Car debuted during his inauguration
Overnight Russia's new state limousine, developed under Project Cortege, was used officially for the first time as part of the inauguration ceremony for Vladimir Putin.
According Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the country's official media outlet, the Cortege "most likely" has a 4.4-litre turbocharged engine with around 445kW (600hp), and a nine-speed automatic.
The limousine measures 6620mm long, 2000mm wide, and has a ground clearance of 200mm. As it is armour-plated, it weighs a massive 6.5 tonnes.
In addition to the limousine, the group is also developing sedan, SUV and people mover models. The current plans call for around 100 Project Cortege vehicles to be made by the end of 2018, and roughly 150 or 200 to be produced in 2019.
To be marketed under the Aurus brand, sales of the Project Cortege sedan are set to begin in 2019. The ministry of industry estimates a starting price of around six million roubles ($130,000).
Built by Russian manufacturer Sollers, it's understood Porsche and Bosch helped out with the engineering work on Project Cortege.
As part of the ceremony Putin rode in a Project Cortege limousine. A regular sedan version with police lights also took part. Putin recently won his fourth term as Russian president with a vote share of over 76 per cent.
This is the first time the Russian president has used a Russian-made vehicle for official business since the government retired its presidential ZIL limousine in 1990. The country has used a succession of Mercedes-Benz S-Class models since then.
As Russia Today points out, the country is once again part of "a handful of nations [that] use domestically-produced automobiles for their leaders". Australia dropped the Holden Caprice for a range of BMWs in 2014 during Tony Abbott's time as Prime Minister.
Commoners, like ourselves, will be able to get a closer look at the Project Cortege vehicles at the Moscow motor show, which takes place in August.
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