Rivian’s new ‘treehouse’ rooftop tent comes with a movie projector | TechCrunch

Rivian has a little cinematic surprise tucked in its new “treehouse” rooftop tent, one of the many accessories the automaker plans to sell alongside its next-generation R2 SUV and future R3 EVs.

The rooftop tent, which Rivian calls the treehouse, is equipped with a movie projector, which is run using power from the Rivian, Brian Gase, Rivian’s senior director of prototype and special projects, told TechCrunch during a customer event in Laguna Beach, California. The customer event was held Thursday evening, several hours after Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe unveiled the all-electric R2 SUV and the sporty R3 and R3x hatchback vehicles.

The treehouse, as Rivian has branded it, is different from the white-labeled Yakima tent designed for its flagship R1T truck.

Rivian R2 treehouse tent

Image Credits: Rivian

This new treehouse product is contained in a hardshell, which then opens up into a large rooftop tent. Opposite the opening is a large window, where the roll-down screen is located, Gase said. The projector can be connected to a power source from the vehicle, he added. The treehouse also comes with an interior fan and lighting.

Gase said the treehouse design will largely remain the same once it goes on sale. Right now, he said, the focus is about keeping the quality high without making it too expensive.

“It’s about the cost because you can look at it and say ‘that’s awesome,’ but then you’re putting an expensive tent on a product that you’re trying to get to an introductory level price,” Gase said, referring to the R2, which is expected to have a starting price of $45,000.

The Rivian R3X hatchback EV.

Image Credits: Kirsten Korosec

The treehouse-that-turns-into-a-movie-theater is just one of several adventure-minded accessories revealed Thursday alongside Rivian’s next-generation of smaller more affordable EVs. Rivian plans to sell a cargo box that mounts to a hitch on the back of the vehicle and that can be paired with a new travel kitchen. The kitchen includes a water tank, cooler and cookware set.

On Thursday, Rivian revealed the R2, a five-seat, all-electric midsized SUV that will have more than 300 miles of range and a base price of $45,000. In a surprise twist, Scaringe also unveiled the smaller R3 and the R3x performance, a compact hatchback-style EV with sporty vibes. Rivian hasn’t given a production timeline for the R3 vehicles.

The R2, which will now be made at the company’s Normal, Illinois factory, is expected to go into production in the first half of 2024. The company said it will save about $2.25 billion by moving production of the R2 from its planned Georgia factory to its existing factory in Normal.

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