Rivian R2 launch event: the EV company’s more affordable SUV is here

Rivian logo on the side of its R1S SUV
Image: Nilay Patel / The Verge

The compact crossover won’t go on sale until 2026, but the R2 is a crucial product for the young EV company.

For years, Rivian has been promising to make a smaller, more affordable electric SUV that will sit alongside its pricier R1T and R1S vehicles, and that day is finally here. The company will reveal the R2 at a livestreamed event in Laguna Beach, California, at 10AM PT (1PM ET) on March 7th, 2024.

Much about the R2 has already leaked, including its estimated price (around $47,000), its range (330 miles), and its headlights (oval, of course). In fact, the entire vehicle may have already been spotted recently at a video shoot in California. But that’s not to say that Rivian won’t have a few surprises in store for the actual event.

The R2 is a crucial vehicle for Rivian, which has been struggling to reach profitability amid a broader slowdown in EV sales growth. Rivian is what’s known as a “pure EV play,” meaning it only makes EVs and doesn’t have any internal combustion engines or even hybrids to fall back on when sales start to dip. The company has gone through several rounds of layoffs in recent years and has warned that its sales are likely to stay flat in 2024.

The R2 will provide a glimpse into how Rivian will navigate this more uncertain future. Will it be the company’s Tesla Model 3? Only time will tell.