Rivian R2SUV: $40,000 & Arriving Early

Rivian’s Price Placeholder: $40K-$60K in 2026

Claire McDonough, the CFO of Rivian, has revealed additional information on their oncoming tiny electric SUV, the R2. This cross-over will be a game changer in the automobile industry.

At last week’s Deutsche Bank conference (the full transcript is available online), McDonough declared that the R2 would be released in 2026. The CFO disclosed that the unveiling will happen in early 2024, noting that the design has been finalized or is close to being finalized. “I had the opportunity to visit our design studio and spend time with the team and the clay [models]. We get to observe it and become enthused every day, but we are truly looking forward to displaying it to the wider public,” she added.

Regarding pricing, McDonough commented that the R2 will be aimed at the larger SUV/crossover market and have a price range of $40,000 – $60,000. “This gives the brand a nice range,” McDonough said. “The R1 has an average selling price of $73,000, so the R2 is positioned right below that.”

“R2 really leans on the brand and ethos of what R1 has started,” she adds. This suggests that the baby R2 will be akin to the bigger models, yet in a more condensed package. “It still holds on to that adventure aesthetic, but it’s also considering and reflecting on … where we can invest in features that will make it more affordable, and thus, a larger market for the vehicles.”

The company is still evaluating which compromises can be made. This is in line with what CEO RJ Scaringe said earlier in the year. He had characterized the R2 as a “lower cost” platform, and he noted that there is more complexity when it comes to engineering a more economical electric vehicle.

“When creating a vehicle with a cost target, it’s important to decide how to best allocate the investment,” said Scaringe. “For example, do you want to spend $1,000 on the interior, the hood, the chassis, or the range?”

Concerning the assemblage of R2 models, Rivian is taking a lesson from historical blunders, notably related to issues with their supply chain. It might be recalled that RJ Scaringe formerly lamented over auto part vendors favouring established labels.

“One of the most crucial distinctions is the point of departure with our suppliers,” McDonough commented. “We discussed where we were in 2018/2019 in comparison to the efforts we have been making over the last two years to reduce material costs. We are initiating the discussion from a different standpoint when it comes to the R2 platform and the magnitude that platform will eventually reach for Rivian.”

“Lower costs are ‘critically important’ according to the CFO,” she said, emphasizing that one of the major issues is utilizing the company’s advancements in key technology, such as the Enduro drive unit. Furthermore, she went on to say that “the other key for us is good interplay between our manufacturing and engineering team, our operations teams, and product development teams.”

When queried about how the R2 would perform in a rapidly expanding electric crossover market, McDonough answered that technology will give the R2 a competitive advantage in this bustling sector. “At the top end of the segment, you can take advantage of high-end interiors to offer a great experience to customers. But when you get to lower price points, it’s all about how you present the brand, the user interface and user experience, and how you can capitalize on our investments across multiple platforms.”

“The R2 is sure to be a hit,” said McDonough, “due to its distinctive styling that echoes the instantly recognizable looks of the R1T and R1S. I believe that we have the opportunity to make the R2 stand out and benefit from the success of the R1 models.”

Rivian initially had designs to reveal their R2 SUV in the year 2025, but due to unforeseen circumstances that has since been delayed.

It is expected that a range of models (including the aforeshown SUV) will come into existence and be geared towards purchasers who are price-conscious. It is also put forward that a compact pickup truck may just be a possibility too.

The R1S and R1T hold a notable desirability far beyond most vehicles, however their significant costs put them beyond the budget of much of the population. Yet, with the development of Rivian’s R2 models, ownership for millions can be achievable. Furthermore, this could bring increased strength in sale figures to the manufacturers, helping them to progresses and continue thriving.

But the R2 isn’t the only model Rivian has in its arsenal. The carmaker is also developing an R3, designed to cater to an unexplored demographic. CEO RJ Scaringe has assured that both of these new models will “retain the same spirit of the R1S and R1T” when it comes to accommodating passengers’ and their pets’ belongings, but in more sophisticated and compact shapes.

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