A few days back, spy photographers spotted an unusual looking prototype covered in camouflage paint being testing in the coldest regions of Northern Sweden. A car so unusual that it looked like a mash-up of bits taken from a Rolls-Royce Phantom and a Bentley Mulsanne, and not a shoddily done, ugly looking prototype project either. So, what could it be? A section of the press that covers automobiles believed that it might just be the work of a Chinese carmaker; and can we blame them? Specifically, a company named ‘Greely’, which has built Rolls Royce knock-offs before, was being credited of making this luxury limo prototype.
But guess what? The camouflaged luxury vehicle is not a Rolls Royce rivaling production model from the land of sleeping giant, but the next presidential limo for the Russian state. Yes, you read that right. It’s is the soon-to-be Vladimir Putin’s armored presidential limo. Referred to as Project Kortezh, the armored vehicle is the result of Russia’s request for a locally-developed car to transport dignitaries, including the president.
The development of the Russia’s own version of the ‘Beast’ is being handled by a consortium of Russian automakers including Sollers, GAZ, KAMAZ and ZiL. Interestingly, Porsche has been asked to make the powertrain for the vehicle. President Putin is expected to take delivery of the first Kortezh in late 2017, and approximately 200 of these armored limos will be added to the Russian state’s fleet.