A few years ago Russian president Dmitri Medvedev decided he wanted officials to be chauffeured in Russian limousines, not the German executive sedans everyone had become accustomed to (such as the Mercedes-Benz pictured above). Naturally, that meant turning to Russia's own ZiL to create a litter worthy of a plutocrat and glorious Russian history. The plan had two big problems, the first being that ZiL stopped making limos in 1991 and was only producing trucks and armored military vehicles.

But that didn't stop the party. The orders to ZiL were to create something powered by a V8 that was able to carry three people and reach 130 miles per hour. It must also represent "the best traditions of Soviet limousine building." Zil got to work, spending years and who knows how many rubles to create the armored sedan it unveiled last Fall: the ZiL-4112P, powered by a 7.7-liter V8 that reportedly has more than 400 horsepower. When comparing the 4112P to Obama's presidential conveyance, ZiL's director of limousine production said, "If you look at what Obama drives around in its a scary submarine, no kind of aesthetic, it's awful to look at."

No matter that, the car has one more big problem: President Putin is apparently unhappy with it. The president hasn't publicly disclosed his issues with the car, but the Moscow Times said that Putin "was not pleased" by the looks of the 4112P and noted that the car "needed adjustments." ZiL's response to the report was to say that the president wasn't actually given the 4112P – which, if true, would mean they gave him a presidential limo they haven't revealed to the public instead of the one they threw a giant party for and used to demonstrate the comparative ugliness of its American counterpart.

The mess has left an opening for GAZ and Marussia, with both companies working on alternatives to whatever is on offer from ZiL. GAZ is building something based on the Audi A8 that it says will be ready by 2014, Marussia's "completely original model" will arrive in 2015.


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  • 60 Comments
      Carfan0893
      • 1 Year Ago
      Maybe ZiL should Putin more work on their limos.
      Jarda
      • 1 Year Ago
      take a bus bit*h
      The Wasp
      • 1 Year Ago
      That car looks like a joke -- on the outside, anyway. The interior looks fine.
      Polly Prissy Pants
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wow, that is one ugly limo. Looks like the kind of stuff we would draw in 7th period study hall. Interior seems nice though.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      It must also represent "the best traditions of Soviet limousine building." What is that supposed to mean?
      rmt_1
      • 1 Year Ago
      ZiL's Mr. Sattorov may not think much of Cadillac's "Beast", but I think he completely misses the point of just why the President of the United States rides around in a heavy-duty GM truck fitted with a body that's cosmetically designed to resemble a generic Cadillac form. The "Beast" is designed to allow the "Commander in Chief" maintain communications with the military at all times when in transit on the ground, survive attacks by heavy machine guns, chemical or biological warfare weapons, improvised explosives, and possibly limited rocket propelled grenade attacks. If things start to go bad for Putin in Russia, I sincerely doubt that he would turn down an offer to ride in the "Beast", if given a choice between it and his ZiL.
        Donny Hoover
        • 1 Year Ago
        @rmt_1
        It's just jealousy talking. Russian technology is far behind American technology in every sector, and probably always will be. All they can do is try to make it more aesthetically pleasing and throw in some rhetoric about national pride. Who can blame them. Everybody wants to think they're the best, even if it is far from the truth.
          rmt_1
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Donny Hoover
          @ RustyShackelford: As strange as it may seem: Elon Musk and his X-Space rocket systems will supplement the Russians. In just a few years, I think he has a contract with NASA already for manned flights to the Space Station to replace some of the Russian flights.
          Daniel D
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Donny Hoover
          Who can get into space at the moment?
      Groagun
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ah yes Russian democracy in action, it's time for this guy to go. He has got to be one of the most dangerous humans on the planet right now.
        sparrk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Groagun
        He is dangerous, but also pretty much the only one capable of controlling the Russian mobsters, aka businessmen and politicians. Things would be a lot worse with some puppet president.
          Timon
          • 1 Year Ago
          @sparrk
          That's sad but very true!
      Cabriofan
      • 1 Year Ago
      That's because Putin has ordered one of these: http://mainmati.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/putin-rides-a-meteor.jpg?w=312&h=246
      mbukukanyau
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tsar Putin is not happy with his German Horseless Carriege.
      billfrombuckhead
      • 1 Year Ago
      Does look better than a Toyota. Looks like a Elwood Engle design. Would make a great car for the Green Hornet.
      Soccer Mom
      • 1 Year Ago
      "the best traditions of Soviet limousine building" means exactly the same thing as "the best traditions of Chinese limousine building" - rip off the best elements of the outdated Western cars, dumb them down, turn them unreliable, loose 3/4 of engine power in the process while increasing fuel consumption threefold, replace sophisticated suspension with horse-carriage springs, and source electronics from the things found in RadioShack dumpster. However, also, you need to find the only surviving specimen of the rarest tree in the world, cut it down and decorate this limo with its priceless wood. "Obama drives around in its a scary submarine, no kind of aesthetic" - this comes from the guy who ripped off the 1970s design without making any changes to its aesthetic. Back in 70s, it was a "proletariat-created" limo - simple, yokelish, and the best Soviet industry could do. 40 years later, it is not a "classic car", it remains an example of Soviets falling behind the rest of the world in pretty much everything they did, and this is the pride and joy of this fiery critic.
        reattadudes
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Soccer Mom
        you took the words right out of my mouth! not a thing to add.
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