Home » People Are Seeing Rivian R3s In Real Life And They’re Freaking Out

People Are Seeing Rivian R3s In Real Life And They’re Freaking Out

Rivian R3 Spotting Ts2
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Last week, Rivian told everyone it was launching the new R2 SUV. Then it blew everyone away by casually dropping the R3 and R3X, a lifted off-road hatchback with a design aping a number of automotive legends from over the years. The surprise announcement took the car world by storm. Since then, a  handful of prototypes have been spotted out on the roads, and they’re already turning heads.

The R3 may not be due to hit the market for a few years, so you’d be forgiven for thinking it just exists as a visually appealing concept. However, the prototype R3s are real vehicles that run and drive. They have a well-realized exterior design and look gorgeous out in the California sun. However, as noted by journalist Jason Cammisa on Instagram, they are still very much in the development phase. Having driven the prototype R3 and R3X, he notes that the model still has some way to go before it’s production-ready.

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Regardless, in the real world, the R3 is already turning heads. One member of the Utah Rivian Club saw the vehicles on the street in Laguna Beach, California, and shared the footage to Instagram. The R3X prototype looked resplendent with its rich, deep green finish as it was being loaded into a truck. A second video from the same post shows a pale blue R3 cruising along a beachfront road. The videos give us a great sense of proportion, indicating that the R3 fits into the compact category quite comfortably.

The response to the live sightings has been revealing. With the videos being cross-posted on Twitter, praise poured in for the retro-inspired design. Commenters praised the color choices and the shape, while comparisons were once again drawn to cars like the Lada Niva and previous models of the Volkswagen Golf. The feeling was perhaps most positive over at Rivian Forums, where several users were adamant they would secure an R3X as soon as they became available.

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The R3 has clearly resonated with something deep and real in the broader automotive community. I’ve seen this first-hand. I post about cars all the time on Twitter and I seldom crest a double-digit number of likes. My passing comment on the glory of the R3X received ten thousand likes in two days.

What is it that ignites people so much about the R3? It could be the classic lines or the way Rivian has given them a modern twist. Or it could be that it’s a smaller, hatchback-like EV that looks cool to boot. Its very design seems to suggest that maybe this is not just a fashionable, cutting-edge EV, but it’s one that you could actually afford, too. It was this same concept that propelled the Ford Maverick to near-universal adulation on launch, only to be spoiled when nobody could get one because they all sold out too fast.

The Rivian R3 is still years away from production. That’s why I think it’s so great that it’s been spotted in the wild already. You can put up a still display at a press event and tell the public you’re going to build something. They might even want to believe you. But when you get out and drive the cars in public, people can see for themselves that the product is the real deal. Doing so in front of a gorgeous sunny backdrop like Laguna Beach? Well, that’s just intelligent marketing.

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Image credits: utahrivianclub via Instagram screenshot, Rivian

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Andrea Anania
Andrea Anania
30 days ago

Nobody has mentioned the car this Rivian “R2” definitely resembles more: the FIAT “Ritmo/Strada”.

Last edited 30 days ago by Andrea Anania
Amberturnsignalsarebetter
Amberturnsignalsarebetter
30 days ago
Reply to  Andrea Anania

I thought the same thing, right down to the 4-spoke wheels. I don’t think it’s a bad thing.

Andrea Anania
Andrea Anania
30 days ago

Absolutely, and I think the Hyundai “Ioniq 5” resembles that FIAT too.

Yes I Drive A 240
Yes I Drive A 240
30 days ago

Oooo, hopefully I get lucky and see one soon as I’m only 15 minutes from Laguna and 10 minutes from their HQ. It’s the first EV that’s truly caught my eye.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
30 days ago

I hope this gets into production smoothly and is a hit for Rivian. And I hope it helps pull Rivian’s financials into the black as I want Rivian to succeed in the long run.

Younork
Younork
30 days ago

Rivian is refreshing in a lot of ways. Now that Teslas have become available for the common man, I’ve become intrigued. However, there are just so many compromises in the Teslas that appear to be mitigated in the new Rivians.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
30 days ago
Reply to  Younork

Rivian’s CEO is also not a Nazi promoter, he’s an actual engineer with a PhD from MIT, and he actually founded the company. That’s another + in the Rivian column.

