First Post-Soviet Luxury Bulletproof Limousine Hits Floor Rooms

Want to roll like Putin? After a $190 million investment in R&D via a public-private partnership project called "Kortezh," Russia unveiled its first post-Soviet presidential limousine, the Aurus Senat, in a Moscow showroom on Friday, according to Reuters.

The new presidential limousine was initially designed for Russian President Vladimir Putin, reportedly entered mass production at a factory just a few hours outside of Moscow - with plans to sell the new bulletproof design throughout Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and potentially European markets.

Priced at $274,000, the Aurus offers a lower cost option for heads of states, presidents, dictators, and budget-conscious evil geniuses of the world. 

The first publicly available Aurus will roll off the production line in 2020 - built in a factory owned by Russian carmaker Sollers in the economic zone of Alabuga, Tatarstan Republic, according to the Trade Minister Denis Manturov.

"We expect a similar showroom will appear in China in 2020-2021," Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said during the opening ceremony in Moscow.

The factory should initially be able to produce around 5,000 of vehicles per year, in both a limo and a sedan model, with an off-road vehicle set to enter production sometime in 2021-2022.

"The minivan and the SUV Komendant are at the testing stage. I hope to see the latter at the (Moscow International) Automobile Salon in 2020," Manturov said.

A hybrid or fully electric version of the Aurus could arrive by the mid-2020s.

"We believe the audience will be quite wide," noted Aurus CEO Adil Shirinov, who added that there's been strong interest from governments and corporations. 

While introduced at the Manilla International Auto Show several years, the Aurus made its public debut last year when Putin cruised to the Helsinki summit in it last year to meet with President Trump.