Russian President Vladimir Putin shows off his newly designed, Russian, luxury limo in Helsinki, Finland.
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A Worldly View
The world watched as American President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived July 16 for their joint meeting at the Helsinki Summit, only to have Putin’s luxury limo steal the show.
Putin is well known for carefully crafting his image, so it comes as no surprise that every piece of his entrance, from his arrival down to the details of his new limousine, would garner worldwide attention.
The Russian President arrived in Helsinki about an hour later than expected, aboard a Russian-made Ilyushin-96 jet.
- Where he tossed off his jacket before climbing into his brand-new, Russian-made, luxury limousine. From there he was headed for the Helsinki summit.
Putin’s new tank-like limousine is making headlines for many reasons.
- The car was created as part of a Russian state vehicle-manufacturing initiative known as Kortezh, which is Russian for, “motorcade.”
- According to reports from Russian state media, the Kortezh project brought the development of high-end, luxury cars manufactured within the country. The first since the Soviet manufacture of Zil limousines during the Cold War.
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The Aurus Senat Kortezh
First seen briefly during Putin’s inauguration in May, The Senat has been compared to Trump’s Presidential limousine, known as, “The Beast.”
- The current American presidential limo is a 5-foot-10-inch tall, 18-foot long Cadillac that has been in service since 2009.
- At the time, the limo price was about $1.5 million.
Though most of the car’s details are classified, public knowledge about the vehicle includes that The Beast features:
- Armored Plating
- Bulletproof Windows
- Kevlar-Enforced tires
A new Cadillac limo is scheduled to come into service for Trump’s presidential fleet in summer 2018.
- Putin’s new Senat limousine is five and a half feet tall and nearly 22 feet long.
- It resembles U.K. luxury cars, such as the Rolls Royce, and replaces Putin’s long-used Mercedes.
- The vehicle’s specifications vary across reports.
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In April 2018
Road and Track detailed the Senat limousine, citing such features as a 4.4-liter V8 motor, developed by Porsche alongside Russia’s Central Scientific Research Automobile and Automotive Engines Institute (NAMI).
Some outlets list its weight coming in at over 14 tons and the capability of producing nearly 600 horsepower.
According to a May 2018 Newsweek article on Putin’s inauguration, “The presidential Cortege is covered in armored plating and weighs a total of six tons.”
The article continues, “The car runs on a 6.6-liter V12 engine, with a reported horsepower of 860, according to its manufacturers, but media outlets have estimated more modest specs.”
Reports also make mention of civilian market versions of the Kortezh fleet coming in 2019.
Which will be expanding its offerings from the Aurus Senat elegance limousine to include:
- A Shorter Sedan Version
When purchased privately, the limousine price will likely run about $160,000, according to the Russian Interfax.
A Powerful Impression
Regardless of the concrete specifications of Putin’s new elegance limousine, one thing is certain. This limo’s meaning—like every meticulously crafted piece of Putin’s image—is power.
The Washington Post reported, “The automobile that then whizzed Putin through Helsinki’s blocked-off streets also symbolized the rising global prestige that Putin has cast himself as bestowing upon Russia.”
Whether you see it as a positive or negative trait, the Russian President is recognized worldwide by his image as the strong, stoic, powerful leader and this sleek, new limo is definitely in line with that image.
In their May 2018 coverage of Putin’s inauguration, The Drive provided a glimpse at Putin’s limousine car interior. Like most luxury vehicles, the Kortezh limousines include digital dashboards and multimedia systems.
Few pictures have been released so far, but it is clear that this is a beautiful limo, inside and out. Photos accompanying The Drive‘s coverage of Putin’s limo show a gorgeous, white interior with ornate details, such as:
- Golden insignias
- Rich wooden panels
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Written By: Amber M. Smith