Yo-Auto, maker of Russia’s first hybrid car, has announced that the vehicle will be available by 2015, which is at least one year later than originally reported. Apparently, a manufacturing snafu caused production schedules to be temporarily postponed, but company officials have said the facility in question will be in full operation by late 2014. The hybrid will eventually be available as a minivan, a hatchback, and coupe. A suburb of St. Petersburg will be the site for the 45,000-unit capacity plant when it opens. The Yo-Mobile has a 250-mile range and a top speed of 80 mph.
Enjoy a rare glimpse of the Yo-Mobile hybrid in the short video link below. Most who have seen or driven the car say the most pronounced design feature is the door system. Indeed, it is called a system because that term more accurately describes the sliding, diagonally aligned panels that open and close at the touch of a button. Unlike any concept or production car out there, the oddly shaped and futuristically styled Russian Yo-Mobile has made enough of a splash in its home country to attract attention from none other than Vladimir Putin, the nation’s current premier. Putin took a test-drive in the Yo-Mobile and gave it a hearty thumbs-up.
Russia’s first hybrid is the brainchild of mogul Mikhail Prokhorov, who first conceived of the Yo-Mobile three years ago. Prokhorov’s investment firm, Onexim, and Russian trucking manufacturer Yarovit have formed a joint venture to produce the hybrid. The 60-horsepower engine propels the small vehicle, which has an expected sticker price of between $10,000 and $15,000. Yo-Mobile first appeared at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. Later in 2011, Yo-Auto entered into an agreement with a Vietnamese manufacturer to produce cars for that country’s market.
For more about the elusive Yo-Mobile, Russia’s mysterious hybrid, see the FAQ page of the company’s website.