First look at Rivian R2 electric SUV ahead of March reveal and UK launch

Rivian is coming to Europe and has confirmed its smaller, more affordable R2 will be available in the UK

Rivian R2 - front

Excitement is building up for the reveal of the new Rivian R2 electric SUV on 7 March. The American EV start-up has provided us with our first snapshot of its latest model and has confirmed to Auto Express that it will be available in the UK.

The Rivian R2 will be the smaller, more affordable sibling to the brand’s pioneering R1T pick-up truck and seven-seater R1S SUV. It will also be the car that spearheads Rivian’s expansion into the European car market with the electric family SUV set to take on big-sellers like the Tesla Model Y and Kia EV6.

The latest teaser video for the Rivian R2 reveals that the vehicle will feature the same vertical ‘stadium headlight’ design as the bigger R1 models, connected by a very thick light bar spanning the front of the car. This suggests the R2 will essentially look like a compact version of the bold R1S, sporting the same blocky but clean and futuristic design language.

Rivian Founder and CEO RJ Scaringe, previously stated there are plans to build the R2 at its plant in the US. In a recent letter to shareholders, Rivian also spoke of the new R2 platform which will underpin the new SUV

Given that it uses a new platform, it’s unclear if the R2 will use the batteries offered in the R1S. With the expected size difference between the models, the R1’s 106kWh ‘Standard’ battery pack may be offered, but the 121kWh, 135kWh and 180kWh ‘Standard+’, ‘Large’ and ‘Max’ units are probably too large.

Still, when you consider the heavier R1S can muster 270 of range from the entry-level battery option, the smaller R2 should be able to offer well over 300 miles of range using the same powerpack and a dual-motor, all-wheel drive set-up.

An exact timeline for when Rivian and the R2 will come to the UK hasn’t been announced yet, however we expect to learn more during the car’s full reveal on 7 March. The R1S SUV and R1T truck have been available in North America for several years now, but it seems unlikely we’ll receive these models in the UK, even after Rivian launches in Europe.

Now read more about the best electric cars to buy...

News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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