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

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
vladimir putin gets a new limo thats 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.

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]

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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

  • MaintenanceCosts They can't keep selling through the current hodgepodge mess of desperate or disreputable dealers. Somehow the sales model has to change. Whether they become the Don Quixote that tilts at the franchise-law windmill to sell direct, or they cut a deal to get into another OEM's dealer network, something has to change.They've always been able to engineer competitive cars when they want to, but they haven't had a reasonable way to sell them since the Chrysler tie-up ended.
  • Sgeffe There’s a guy on YouTube who owns several Oldsmobile Diesel-equipped vehicles, including an A-Body with the 4.3 V6. Might be the Chevy.IIRC, Adam Wade on the “Rare Classic Cars” channel stated that this engine was also available in 1985 only in the redesigned C-Bodies (98 Regency, Electra, DeVille/Fleetwood).
  • Tassos It's a GREAT value, but what, if any, profit will GM make from this vehicle? When it prices it at only $30k, while the much smaller and much CRAPPIER FIAT 500E goes for OVER $40k????
  • Tassos The consumers (not the "market") DO trust EVs, but those that are superior and well-priced,THey buy millions of TESLAS and very few copies of all the other dozens and dozens of LEGACY BEVs.Makes sense to me. None of these experienced makers have YET succeeded to design and build a better Tesla, that is ALSO PRICED COMPETITIVELY.
  • Tassos NOBODY really HAS to buy a new or even used car in this insane 2022 market, and those who do are damned fools.THIS IS the way to discourage dealer markup. FIX your damn car and DO NOT GO BEGGING THEM TO GIVE YOU A NEW ONE, in this BIGGEST SELLER's MARKET EVER.DO NOT BE AN ECON ILLITERATE. WAIT A YEAR OR TWO, THEN BUY.