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Russian President Vladimir Putin's ZiL limo looks to face off with Obama's ride

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.

Of course, no one around this machine is concerned about fuel economy, safety is what matters most. The ZiL limo is armoured such that it can take high calibre bullets and even survive land mine and RPG explosions. When it comes to interior appointments the ZiL is said to carry the Russian president in the lap of luxury, with a fully stocked workstation within.

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.

Related GalleryUS Cadillac Presidential Limousine

Which presidential limo gets your vote?
I'd rather my limo look intimidating, maybe it will scare off attacks. I'll take Obama's limo, endearingly coined, "The Beast."62 (44.9%)
Those angular,sharp lines have my vote - the Russian built ZiL is the better looking limousine.76 (55.1%)

Ride Batman-Style in an Armored Vehicle, Cape Not Included


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It's a render. And interior is not from that car. Note the suicide doors on interior. Placement of door handles indicate this render does not have suicide doors.

March 21 2013 at 5:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don\'t think safety matters here for the Russian neo dictator. The most important for this out of control ruler is his own ego. There isn\'t any recognition of the ZIL brand limo as long as this is the only government in the whole world that use it. Something more - the old Russian high end cars are copies of earlier American metal. But it is up to AB editors to show pictures of Volga, ZIM and ZIL asking the readers to recognize witch American cars they copy.

March 21 2013 at 2:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply