Vladimir Putin Tests First Russian Hybrid Car

After the Renault Formula 1 car and a locally-made Chrysler Sebring, Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin chose to test drive a hybrid, but not just any such car. We are talking about the first country’s first ever locally made tree-hugger, the Yo-Mobile. He took the car on a ten-kilometer route from his residence to President Medvedev's country house outside Moscow on Friday.

This vehicle is manufactured by Yo-Auto, a joint-venture between truck maker Yarovit Motors and Onexim Group, the company of Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov. He will inject up to $200 million in the recently formed joint venture, which is called E-Auto. Production estimates are pointing to 10,000 units per year when the car will go on sale in next year, with the company promising the car will be offered at a very affordable price.

The Yo-Mobile offers a very unusual configuration that makes use of a rotary vane engine that works on petrol and natural gas coupled with a pair of electric motors. It comes with a super-capacitor, which is an energy-storing device seen as an alternative to conventional lithium-ion batteries.

It is estimated that the Russian hybrid will deliver an average fuel consumption of 3.5 liters/100 km (67.2 mpg) and has a combined driving range of 1,100 km (683.5 miles). The manufacturer says that its 0 to 100 km/h (62mph) time is in the region of 8 seconds and can reach a top speed of 130 km/h (80.8 mph).

Set to reach market in the second half of next year, it will retail for the equivalent of $12,000 - $15,000 (€8,500 - €10,500). The car Putin is testing is a range-topping model with four-wheel drive, satellite navigation system, cruise-control and climate control.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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