Vladimir Putin Gets a New Limo That's Strong Like Bear
It’s a limousine with the swagger of a KGB gunfighter.
Steely eyed Russian president Vladimir Putin can look forward to taking ownership of a new ride next year, Sputnik News reported (via Autoblog). And guess what? It’s a vehicle anyone in the Motherland (with money) can buy!
The limousine is a product of the state-funded Kortezh (Cortege) project, a 12.4 billion ruble ($181.9 million) venture implemented by the Central Scientific Research Automobile and Automotive Institute in Moscow.
Available body styles include a sedan, limo, SUV and “microbus,” reports the Russia Times, which noted that “additional funds” might be needed to complete the production line. Given Russia’s current economic malaise, brought on by low oil prices and a falling currency, this shouldn’t be surprising.
The announcement means previous president (and Mercedes driver) Dmitry Medvedev’s plan to resurrect the hulking ZiL brand as the official state car is as dead as Lenin.
There’s no word yet on what engine powers these hulking conveyances, though Russian Commerce and Industry Minister Denis Manturov told the news agency RIA Novosti that Porsche engineers helped in its development.
Don’t hold your breath for an air-cooled, rear-mounted flat six.
Tensions between the West and Russia are chilly, so there was no chance that the U.S. would be the provider of a Russian state vehicle. With that in mind, enjoy this video of president Richard Nixon gifting a bespoke Lincoln Continental to tickled pink Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev at Camp David in 1973:
[Images: Sergey Subbotin/ Sputnik]
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