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: