Rivian R2

Rivian R2 and R3 SUVs likely to come to the UK, rivalling Tesla Model Y, as EV firm targets mass market

Watch out Tesla

California-based electric vehicle (EV) maker Rivian has revealed three new models set to shake up the electric car market.

Based on a new “midsize” engineering platform, the R2, R3 and R3X are all designed to make “Rivian vehicles more accessible to more people,” with competitive pricing in the US.

While Rivian has not officially confirmed whether these cars will come to the UK, the company has said it has plans to enter the European market. Either way, the brand is clearly looking to broaden its horizons and its customer base.

“Our obsessive goal is to stay true to Rivian’s product attributes while making our products accessible to a lot more people,” said Rivian chief design officer Jeff Hammoud.

Designed for European tastes?

Clearly, the new SUVs are built with smaller roads — and smaller price tags — in mind. The R2 is the largest of the trio of newbies and will go on sale in North America in 2026, with prices starting at $45,000. That puts it roughly in line with the Tesla Model Y, which costs from £45,000 in the UK, and Volkswagen ID.4 — both of which are similar in size.

For that money, the R2 offers seating for five and powered rear tailgate glass that drops to accommodate longer items or provide a more “open-air driving experience”. It also gets sustainable materials and seats that fold flat to allow for “car camping”.

Buyers will also get a choice of three pure-electric propulsion systems, with a single-motor, rear-wheel-drive variant representing the cheapest choice. Above that will be a two-motor, all-wheel-drive option and a three-motor, performance-orientated model that promises a supercar-like 0-60mph time of less than three seconds.

A range of more than 300 miles

Under the floor, the R2 will get an all-new battery pack that’s expected to offer a range of more than 300 miles on a single charge, although it’s likely that figure is calculated using the American economy test rather than a European measure. The battery will also have the ability to charge from 10 to 80 per cent in less than half an hour according to Rivian.

What’s more, Rivian has promised a “perception stack” of 11 cameras and five radars to provide “dramatically enhanced autonomous capabilities” — in contrast to Tesla’s revised strategy to rely only on cameras.

There’s a smaller one, too

Meanwhile, the R3 will offer smaller dimensions than the R2; we’re expecting it to rival the electric Volvo EX40 (formerly known as the XC40 Recharge). But it promises to mix that compactness with attractive styling, capability and practicality.

It will also spawn a high-performance, off-road-orientated R3X model designed to be something of a “Raptor” version of the R3.

Like the R2, the R3 will get more than 300 miles of range, and it’ll come with a choice of powertrains, with the R3X expected to get the most powerful three-motor layout. Again, it should accelerate from 0-60mph in less than three seconds, while fold-flat seating is expected as standard and Rivian says there is an “extreme focus” on rear passenger legroom.

The R3 and R3X will not go on sale in America until after the R2’s launch in two years’ time, and Rivian has not yet quoted any prices. The R3, though, is expected to be cheaper than the R2.

“I have never been more excited to launch new products,” said Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe. “R2 and R3 are distinctly Rivian in terms of performance, capability, and usability, yet with pricing that makes them accessible to a lot of people.

“Our design and engineering teams are extremely focused on driving innovation into not only the product features but also our approach to manufacturing to achieve dramatically lower costs. R2 provides buyers starting in the $45,000 price range with a much-needed choice with a thoroughly developed technology platform that is bursting with personality. I can’t wait to get these to customers.”

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