Kalashnikov takes on Tesla with retro-look electric ‘supercar’
Russian arms maker says cutting edge elements will ensure it can take on Elon Musks brand
The Russian arms maker Kalashnikov has unveiled its new electric car, inspired by a rare 1970s model, saying the technology will rival Elon Musk’s Tesla.
The brand, best known for the AK-47 machine gun, on Thursday presented the retro-looking pale blue prototype, the CV-1, at a defence expo outside Moscow.
The look was inspired by a Soviet hatchback model developed in the 1970s called “Izh-Kombi”, according to a statement on the Kalashnikov website.
Its holding company, Kalashnikov Concern, said it had developed cutting-edge elements for the “electric supercar”, including a “revolutionary” inverter. The vehicle can travel 217 miles (350km) on one charge.
“This technology will let us stand in the ranks of global electric car producers such as Tesla and be their competitor,” RIA-Novosti quoted the Kalashnikov press office as saying.
“We were inspired by the experience of global market leaders in developing our concept.”
Kalashnikov has long been trying to expand its brand, recently launching lines of clothing and other civilian merchandise ranging from umbrellas to mobile phone covers.
Its foray into electric vehicles, however, was met with mixed reactions from Russians. Comments to the news on the company’s official Facebook page ranged from “cyberpunk” to “Izh-Zombie”.