Rivian’s New R2 Offers A Boxy Alternative To Tesla’s Model Y

This new slightly smaller R2 from Rivian is slated to officially arrive in 2026. 

Following on from its premiere full-sized all-electric R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV, Rivian has since wisely decided to go smaller with its subsequent models. So meet the newly unveiled R2 mid-sized e-SUV from the American EV manufacturer, which comes ahead of its even more compact R3 compact crossover. 

Rivian’s answer to the Tesla Model Y, the R2 could essentially be thought of as its R1S being put through the photocopier at 75%. It does after all look nigh-on identical to its full-sized SUV sibling, with its minimalist boxy silhouette bookended by the automaker’s trademark lighting signature on either end. 

What is handily not three-quarter scale on the R2 is its power and range capabilities, with this mid-sized e-SUV to be available with up to three drive motors on board. The single-motor setup will send power to its rear wheels, while all-wheel-drive will be available with the dual and tri-motored variants.

The headline figures thrown around by Rivian regarding the power aspect is for its tri-motored R2 to sprint from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in under 3 seconds, which will see it whoop Tesla’s current fastest Model Y off the line. Though perhaps even more impressive is for the EV manufacturer to claim that this upcoming mid-sized SUV will be capable of at least 483 km (300 miles) on a single full charge, regardless of the chosen motor configuration. 

This impressive range capability of the R2 has been attributed to its new battery system utilising larger cells than previously used in its R1, which will incidentally be featured in packs of two as-yet-unspecified capacities when powering the motor(s) in this upcoming mid-sized e-SUV. Also unknown thus far is the DC fast charging power it can handle to achieve a half hour 10 to 80% state of charge, but it has been confirmed that this Rivian will accept charge through the North American Charging Standard (NACS). 

Moving on within now, the R2 nets the industry-standard dual-screen display while also featuring a similar count of glove compartments. A standard panoramic sunroof adds some airiness into the cabin, with those who demand even more air being able to do so by popping open its pop-out rear quarter windows or rolling down its powered rear tailgate glass.  

Touching on the other cool bits with the R2 for a little bit more, its 11 cameras and five radar sensors has been suggested by the automaker to make this mid-sized SUV capable of Level 3 autonomous driving. This upcoming Rivian also features fold-flat second-row and first-row seats for added practicality, with its frunk too apparently cavernous enough to accommodate multiple bags. 

Following on from its larger sibling in being designed for the possibilities of adventures as well, Rivian has hinted for the R2 to be made available with a roof-mounted tent and a camping kitchen package that can be powered by its rear sockets. Though perhaps the more pertinent detail regarding this mid-sized e-SUV to prospective buyers is for it to start from just $45,000 (RM 210,000), with deliveries currently slated to begin in the first half of 2026. 

And just for those outside of its home market of America, Rivian has hinted too that the R2 is ‘friendly enough that Europeans aren’t scared’ of it. So who knows there might actually be a possibility of this much cooler-looking Model Y alternative making its way to other parts of the world too… like Malaysia perhaps?

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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