March 7 Unveiling: Rivian’s Budget-Friendly Compact SUV

X (formerly Twitter) reveals launch date for R2 after teasing customers.

Rivian disclosed on Monday that it intends to introduce a fresh automobile named the R2 on March 7th. Anticipated to fit beneath the R1S SUV and R1T truck in their lineup, the R2 is projected to have a smaller size and be more budget-friendly.

Rivian has been tight-lipped about the R2 thus far, with the only glimpse being a short video on their Instagram story in May 2023. The clip displayed a partially hidden clay prototype of the vehicle (seen above). However, we can confirm that it will be a compact SUV, aimed at rivalling models such as the Tesla Model Y, Kia EV6, and Hyundai Ioniq 5.

During a December interview, CEO RJ Scaringe proposed that the R2 would debut with a base price range of $45,000 to $50,000, approximately half of the current starting cost of their most affordable model, the R1T pickup priced at $80,800. The release date for the R2 is estimated to be around 2026.

According to Scaringe, the CEO of Rivian, the launch of the Rivian R2 will be comparable to Tesla’s “Model 3 moment.” This is due to the numerous obstacles that the company will face in scaling up production to meet the high demand for a more budget-friendly model line.

In a 2018 interview with CNBC, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed that the company had encountered a serious challenge during its efforts to increase production for the Model 3 in 2017. According to Musk, the company was in grave danger, stating, “We faced a threat of death.” He went on to explain that the financial situation was dire, saying, “The company was bleeding money like crazy.” Musk emphasized the urgency of the situation, adding, “If we didn’t address these issues within a very short timeframe, we would not have survived.”

Rivian is taking proactive measures to address potential challenges by investing in a brand new manufacturing facility worth $5 billion. The plant is set to be built in Georgia in preparation for the start of production for the R2 vehicle. Spanning over 1800 acres, the site is projected to provide employment opportunities for 7,500 individuals directly and another 8,000 indirectly, as reported by Clayco, the real-estate developers overseeing the development.

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