Russia wants to establish itself as a producer of luxury vehicles on the same level as those from Rolls-Royce and Bentley.
To do so, the country formed Aurus, an automaker that builds all of the vehicles for Vladimir Putin’s motorcade and wants to soon put them on sale. To see if they’re up to scratch, none other than Putin himself recently jumped behind the wheel of an Aurus model at the nation’s Formula 1 circuit in Sochi.
With the President of Egypt by his side, Abdel Fatah el-Sisi, Putin got into the driver’s seat of the Aurus Senat sedan, a vehicle which is essentially a small version of the Senat limousine which Putin is ordinarily ferried around in.
The Senat sedan appears similar in size to the Rolls-Royce Phantom but few, if any, journalists have had the opportunity to test it out. Consequently, it’s difficult to know just how good (or bad) the vehicle actually is.
What we do know is that Russia is serious about breaking into the luxury automobile sector. In fact, the country has been developing a range of Aurus vehicles since 2012 with the intention of introducing them to the market next year. Russia wants to initially sell them across Europe and in the long term, may even try to sell various Aurus models in the United States. Additionally, there are plans to export the cars to China, the Middle East, Africa, South America, and South Korea.
Powering the Senat sedan is a 4.4-liter V8 using some form of hybridization and delivering 598 hp. The car also features a nine-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.
Shortly after the Senat sedan reaches the market, the company plans to launch a similarly-luxurious SUV.