Skip to main content


Has Rivian just released an all-electric Lada Niva tribute?

Thought EVs were just emotionless appliances? Rivian asks you to think again with their new, retro-inspired R3X compact electric SUV.

The rising star electric car brand Rivian has just released its new range of compact SUVs. Usually, we wouldn’t bat an eyelid, but we‘re particularly fond of the Rivian R3X - as the minimalist, boxy design reminds us of our favourite off-road classics.

There‘s certainly more than a hint of Lada Niva in that refrigerator-on-wheels silhouette. But we also recognise some other modest off-road machines we hold dear to our hearts: the Fiat Panda 4x4, the VW Golf Country, the classic Range Rover, even the Lancia Delta should be considered for a paternity test. Spec-wise, there’s not a lot to sink our teeth into, though. With release slated for after deliveries of the newly-unveiled R2 in 2026, don’t expect to park one of these retro-futuristic crossovers on your drive any time soon. 

However, there are two tasty morsels that Rivian did let slip. First, the price: the standard R3 will be priced below the 45,000 dollar R2, which will no doubt cause some sleepless nights for Tesla. The second major reveal is that the sportier R3X will sprint from 0-60mph in under 3 seconds, something its vintage off-road forebears could never even dream of. So, is the R3X a design icon in the making, or just another electric milk float to be lost among the oncoming EV horde?