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Let’s be honest, shall we? Over the decades Russia has been known to rip off American designs. Especially, when it comes to military applications like planes and rockets. Heck, it even ripped off the 1955 Packard that Russia produced throughout the 1960s. Now, it has gone after Hummer with its Strela SUV. See if you don’t agree.

What is Russia’s Strela SUV for?

Russian Strela prototype SUV
Russian Strela prototype SUV | VPK

Russia just released info on its Strela SUV, and it looks like an amalgamation of several different Hummer vehicles. Strela means “arrow” in Russian. Its primary function is as a law enforcement vehicle. There is some anticipation for it to appeal to consumers as well.

At the recent International Army 2021 technical forum, the folks at Motor1 smoked it over. Weighing almost 8,000 lbs, it is right at 200-inches long. It’s 92.5-inches wide with a track of 75-inches. 

The SUV can haul almost 2,000 lbs along with five passengers. Power is from a 2.8-liter Cummins diesel engine putting out 157 hp. The six-speed manual sends power to all four wheels. 

This Strela prototype may not be like the production version

Russian Strela prototype SUV
Russian Strela prototype SUV | VPK

What you’re seeing here is a prototype that according to sources wasn’t of the best construction quality. That can sometimes be an issue with Russian-built projects, but we digress. But from what we can gather the production Strela could be looking a bit different from the prototype.

The Strela may be built around the GAZ GAZelle Next platform. These underpin medium-duty vans and trucks. If this is the case then the specs for those vehicles would apply to the Strela as well. 

That means power would come from a Cummins four-cylinder turbo diesel motor with 129 hp. Production of the GAZelle Next series began in 2013. You can get your GAZelle in three trim series. There is the Basic, Comfort 1, and Comfort 2.  VPX

The designers are looking to expand the Strela line

Front end of Russian Strela prototype
Russian Strela prototype SUV | VPK

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As for the Strela, it was a combined effort of Russia’s Military-Industrial Company and Moscow State University’s Design Bureau of Youth. The designers envision a family of vehicles based on the Strela. These would include a fixed-top version, a seven-seater, and other cab configurations. 

We’ve seen other attempts like the Aurus Senat which was revealed in 2018. The Aurus Senat is a copy of a cross between a Rolls Royce and Bentley. It aspires to be held in the company of these luxury leaders. The Surus finally began production in June of this year. 

So, yeah, that’s another Russian rip-off we’ll be curious to see if it can reach any significant production numbers. As for the Strela, it looks like it might be years away from seeing production based on previous efforts