Rivian R3 and R3X hatchbacks aim for masses for less than $45,000

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The Rivian R2 electric SUV won’t be the least expensive model in the startup automaker’s lineup.

On Thursday, CEO RJ Scaringe surprised everyone at the R2 debut by unveiling the R3 hatchback, as well as a performance variant called the R3X. When they eventually arrive after the R2, which won’t hit the market until the first half of 2026, the R3 will cost less than its sibling, which starts at $45,000.

Rivian R3

The R3 lineup will share the R2’s single, dual, and tri-motor powertrains along with the electric SUV’s structure and battery pack. That battery pack will be structural and use 4695-style cells.

Rivian said the R3 will charge from 10-80% in 30 minutes and come standard with Tesla’s NACS charge port. The R3 will be able to interface with CCS fast chargers via an adapter.

Rivian R3

Rivian R3

Sitting about 5.0 inches shorter than the compact R2, the R3 looks like a squatter hot-hatch ready to hit the gravel trails. Signature Rivian lighting sits up front with a horizontal lightbar and vertical oval headlights, but in back things take a turn. The sloping roofline leads to a VW Golf-like hatchback shape. The rear glass flips up independently from the hatch as a feature Rivian dubs Flipper Glass. It enables longer items like surfboards to be hauled in the hatchback.

Like the R2, the interior of the R3 features a digital gauge cluster, a large touchscreen, and first- and second-row seats that fold completely flat. There are also two gloveboxes and a hidden storage drawer inside the cab. A front trunk features secure storage.

The R2 will enter production in early 2026 in Rivian’s Normal, Illinois, plant where the R1T and R1S are built. Eventually, production of the R2 will move to the automaker’s new plant set to be constructed in Stanton Springs, Georgia. It’s unclear when the R3 will enter production and where it will be built, though eventually it will be built alongside its R2 sibling.

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