New Russian Presidential State Car Is A Rolls-Royce Wannabe
According to RT, Russia’s presidential limo development running under the ‘Project Kortezh’ codename has just passed its crash tests, meaning it might make its official debut as early as May. Far from Moscow’s Rolls-Royce dealers, we presume.
In the beginning of the 20th century, Lenin used as many as eight Rolls-Royces, including one with a half-track. Stalin started out with 1937 Packard Super 12, but then pushed for a locally made armored limo, making his crew create the ZIS-110 by reverse engineering various Packards. Many black Zils followed over the next four decades, but the fall of the Soviet Union led Russia switch to Mercedes-Benz in 1991.
Now, that trend is turning, as Russia is once again creating its own presidential state car, which could spawn a wide family of locally made SUVs, trucks and luxury vehicles.
Vladimir Putin’s new luxury limousine has been co-developed with Porsche and Bosch by Moscow-based Central Scientific Research Automobile & Engine Institute (NAMI). It features a V8 that seems to be a 4.4-liter version of Porsche’s old 4.6-liter, but turbocharged. Claimed figures include 592 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque, while the transmission is said to be a Russian-developed nine-speed auto. NAMI is also working on its own 6.6-liter V12.
Up until now, Putin’s official ride has been a BMW, but the Federal Security Service responsible for his transportation has already received 14 new Kortezh limos for evaluation. Which, to be clear, aren’t made by Rolls-Royce.