The Russian president is currently driven in an armored Mercedes Pullman. The market price for the model is around one million dollars. Putin’s first private car was much cheaper; he was the proud owner of a tiny Zaporozhets, which was considered the car of the Soviet people for nearly half a century.

Engineers in Russia are working on a new line of car engines, developed especially for future VIP vehicles, to be used by the country’s president and other officials. The top version is promised to be manufactured with up to an 850 horsepower engine.

The design of the cars being developed by the Cortege project are so far being kept secret, but are expected to be made public by the end of the year.

A model of the line’s top car – the presidential limo – was unveiled by NAMI earlier this year. The vehicle will be world’s first four-wheel drive official state car, according to Nagaitsev. The convoy cars will be designed to match the limo’s road stability and performance control.

The design for the president’s limo-to-be was chosen in an open contest, with both Russian and international artists participating.



Russia's President Vladimir Putin arrives to Ivanovskaya Square, Kremlin. (RIA Novosti/Sergey Guneev)

AFP Photo/Dmitry Astakhov