Vladimir Putin would most like to build his state bodies out of pure gold. That he does not do that is probably more due to the physical properties of this metal than its potential. But after all, the brand under which his Rolls-Royce-style flagships sail is called Aurus. Okay, Latin is not Putin’s strength.
You do not need a big Latinum to know that gold was once called aurum. But that’s not how accurate it is in Russia. Mainly big, pretentious – and russian. Because Rolls-Royce or Bentley buy is not enough, Father makes it himself. Even if the design is a conglomerate of the two British luxury brands.
The know-how also comes from the West. Porsche’s development subsidiary Porsche Engineering was commissioned to develop a V8 hybrid (and a two-liter four-cylinder that will later run in smaller Russian cars). Aurus boss is former Daimler manager Gerhard Hilgert.
Earlier rulers of the red giant empire always turned enviously to the west. While a US President drove up the Lincoln Continental or Cadillac, his Russian-Soviet counterpart Brezhnev or later Gorbachev had to settle for a ZIL. The state car had huge dimensions, but was a Baroque relic from the 50s with always outdated technology.
For the first time, the 6.63-meter-long, two-meter-wide sedan called the Senate appeared at Putin’s inauguration in May 2018. Now she celebrated in two versions at the Geneva Motor Show West Messe premiere.
The long model has 4.30 meters wheelbase and up to seven seats, the one meter shorter output (5.63 meters) is intended for more down to earth oligarchs. An all-round armor, which is to protect against gunfire and explosions, is reserved for the large model, which then brings seven tons on the scales. The normal model should reach 100 km in six seconds and a maximum of 250 km / h.
Together, the “Senators” have a 4.4-liter eight-cylinder twin-turbo engine that sends 598 hp and 880 Nm to all four wheels. On board is a 75 kW / 102 hp electric motor as additional support. Most of the modern technology was developed in Russia, with the said support, of course, also the nine-speed automatic or the electronically controlled suspension. The electric motor comes from Kalaschnikow. In the case of the completely existing assistance systems, the usual suppliers who also supply Mercedes or BMW helped. The design options for the interior also promise luxury and abundance. Wood, leather and whatever else is noble and expensive can be ordered. All this for a high six-digit euro range.
The impression of having a Rolls-Royce in front of you (or better: something like a Rolls-Royce) solidifies when you get in. That looks and feels like pure luxury. Noble leather, bird-eyed wood. As you can see, it’s supposed to be full of trumps here. De gustibus non est disputandum, you can not argue about taste.
Money for the development comes from the Russian treasury, responsible is the Moscow Automobile Institute NAMI. Next up, the ambitious company plans to develop an SUV and a big van. As Russian media reports, the SUV could hear the name “Komendant” and the multi-seat on “Kortezh” (honor guard). First, the company wants to build 5000 cars a year in Russia.