, Rivian R3 and R3X in Photos
The Rivian R2, Rivian R3 and R3X in Photos

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