If association with someone who wields immense power can make you powerful, this car that you see being tested could well be the world’s most 'powerful' automobile soon. Dubbed Project Kortezh, this heavily armoured large saloon will be the official ride of the world’s most powerful man, Vladimir Putin. The Russian president, who has repeatedly been named the most powerful person on earth, is expected to take delivery of the Kortezh presidential limousine by the end of this year.
Putin, whose official limo until recently was a W140 Mercedes S600 Pullman Guard, is getting the car developed and produced by the state-funded Central Scientific Research Automobile and Automotive Engines Institute (NAMI) in Moscow. The agency is reportedly getting technical aid from none other than Porsche for the project, with some early reports suggesting that the German firm’s help will mostly be sought in developing the powertrain, which could be a turbocharged V12. Design-wise, it’s evidently a mish-mash of the Rolls-Royce Phantom and the Bentley Mulsanne, so it’s guaranteed to look suitably stately.
While president Putin and other government dignitaries will be among the first recipients of the Kortezh, the car will also be made available to any Russian who can afford one. Production starts this year and is set to continue until 2020.
Since the current version of the Mercedes-Maybach S 600 Pullman Guard offers protection in accordance with protection class VR9 and is certified for blast resistance in accordance with Directive ERV 2010, the Kortezh is also expected to follow armouring specifications that match these.
We’ll keep you posted as and when more info and photos trickle in.