Russian cars haven’t had the greatest reputation, and most recently they can thank Leonard Yakelovich, founder of Dartz Prombron, after he came close to introducing the world’s first vehicle adorned in whale penis foreskin leather in his over-the-top SUVs. But not all Russians are concerned over having the most gaudy or bulletproof vehicles, but more green vehicles. Russian billionaire investor Mikhail Prokhorov (also owner of the New Jersey Nets) helped in developing the country’s first hybrid, which already proves to be a winner over the Dartz Prombron SUV — before production, it’s already on back order 10 years from now.
Ë–Auto (pronounced “Yo-Auto”), had 51,188 eager Russians scrambling to get online to put their name in for its new hybrid, the Ë-mobile (yeah, you guessed it — pronounced “Yo-mobile.”) on the first day. In less than a week, the amount more than doubled, with over 100,000 people signing up. But the number could drop significantly once customers are forced to hand over the Russian Rubles, since a monetary deposit wasn’t required to be placed on the initial advanced order list.
The Ë-mobile debuted back in 2010 with reports suggesting the vehicle would make it to mass production by 2012. The time is inching closer to getting operations underway in St. Petersburg, but the automaker is already planning on increasing the number of factories building the hybrids in order to meet the high demand. This isn’t the first time the patient Russian car buyers have been quoted a decade for a vehicle –during the early Soviet days, the Lada was quite the hot commodity and buyers waited just as long.
The hybrid will join the automaker’s current line of coupes, sedans and crossovers, which are all built in Russia, with some components sourced from Austrian supplier Magna-Steyr. Ë -Auto boasts the hybrid will be purely Russian, and will carry an affordable price tag between $12,000 and $15,000.
Check out more on the ‘Yo-mobile’ below.
Source: Wired, Russia Today via YouTube, Ë-Auto