Russian President Dmitry Medvedev hopes to revive the ZiL limousine, a former Soviet symbol of transportational power, for use by himself and other government officials and diplomats. Due to these rumors, which came to light earlier this year, the Slava Saakyan design studio - named after its founder, a former AMO ZiL designer - has dreamt up its own interpretation of the once-presidential vehicle.
Saakyan, who reportedly won the in-house design contest for what would have been the next ZiL, says he tried to incorporate a few basic ideals when designing the new ZiL. These include keeping the car modern, safe (it has no back window for would-be assassins to target), comfortable, and to the point. The designer did away with other baubles as well, cleaning up the newly-creased edges.
As for the possibility of ZiL's return to the forefront of Russian politicians' transportation, might I remind you of "supercar" manufacturer Marussia? Clearly anything's possible in the former Soviet Union these days. According to presidential property department head Vladimir Kozhin, "There is a presidential order to explore this..We are currently discussing [the ZiL limousine] with factories."
Obviously this rendering is just the start. Should the ZiL make a return to duty, a concept could be showing up any time and would likely be powered by something in the "V8s and above" category. I imagine President Medvedev would rather enjoy his Mercedes-fighting Russian flagship sooner than later.
By Phil Alex