It turns out the folks at Rivian had more in store for EV fans everywhere than just the Rivian R2 that debuted in California today. Meet the Rivian R3, an even smaller, more affordable compact crossover that's going to take the electric vehicle startup brand to new heights in the coming years.

"It takes the package of R2, and the platform, and shrinks it," CEO RJ Scaringe said during the car's unveiling today. "It puts it into our take on a crossover. And as a vehicle, it's almost hard to define what it is, but it so beautifully captures our brand and what we represent as a company."  

R3 Top 1

Until now, Rivian's offerings—the R1S SUV and R1T truck—have operated in a larger, much more expensive space. The R2 is expected to bring a whole new audience to the brand with a far lower price and the long-term goal of volume sales, mass production and stability for a startup automaker that's doing better than others but has many of the usual challenges.

Gallery: Rivian R3

But what nobody expected was for Rivian today to go even more compact and cheaper. Almost Lada-like in form (and presumably off-road function), the small EV brings Rivian into a space it's never played in before. 

 

Scaringe said the car is about five inches shorter than the R2, with a smaller wheelbase, "but leveraging all of the same content—the single motor, the dual motor and the tri-motor." 

Rivian officials said both the R2 and R3 will feature two battery sizes, with the larger one targeting "over 300 miles of range" and the quickest cars being able to do zero to 60 mph in just three seconds. With pricing on the R2 expected to be around $45,000, the R3 is to slot in below that, although no details were offered.

Rivian R3

Like the R2, the R3 will use Tesla's North American Charging Standard (NACS) plug from the factory, making it natively compatible with Tesla's vast charging network. Both vehicles will be able to use Combined Charging System (CCS) plugs with an adapter. All are said to go from a 10% charge to 80% in less than 30 minutes. Additionally, the R3 "will provide dramatically enhanced autonomous capabilities" thanks to Rivian's five-radar, 11-camera automated driving assistance setup.  

Scaringe added that the R3 won't skimp on the adventure vibes that made the bigger SUVs and trucks more famous. The second row of seats fold flat for camping adventures and the rear glass can be adjusted to carry large objects, like surfboards or instruments. 

09_Rivian_R3

The CEO also then showed off a performance-focused variant called the Rivian R3X, which looks less built for camping and more ready for the rally stage. The R2, R3 and R3X will be available internationally following their North American launch, company officials said.  Scaringe also implied that the R3 and R3X will be built at the company's forthcoming Georgia factory. 

R3_dash

The CEO said that the company has been "working hard... to get them to as many people as possible as quickly as possible," and that Rivian hopes to begin R2 deliveries in the first half of 2026. "We're able to do that we're able to achieve that that accelerated time by leveraging our production capabilities in Normal, using using our Illinois site to launch R2 and get that into market as quickly as we can."

As for the R3 and R3X, those cars have no official release date yet. In the meantime, Rivian as a startup still has a tremendous amount to prove. But today, it succeeded in giving its fans something to hope for. 

Contact the author: patrick.george@insideevs.com

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