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by Tim Beissmann

Russian hybrid vehicle start-up Ë-Auto has reportedly taken 10 years’ worth of orders for its upcoming range of fuel-sipping compact cars.

On the first day of online applications for the Ë-Auto Ë-Mobile (‘Ë’ pronounced ‘Yo’), 51,188 were snapped up, and in less than one week that figure doubled to more than 100,000. The pre-order figure currently stands at more than 138,800.

The initial numbers might be slightly inflated, however. No deposits have been taken on the first round of orders, meaning an application is more like an expression of interest rather than an actual commitment to buy a car.

The Ë-Mobile will be offered in three different body styles: a coupe-style sedan, a hatchback and a light truck.

Production is scheduled to commence in the second half of 2012 near St Petersburg, and the vehicles will be priced between 350,000 and 400,000 roubles ($11,700 and $13,400).

The Ë-Mobile vehicles will use fuel at an average rate of 3.5 litres/100km and will have a range of around 400km. Top speed will be around 120km/h.

The first examples to roll off the production line will be conventional, non-hybrid vehicles, however, with Ë-Auto still developing its hybrid system.

Ë-Auto aims to produce 90 per cent of the components for the Ë-Mobile in Russia within the next two to three years.

What do you think of the Ë-Auto Ë-Mobile? Which one is your favourite? And do you think it will be a success? Let us know in the comments section below.




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