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Could the Rivian R3 Be the Brand’s Best Seller?

a car parked on a dirt road
Could the Rivian R3 Be the Brand’s Best Seller?Rivian
  • Rivian reveals R3 and R3X hatchbacks, expected to debut in 2027 while sharing a platform with the R2.

  • The single-motor R3 is expected to be offered with a starting price around $35,000, while the R3X may overlap with the pricing of the R2, starting around $45,000.

  • The R3X will feature a tri-motor layout, while the R3 will offer a choice of a single- or dual-motor setup.


Last week's debut of the Rivian R2 was lively, well-executed, and did not involve metal balls shot at the side windows. Everything went smoothly, though the design of the Rivian R2 itself was hardly a surprise after a year of sightings and teasers. And just like predicted, it didn't receive a small pickup variant that had been theorized by EV fans over the past year.

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But the R2 was ultimately upstaged that night by yet another duo, one not predicted by most industry watchers.

Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe revealed the R3 and its R3X sibling—both smaller in size than the R2 yet sharing its platform.

The exterior designs of the two hatchbacks immediately invited comparisons to the Lada Niva and other boxy ]70s four-door hatchbacks.

The R3 and its spunkier, tri-motor R3X twin, due in 2027, also raised the question: Could small, premium electric hatchbacks actually be the next EV trend?

A decade and a half ago, many imagined we would all be driving cute and compact city cars today—perhaps the very thing that the Apple car was supposed to finally deliver, before throwing in the towel.

But in reality, quite the opposite landscape emerged. The EV market of the present is full of large and heavy vehicles, and a lot of them are quite pricey as well. Rivian's own two debut models were, ahem, not small and not cheap by any measure.