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Monday, May 29, 2023

Rivian shares first undercover take a look at upcoming smaller R2 SUV

Rivian has been engaged on its cheaper, smaller R2 platform for a while now, anticipated to be the “excessive quantity” counterpart to its flagship R1T and R1S. And we simply noticed our first take a look at the R2S – albeit undercover.

R2-based autos are anticipated to be extra accessible to patrons and allow greater quantity manufacturing, getting extra EVs on the street and serving to Rivian with its present major objective of upping its manufacturing capability. However at the moment, the R2 isn’t slated to launch till 2026, so we’ve obtained a while to go till we see it.

We hadn’t seen something but of the car, however Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe simply revealed a small take a look at the R2S SUV, alongside chief designer Jeff Hammoud. The quick video was posted on the corporate’s Instagram story, in response to buyer questions as a part of an “Ask Rivian” phase.

Effectively, form of anyway. It’s below cowl, and it’s only a clay mannequin, however it offers us a way of the scale and form of the car nonetheless:

It’s not a lot to go on, however that is the primary we’ve seen of the upcoming mannequin, and we are able to get a way of some issues from what we see right here.

First, it’s smaller. Which was anticipated, however it’s good to see affirmation of. In discussion board posts in regards to the “reveal,” Rivian group members appeared stunned by simply how a lot smaller it’s, provided that the R1T and R1S are fairly massive autos. However that’s what we had been advised would occur, and right here it’s.

Second, it does appear to keep up a reasonably related form to the R1S. It’s fairly boxy, in distinction to the standard egg-shaped small SUVs widespread throughout the remainder of the phase. It does seem like the roof line tapers in from the perimeters of the autos, maybe moreso than on the R1S, so its entrance profile might look a bit completely different. However we’re solely seeing one angle, so we are able to’t be as sure of that.

Within the background of the video, we noticed some Rivian advertising and marketing materials which appears to indicate that the R2 will preserve the R1’s hanging headlight design. This design was initially controversial on the truck’s reveal however has change into a little bit of an icon for the corporate. We’ve seen a quick glimpse of the clay mannequin’s fender in a earlier Rivian video (see this text’s featured picture for that), which additionally confirmed that the R2 headlight design is just like the R1.

It appears to be like just like the R2 can even include a built-in transportable flashlight which stows and costs in a secret pocket within the entrance door, one other characteristic carried over from the R1.

Lastly, Scaringe additionally answered a query about “tank flip,” a prototype mode which spins the quad-motor powertrain in reverse instructions to permit a car to show in place on mushy surfaces. Rivian confirmed this off as a cool advertising and marketing stunt a couple of years in the past and had been planning to launch it to the general public.

However Scaringe mentioned that Rivian has apparently now determined to shelve these plans. Rivian determined that the mode could be too damaging to trails and doesn’t match with the corporate’s ethos to be higher stewards of the setting. Although Scaringe didn’t say something about “entrance dig mode,” one other easier model of tank flip which Rivian has patented.

Electrek’s Take

The R2 platform may very well be considered the “Mannequin Y” in comparison with the R1’s “Mannequin X.” A smaller and cheaper mannequin designed for greater manufacturing numbers, in what’s at the moment the most well-liked car phase.

And we’ve lately gotten some information about how properly that’s going, with the Mannequin Y changing into the world’s top-selling car. This isn’t to say that Rivian will obtain the identical feat – and so they’re years behind Tesla in that respect anyway – however it does present the distinction in potential volumes between these segments.

As for what we’ve seen of the R2 immediately, readers might know that I’m a fan of smaller autos (I drive a 2,800lb, two-seat Roadster in spite of everything), so this looks as if an enchancment to me. As a lot as I like Rivian and suppose the corporate is doing an awesome job (and we at Electrek love their autos), I do suppose we have to flip in direction of smaller autos as a society. The R2 doesn’t fairly get us there, however it’s headed in the precise course at the very least.

So when individuals are stunned at how a lot smaller the R2 appears to be like than the R1, properly, that’s only a bonus for me.

And whereas I perceive the egg form (it’s about effectivity, which is vital), it does get a bit outdated generally to see nearly each SUV – and certainly, nearly each automobile, since SUV gross sales are (sadly) by way of the roof nowadays – with the very same profile. So long as Rivian can preserve the R2 from being too inefficient in comparison with competing autos, I’m glad it’s sticking with bolder strains to distinguish itself from mainly every part else within the phase.

What do you concentrate on what we’ve seen of the R2 immediately? Tell us within the feedback.

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