Meet the next step in Rivian’s evolution.

    Revealed overnight in Los Angeles, the R2 SUV is targeted directly at the Tesla Model Y – and at supercharging Rivian’s sales.

    Prospective owners can secure a build slot with a US$100 deposit, with deliveries set to kick off in 2026. When deliveries start, Rivian is targeting a US$45,000 sticker price (equivalent to around $68,000 in Australia).

    Measuring 4715mm long, 1905mm wide, and 1700mm tall, with a 2935mm wheelbase, the R2 is 35mm shorter nose-to-tail and 73mm narrower than the best-selling Tesla Model Y.

    Three powertrains will be offered; a rear-wheel drive base model, a dual-motor all-wheel drive option, and a tri-motor all-wheel drive setup.

    All promise more than 300mi (482km) of range, and the fastest will sprint to 100km/h in less than 3.2 seconds. Hold on tight, kids.

    Although it doesn’t go quite as far as Tesla by claiming Full Self-Driving, Rivian says the 11-camera and five-sensor-strong perception stack in the R2 will offer “dramatically enhanced autonomous capabilities” – meaning hands off the wheels, eyes off the road. Hold on tight, kids?

    Rivian’s brand is built on the promise of adventure, so it should come as no surprise the R2 is more than a school run specialist.

    Its 250mm of ground clearance puts a LandCruiser 300 Sahara ZX in the shade, while 25-degree approach and 27-degree departure angles sit somewhere between rugged off-roaders and soft-roaders like a Toyota RAV4.

    Inside, Rivian has eschewed Tesla’s particularly aggressive form of minimalism in favour of its own, slightly less aggressive form of minimalism.

    The driver gets a proper display in front of them, while the central touchscreen runs in-house Rivian software… that isn’t compatible with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

    Scorned by owner criticism about the lack of a glovebox in the R1S, there are two in the R2. Touches like the pop-out torch in the door carry over from the bigger R1S. The front seats fold completely flat to make the car into a more practical load-lugger, or camper.

    Along with the R2, Rivian used its event to reveal a sportier R3 and R3X. Stay tuned for coverage on both.

    Would you like to see the R2 in Australia?

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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