Rivian will unveil the cheaper and more efficient R2 on March 7

Expect a compact SUV in the $40,000 to $60,000 range that arrives in 2026.

The Rivian R1S (Photo by Roberto Baldwin / Engadget)

Rivian will reveal the R2 on March 7. The company confirmed on Monday in a post on X (Twitter) that customers should “get ready to meet R2 on March 7th.” Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe previously said the next-generation platform would be smaller and cheaper than the R1 lineup.

The automaker hasn’t yet said where the event will take place, but it will all but certainly be in Laguna Beach, CA. Last month, its city council publicly posted an approved request in its minutes for a “Rivian R2 Launch,” part of a “worldwide product launch event at the Rivian Theater” on the same date. If that wasn’t enough of a clue, Rivian’s X teaser included audio of waves crashing, beachgoers playing and seagulls squawking.

Rivian representatives reportedly plan to hold the event at the Rivian South Coast Theater in Laguna Beach. The automaker bought the cinema (which opened in 1937 and closed in 2015) in 2021 before renovating and reopening it this past December. The company asked the council for permission to display six vehicles on a grassy public area near the theater, which sounds ideal for a media hands-on area after a formal presentation inside.

The R2 platform is expected to start with a smaller SUV (reportedly about the size of a Jeep Grand Cherokee) priced in the $40,000 to $60,000 range. R1 platform vehicles start at around $80,000, although some models are available for leasing, which makes them eligible for a full $7,500 tax credit.

When Scaringe held an Instagram Q&A last year, he said the vehicle’s expected delivery date had slipped from 2025 to 2026. So, unless Rivian’s plans have changed dramatically since then, expect the March event to precede a long waitlist period before you can take one home. Rivian still hasn’t started construction on an upcoming Georgia factory that will produce the R2 lineup.

Rivian loses about $31,000 on every R1 platform vehicle it makes as the EV maker positions its brand for an all-electric future. The R2 is expected to be more efficient (with more accessible pricing) as the automaker tries to pivot into profitability. The company’s CEO said in late 2023 that it was chatting with a “pipeline” of commercial customers for its electric vans after its four-year exclusivity agreement with Amazon ended. However, it still plans to fulfill its contract with Amazon, which calls for the delivery of 100,000 vans to the online retailer by 2030.