Update: ‘Manufacturing & Release Date’ section updated.
With the R1T priced from USD 73,000 in the U.S. and CAD 100,925 in Canada, Rivian’s entry price is quite tall for most truck customers. A more affordable and smaller pickup called Rivian R2T is likely to arrive in 2026 to make the brand more accessible and help expand it globally. Here’s our general expectation from the smaller Rivian truck:
Design & Interior
Rivian has been working on a new R2 product line for quite a while, and it’s safe to assume the new model series includes a mid-size pickup called Rivian R2T.
We imagine that the Rivian R2T will feature an offbeat, futuristic design derived from the R1T. At the front, we expect a high and flattish hood that gives the pickup a robust look. Intersected stadium-shaped headlights and a chunky daytime running light along the width of the bonnet would make the R2T instantly recognizable as a Rivian.
A silver skid plate, functional grille, and colored tow hooks, as represented in our render, can also add appeal. On the sides, expect normally-angled pillars and beltline, large windows, flush door handles, and colored brake calipers. At the rear, the R2T should flaunt a thick full-width tail light bar and a silver skid plate.
The interior of the Rivian R2T will likely feature a combination of rugged and traditional elements and minimalistic and futuristic parts. It may get a large dashboard, one that feels more luxurious and sophisticated than what you get in a typical gas-powered model, thanks to intricate cut-outs and premium trim materials like real wood. A flat floor, deep open space between the dashboard and front floor console, and a large glass roof can contribute to the cabin’s airy feel. The cockpit area should include a large digital instrument cluster and a sizeable touchscreen infotainment system.
On April 7, 2023, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe revealed some new details about the Rivian R2 models while speaking to YouTuber and tech reviewer Marques Brownlee on the Waveform podcast (via YouTube). He suggested Rivian will avoid features that are not core to the brand or are unnecessary. He gave the example of the removable flashlight in the driver’s side door. There’s an internal debate about the brand’s essence – cool features or extreme off-road capability.
Judging from the teaser, the Rivian R2S is shorter than the R1S, both in length and wheelbase. The R2T should follow the same template, and in that case, expect it to have better approach, breakover, and departure angles compared to the R1T. For reference, the R1T’s approach, breakover, and departure angles are 35.5º, 26.4º, and 30º, respectively. The shorter wheelbase should lead to a smaller turning circle, too, so expect the R2T to be more easily maneuverable in tight spaces.
Battery & Motor
The new Rivian pickup will sit on a new Rivian R2 platform and should come in two to three different dual-motor AWD configurations. It may deliver an EPA-est. range of between 300 and 450 miles, depending on the size of the battery pack selected.
On the Waveform podcast, Scaringe suggested Rivian may not offer the R2 models with a quad-motor powertrain. The dynamics and capabilities customers would expect based on the R1 models should still be there, though. It will take a few years for the R2T to be ready, and technology, both within Rivian and in the auto industry, will advance quickly before it arrives.
It is likely that the R2T will use a different cell chemistry and cell installation method than the R1T. In the R1T, Rivian uses 2170 cylindrical nickel-rich lithium-ion cells packed into modules, a number of which together form the battery pack. In the R2 truck, the company may switch to nickel-free lithium iron phosphate cells. Also, it may install the cells using a module-less packaging method, either cell-to-pack or cell-to-chassis. Thus, the R2T could have a more efficient cell installation that frees up more space and reduces weight, and different cell chemistries for affordability and steady supply.
As we think about the CapEx roadmap for the coming years, we still expect to be spending in that low $2 billion area through 2025, which allows us to continue to invest in the expansion of our plant in Normal, Illinois, where right now we are adding our in-sourced motor production lines. It also entails us the opportunity to invest in the first 200,000 units of capacity for R2 in Georgia.Claire McDonough, CFO, Rivian (Q2 2022 earnings conference call on August 11, 2022)
Manufacturing & Release Date
Production of the R2T would be from Rivian’s upcoming domestic plant in Georgia. Situated in the Staton Springs industrial park, the second Rivian factory, once fully ready, will have an annual production capacity of 400,000 units. With 95% of the upper pad graded, the site is almost ready for construction to commence. Rivian plans to break the ground there in early 2024.
Rivian plans to launch the inaugural model of the R2 platform in 2026 and that will likely be the R2S SUV. The R2T may arrive in quick succession in the same year and is poised to compete with the Mini GMC Hummer EV Pickup.
Asked on the Waveform podcast when we’ll see the first Rivian R2 model, Scaringe said in roughly a year, indicating an H1 2024 reveal. During the company’s Q2 2023 earnings call on August 8, 2023, Scaringe confirmed that the R2 product would be unveiled in early 2024. Though he didn’t identify the shape or style of the vehicle, he mentioned that “really fun personalization items” are part of the accessories designed for the R2.
In an interview with GQ Magazine, published on October 9, 2023, Scaringe was asked about the pricing of the Rivian R2 models. He said that the R2 generation would be priced in the USD 40,000 to USD 60,000 range. We’re expecting the truck to start at around USD 50,000.
The R2 model could be designed to be one of the most capable mid-size electric pickups in the U.S. and Canada. It could be an ideal choice for drivers who navigate challenging terrain, demand strong performance, and seek an all-electric solution, in a smaller budget.
Rivian R2T FAQs
What is the Rivian R2T release date?
The R2T is expected to go on sale in 2026 in the U.S. and Canada.
What will be the Rivian R2T price?
The base Rivian R2T could cost around USD 50,000 for the base variant.
Which models will be Rivian R2T rivals?
The ‘Mini’ Hummer EV Pickup will probably be the main competitor of the Rivian R2T.
Featured Image: TopElectricSUV’s rendering of the R2T truck.