About a year ago, it was reported that the Russian government had requested local automakers to come up with designs for a series of luxury vehicles that could be used to transport officials and possibly even form the basis of a new Russian luxury car brand. At present the Russian government uses foreign vehicles, most of which come from Germany.
Recently, the Russian Ministry for Industry and Trade hosted an event where several concepts were revealed. Photos from the event, posted on the Russian government daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta, reveal some of the concepts which include a limousine, SUV and van. Involved in the project are Russian automakers Sollers, GAZ, KAMAZ and ZiL.
The vehicles are to be based on a common platform, which will be engineered in Russia and use Russian-made parts but will also be developed with some outside help led by Porsche Engineering. It is hoped the first working prototypes will be ready by next year, with production to start in 2017 following a rigorous testing program.
Only about 5 percent of the planned production is expected to be utilized by the government, with the rest sold to the public. The SUV is expected to be the most popular, with estimates of 40,000 units being produced, though it’s not clear if this is an annual figure or total production.
It looks like president Obama’s Beast may soon have a Russian counterpart.