While we associate the Rivian brand, started in 2009, with the R1T pickup and the R1S SUV, both of which are fully-electric, the company has dabbled in other categories of vehicles in the past. Take this small sports car that the manufacturer worked on until 2011 when it was ‘shelved,’ but that doesn’t mean it was cancelled.
According to this article published by The Drive, they spoke to Rivian’s director of vehicle dynamics, Max Koff, who explained that the sports car you see in the photos had not actually been cancelled - he was the one who made the correction and used the word ‘shelved’ instead of ‘cancelled’ which was the word used by the editor asking the question.
They also spoke to Rivian’s founder, RJ Scaringe, who explained how the little sports car came to be. He said
I started the company in 2009, the initial product was essentially like a sports coupe, a little sports car. We worked on that for a couple of years. Getting much more sophisticated in how we think about brand, and how we think about how the product, and the strategy, and the technology, and how they all fit together, and then the desire to have impact, to change the way people think about vehicles and change the way people think about sustainability, we just came to the conclusion that that wasn't the right platform to build from. So we shelved it, like, end of '11, beginning of '12, reset the business.
Scaringe added that
In much the same way as we've done with these [R1] vehicles, we're gonna be really quiet about what's coming next, really, largely because we wanna make sure what we show is exactly what customers get. There is a lot of products in the portfolio that are coming, but we haven't yet announced them.
This has to be exciting news for sports car and driving enthusiasts who want more fun to drive electric cars, especially after seeing how good Rivian’s first production vehicle, the R1T really is - it is being showered with praise by any and all who have had a chance to experience it, including members of our editorial team (check out their videos on the R1T below).
Rivian also trademarked additional nameplates that it plans to use in the future, although they all sound like they are for pickups and SUVs, not a sports car. However, as RJ Scaringe pointed out in the quote above, they are not going to make a big fuss about launching the sports car - it will be done quietly and without any prior hype creation tactics beforehand. In other words, one day in the not too distant future, we may be surprised to see a Rivian sports car that we really were not expecting to see and that’s a very exciting prospect.