Well, the Cybertruck is finally here, and I have to say that I’m pleasantly surprised with how cool it looks. Some of those early “shot on iPhone on the street” images made the truck look a little roughly put together, but the first deliveries look decent, and the truck’s capabilities look really cool.
However, even with all of the Cybertruck hype and its relatively impressive starting price of around $60,000, I’m going to keep holding out for the R2 platform that Tesla’s rival Rivian is in the middle of building out in Georgia. Here’s why.
The Cybertruck is cool, but it isn’t for me
There’s no doubt that the Cybertruck is cool. The thing looks like it literally jumped out of Cyberpunk 2077 and into our driveways. It certainly takes the crown as the most interesting-looking electric truck that’s currently on the market.
There are a ton of cool features with the Cybertruck. A starting price of around $60,000 is impressive for a vehicle that can withstand a Tommy Gun (why you would need this, I do not know). It can go from 0-60 in under 3 seconds, reach 340 miles of range, and tow up to 11,000 pounds. It also has a ton of accessories like roof rails and a tent made for the bed, so it’s a pretty impressive camping vehicle.
But, that design just isn’t for me. I want something warmer and inviting and the Cybertruck just isn’t that — nor was that obviously the intention for it. It looks sleek, futuristic, and frankly badass, but that’s not the kind of design I want for my vehicle. Tesla really went to the extreme with this design and I’m sure alienated a lot of people with it.
After pondering the design even further, I think I’m also not a fan of Tesla’s extremely minimalistic interiors. As a self-described minimalist myself, I was surprised to come to this conclusion. However, minimalism for me isn’t about stark white walls, and that seems to be more what the Cybertruck is about — a cool, sleek, and rugged interior that seems to opt for minimalism for minimalism’s sake rather than an inviting interior that feels welcoming to sit in.
There are plenty of people who will disagree with me on that and absolutely love the design of the Cybertruck — inside and out — and that’s fine! You should enjoy it. For me, though, I’m looking for something like Cyberpunk and more Subaru.
Rivian’s R2 is the electric car I’m waiting for
Personally, I’m drawn more to the design of Rivian’s R1T or R1S than the Tesla Cybertruck or the Ford F-150 Lightning. As a Subaru owner, I’d love to see that company electrify the Outback but, so far, all we’ve gotten from the automaker is the Solterra which is no replacement for a Wilderness model.
So, while we wait for Subaru to enter the electric off-road game, Rivian is a natural step for those of us who want to own a vehicle made for adventure but run on electricity rather than fossil fuels. However, there’s one problem with Rivian: they’re too expensive. The base R1T, even with the company’s new cost-saving dual motor, starts at $73,000.
A lot of people, including myself, can’t justify a vehicle at that price. Even with its new leasing program which is now live in about fourteen states, the base monthly payment on an R1T will run you $899 per month — that is an absolutely enormous car payment for most people. It’s still better than the $1400 per month base financing will cost you, but that’s still out of reach for most of us.
That’s where the R2 comes in. Rivian has teased its next platform, dubbed the R2, for some time now. Thankfully, we might finally get a sense of what its next vehicle is going to look like — and more importantly, how much it will cost. As previously reported, the company is expected to announce the R2 in early 2024 with a release of the vehicle in 2026. According to that report, the vehicle could come in at a starting price of $40,000 and, depending on options, top out around $60,000.
Of course, the R2 will be sure to lose some features of its larger and more expensive siblings, but as long as it remains off-road capable, this is the price range I could prepare for. Personally, my Subaru is paid off and running fine, so if Rivian announces this thing next year at that price point, I have two whole years to save to ensure the monthly payment is reasonable.
If the Rivian R2 comes in at $40,000 and is off-road capable, I’m sold. It doesn’t need to compete with a Jeep Wrangle, but if it’s enough to get me to my campsite, that’s all I need from it. That price would honestly be shocking, considering that a Subaru Outback Wilderness starts at around that price right now.
I really hope Rivian can pull it off — otherwise, it’s Subaru for the foreseeable future and my personal electric future will have to wait.