Putin test-drives new luxo-barge on F1 circuit
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.