But, it seems, only Putin can afford it.
Instead of buying a Mercedes-Benz S-Class and heavily modifying it for obvious security reasons, Russia, to its credit, has designed and built its own presidential limousine in-house. The Aurus Senat armored limousine was developed by NAMI in Moscow and comes powered by a 4.4-liter V8 also built domestically. There’s even a 6.6-liter V12 planned but we don’t know when it’ll debut just set. Everything is on a need to know basis in Russia. And yes, the Aurus Senat bears a fairly strong resemblance to a Rolls-Royce Phantom.
The price for this armored excellence is 10 million rubles, or roughly $150,000 USD. The latest limo for the President of the United States, nicknamed "The Beast”, costs upwards of $1.5 million. So really, the Aurus Senat is a pretty decent deal.
However, Alexey Dyumin, the current Governor of Tula Oblast and close associate (and former chief of security) of President Putin, claims he cannot afford to buy one, according to Motor.ru. Really? A former Russian military man turned politician who reportedly once saved Putting from a bear attack can’t afford to shell out $150 grand? He claims the car will cost him more than the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. "Mercedes and this car - a big difference,” Dyumin told Russian language media. "It seems to me that the (Aurus) is cooler. I would like (to purchase), but this is expensive for me so far.”
Dyumin, and other Russian politicians who owe their jobs and money to Putin, likely don’t want to be seen driving around in a limo that’s better or equal to Putin’s ride.
In case you’re still not fully convinced Dyumin genuinely can’t afford to buy himself an Aurus Senat, then consider this: he was slapped with sanctions last year by the US government, along with several other Putin cronies, as punishment for Moscow’s alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election. If the guy is so poor then sanctions against him would be an irrelevant punishment. But hey, Dyumin’s Mercedes-Maybach ain’t exactly shabby.