Rivian R2 teased, Tank Turn shelved

Rivian R2 teased, Tank Turn shelved

Rivian on Friday provided the first teaser of its R2, a smaller follow-up to the automaker’s R1T electric pickup and R1S electric SUV slated for 2026.

CEO RJ Scaringe and design boss Jeff Hammoud showed off a clay model of the R2 under a sheet during an Instagram Q&A with Scaringe. The Q&A content was posted to Instagram Stories, which disappears after 24 hours unless the content is remodeled elsewhere. We took a screenshot in case it didn’t happen.

The covered clay model has the same boxy profile as the R1S SUV, but it appears to be a bit smaller. This matches previous reports, which point to a smaller model that carries over the R1S styling, but in a smaller package closer to the current Jeep Grand Cherokee size.

2022 Rivian R1S

The R2 is expected to be a higher volume model with a lower base price than the R1 models, which currently start at $79,000 and $84,000 (before destination) for the R1T and R1S, respectively. Earlier this year, Scaringe said Rivian is simplifying assembly and component sourcing for the R2, which should help lower costs. Rivian originally planned to launch the R2 in 2025, but last year announced that the launch would be delayed until 2026.

The R2 is expected to be built at Rivian’s new plant in Georgia to complement its current plant in Illinois, which is a repurposed facility previously used by Mitsubishi. Located east of Atlanta, the $5 billion Georgian plant was due to begin construction this year, with the first vehicles rolling off the production lines in 2024, but it’s unclear whether the loss of government tax breaks from the state will affect this schedule.

Rivian also indicated plans for smaller EVs targeting China and Europe, but it’s unclear whether that refers to the R2 or other future models. Rivian in 2021 filed multiple brand names, giving it control of R1S through R5S and R1T through R5T.

Rivian R1T pre-production

Rivian R1T pre-production

In the same Q&A, Scaringe also addressed the lack of the Tank Turn feature in current production Rivian vehicles. Rivian first showed off the feature, which allows a four-motor R1T or R1S to turn in place like a tank, in 2019. A patent application for a seemingly related “K-turn mode” surfaced in 2021 But the Tank Turn feature has now been shelved, Scaringe confirmed, because it doesn’t fit Rivian’s philosophy.

“Over the last year and a half we’ve come to the idea that this is a feature that, although we can do it, is so easily abused and so hard to make sure we’re not tearing up the trails and really do things that are contrary to what we stand for as a company,” Scaringe said.


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