New Aurus firm launches Russian presidential limousine

by James Attwood, Autocar Uk 29 Aug 2018

The Senat, shown in standard-wheelbase form, will also be offered as a limousine

New Russian luxury car brand Aurus has launched its first models, the Senat and Senat Limousine, at the Moscow motor show.

The limo, described as offering “uncompromising level of ballistic and explosive protection”, will serve as Russia’s new state vehicle and was seen in that role at the inauguration of president Vladimir Putin earlier this year. 

The new brand, which is run by Russia’s Central Scientific Research Automobile and Automotive Engine Institute, known as NAMI, was developed under the instruction of Putin, who felt it was important that Russia made its own presidential vehicles.

The Senat Limousine uses a 4.4-litre V8 engine jointly developed by NAMI and Porsche, aided by a hybrid electric motor to offer 590bhp and can achieve 0-62mph (0-100 kph) in less than six seconds. The machine is powered by a nine-speed gearbox.

Other engine options for the unarmored Senat will include a 6.6-litre V12 with 848bhp.

The Rolls-Royce-rivalling Senat is 5630mm long, with a 3300mm wheelbase, rising to 6630mm and 4300mm respectively on the limo variant. Both cars will be built on a unified modular platform. The Senat will be all-wheel drive and run on independent multi-link rear suspension, with gas-filled shock absorbers. 

The interior has been focused on rear passengers, with rear seats that recline to 45deg and are equipped with custom designer downy pillows. There is also a built-in refrigerator with Aurus-branded crystal glasses and fold-out tables with leather trim.

Along with the two Senat models, Aurus is also planning to develop a minivan called Arensal and an SUV named Komendant. The model names are inspired by the Kremlin’s towers. Aurus models will go on sale in Russia in early 2019 and be offered in international markets.

While Aurus is originally planning to produce 150 vehicles a year in 2019 and 2020, a new production facility will expand capacity to 5000 by 2021, with the option to further increase volume to 10,000 vehicles if there is demand.

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