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Yo-Auto Natural-Gas Hybrid Update: Production Now In 2015?

 
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Prokhorov CityCar natural-gas hybrid vehicle, design prototype

Prokhorov CityCar natural-gas hybrid vehicle, design prototype

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With Teslas and BMW i3s dominating the green car headlines, it's easy to forget that plenty of other automakers are creating their own low-emission vehicles.

In Russia, that company is Yo-Avto. The automaker has promised a natural gas hybrid vehicle for some time--and that time could now be 2015.

Wards Auto reports the billionaire-owned Yo-Avto has now set a production date of Spring 2015 for its hybrid crossover--significantly later than the original 2013 target.

The car, powered by a Fiat-sourced 1.4-liter gasoline engine, is both bi-fuel and a hybrid. The engine itself can run on either compressed natural gas (CNG) or gasoline, which then supplies power for a supercapacitor-based hybrid drivetrain.

As part of a series hybrid drivetrain, the engine has no mechanical connection to the wheels, while peak power is said to be around 134 horsepower. Last year, the company suggested its crossover should manage around 67 mpg (based on European testing standards), with a range of 430 miles.

We even have the car's dimensions--168 inches long, 70 inches wide and 65.5 inches tall, or around four inches longer and taller than a Nissan Juke, and the same width.

Until the production car is unveiled though, all these figures hang in the balance. As do the production targets of 10,000 units per year, expanding to 20,000 and 40,000 units per year in subsequent phases. Such estimates look ambitious, but the company previously claimed it had as many as 100,000 orders.

Also looking less likely is the car's starting price of just $11,000, originally announced in 2011. This, says Wards, is expected to climb significantly before production begins.

A hybrid crossover isn't the first vehicle previewed by Yo-Avto and its billionaire owner, Mikhail Prokhorov. The company's hybrid technology was previewed back in 2011 in several different body styles, including a city car and a sporty coupe.

There's no word on whether any of these models are also destined for production.

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