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2026 Rivian R2S Looks Virtually Ready to Conquer Compact Electric SUV Market

From an outsider's point of view, things are looking great for Rivian Automotive, an American EV manufacturer set to follow in the footsteps of Tesla – but with a more outdoorsy focus as far as its vehicles are concerned.
2026 Rivian R2S rendering by Halo oto 16 photos
Photo: Halo oto / YouTube
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Earlier in July, the company's second-quarter deliveries and production numbers exceeded Wall Street expectations for its award-winning electric vehicles – the R1T pickup truck and R1S electric sport utility vehicle. Naturally, everyone and their mother at Rivian is now looking toward a bright future where the range expands with the upcoming R2 series – another T for a smaller pickup truck and another S for a compact electric SUV.

With that being said, is anyone surprised that Rivian offered an update on the development status for the more affordable R2 platform during the earnings call? Back then, officials said the R2 models would be presented early next year, and deliveries might start in 2025 and 2026, respectively – with the company mainly betting on great software and better vertical integration to make the upcoming R2 platform cost-effective.

Basically, what Rivian is trying to say is that they want to assault both the market for affordable EV pickup trucks and also the section of capable yet not-so-expensive compact electric SUVs with the R2T and R2S. Of course, that attracted a lot of attention all around the world – and even across some parallel universes. For example, the imaginative realm of digital car content creators is always eager to make these visions come true – even if only virtually.

Among them, the good folks behind the Halo oto channel on YouTube always provide fresh automotive info that is corroborated with their virtual designs; now, there are many new CGI takes on the Rivian R2S compact EV sport utility vehicle. According to their unofficial design vision, Rivian might adopt a streamlined styling for the smaller SUV, as opposed to the boxier treatment bestowed upon the R1S. Additionally, the lighting signature is much more conventional than anyone would expect.

Of course, we always need to remember these are just hypothetical depictions of a model that is only known to a handful of people within the Rivian ranks. So, do take all this with a healthy dose of salt – but also enjoy the ritzier exterior shade propositions, such as the purple or light blue hues. And, in the end, let's vote: do we give this unofficial Rivian R2S attempt our CGI hall pass or not?

Rivian's modular skateboard architecture, the off-road ethos exhibited by the larger siblings, and the powerful and range-wise powertrains are certainly working in its favor. On the other hand, do we really want a Rivian CGI-designed like any run-of-the-mill, cheap electric SUV from China?

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About the author: Aurel Niculescu
Aurel Niculescu profile photo

Aurel has aimed high all his life (literally, at 16 he was flying gliders all by himself) so in 2006 he switched careers and got hired as a writer at his favorite magazine. Since then, his work has been published both by print and online outlets, most recently right here, on autoevolution.
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