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    RUSSIAN AUTOWORKS WITH PIONEER CARS AT SWISS SHOW

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    GENEVA, MARCH 2, RIA NOVOSTI - The AutoVAZ, Russia's largest car manufacturer, is notable at a current Geneva show, with two trailblazing vehicles, introduced to the public today - a Lada Revolution sport car, and a clean, fuel element-driven Antel 2.

    The cars demonstrate an amazing diversity of R&D trends the AutoVAZ, or Volga Autoworks, boasts now, and to which it will certainly cling, corporate spokesman Georgi Mirzoyev said to Novosti.

    The hydrogen-powered Antel 2 does not pollute the environment in the slightest, he emphasised.

    Clean transport R&D has global prominence. The USA attaches greater importance to it than any other country, and has made it a national programme. We can only regret that other matters are preoccupying Russia, while the cause is very expensive. The Antel 2 effort alone took about a hundred million roubles, roughly US$3 million. Today's Russia can hardly afford that, said Mr. Mirzoyev.

    The Lada Revolution, another Russian endeavour on display in Geneva, is Russia's first sport car. Unlike its analogues, it costs an average 50,000 euros apiece. "That is not yet a Formula - but it is not a usual car adjusted for racing, either," remarked our interviewee.

    Several Lada Revolutions will make their first public appearance at a Moscow car race, May next. Close on forty Russian pilots take an interest in them. The company aims to upgrade Russian automotive transport, says Andrei Ruzanov, chief Lada Revolution designer.

    R&D is on for a fourth Revolution version, and the car has been launched into mass production in small series, he informed Novosti.

    It is too early to appear in the world market with the Lada Revolution, acknowledge its designers. Though following all bolide patterns, it is hardly competitive. Despite this sober self-appraisal, the company looks forward to talks with prospective clients at the Geneva show.

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