Aurus, Russia’s new high-end car maker, has opened its first showroom in Moscow, signifying the official retail launch of the Senat, a luxury limousine that’s also used by the country’s president, Vladimir Putin.
The Russian-built limousines are set to become the successors to the ZIL sedans that transported Soviet leaders in the past.
Unlike them, however, the new car maker has, according to Reuters, plans to expand in markets like China, Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
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“We expect a similar showroom will appear in China in 2020-2021,” Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said during the opening ceremony of the Aurus showroom in Moscow.
Prices start from 18 million roubles ($274,000 in current exchange rates) for a base Senat limousine with the company already accepting pre-orders since February. Aurus CEO Adil Shirinov said that potential customers will include not only government officials but businessmen as well. “We believe the audience will be quite wide”, he said.
Power for the Aurus Senat comes from a hybridized V8 engine that produces 590 HP (598 PS) and 649 lb-ft (880 Nm) of torque sent to all four wheels. An armored version with a longer wheelbase is also available with the same engine.
Aurus plans to expand its model lineup with models like a convertible four-seater, a minivan and the Komendant SUV. “The minivan and the SUV Komendant are at the testing stage. I hope to see the latter at the Moscow’s Automobile Salon in 2020,” Manturov said.
The new Russian brand also plans more electrified versions, including a fully electric model, which are expected to be ready by 2024-2025.