Up close with the Rivian R2: Even better in-person [Gallery]


Up close with the Rivian R2: Even better in-person [Gallery]

Rivian brought its brand new R2 electric SUV to Austin, Texas this week for one of its first public show and tells. I made the trek to the city this morning to check it out and tried to snap a bunch of pictures. Head below to check them out.

My current EV family consists of a Mustang Mach-E and a Model Y. I placed my R2 reservation last week, planning to replace the Model Y with it come 2026-ish. What I saw today only gives me more confidence that’s the right call.

Rivian wasn’t letting anyone drive the R2 it had on display in Austin, nor were we even allowed to touch it. “Those new haptic scroll wheels? They’re great!,” a Rivian employee said. “But you can’t touch them.” As a Rivian employee drove the R2 into the parking lot, it was surrounded by several other R1Ts and R1Ss.

One thing I noticed right away was that the color of this R2 looks different at just about every angle, depending on how the light was hitting it. As the sky alternated between cloudy and sunny, sometimes this R2 looked white, sometimes blue, and sometimes gray. This made it really hard to take pictures.

Some other quick thoughts:

  • Very impressed with the interior. Even though I couldn’t touch it, it certainly looked more luxurious and has more character than my Model Y. The materials aren’t as nice as the R1T/R1S, but that’s to be expected given the price differences.
  • The size, to me, seems perfect. I generally think the R1S is too big, but this R2 form factor is right up my alley.
  • I was so-so on the rims based on pictures and videos I’d seen online, but I actually thought they looked pretty sick in person.
  • Two glove boxes, flashlight in the door, very nice. There’s some nice additional storage in the center console, where the Camp Speaker is on the R1S/R1T.
  • I forgot to get a picture of it, but if you lift the floor of the trunk, there’s a lot of more storage space underneath.
  • Again, I couldn’t sit in it, but there appears to be a lot of legroom in the backseat. Probably more than the Model Y? We’ll see.

Electrek’s Take

The R2 is an absolutely gorgeous car. Rivian’s presentation last week did a pretty good job of showing it off, but seeing it in-person today was even better. If what Rivian actually ends up shipping in 2026 is as nice as what I saw today, I’m sold. Bye, bye, Model Y.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the R2 inside and outside. Enjoy!

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