Putin has ditched his Mercedes S600 in favor of a new Russian-made armored limo.
For the fourth consecutive year, Vladimir Putin has been inaugurated as president of Russia. At the ceremony, Putin used the opportunity to unveil his new lavish limousine. He wasn’t happy being chauffeured around in an imported German limo, so he ordered the manufacturing of a new Russian-made vehicle - and this is the result. Replacing his old modified Mercedes S600 is a black presidential limousine codenamed ‘Kortezh,’ which translates to cortege – meaning entourage or procession.
It looks a lot like a Bentley Mulsanne, particularly at the back, while the front headlights resemble the last-generation Chrysler 300. Technical details about the Kortezh are scarce, but the limo is allegedly powered by a turbocharged V12 developed by Porsche with 850 horsepower being sent through a Russian-designed nine-speed slushbox.
Naturally, it’s also heavily armored. The swanky presidential limo was crafted by Russia’s Central Scientific Research Automobile and Automotive Engines Institute in cooperation with Sollers JSC, a Russian holding company with stakes in domestic car companies. Putin allegedly worked closely on the limo's development, and even test drove some of the prototypes. Officials say it’s the first in a planned fleet of 14 new vehicles that will use the limo’s new “Unifited Modular Platform” including a sedan, minivan and SUV. Production of these variants would total 5,000 units, with the majority going to Russian government offices and security services.
A few may also be made available to rich Russian consumers, however. President Trump also has a new limousine on the way. Known as the Beast 2.0, the new presidential limo is expected to arrive this summer. Prototypes of the Cadillac-built state car have already been spotted, and it’s expected to look significantly different than the previous model built on a General Motors' heavy-duty truck frame, which will allow copious amounts of armor and bullet-proof glass to be fitted.