Kalashnikov takes aim at Tesla with new Russian electric car

A Russian challenge to Tesla’s electric cars was unveiled near Moscow this week, and it features a decidedly retro look that drew numerous mixed reactions.

A Russian electric car, which manufacturer Kalashnikov said would rival products by companies like Tesla, was unveiled this week near Moscow. Photo courtesy Kalishnikov Media
A Russian electric car, which manufacturer Kalashnikov said would rival products by companies like Tesla, was unveiled this week near Moscow. Photo courtesy Kalishnikov Media

A mock-up of the CV-1, made by Russian manufacturer and assault rifle specialists Kalashnikov Concern, indicates designers were influenced by the Kombi, a subcompact introduced in the Soviet Union in 1973 to little appreciation.

“I have a strong feeling that they didn’t even touch the body as they just found it in the junkyard and put the [electric] kit on it,” one commentator wrote.

Kalashnikov is also the manufacturer or the famous AK-47 assault rifle and other armaments.

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“Your tanks are great, but it would be better if you stayed away from cars,” another critic wrote.

Others were more impressed by the design, suggesting they fondly remember their grandparents driving the Kombi.

In a statement, Kalashnikov admitted it was built on a Kombi chassis and the model on display this week is a “test bench” aiming to “stand in the ranks of global electric car producers such as Tesla.”

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It added the vehicle’s acceleration time from zero to 60 mph is about six seconds.

Only the prototype, which is missing essential elements including bumpers and lights, has been built. A rollout date or the cost have not been announced.

ByEd Adamczyk