The Aurus Senat is a new Russian car designed to be a challenger to the Rolls-Royce Phantom and will go on sale in Russia and across Europe.
You may not of heard of Aurus before, but they are a new Russian car maker with plans to deliver this, the Aurus Senat, as a challenger to the Rolls-Royce Phantom, as well as to luxury SUVs.
The Aurus brand is three-quarters owned by NAMI (a Russian Automotive Research Institute) and Sollers, a Russian car maker which partners with big name car makers like Ford, SsangYong and Mazda and boasts a £540 million turnover.
So the plans for not just this Rolls-Royce Phantom challenger, but also a challenge to the Cuillinan and Bentley’s Mulsanne and Bentayga, do have sound backing, although only time will tell if they can garner credibility.
For now, it’s the Aurus Senat out of the gate at the Russian Motor Show, looking very similar to the Phantom in both design and size, boasting a V8 hybrid with four-wheel drive and 590bhp or 6.6 litre V12 with an enormous 848bhp.
Offered in both standard and long wheelbase versions, the Senat promises even more interior room than the Phantom – especially in EWB versions – and also promises to be some 20 per cent cheaper too.
Effectively heir to the ancient ZIL Limousines used by Russian leaders, the Senat has already been seen with Vladimir Putin in the back at his inauguration in May, and it looks like the Senat will be the choice going forward.
It’s an interesting one. The Senat will be at the Paris Motor Show in October, and it will be homologated for Western Europe. Will anyone buy the Senat in preference to the Phantom in Europe?