Did you know that Russia made a supercar? We didn’t either, in fact, it never occurred to us seeing as how it is not exactly known for state-of-the-art cars. This is the Volga V12 Coupe supercar. It is styled after the 1956-1970 Volga M21, which was the most luxurious car made in Russia. And ubiquitous with over 300,000 built during its long run.
Today Mercedes S-Class sedans hold the top-tier of auto prestige in Russia. While cars are a big thing in Russia just like the US they’re limited by technology, styling, and gravitas outside of Russia. That makes a home-grown supercar that much more interesting.
It does resemble the Gorky Automobile Works M21, but it’s not a Volga
While it does resemble the Gorky Automobile Works M21, it isn’t a Volga nor is it entirely Russian. Now that you’re totally confused here’s the deal; this is a custom body built on a BMW 850csi chassis. The V12 engine is BMW’s 5.5-liter naturally aspirated V12. So essentially it is a re-bodied 850csi. With the exception of the wheels, it looks like it is a 1957 Volga coupe.
Information on this is very limited, and all of it is in Russian. What we do know is that A:Level presented its first Volga Coupe at the 2001 Moscow Auto Show. We don’t know how many it made. Less than two or more than five could be the truth. We just don’t know. Supposedly, A:Level only builds one-offs for individuals it deems worthy of its efforts. It’s a Russian thing.
In 2006 A:Level unveiled the Volga M6 Cabrio
In 2006 A:Level unveiled the Volga M6 Cabrio. As with the Coupe, the Cabvrio was based on the BMW 850 convertible. You can definitely see the donor BMW in the windshield and A-pillars. Since then A:Level has built a number of other one-off supercars that mix their existing donor pieces with custom bodies. Anything made with a V12 looks to be what A:Level likes to begin with.
When they say “handmade” this really was made by hand
But back to the Volga Coupe. The Volga’s price is also shrouded in mystery. But it is known that it exceeded $500,000. And that half-a-mil represents a ton of time. Five men whacked on panel beaters to make the body; nothing was stamped. That’s why one door skin took a month to create. Each front fender took two weeks to bang out. When they say “handmade” this really was made by hand. At least the body was.
Volga sedans represented luxury and power in Russia. So its status made it a likely symbol of Russia to make a supercar out of. If you’re Russian. Even though its guts are all German designed and engineered. And that goes for the interior too, which is largely a BMW 850 coupe. But it looks like a Volga so that makes it a Volga, right?