If you’re like most of us, you’re doing all you can to make your life as similar to Vladimir Putin’s as possible: you’re riding on horseback shirtless, ordering people you don’t like to be poisoned, and having athletic, vigorous sex with bears. Now, you (and up to about 5,000 of your friends) can take that final step and own the same Russian-designed-and-built limo as Vlad himself.
There hasn’t been a new indigenous Russian Presidential limo since 2012, when the circa 1985-designed ZIL 41047 was updated into the colossal, thirsty (some sources say under 5 MPG) ZIL-4112R. That limo, though, was an updated dinosaur, as it’s glorified K-Car-inspired design language suggested, while this new limo, called Kortezh (Cortege) is an all-new design, developed in 2014.
According to Sputnik News, Porsche has been involved with the engine design (here’s hoping it’s an air-cooled flat-16), working with the company designing and building the car, the sexily-named Central Scientific Automobile and Engine Institute.
The limo’s design is unashamed gangster-brutalist, with a chopped greenhouse somewhat reminiscent of an elongated Chrysler 300. The grille is a tall, prominent shield-like waterfall of chrome, and there’s a nice set of chrome accent strips that have a bit of a net-art Deco look. The inside is predictably opulent, with a massive embroidered Russian coat-of-arms on the steering wheel, so your chauffeur never has a chance to forget who’s the boss.
The car has been in testing for over a year, and now it’s finally ready for crash testing this month, which suggests that it’s about ready for production. The Institute plans to produce 200 copies of the limo this year, available to anyone (most likely any Russian) with the rubles to throw around. That’s a big change from the Soviet-era ZILs, which were only available to Party big-borschts.
There are four versions planned, and a total of 5000 (comprised of all four variants) are planned to be built by 2020.
Lemme go find my checkbook.