Details of the ceremony of the inauguration of the Russian president are kept secret until the last. For example, it is not known whether a reception will be held in the Grand Kremlin Palace. In doubt, and the passage of the motorcade around Moscow to the Kremlin, accompanied by an honorary escort. The Kremlin press service did not respond to Forbes' request for details of the upcoming ceremony.
Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov explained to journalists that this time the starting point for Vladimir Putin will be the building in the Kremlin, not the government building. So the journey seems to be useless, although several years in a row it was announced that at the inauguration of the President of 2018 the first public departure of the limousine "Cortege" will take place.
The car could not have time to prepare for the appointed time. The ground for such an assumption exists: in February 2017 the Ministry of Industry and Trade stated that the project was difficult to implement because of the restrictions imposed by the Law on Public Procurements No. 44.
There is another version: a new machine for the first persons of the state can still be demonstrated at the inauguration, and the steward of the ceremony simply escalates the intrigue. In the first days of May the travel of the camouflaged limousine on the evacuator along Komsomolsky Avenue in Moscow was filmed on video, which indirectly confirms the readiness of individual copies of the "Cortege".
How to prepare "Cortege"
A public discussion about the need for a domestic limousine began in 2010 with an open letter from the editor-in-chief of Autorevyu, Mikhail Podorozhansky, to Dmitry Medvedev, then president of Russia. In the letter headline "Father would not understand" Podorozhansky argued that Medvedev had to change seats in ZIL, which would give an impetus to the development of the Russian automotive industry.
In 2012, the Ministry of Industry and Trade announced the launch of a program to create a car for the top officials of the state, after which several projects of a representative limousine for the president appeared at once. The enterprise "Depo-ZIL" presented the car "Monolith", which turned out to be slightly rebuilt ZIL-41047, at which in the late eighties of the XX century members of the Soviet Politburo moved.
His version of the car was developed by the now non-existent company Marussia Motors, whose engineering director was the TV host and musician Nikolai Fomenko. Nizhny Novgorod Group GAZ offered to hang their own body panels on any existing luxury car (Rolls-Royce or Bentley), and then use the modification as a limousine for the president.
As a result, the "Monolith" was rejected because of obsolescence and the loss of technological chains necessary to run into the series of the Soviet machine. It turned out that even the ceremonial ZIL-115V gigs used at the solemn ceremonies in the USSR can not be maintained in working condition without "transplanting" them on the chassis of the American pickup truck GMC Sierra 1500. To fully launch the "Monolith" it was required to redesign the project from scratch, which deprived project of economic meaning.
The idea of the GAZ Group did not develop the Russian automotive industry, and therefore it turned out to be uninteresting to the representatives of the authorities. The Marussia Motors division, called Maroussia Engineering, for some time acted as a key partner of the Central Research Automobile and Automotive Engine Institute (NAMI) in the project "Tuple", but in 2014 the founder and owner of the parent company Andrei Cheglakov closed the enterprise.
To create the machine within a reasonable time, NAMI required a partner with the necessary experience and competence - it was a division of the German company Porsche Engineering Group. After inspecting the developments, the Germans persuaded the Ministry of Industry and Trade not to freeze the project, but to continue technical research to build a Russian limousine.
From limousine to minivan
Over time, the original idea was expanded: the new developers of the "Cortege" decided to create a whole line of vehicles on one platform. In the family of cars included premium sedan, SUV and minivan. Judging by indirect evidence, at the moment "side" vehicles are completely ready. In March 2018, NAMI was to transfer 16 cars to the Federal Security Service (FSO) for use as escort vehicles for the president. By the end of the year, the Ministry of Industry and Trade plans to deliver 80 cars to the FSO.
As for the technical details, then, according to Forbes in NAMI, to date, a line of V8, V12 and L4 engines has been created that work in tandem with an electric motor. The high-voltage system controls both the electric motor and the climatic system of the machine. Thus, the cars of the "Cortege" series should become the first serial hybrids developed in Russia. The power plant is equipped with a 9-speed gearbox, the machine is equipped with a system of intelligent intelligent all-wheel drive.
We claim that when designing a limousine for the first persons, we learned how to use high-precision casting (chassis components and automatic control systems), forging aluminum (directing suspension apparatus) and precise stamping of the body elements. In the future, cars of the family "Cortege" can turn into "clean" electric cars without using a gasoline power plant. All vehicles are equipped with an electronic control system, integrated cooling system, voltage converters, inverters and a high-voltage lithium-ion battery.
Presidential machine for sale
Perhaps the most unusual thing in the Russian project is the commercial component, unusual for cars of this class. Neither the Cadillac One, which the US president drives, nor the Toyota Century Royal Japanese Imperial Court can be purchased on the open market. The Ministry of Industry and Trade argues that the "Cortege" will go on a free sale.
The first to enter the market are representative sedans and limousines - the flagships of the family. This should happen in late 2018 - early 2019. The next stage will be the launch of the production of a minivan and an off-road vehicle, but the decision will be made on the basis of consumer demand, the government reported.
Cars will sell a joint venture between NAMI and Sollers. As the head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov explained, the cost of premium cars will be 6-7 million rubles, they will be available in both economical and luxury versions, including in armored versions. The brand name is still kept secret. According to one version, the cars will go to the market under the brand Aurus. As the target markets for the "Cortege", the Ministry of Industry and Trade chose South-East Asia, the Middle East and China.