Younork
Younork
29 days ago

I’m surprised that he hasn’t caused more buyers to jump ship, but like in Kia’s case, If you are at the bottom of your respective market, bad PR doesn’t really matter.

Last edited 29 days ago by Younork
Kody Dagley
Kody Dagley
30 days ago

I would love to see if move EV pricing back down and show people we don’t need giant, heavy EV SUVs as the market seems to think we do…

WR250R
WR250R
30 days ago

That is a good looking car. I’m not down with ev yet, so I wish it had an n/a v6 and regular automatic. But looks-wise it catches the eye

Amberturnsignalsarebetter
Amberturnsignalsarebetter
30 days ago
Reply to  WR250R

Just do an LS swap, I hear it’s very easy!

WR250R
WR250R
30 days ago

Hmmm LS and Tremec….

Dan Manwich
Dan Manwich
30 days ago

This thing is cool but it’s not $7000-$10000 cooler than a Bolt EUV or EV. I think this every time a new lower end EV comes out. I think it’s just time for me to shut up and buy a Bolt while I can.

Who Knows
Who Knows
30 days ago
Reply to  Dan Manwich

The thing that has surprised me, and continues to surprise me, the most about the Bolt after owning one for over 6 years is that there isn’t really anything that would be much better that has come out yet. I was expecting that there would be a bunch of newer vehicles that would make it seem completely outdated by now, but there really are only a bunch that are 2x as expensive and not much more usable. The slow DC charging speed is about the only thing that really feels like it would be a significant upgrade in getting a newer vehicle. Other than that, about all I would like to have is a longer/bigger trunk for trips, and a bit more clearance and a couple hub motors in the back for mellow offroading.

Tim Connors
Tim Connors
30 days ago
Reply to  Who Knows

I should just buy one.

No Kids, Just Bikes
No Kids, Just Bikes
9 days ago
Reply to  Dan Manwich

I don’t know. I get that the Bolts are the value leaders, but they still seem so … cheap? I like a small car, but I don’t want to feel like I am in a penalty box. Plus I want the upped performance of the R3X.

Mike B
Mike B
30 days ago

This and the R2 might be the first EV’s that I’m semi excited about. The R3X looks brilliant of course, but I think the R2 suits my needs as a possible replacement for my T4R, and it even has the roll down rear window!!

Hopefully infrastructure improves over the next few years to make this a more practical purchase. Right now, the inability to charge at home or at work makes an EV a no-go.

Fjord
Fjord
30 days ago

I’m still waiting to see a photo of this next to something I’d actually consider to be a small hatchback, like a 20-year-old Golf or Civic. Modern usage has warped peoples minds so that they think of things like Macans and CX-5s as compact.

Hotdoughnutsnow
Hotdoughnutsnow
30 days ago

“The Rivian R3 is still years away from production.”

But I want it NOW! *Veruca Salt voice*

Last edited 30 days ago by Hotdoughnutsnow
Ben
Ben
30 days ago

According to Wonka logic you should now turn into an R3. Rivian should look into this untapped manufacturing potential. 😉

Fix It Again Tony
Fix It Again Tony
30 days ago

I’m glad to read that it is actually small. Even though I want this, there are other cars that I want more. But being able to just put in an order online without having to deal with dealers puts this on top of the list.

Cyko9
Cyko9
30 days ago

I like Rivans, but I’m over the quirky headlights. Which sucks, because it’s the company’s defining characteristic, like somebody’s half-eaten apple on the back of a phone. The R3 is fascinating, and I’d love to look forward to one, but I just can’t. So, I hope the hype grows and other car manufacturers decide to try at least one small hatchback EV. Actually, VW, forget the ID-Buzz, Rivan copied your homework; get busy on a retro-EV Golf!

Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
30 days ago
Reply to  Cyko9

I can actually get behind this. OEM’s would hate it but we could probably fix poor lighting on cars by standardizing around something. The space for a standard projector beam housing is not that large. While not the latest tech, bespoke LED array’s just seems uselessly complex and ultimately wasteful.

Millermatic
Millermatic
30 days ago
Reply to  Cyko9

Headlights as a defining characteristic worked just fine for Porsche…

Mike B
Mike B
30 days ago
Reply to  Cyko9

I dislike the look of the headlights, but I’m over it now. It is what it is, at least it doesn’t look like everything else on the road. As a kid I used to be pretty good at ID’ing cars by the headlights, but I’ve lost that skill over the past 20 years.

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