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Rivian R3 and R3X Up Close: Rally Exciting

Rivian R3 exterior angle bl 01 jpg Rivian R3 | Cars.com photo by Brandon Lim

Surprise! While the new all-electric Rivian R2 SUV was perhaps the automaker’s worst kept secret, Rivian took advantage of its debut event to drop jaws and drain bank balances with out-of-the-blue reveals of the all-new R3 and R3X crossovers. While details are a bit scarcer than they are for the R2, we got more than enough in-person exposure to get excited — very, very excited. Here’s what you can look forward to.

Related: Rivian Reveals Smaller R2, R3 All-Electric Crossovers

The R2’s Hatchy Alter Ego

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First things first: As the R3 shares its platform, powertrain options and a chunk of packaging with the R2, we highly suggest you take a gander at our up-close look of the R2 to better frame the R3. There are a lot of “Rs” to keep track of, we know, but think of the R3 as the hatchy, compact-ish crossover alter ego to the boxy R2. All of its dimensions are still under wraps, but it’s observably shorter, lower and sportier than the truck-ish R2, with a slanted rear cargo decklid. Rivian says it shares no sheet metal with its boxy platform mate, and though we notice it might come across as stubby and slightly disproportionate in some photos, it works well in the metal.

Again, Rivian gives the general impression that all R3s share battery and motor configurations with the R2, so there will be single-, dual- and tri-motor setups to pick from. Maximum range is said to be over 300 miles, and 0-60 mph in the most potent configuration is a spooky sub-3 seconds. There’s definitely more of a performance vibe to the R3, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see an optional handling package slip into the order books in the near future.

That’s not to say it’s not capable when the road turns rocky. The regular R3 shared stage space with the unbelievably cool R3X, a distinct, high-performance tri-motor variant that should be a total hoot over any surface. But, given the R3X’s aggressive off-road rubber, it’s likely best when pointed down a squiggly gravel-lined fire road.

The Rally-Inspired R3X

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Whereas the R3 shares its interior colors and fresh features like dual glove boxes and fold-flat front seats with the R2, the R3X is speckled with exclusive colorful tinsel and trim that positions it apart from the road-focused model. A new aggressive monoblock wheel design is tres motorsport, lending the R3X a very Group A/Group B racing aesthetic with more than a little Lancia Delta Integrale in its profile. Unsurprising, as Rivian reps mentioned, the X was envisioned with the “soul of a rally car.”

The R3X’s doors remained sealed shut against our grubby little hands, but a few extended peeks through the windows revealed it carrying aggressive seats and unique materials, including metal-rimmed ventilation ports in the seatbacks and cushions, along with speckled-black plastic on the seatbacks.

We’re hungry for more details — especially pricing — but we’ll have to be patient. We’ll keep you in the loop for Rivian’s next info dump.

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Conner Golden joined Cars.com in 2023 as an experienced writer and editor with almost a decade of content creation and management in the automotive and tech industries. He lives in the Los Angeles area. Email Conner Golden

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