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Futuristic Russian hybrid delayed until 2015

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March 8, 2013

ë-AUTO's ë-mobile

ë-AUTO's ë-mobile

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The launch of Russia's first hybrid car, the ë-mobile (often called Yo-mobile or Yo-mobil) has been delayed until 2015 which, on the plus side, is a year more befitting the prototype's futuristic looks.

Andrey Biryukov, chairman of ë-AUTO has indicated that testing of the electrical transmission has been completed, and the company is now deciding which of the various models will be released first, according to a report in RT. The models under consideration are thought to include a coupe, hatchback and a mini-van.

The confusion as to the product and company name (sometimes reported as Yo-Auto, or similar) appears to be due to the Russian letter ë being pronounced "yo", and the "yo" spelling being used for the company's web address.

Prototypes of the ë-mobile, first unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, are distinctly futuristic in appearance, featuring doors that slide open, behind and through the vehicle, appearing folded flat on the vehicle roof like the resting wings of a beetle. Closed, the doors would seem the restrict sideways visibility, so it seems likely that these will change to some extent – assuming the car retains this overall form.

The vehicle is apparently envisaged as a car for the people, with a reported target price of approximately US$10,000. ë-AUTO's website says that the price will be officially announced upon the unveiling of pre-production prototypes. The ë-mobile's target range is reportedly 400 km (249 miles) with a top speed of 130 km/h (81 mph).

The ë-AUTO website suggests the ë-mobile will include a dual-fuel system powered by both gasoline and methane. A four-wheel-drive variant named ë-crossover also appears to be in development.

RT's report contains more detail on the development of the vehicle. ë-AUTO did not respond to Gizmag's inquiries. We suspect the final form and spec of the ë-mobile is far from finalized.

A promotional video, demonstrating the flashy doors of the prototype, is below:

Sources: ë-AUTO, RT

About the Author
James Holloway James lives in East London where he punctuates endless tea drinking with freelance writing and meteorological angst. Unlocking Every Extend Extra Extreme’s “Master of Extreme” achievement was the fourth proudest moment of his life.   All articles by James Holloway
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10 Comments

This vehicle has an interesting controversy surrounding it in addition to its looks. The company is using an new kind of engine that is virtually identical to one that has a 10+ year old patent on it. http://pesn.com/2011/04/23/9501814_Russian_firm_claims_MYT_engine_design_its_own/

Depending on how that legal battle goes it may be banned in US markets.

VirtualGathis
8th March, 2013 @ 06:55 am PST

The sliding-door model shown is a show-only concept, not representative of the models the company has proposed for development & production. There seem to be some weaknesses there, too - although I love the concept of a $10,000 awd simple car with a hybrid regenerative braking system.

The design is based around a 2km electric range on a capacitor bank. Really? That alone would be a huge technical leap. I hope it happens, but I think Mazda will be first.

Dual-fuel natural gas operation is already in use on millions of vehicles around the world, and highly desirable in the Russian climate. The initially-planned rotary vane engine looked great as a concept, but since it only functioned as a generator, the system was probably capable of retro-fitting with a conventional piston engine anyway.

Natural gas fuels a diesel-operation engine just as well as a spark-ignition one - maybe better. A petrol ICE with variable displacement and valve timing can approach a diesel's efficiency by running without throttling losses. With either one, wouldn't it make sense to connect the engine to the wheels through a simple CVT [no kick-down, ratio related only to road speed] , and improve regenerative braking in doing so?

Drive by one electric motor on each axle would allow differentials to be done without, but I can't help wondering if one motor per wheel would be better for ABS and stability control purposes.

The 5 door hatchback model looks like the intended volume model - but for the target market and price, a smaller hatch opening would be better for rigidity and crash testing. The van model's over-long rear overhang would subject the rear-suspension to an excess laden/unladen weight variation, severely affecting its stability. It would be a much more serious proposition with an extended wheelbase, and a monocoque designed to fit that - and build a taxi and minivan. The coupe's huge hatchback to a tiny interior looks like an expensive mistake, excessive rake generating lift and turbulence; a more vertical rear window and tapering sides would be roomier, lighter and better aerodynamically.

Even with the limit of 2km electric range... I wish the Volt was more like this.

sstvp
8th March, 2013 @ 08:25 am PST

You have to roll down the windows every time you open the door?? Stupid design. :(

Badger Watkins
8th March, 2013 @ 05:47 pm PST

Spot on VirualGathis

Bill Bennett
8th March, 2013 @ 10:50 pm PST

Interesting, but didn't Dodge have

a viable entry in 2008 with the Zeo?

http://www.gizmag.com/chrysler-battery-electric-dodge-zeo-muscle-car/9121/

BombR76
11th March, 2013 @ 09:13 am PDT

This is an original looking car. Go ahead Russia show Japan they're not the only ones who can build weird. Still, I like the doors. It's a shame no matter who builds a concept, the concepts are never built. It looks like a spacious honda civic sized car sort of.

Gargamoth
11th March, 2013 @ 12:19 pm PDT

VirtualGathis:

yes, and MYT engine is is virtually identical to these:

http://www.douglas-self.com/MUSEUM/POWER/unusualICeng/toroidalIC/toroidalIC.htm

(please... plagiarism? sure? but to who...? )

Charlie Nudelman
11th March, 2013 @ 02:17 pm PDT

This Russian car should run on vodka thereby suggesting a better name.

My name is Vod Cah (Boston accent is applicable). A Vod Cah would essentially run on potatoes/spuds. Environmentally friendly green energy and imagine the great headlines. Another benefit, Russians would have to drink less or not be able make it home. Fewer DUI's.

grtbluyonder
11th March, 2013 @ 04:22 pm PDT

@grtbluyonder, Great idea since a cheap gallon of vodka may be bought for less money than a gallon of gasoline in the USA. A back yard distiller could be the new addition to my home.

YukonJack
13th March, 2013 @ 09:06 am PDT
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