Just 6 months and $210 million into the project, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov and truck manufacturer Onexim group unveiled the designs for their new natural gas hybrid cars … and (woo-hoo!) they look nothing like a Ladas!
Prokhorov is planning to show two prototypes next month, utilizing a significant amount of domestic (to Russia) parts and know-how to produce the natural gas/electric hybrid. The cars are expected to weigh about 1,500 lbs and achieve about 100 km (62 mi) per gallon of gas. Prokhorov’s claims that either version of his upcoming “City Car” will be able to transport four adults at speeds of up to 120 kmh (74 mph) and sell for the equivalent of 12 – 14,000 USD.
No word on batteries or drive-train, but the car’s backers claim their design is “modular” enough to be adapted to different exteriors. “A single platform allows us to bridge the gap between engineers and car designers,” wrote Prokhorov on his blog. Only time will tell if this exciting CNG hybrid project lives up to Prokhorov’s lofty ambitions.
Production is expected to begin in 2012.