Rivian has filed plans for a “global product launch” on March 7th at its new flagship store in Laguna Beach, and documents reveal that the launch is of its much-anticipated smaller, more affordable R2 platform.
Rivian recently opened a new flagship store in downtown Laguna Beach, in the site of a historic theater, first opened in 1936, that had fallen into disrepair. Led by Rivian design VP Denise Cherry, the company restored the building into a retail and event space, complete with stage and theater screen.
The theater is just a few minutes away from Rivian’s headquarters in Irvine, making it geographically convenient for the company to use for events. And at the grand opening of the theater, it sure did seem to us like it would be a great space to use for, say, product reveals…
And sure enough, last night Rivian went to the Laguna Beach City Council asking for approval to use the theater, and the public beach area just across the street, for a “global product launch.” This would be scheduled for the afternoon of March 7, and Rivian was asking to place 6 vehicles on the grassy area next to Main Beach, across the street from the theater, for public display.
As part of the filing, Rivian included a diagram showing its intended use of the grassy area, with a document titled “RIVIAN R2 LAUNCH”:
However, Rivian does seem to have withdrawn the request to use the public beach area, after small but vociferous opposition from some locals. But this doesn’t mean the event is canceled entirely, and moreso, the filing reveals that Rivian seems ready to launch the R2 about a month and a half from now.
Given that Rivian owns the event space inside the theater, it wouldn’t need to get a special exception to use public land, so it could still be planning to use the ample space inside the venue for a launch instead.
It’s no secret that Rivian has been working on a smaller and more affordable version of its R1T and R1S vehicles. These vehicles have received universal praise, but their starting price of around $80k puts them out of reach of many.
So there’s a lot of room for Rivian to take its branding and momentum from R1 and apply it to a vehicle that can reach more consumers – think of this as Rivian’s “Model Y” (the world’s best-selling car last year) to the R1’s “Model X.”
So far, we haven’t seen much about the R2, but we did get a glimpse of it under a cover where it does look smaller than the R1, in comparison to the company’s (tall) CEO RJ Scaringe standing next to it, but maintaining a similar boxy shape. We also saw some background marketing material which suggested the R2 will keep the R1’s iconic headlight design, and we’ve previously seen a glimpse of the fender in clay model form .
But we’re excited to learn more about it, hopefully still on March 7th (and we hope they keep that “ice cream cart” as part of the event…).
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