Kalashnikov CV-1 Is Fine Russian Electric Car, Da?

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Ever since Tesla began making the Model S, it has had a target on its back. Every major car company and shade tree mechanic in the world says they are busy creating a “Tesla killer.” Now, Russian gun manufacturer Kalashnikov — whose weapons may have killed more humans than any weapon in history — has trained its sights on Tesla. The company says its Kalashnikov CV-1 electric car is more than a match for any car Tesla can make.

Kalashnikov CV-1

Based on the design of a Russian hatchback from the 1970s, the company says in a statement its new “supercar” features a number of “complex systems” and technology that will “let us stand in the ranks of global electric car producers such as Tesla.” Kalashnikov spokesperson Sofia Ivanova tells the RBC, “We’re talking about competing precisely with Tesla because it’s currently a successful electric vehicle project. We expect to at least keep up with it,” according to a report in the Moscow Times. Pressed for the reason behind her optimism, Ivanova was unable to come up with any.

Here are the specs for the CV-1 — 90 kWh battery (that’s good), 0-100 kph in 6 seconds (that’s bad), and a range of 220 miles (that’s awful for a car with such a large battery).

The response from those who have seen the car range from a high of “Mmmppf” to a low of “Bleech!” The styling harkens back to a car called the Izh built back when Leonid Brezhnev was president of the nation formerly known as the Soviet Union. It was ugly then and it’s still ugly today. The front end treatment and wheels look like something sourced from the JC Whitney catalog. The drooping rear end suggests something is broken in the frame aft of the rear wheels. All in all, a horrid mishmash of jarring design elements that reminds us why “Russia” and “engineering” are two words seldom found in the same sentence.

Kalashnikov robotKalashnikov has embarked on a campaign to broaden its product mix. It has launched a clothing line and an assortment of personal items ranging from umbrellas to smartphone covers, according to the BBC. But the proof of its high tech design prowess was on display recently when it took the wraps off Igorek (aka Little Igor) — a 13 foot tall, 4.5 ton, manned robot designed for “carrying out engineering and combat tasks.” Come to think of it, perhaps Little Igor is responsible for the design of the CV-1?

Kalashnikov has yet to release pricing details for the its CV-1 supercar. So far, few people seem to be asking for further details about a car that can be expected to sell in the dozens. Sleep tight, Elon. Your empire is safe, at least for the moment, until the next “Tesla killer” comes along.

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Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."

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