It mentions light and heavy AKs, I wonder if they might take it further and expand the heavy to not just larger calibre options but also use the heavy version as the basis for a light machine gun version in smaller and larger calibres?
If we look at the high res photo and read the article on Max's page there is clearly a small silver oval below the front mounted hinge of the receiver where the iron sights used to be.
Based on his description I suspect that if you open the hinged top cover fully that you could rotate the cocking handle 180 degrees over so that it sticks out where that silver oval is which will mean looking from the other side the silver oval will be visible there and the cocking handle will be on the other side.
This means that you can quickly set the weapon to have the cocking handle on the side you prefer without it being too fiddly.
Add a length adjustable folding stock, rails, and 4 position selector on both sides within thumbs reach, new peep sights with a much longer sight base than pretty much any western rifle... it sounds like a very good rifle.
Doesn't look very pretty at the moment... it seems to have a longer barrel too.
Will be interesting.
Should be kept in mind that the AK-47 didn't enter full production till about 1952-1953, and in many ways what entered service was an interim rifle till they had mastered stamped steel rifles that were durable enough... which came in the form of the AKM.
The question is, is the AK-12 an independent factory shot at the prize with the AK-200 being the official stab at the pie.
When they first revealed the AK-12 they said it was the AK-200 renamed for 2012.
They might reuse AK-200 for the new, from scratch design.
Could be some liquid propellent EM weapon for all we know....