Putin test-drives new luxo-barge on F1 cir­cuit

Whangarei Report - - DRIVEN.CO.NZ -

There’s no record whether he had his shirt off at the time, but Rus­sia’s Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin can add “test driver” to his lengthy list of heroic ex­ploits and pas­times.

It wasn’t a sports car as such that Putin ped­alled around the Sochi F1 cir­cuit.

Rather it was an ex­am­ple of Rus­sia’s new ul­tra-lux­u­ri­ous Rolls-royce ri­val, the Au­rus Se­nat.

The new luxo-barge would have felt like a com­pact to the perma-pres­i­dent though, be­ing much smaller (well, sort of smaller) than the Au­rus limou­sine he usu­ally trav­els in. De­vel­oped with some help from Porsche, the Au­rus Se­nat is pow­ered by a 4.4-litre V8 pro­duc­ing 445kw of power and send­ing it to all four wheels.

Rather than some Krem­lin-only states­per­son-trans­porter, Rus­sia has high hopes of mar­ket­ing and sell­ing the car to pri­vate cus­tomers; your av­er­age oil or ship­ping ty­coons, those sorts of peo­ple.

In say­ing that it is des­tined for the pri­vate mar­ket, the Au­rus is still, es­sen­tially, the spir­i­tual suc­ces­sor to the gi­ant Soviet-era ZIL limos that used to be seen fer­ry­ing com­mu­nist lead­ers across windswept Red Square.

Putin’s pas­sen­ger on his high-speed run around the Sochi track last week­end was Egyp­tian Pres­i­dent Ab­del Fat­tah el­sisi.

There’s no word, how­ever, on whether the Au­rus Se­nat dealer prin­ci­pal man­aged to get a few reg­is­tra­tions in Cairo con­firmed while show­cas­ing his met­tle be­hind the wheel.

Photo / Sup­plied

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.