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Rivian’s electric shock: R3 and radical R3X revealed

► Rivian R3 and R3X EVs make surprise debut
► Boxy electric crossovers to launch from late 2026
► Likely under $40k price tag in the US, could come to Europe

Trust the Americans to put on a show. At the same reveal event where US electric car manufacturer Rivian launched the R2 mid-sized SUV, CEO RJ Scaringe stunned the audience by wheeling out a further two cars: the R3 and R3 X. Cue plenty of whooping and hollering from the crowd watching the unveil in a Laguna Beach theatre.

And unlike the R1 S and R1 T, and even to a certain extent the R2, the 3s are quite clearly aimed at the European market with a footprint similar to the Volvo XC40 and its electric EX40 twin. Rivian is in the process of trying to expand rapidly and the 3s will give it the global volume to realise those ambitions. A new factory is being built in Atlanta, Georgia, to give it the capacity.

Technical details and dates are largely absent for the time being, which is no surprise given it won’t arrive until late 2026 at the absolute earliest. Little was confirmed at the reveal, but we do know that it’ll offer the same three options on motors – single rear, twin four-wheel drive, tri-motor with one at the front and two at the rear. If power matches the larger R2, a 0-60mph time should be in the low 3s. On-road handling is promised to back up the pace.

Running on the same platform as the larger R2 but with a wheelbase that’s 135mm shorter, the R3 will have two battery options with a target of 300+ miles of range for the larger version. Charging will be via a right rear port that again points to the influence of Europe in the design – a lot of our charging will be done on street chargers and Rivian wanted to make this as neat as possible. Jeff Hammoud, head of design at Rivian, told us that he ‘doesn’t like it when a cable is strung across the car’.

The R3 X (pictured below) is the intriguing one. Coming only with a tri-motor option, the wider track and tyres with increased ground clearance point to Rivian exploring more performance-orientated versions. Hammoud told us it has ‘the soul of a rally car’ and you can see the influence of cars like the Lancia Delta in its shape and stance.

As with the R2, both cars get adventure-inspired tricks inside and out. The split rear hatch opens to give easier access to the boot, while the Rivian calling card of a torch in the door is also included. An outdoor kitchen is also promised.

Prices aren’t confirmed but with the larger R2 starting at $45,000, it’s likely the R3 will dip under $40k. That puts it under similarly sized cars like the Volvo EX40 and BMW iX1, which should ensure it shakes things up a bit. In a sign of just how much brands like Rivian are disrupting the normal class structure, it could even compete with the upper end of the electric supermini market. Is this Rivian’s Tesla Model 3 ‘moment’? On the hollering-scale, it looks like it could be.

This article was originally published by a www.carmagazine.co.uk . Read the Original article here. .

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