Rivian Showcases R3: The Entry-Level EV SUV with Style and Substance

2027 is when the R3 and R3X are anticipated to debut.

The EV manufacturer also unveiled another new model, the R3, after weeks of teasing the release of the midsize R2. Although it may be the brand’s most interesting car, the sporty SUV will serve as its entry-level model.

The R3 is entirely new, while the R2 might just be a scaled-down version of the formidable R1S. Though the brand still refers to it as a midsize car, it will be constructed on the same platform as the R2, but with a wheelbase that is five inches shorter and a barely noticeable rear overhang, it is easily Rivian’s smallest model. Its face and overall smoothness are similar to those of its larger siblings, but it has a unique stance and profile. The rear hatch, which has life-up glass and makes the car resemble an Eastern Bloc version of the first-generation Range Rover, is our particular favorite feature. It’s the all-too-rare electric vehicle that looks good.

The simple interior design draws attention to the R3’s entry-level status. A prominent touchscreen infotainment system sits atop the dashboard center, a digital gauge cluster is nestled behind the steering wheel, and there are not one, but two glove compartments up front. The ribbed seats fold flat in the front and back, giving them a neat appearance that may come in handy if you take the EV camping. Along with the rest of Rivian’s SUV, the area is made airier by a sizable glass roof.

There are only a few technical details available, but the R3 will come with powertrain options that include single, dual, or triple motors. Although the exact power of each setup is unknown, you can probably anticipate that they will all have a range of about 300 miles. The R3X, an even sportier version, will also be available. Upgrades that imply it can handle itself off-road include a top-tier tri-motor drivetrain, wider wheels, chunkier tires, and higher ground clearance on this EV model. The pictures that Rivian posted almost give the impression that this is an electric rally car.

Although the R3 may have taken center stage on Thursday, we think the R2 will still be attractive to a large number of EV enthusiasts. The brand’s first SUV is 10 inches taller, 7 inches wider, and 15 inches longer than the new EV, but it is smaller than the R1S. There will also be a single–, dual–, or tri-motor powertrain option for the R2.

While the other two options offer all-wheel drive, the first option will have rear-wheel drive. Rivian predicts that the most powerful R2 will be able to launch from zero to sixty miles per hour in three seconds, though no output was disclosed. The company expects all three versions to travel more than 300 miles on a single charge, but no range figures were given either. 

As far as we can tell, the only issue with the R3 is that it won’t be available for very long. The SUV is anticipated to follow the R2, which, if all goes according to plan, won’t be released until 2026. The price of the EV is also unknown, but it is anticipated to be less than the R2’s stated $45,000 starting price.