Russia has taken the first steps in launching its prestigious Cortege project of high end automobiles with Russian President Vladimir Putin debuting the Cortege Aurus at his inaugration in Moscow last week. President Putin stated, “A country like Russia must produce a line of cars that the country’s top officials will use. We are working on this. I hope that by the end of 2018 this will materialize, and this will be a line of cars not only for top officials, like limos, but also SUVs, minibuses, hatchbacks, and others”.
The cars have been manufactured in the framework of the project called “Cortege,” on the basis of a single modular platform (EMP) developed by the State Research Center NAMI in Moscow. New details have also emerged regarding the Cortege Project, a series of executive-class vehicles, which will include a presidential limousine, sedan, minivan, and possibly an SUV being developed by the Central Scientific Research Automobile & Engine Institute (NAMI).
Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov has stated that new “made in Russia” vehicles will be rolled out by NAMI. “The single modular platform is a project that is designed to give impetus to the Russian automotive industry. Since the start of the project in 2013, an enormous amount of work has been done; we’ve analyzed all most promising design solutions, technologies and trends in the global automotive industry. Manufactured cars, except for those intended for senior government officials, will be put on sale.” he said.
The project’s proclaimed strategic task is to bring a new generation of Russian cars to the market, based on the most advanced technologies in the automotive industry. The project not only contributes to the development of domestic car production, but also creates new jobs.
Kirill Kazmirchuk, head of advanced technologies and development at NAMI, revealed that in addition to V8 and V12 engines, Cortege will have a third engine option – a 250 hp in-line four-cylinder engine. Kazmirchuk said that while NAMI had assistance from Porsche Engineering for its 4.6 liter 650 hp V8, the other two engines, including a V12 6.6 liter, 860 hp engine and the new four cylinder were created in-house. The first batch of 14 Cortege vehicles has already been handed over to the presidential security service.
Kazmirchuk stressed that the Cortege project is working to compete with luxury vehicles such as the Mercedes S-class, Bentley, and Rolls-Royce. Cortege vehicles “will not yield to cars made by the best automakers, both in terms of equipment and quality,” he said.
About two hundred Cortege Aurus vehicles are expected to be built this year, with a total of about 5,000 vehicles slated to roll off the assembly line by 2020. In addition to state purchases for official use, vehicles from the Cortege lineup are expected to be made available to the general public (minus some security features) in late 2018 or early 2019. The vehicles are being produced by UAZ in Ulyanovsk City, sited on the Volga River, about 700 km east of Moscow. The vehicles “will be priced competitively” against other luxury marques, according to NAMI.
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