News / Europe

    Competition for Russia's Next Presidential Limo Shifts Into High Gear

    The winning design.
    The winning design.
    Grant Podelco (RFE/RL)
    It looks like a cross between a Rolls Royce and an American Chrysler 300. At least that's how some are describing the winning design of a Russian presidential limousine concept car unveiled a few days ago.

    It's a beauty. Why President Vladimir Putin hasn't immediately ordered production to begin, we'll never know. So far, there's been no comment from the Kremlin about the new model.

    Putin had previously announced his desire to replace the current Mercedes and BMW sedans used by top Kremlin officials with a fleet of new Russian-made limousines manufactured by the venerable Russian truck and heavy equipment company ZiL.

    As the website Worldcarfans.com noted at the time:

    ...A problem immediately occurs as ZiL has not made a passenger vehicle for approximately eight years (they only make trucks) and they don't have any modern armored vehicle know-how.

    A rather pedestrian-looking ZiL-4112P 7.7-liter six-speed prototype - described as "not trying to be overly beautiful or pleasing to everyone" - was reportedly rejected by the Russian government, according to the website Carscoops:

    Citing a Kremlin source, Russia's Izvestia reported that Putin was "unhappy" with the result, though ZiL's acting CEO, Sergei Sokolov, denied the report, saying the president has not seen the car yet. Russian officials neither denied or confirmed the report. The other two Russian carmakers vying for the prestigious contract are Marussia Motors and GAZ.

    The Moscow Times quoted Izvestia as saying that Putin tested the ZiL and said it needed a few unnamed "adjustments." That sounds to us like a Russian euphemism for "back to the drawing board."

    Taking the road less traveled, Marussia Motors decided to partner with the Russian website Cardesign and host a competition. More than 100 ideas for a presidential limo were submitted. The winning design - a real stunner - was submitted by Yaroslav Yakovlev and Bernd Weel.

    WATCH: A video slideshow presenting Marussia's concept car


    As the website Autoevolution notes:

    The new limousine design was created by the two over the course of three weeks, and the end result is quite impressive. The vehicle sports a long hood and an imposing front end with huge Rolls-Royce-inspired fascia. Round the back, the design is more original, with unique taillamps and a center-mounted dual-exhaust system.

    Autoevolution describes the design as "exquisite," and it's hard to argue. It's like Russia itself - huge, intimidating, and averse to being cornered.

    GAZ is reportedly developing a limo based on the Volkswagen Phaeton and Audi A8, which it plans to unveil in 2014.

    The question is whether GAZ has been driven to despair after seeing the competition.

     

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Alex from: Seattle
    July 24, 2013 5:08 AM
    The kids starving you are referring to are in America, quite depressing numbers too like 1 in 5 are hungry, and even higher numbers with food insecurity. I have no idea how people can read this article and extrapolate that the Russian children will go hungry if Russian officials buy their own domestic limos hahahah.

    They are planning to buy local, which means contracts for local factories and jobs; you know those that feed hungry children. You guys have lost your minds lol. I smell jelousy.

    by: Jure from: EU
    July 23, 2013 7:39 PM
    Russia is orderin limos for e=their kremlin ELITIST while Russia kids are starvin from hunger and homless people are without homes just like in somae EU cities and in some North American and chinese cities,,,,,Arabian nations are doing the same .....shame on the welthy

    by: Peter from: USA
    July 23, 2013 7:37 PM
    feed your own people and hungry kids Russia (like we have a Food stamp program and SNAP here in USA)and stop having millions of inocente people in jails and abusing people in your jails and havin your police abusing minorities in the East,South and west by your nazi like police before replacing the current Mercedes and BMW sedans used by top Kremlin officials with a fleet of new Russian-made limousines manufactured by the venerable Russian truck and heavy equipment company ZiL.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora