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.
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.