Kalashnikov has made its own retro EV

By topgear, 24 August 2018

Yes, on the same day the Jaguar announced that it’ll sell electric E-Types, Russian company Kalashnikov has released this, the CV-1 concept. 

Kalashnikov touts a 90kWh battery pack – roughly double that of your average Nissan Leaf or VW e-Golf – and says that its power is transmitted into motive force by means of a ‘revolutionary inverter’. And believe us when we say that ‘revolutionary’ is not a term that’s just thrown around in Russia. 

So, despite looking like a Gillette razor crossed with a Lada station wagon, the CV-1 will dispatch the 0-100 sprint in about six seconds if you’re feeling particularly sprightly, and cruise for more than 322km if you aren’t. And it’s apparently based on a car called the IZH-2125 Kombi, which is definitely a car we’ve heard of before.

Kalashnikov apparently says it could compete with Tesla, which we assume means its bosses are capable of firing off a series of mildly intelligible Twitter posts. However, rather than making its debut at a car show, or doing a Tesla-style bespoke launch away from car shows, Kalashnikov instead presented the CV-1 at a Russian military forum. We’re scratching our heads as to where we’ve heard of Kalashnikov in a military context before. Nope. Nothing’s springing to mind. 

But let’s compare the English and Russian retro-EVs for a moment. The E-Type is a means of bringing the best-looking and best-known car that Jag has ever made and ensuring its place in a low-emission future, while the CV-1 is… not that. To be something approaching fair, though, it is as typically Russian as the Jag is typically English.

Let’s put it this way: while the E-type remains an adherent to all things English, like crumpets with proper tea, Kalashnikov’s electro-retro mobile remains as Russian as a Babushka doll full of vodka. And besides, as any old Soviet will tell you, proper tea is theft. We’ll see ourselves out.