Posted Mar 21st 2013 10:15AM
It looks like Russian and US diplomats are in for a round of "My limo's bigger than your limo." Russian automaker ZiL has been working on the car pictured above for the last six years and they believe they've perfected the Presidential limo. The car was commissioned after Vladimir Putin proclaimed that he wanted to ride in something Russian, not another run-of-the-mill Mercedes or Cadillac (take that, Obama).
How did ZiL end up with the above shape? "We tried to preserve the generic feature[s] of the ZiL: the recognizable style, the lighting, the mirrors," said ZiL's Mikhail Sattarov. "We wanted it to be clear that this is a ZiL, not a soapbox, not a Mercedes. If you look, it's dark blue. If you look at what Obama drives around in, it's a scary submarine, no kind of aesthetic; it's awful to look at." If the rhetoric continues down this path we could be in for a political spat fit for UN intervention!
Of course, while the Russian automaker snubbed American exterior design they seem to appreciate American engineering - the ZiL will use an engine and transmission built in America.
Speaking of the engine, you're probably wondering about the technical bits under-hood. It's reported that the Russian ZiL limo is powered by a 7.7 litre engine that achieves a rather jet-plane-like 27.5 L/100km (8.57 mpg). This mill is capable of hurling the 3,175 kg (7,000 lb) limo-tank to a terminal velocity of 200 km/h (125 mph). As far as fuel efficiency goes, this actually represents a significant improvement, more than doubling mileage; this ZiL's predecessor was said to suck back fuel to the tune of 72.4 L/100km (3.5 mpg).
Since we're already on the topic of fuel, we should point out that like the US presidential limo, the Russian ZiL limo burns gasoline as its fuel of choice - not diesel. American Secret Service personal recently caused a major security breach when they accidentally poured diesel fuel where only gasoline is welcome.
So, who's mega-armoured ride is best? There's clearly only one way to solve this: a presidential limo drag-race.
Scroll down to let us know which presidential limo gets your vote, then watch an armoured car get shot up in testing.