Russia's New Presidential Limo Is A Retro-Futuristic Despot's Dream

When Boris Yeltsin became president of Russia he mothballed the stale Russian-built ZIL limousines and upgraded to an armored Mercedes S-Class and the country's leaders have never looked back. Until now. A Russian-designer's been tapped to design a new version of the ZIL limo and it looks like it's from an alternative dimension where the Soviet Union survived the cold war.

As the next "presidential" limo it's possible this vehicle is intended for the country's current leader Dmitry Medvedev. But c'mon. This car is for current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who is going to run for his third, non-consecutive term in 2012. He loves Russian cars and crazy shit.

This car is the work of designer Slava Saakyan and Andrey Chirkov, who envisioned a car that captures the lines of the original ZIL-41047 with a touch of crisper, modern design. It also looks more like the product of an oligarchy. Or am I projecting too much on it?

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Saakyan says this is more than a fantasy, telling the press ZIL considering building the car and he's hopeful it'll serve the country's next president.

Compared to previous ZIL limo concepts this one seems the most realistic. Notice the lack of rear window? Russian presidents don't look back. They can never look back.

(Hat tip to Antti!)