A Russian Tesla?


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Kalashnikov, a name synonymous with the AK-47 machine gun, is branching out. The Russian firm makes everything from clothes to umbrellas, including “Little Igor”, a 13-foot-tall manned military robot. Now, it’s adding an electric car to its vast product line.

Dubbed the CV-1, the car can travel 350 km, or a little more than 200 miles, on one charge and includes what the company calls “revolutionary” technology that will enable it to go toe-to-toe with Tesla.

But Kalashnikov’s self-described “electric supercar” looks more like the American Motors’ Rambler from the 1950’s than a Tesla. The body design is based on the shape of a 1970’s Soviet liftback called the Izh-Kombi. (Izh was the name of the manufacturer; kombi is an Eastern European word for station wagon.)

The company hasn’t released information about price or availability.

Kalashnikov’s announcement drew quick scorn and ridicule on Russian social media.


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Kalashnikov’s signature weapon is renowned for being inexpensive, hardy, and reliable. Russia’s cars are renowned for being the opposite. With the US, China and Europe already heavily invested in making state-of-the-art EVs, the CV-1 is unlikely to gain market share outside its home country.

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