The President of Russia thinks he should have his own custom-designed limousine. But who will make it for him?
Imagine you're the President of Russia and you're simply not pleased with the choices of limousines being offered. Sure, you can pick a new one from any number of high-end brands such as Mercedes-Benz and Rolls-Royce, but wouldn't it be better if you could ride around in your own custom limousine to show up Obama and his fancy Cadillac? As it turns out, Vladimir Putin wasn't happy picking out an existing limo. So he tasked ZIL - the company that made the Soviet leaders' limos - with designing a new one entirely from scratch.
ZIL came back with a prototype called the 411P, powered by a 7.7-liter engine, but Putin wasn't happy with that, either. So two other Russian automakers have jumped in. GAZ is said to be developing a proposal based on a Volkswagen Phaeton that should be ready next year, while Marussia partnered with Cardesign.ru to launch a contest asking fans and designers to send in their concepts. Here are a few of the designs submitted, with the winner to be announced on May 1.