Rivian's Claire McDonough has said the newcomer will be priced between $40,000 and $60,000 when it arrives in 2026.
Rivian CFO Claire McDonough has shared more details about the R2 SUV, the company's upcoming compact electric crossover.
At last week's Deutsche Bank conference (the full transcript is available online), McDonough confirmed the R2 would be launched in 2026. The CFO shared that the unveiling will occur in early 2024, adding that the design has been finalized or is nearing completion. "I was down at our design studio spending time with the team and the clay [models]. We get to see it and get excited every day, but we're really excited to show it to the broader public," she added.
Regarding pricing, McDonough says the R2 will target the broader SUV/crossover market and be priced between $40,000 - $60,000. "That also creates a nice stretch for the brand. R1 has an average selling price of $73,000, so this lives right below that."
"R2 really leans on the brand and ethos of what R1 has started," she adds, suggesting the baby R2 will be similar to the larger models but in a more condensed package. "It still maintains some of that adventure aesthetic, but it's also contemplating and thinking about ... where we're investing in capabilities that allow us to maintain that more affordable price point, and, therefore, a larger addressable market for the vehicles."
The company is still looking at which trade-offs can be made. This aligns with what CEO RJ Scaringe said earlier this year. Having described the R2 as a "lower cost" platform, he explained there's more complexity when it comes to engineering a more affordable EV.
"On a vehicle with a cost target, you have to decide where you're going to spread your investment. Do you want to put $1,000 into the interior, into the hood, do you want to put it into the chassis, do you want to put it into the range?" said Scaringe.
As for R2 production, Rivian is learning from past mistakes, particularly regarding supply chain issues. You may remember that RJ Scaringe previously criticized auto parts suppliers for favoring more established brands.
"One of the key differences is the starting place with suppliers," said McDonough. "We talked about where we were in 2018/2019 relative to the work we've been conducting over the last two years to get those material costs down. We are starting from a different place of negotiation, as it pertains to the R2 platform and the size and scale that platform will become over time for Rivian."
She added that lower costs are "critically important" and noted that one of the critical issues is leveraging the company's progress in key technology, such as the Enduro drive unit. "The other key for us is good interplay between our manufacturing and engineering team, our operations teams, and product development teams," added the CFO.
When asked how the R2 would fare in an ever-growing electric crossover segment, McDonough said technology will give the R2 an edge in this bustling sector. "In the premium end of the space, you can utilize premium interiors to create an experience for a customer. When you get down to these lower price levels, it's really how you think about the brand positioning, the UI/UX experience for the customer, and how you think about the leverage and opportunities that we have with all of these cross-platform investments."
McDonough suggested that distinctive styling will also play a big part in the R2's appeal, citing the instantly recognizable looks of the R1T and R1S. "I think the opportunity we have is to continue to allow R2 to stand out and lean on some of that success that we've brought to market."
Rivian had initially planned to reveal the R2 SUV in 2025, but the vehicle has since been pushed back.
It will likely spawn several models (including the SUV seen above) and target more cost-conscious buyers. There's also potential for a smaller pickup truck.
Both the R1S and R1T are highly desirable vehicles, but their hefty price tags make them unattainable for many. These R2-based variants could bring Rivian ownership within reach of millions and provide the brand with the more robust sales it needs to survive and grow.
But the R2 isn't the only model Rivian has in its arsenal. The company is also working on an R3 aimed at an untapped audience. However, Scaringe promises both these new models will "continue to take the essence of what we've done [with the R1S and R1T] in terms of how you can fit your gear and your pets and do it in a refined and fun way in different packages and in smaller form factors."