Vladimir Putin Gets a New Limo That's Strong Like Bear

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

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.

Sporting a tall, Packard-esque grille, a total of 5,000 Kortezh vehicles will be produced over the four-year term of the project, which wraps up in 2020. Putin’s limo, due to be delivered in late 2017, will no doubt have the ability to repel both bullets and controversy.

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]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Shaker Shaker on Apr 07, 2016

    The Duke of New York approves!

  • Jasper2 Jasper2 on Apr 08, 2016

    Recommend a Volkswagen Diesel Engine for this vehicle. Understand that there are plenty available and pollution would not be an issue. Nobody would dare to discuss it.

    • RobertRyan RobertRyan on Apr 08, 2016

      A VW owned Scania 730hp, 2,500lbs ft of torque V8 would do the trick. If he is worried about exceeding Euro 6, the normal truck and engine combo are regularly highway tested for compliance

  • Slavuta So, Trump was hyperbolic... big deal.
  • Slavuta The question was, "does it make sense for Elon...?" I don't know why people jumped into conclusions in this comment section. My answer is this - if he does it, it makes sense to him. He knows better than any of us here. May be with his donations he can become an ambassador to an important state or secretary of energy, or chief of NASA. This is how America works. Donate $1m - ambassador to Poland, $3m - japan, $5M - Germany, etc. $20,000 could buy you Kenya or something
  • CanadaCraig We should be able to give comments a 'dislike' or 'thumbs down'. We're not 6 years old. I'm sure we cope if someone doesn't 'like' our comment.
  • Dartdude He knows that a Trump economy is a great opportunity to sell more cars (EV,ICE). Compare both terms and Trumps is the winner by a long shot.
  • Michael S6 Somewhat shocking that Tesla has maintained its sky high stock valuation. The faithful continue to have unshakeable faith in Musk. Tesla models are in dire need of redesign to be competitive although the model 3 recently got a refresh. I test drove a model S six months ago and it's was very nice driving car. However, the interior was very underwhelming in quality of materials and design. There is absence of physical controls such as a turning stalk, and the rear seat was uncomfortable. Tesla would have been in much better shape if they redesigned its current models to face the competition, rather than spending so much money creating a Cybertruck.