You might say it’s a shot in the dark, or perhaps it’s just a throwback to the competitive space race.
Either way, Russian gunmaker Kalashnikov, best known for its AK47 machine gun, is dipping its toe in the electric car market with a new model, and – like everyone – it says it has Tesla in its sights.
So far the Russians have produced just one show model, a powder blue – they call it Columbian blue – retro-looking electric car badged the CV-1.
Asked by the Russian news website RBC why the company was fixated on Tesla specifically, Kalashnikov spokesperson Sofia Ivanova said Tesla is the industry standard.
“We are talking about competing precisely with Tesla, because at present it is a successful project in the field of electric vehicles,” she said. “We expect to at least keep up with it.”
Kalashnikov has made other products besides its legendary semi-automatic weapons, including iPhone covers, umbrellas and a four-metre-tall combat robot named Little Igor.
The company says it is also developing a hybrid buggy and an electric motorcycle.
The CV-1 – which is based on a 1970s Soviet-era hatchback called the Izh-Kombi – made its debut at a Moscow arms show called Army-2018.
The boxy Russian vehicle has sharp lines, a steep windshield and no side mirrors.
In a statement published online, Kalashnikov said the CV-1 is an “electric supercar” featuring a 90 kilowatt battery pack which fully charged allows it to travel 220 miles (350 km) on a single charge. Tesla’s Model S has a 335-mile range (just shy of 540km).
The CV-1 can get to 60 miles per hour in just over six seconds, while the Model s can reach the magic figure in about 2.5 seconds.
Video footage released by Kalashnikov did not include images of the CV-1′s interior.
Kalshnikov have not released the CV-1′s potential price tag and there’s no news on when it will be fully rolled out.
Tony Bosworth writes for www.TheDriven.io and RenewEconomy.com.au. He has 35 years experience in journalism, and has been instrumental in launching and editing several automotive magazines including Which Car? magazine in the UK.