It's a beauty. Why President Vladimir Putin hasn't immediately ordered production to begin, we'll never know. So far, there's been no comment from the Kremlin about the muscular model.
Putin had previously announced his desire to replace the current Mercedes and BMW sedans used by top Kremlin officials with a fleet of new Russian-made limousines manufactured by the venerable Russian truck and heavy equipment company ZiL.
As the website Worldcarfans.com noted at the time:
A rather pedestrian-looking ZiL-4112P 7.7-liter six-speed prototype -- described as "not trying to be overly beautiful or pleasing to everyone" -- was reportedly rejected by the Russian government, according to the website Carscoops:
"The Moscow Times" quoted "Izvestia" as saying that Putin tested the ZiL and said it needed a few unnamed "adjustments." That sounds to us like a Russian euphemism for "back to the drawing board."
Taking the road less traveled, Marussia Motors decided to partner with the Russian website Cardesign and host a competition. More than 100 ideas for a presidential limo were submitted. The winning design -- a real stunner -- was submitted by Yaroslav Yakovlev and Bernd Weel.
WATCH: A video slideshow presenting Marussia's concept car
As the website Autoevolution notes:
Autoevolution describes the design as "exquisite," and it's hard to argue. It's like Russia itself -- huge, intimidating, and averse to being cornered.
GAZ is reportedly developing a limo based on the Volkswagen Phaeton and Audi A8, which it plans to unveil in 2014.
The question is whether GAZ has been driven to despair after seeing the competition.
-- Grant Podelco