Russia's Aurus luxury brand is currently evaluating its upcoming Arsenal minivan on the streets of Moscow. This one was driving around near the Kremlin when a reader of Motor1.com's Russian edition spotted the machine and snapped some photos.
Like the Aurus Senat sedan and upcoming Komendant SUV, the Arsenal has an imposing appearance with a large grille and massive body. All three models share the same platform, too. The Arsenal is also larger than competing vans from Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz. Under the hood, there's a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 with hybrid assistance that produces 598 horsepower (446 kilowatts) that runs through a nine-speed automatic to an all-wheel-drive system.
We don't have a view inside the Arsenal yet, but expect quite opulent surroundings if the Senat is any guide. The sedan packs acres of leather with a mix of wood and polished metal trim. The four-door also packs modern driver assistance tech like adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, and automatic emergency braking,
Aurus hasn't yet officially unveiled the Arsenal to the public, but pals of Vladimir Putin can already check it out. For example, the Russian leader showed the minivan off to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi during a recent meeting.
Senat, Komendant, and Arsenal take their names from the towers at the Kremlin. The Russian government will use the vehicles, including armored versions, and Aurus will also sell them to the public. Eventually, the brand will also expand to other countries with the goal of eventually delivering 10,000 vehicles a year.
Vladimir Putin is already using an extended version of the Senat as his official limousine. Sales to the public begin in Russia in January 2019.
Thanks to Pavel Fedorov for snapping these photos.