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Rivian R3 Revealed As Potential Ford Explorer EV Rival

As it works to develop a small, affordable EV via a skunkworks project that was just revealed by CEO Jim Farley, The Blue Oval is also on the verge of launching the all-new Ford Explorer EV in Europe. The Explorer EV for that region is a small EV crossover riding on Volkswagen’s MEB platform, one slated to arrive this coming August following a bit of a delay that’s reportedly related to next-generation battery tech. However, the Explorer EV certainly won’t be without its fair share of competition, as will also be very likely be squaring off with the just-revealed Rivian R3.

Yesterday, Rivian unveiled the new R2 EV crossover, which will be a direct competitor to the Ford Mustang Mach-E, as both crossovers are virtually identical in terms of size. However, we were also thrown a bit of a curveball when CEO RJ Scaringe also unveiled the Rivian R3 and R3X, which will ride on the same platform as the R2, albeit in a smaller package with a hatchback-style design. Rivian didn’t reveal too many specs about the R3 and R3X, but did share some notable information worth mulling over.

For starters, the Rivian R3 is also classified as a mid-size crossover, though it will be smaller than the R2. It will be available with two different battery sizes, with the larger pack helping it achieve over 300 miles of range, while the most powerful variant will be capable of doing 0-60 in less than three seconds. Rivian also noted that the R3 will be cheaper than the R2, which is expected to start out at around $45,000. As for the R3X, it will be a high-performance variant with some cool and unique touches such as larger wheels wrapped with off-road friendly rubber, coupled with distinct interior treatments, to boot – giving it an old school hot hatch vibe of sorts.

In terms of timing, Rivian noted that the R2 is expected to launch in the first half of 2026, and the R3 will follow at some point after that. The concept here is focus on ensuring a smooth launch and rapid production ramp up for the R2 before adding the R3 to the lineup, meaning that it likely won’t arrive until the 2026 model year. We don’t yet know if the R3 will be sold in Europe, but the R2 will, making that possibility very much realistic.

We’ll have more on the Rivian R3 soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Rivian news and continuous Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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