16 jul. 2016

Проект "Кортеж" | A new limo for Putin

So Russia is tired of the traditional ZIL limousines being used on parades and important official ceremonies, after all these years. Even worse, for his own Presidential affairs, Vladimir Putin rides on an armoured Mercedes-Benz! All that is clearly wrong: he now wants to ride on a big, retro styled limo like those HongQi used in China (and Belarus!). And of course, Made in Russia.
Putin's Mercedes.
This new car is being developed as "Project Kortezh" (Проект "Кортеж)", and the work is done by the Moscow Scientific Automobile and Engine Research Institute (NAMI), an institution that has historically been an important part of car development in Russia (the institute even made a car back in 1927).

I think what seems to be the final design proposal (on the top of this post) looks quite good, elegant and subtly retro, recalling those old ZIS limos favoured by Stalin. There is also talks of companion SUV and van versions of this project.
They say that the first batch of 500 (!) will be produced in plants of UAZ and Ford (!) in 2017, and that final production will be of some 5.000 units. I don't believe they can do that.

Fuentes: rg.ru.
Below: NAMI I. Photo by Sergey Rodovnichenko.

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