Over the years, British manufacturers Rolls Royce and Bentley have controlled the standards and benchmarks of all the luxury vehicles around the globe. However, its fate in Russia might have taken a hit after a state-owned car manufacturer NAMI now has a concrete answer for the duo.
At the 2018 Moscow Auto Show, Russia's Trade Minister Denis Manturov pulled the covers off the two new models from the Aurus brand: the Senat limousine and the Senat sedan.
The Senat captured eyeballs after Russia's President Vladimir Putin drove the armored limousine to the swearing-in of his fourth Presidential term in the country.
By rolling up in the Senate, Putin brought back the age-old Soviet ceremony of leaders using domestically made ceremonial cars. Before this Putin used the Mercedes Benz S600 Guard Pullman.
Looking at the front grill one cannot stop thinking about its resemblance to the Rolls Royce's signature architecture seen across its lineup. The Aurus Senat is jointly developed by a consortium of Russian automakers led by the Russian Central Scientific Research Automobile and Automobile Engines Institute (NAMI) under Project Kortezh.
Both the models of the Senat is currently offered with a 4.4-litre V8 engine. A nine-speed automatic transmission mated to the engine will help it put out over 598 bhp of power. However, the company hinted at a future scope of 6.0-litre V12 as well. The Moscow auto show was the first to witness the civilian version of the Senat which will go on sale in 2019.
The resemblance with the British dominator continues to the car's interiors which comes with a bespoke armour.
Apart from the Senat, the Aurus is also expected to develop several models including a minivan (to be named as Arsenal) and an SUV christened as Komendant.
For the first two years, a total of 150 cars have been scheduled to be manufactured. However, the number will be increased to 5,000 by 2021 depending on its demand. In the initial phase, the car is likely to be exclusively sold in Russia. Meanwhile, manufacturers from other countries such as China and UAE have shown interest in the model.