The name Kalashnikov immediately conjures up the Russian-made AK-47 assault rifle, still in production since its inception in 1949. Seventy-five million have been produced, making it the most popular armament in history, and the company bearing designer Mikhail Kalashnikov’s name has been diversifying into electric vehicles lately. Arms manufacturers care about the climate too, you know!
Over the past year, the Kalashnikov Concern has introduced a handful of electric military and consumer motorcycles, a “flying car” which looks more like a rudimentary motorcycle drone that the Green Goblin would love to pester Spider-Man with, and a small car to gobble up Moscow miles. As with most e-concepts and limited production runs popping up on the interwebs, specs are minimal and pricing is non-existent, just like a good cup of coffee at the Kremlin.
Top speed is 56 mph with a range of 93 miles, relying on a water-cooled brushless motor and lithium-ion battery and 15 kW/h of energy. Telescopic inverted front fork and hydraulic central spring shock absorber handle suspension. Length is 86.6 inches, height is 51.2 inches and wheelbase is 59.1 inches. If Kalashnikov design practice is expected, the SM-1 and its variants will be simply constructed, relatively light, and fairly indestructible. The trellis tube frame protects the batteries from side/fall impact, and gives a neat, angular geometry to the bike.
This Urban Moto is designed for the adventurous люди and женщины, relying on 15 kW/h of electricity. Top speed is 62 mph with a range of 93 miles like the SM-1, relying on a water-cooled brushless motor and lithium iron phosphate batteries. It weighs 364 pounds. With a relatively short range, SM-1 adventure riding will strictly be limited to Moscow traffic, but urban riders will win big style points.
The Department of Transport and Development of Road Infrastructure of Moscow used 30 of these during the recent Football World Cup. Like the SM-1 and UM-1, it also relies on 15 kW/h of energy and a brushless DC motor. Top speed is 62 mph with a range of 93 miles, and in accordance with the UN Economic Commission for Europe Regulation No. 41, the noise level is below the maximum requirements and is less than 75 decibels.
All this mislabeling of `flying cars’ needs to stop! Let’s call this one a motodrone, because the pilot is seated in a motorcyclist’s position, relying on eights pairs of rotors that provide lift. Where it deviates from a land-locked motorcycle is in its skeletal metal frame and joystick controls.
Two banks of what appear to be batteries are located under the rider and likely provide electricity to the rotors. A chassis or shell is shown superimposed over the motodrone at the end.
Drones and electric vehicles are popular, and the marriage of the two for personal transportation aircraft is admirable. With the right vision and execution, a flying motorcycle could be filling our friendly skies before we know it. But who will win this new technology race, Russia or its nemesis the United States? More importantly, when will we see motordrone racing?
Referred to as a “supercar” concept, the CV1 will strike a chord with any former Soviet citizen, as it riffs on the FIAT sedan built under license in the Soviet Bloc as the Lada – the best car an average person could buy, after a multi-year waiting period. The CV-1 has rallycar/bad guy appeal, with a short wheelbase, big wheels, and blacked out windows: the perfect getaway vehicle. It has a claimed power of 220kW, with a range of 218 miles, or much less when drifting sideways after a bank heist (or an assassination in a London park).
The 1,102-pound Ovum electric car concept has a top speed of a mere 50 mph and a range of 93 miles; maybe KC needs to reconsider what to put under the hood, because all it did was reportedly drop in a similar 15 kW/h brushless DC motor as the e-bikes mentioned above.
But take heart! The Ovum”has a high smooth running and low fire and explosion hazard in the event of an accident,” according to Kalashnikov…who know all about fires and explosions.