Skip to comments.Russia's Putin "unhappy" with limo
Posted on 02/27/2013 5:34:10 PM PST by nascarnation
A few years ago Russian president Dmitri Medvedev decided he wanted officials to be chauffeured in Russian limousines, not the German executive sedans everyone had become accustomed to (such as the Mercedes-Benz pictured above). Naturally, that meant turning to Russia's own ZiL to create a litter worthy of a plutocrat and glorious Russian history. The plan had two big problems, the first being that ZiL stopped making limos in 1991 and was only producing trucks and armored military vehicles.
But that didn't stop the party. The orders to ZiL were to create something powered by a V8 that was able to carry three people and reach 130 miles per hour. It must also represent "the best traditions of Soviet limousine building." Zil got to work, spending years and who knows how many rubles to create the armored sedan it unveiled last Fall: the ZiL-4112P, powered by a 7.7-liter V8 that reportedly has more than 400 horsepower. When comparing the 4112P to Obama's presidential conveyance, ZiL's director of limousine production said, "If you look at what Obama drives around in its a scary submarine, no kind of aesthetic, it's awful to look at."
No matter that, the car has one more big problem: President Putin is apparently unhappy with it. The president hasn't publicly disclosed his issues with the car, but the Moscow Times said that Putin "was not pleased" by the looks of the 4112P and noted that the car "needed adjustments." ZiL's response to the report was to say that the president wasn't actually given the 4112P which, if true, would mean they gave him a presidential limo they haven't revealed to the public instead of the one they threw a giant party for and used to demonstrate the comparative ugliness of its American counterpart.
The mess has left an opening for GAZ and Marussia, with both companies working on alternatives to whatever is on offer from ZiL. GAZ is building something based on the Audi A8 that it says will be ready by 2014, Marussia's "completely original model" will arrive in 2015.
Looks like it was made by the same company that made the “Family Truckster” (NatLamp’s “Vacation”).
No wonder Vlad was pissed.....
I was going to say it looked like an early-’80s Lincoln.
I actually think that’s a nice-looking car.
Dump the (presumed) armor plate and take the stretchy-thing out of the middle, and you’ve got something I’d be willing to consider.
And please leave the “suicide” doors...
In the 60s our local fair had Chairman Mao’s limo. It was given to him by Stalin and captured in Korea. I think it was made by this same company.
One thing I remember about it was the terrible gas mileage, something like 2 mpg.
Pretty different from the 2010 mockups.
I remember at that time there was an ad in our local paper about an exhibit of the captured Soviet limo, which was a ZiS or a ZiM or some such. How did it ever wind up in Norkland? Mao tse-Tung had an early falling out with Stalin & he probably said to Kim Il-Sung, “Here, comrade, you can have it.”
I’ve heard for years that ZiL and Chaika limos actually have Daimler-Benz engines. Far more reliable.
I suggest Ebay - search "Lincoln Town Car 1982-88"
Ugly as sin. I wouldn’t be caught dead riding in it.
A powerful person needs lots of style - this is one ass ugly limo!
I bet that the average limousine buyer doesn't think to ask for that.
In fact it looks exactly like a 1979 Zil limo + suicide doors and cheap arab-style headlights and chrome parts.
One thing for sure it has perfect protection. Older Zils were tested to withstand antitank munition. Under Stalin they had a chief designer inside vehicle during tests.
Having spent 40 yrs in the industry, I can attest to the transition from the styling studio, through engineering design, and then production engineering, LOL.
Now, those CAD renderings have some promise. Front fascia needs work but there actually are some nice angles, especially rear 3/4 view. Sort of an updated mating of a Lagonda with the best factory limos M-B ever made, the 600.
I suspect ZIL, being a heavy truck manufacturer since ‘91, was just incapable of anything that was not truckish. The production windows are not flush, the windshield in particular looks dated. The front fascia looks like a Freightliner. The lines of the sheetmetal aren’t contemporary, not much visual interest, just one character line running straight back. The sweep of the concept CAD was obliterated.
I guess there are some of us old goats still around who like an automobile to look like a battleship.
Now if it only had an Edsel grill...
Too bad Cadillac never built the Sixteen.
Now that would make one fine-looking limousine.