We get up close and personal with the prestigious project from Russia.

Maybe you have seen the pictures on television, showing Russian President Vladimir Putin in his new official vehicle made by Aurus called the Senat. It’s extra long, extra black, and above all else, it’s in-house from Russia. At the 2019 Geneva Motor Show Aurus is showing two versions of the luxury sedan. We had the opportunity to take a closer look at the S600 and even took advantage of a sit-down opportunity inside.

Visually, the car is reminiscent of Rolls-Royce and Bentley, though we can’t help but feel the S600 moniker is more than coincidentally similar to Mercedes-Benz. Particularly striking is the lush chrome grill, but the targeted clientele wants it that way. As such, the car exudes confidence in being a product of Russia, and that’s the target market for this vehicle.

Let's get to the technical data. Two versions of the Senat are featured in Geneva, with the very fat one being the L700 limo (pictured below). We say that because it is nearly seven tons, due in no small part to its armor plating. The non-armored Aurus Senat S600 sedan is where our up-close tour takes place, and though it measures exactly one meter (3.2 feet) shorter, it's still big. The wheelbase also shortens in the same measure from 4.30 meters (14.1 feet) to 3.30 meters (10.8 feet).

Aurus Senat Sitzprobe 2019

Powering both vehicles is a hybrid system consisting of a 4.4-liter V8 gasoline engine with the support of an electric motor, using an intelligent all-wheel-drive arrangement to get power onto the pavement. And there is some significant power – 598 horsepower (446 kilowatts) to be specific, which goes through a nine-speed automatic that doesn’t require a torque converter. As such, the big Senat S600 takes just six seconds to reach 100 km/h (62 mph), with the massive armor-plated L700 doing the same sprint in a respectable nine seconds. Big 255/55-series 20-inch tires adorn both vehicles.

Gallery: Aurus Senat Geneva Motor Show

Officially, Russian and foreign companies have collaborated to develop these vehicles. As such, they are based on a uniform module platform that allows for a quick and easy change of parameters such as wheelbase, vehicle length, and even vehicle type. In addition, armored and non-armored cars were developed simultaneously. In the case of the Senat S600, it has a rear center wishbone axle and double wishbone front, plus an electro-mechanical parking brake and a hydraulic power steering system. Standard are LED headlights with automatic high-beam operation. Common assistance and safety systems are also on board, including nine airbags to protect the occupants.

Climbing into the back of the Senat S600 is where most buyers will likely spend their time. Here it is very spacious, with adjustable seats that have ventilation and massage functions. You can also enjoy a sip of Krimsekt from the integrated bar compartment with refrigerator, nestled in the middle. From a safety standpoint, Auris says the seat belts will protect the rear occupants even if the seats are at a 45-degree angle. 

Luxury abounds inside this sedan. Our feet rest on fur rugs, with rich leather that Auris says is of Russian production. Added to the mix is precious wood trim, though it didn’t feel particularly precious to us in the Geneva example. As with most luxury brands, Auris offers countless trim alternatives that aren’t strictly relegated to wood. Up front are striking dials with crystal-clear integrated temperature displays reminiscent of Jaguar models. Depending on the design of the Senat, there are three to five flat screens in the rear, plus wireless headphones. Of notable mention are the custom-designed down pillows on the back seats.

Whether the Aurus Senat represents a "gauge of nobility and cutting-edge technology" as the company claims is an open question, especially if you have a Rolls-Royce or Maybach in mind. However, it is undeniable that there’s a noticeable ambition from Aurus engineers to create a proper luxury vehicle.

 

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AURUS SENAT Limousine L700 and AURUS SENAT S600

 

Within the framework of the European premier of AURUS cars, at the Geneva International Motor Show at the Palexpo exhibition complex on 5 March 2019, the new Russian luxury cars AURUS SENAT Limousine L700 and AURUS SENAT S600 are being presented for the first time to the European and international press, business representatives and the general public.

 

The new cars AURUS SENAT Limousine L700 and AURUS SENAT S600 sedan, which are developed and assembled in Russia, demonstrate state-of-the-art technology, unique design solutions and combine high-power, all-wheel drive, absolute comfort in all driving conditions, a high level of passenger protection, as well as a stylish and noble design inspired by the traditions of Russian luxury.

In just a couple of years in Russia, the production of new Russian AURUS luxury cars, which embodies the work of the best Russian designers and engineers.  Over these years, on the basis of a highly modern engineering centre, new cars have been developed and production with a full work cycle streamlined.  Within the framework of the project, a successful cooperation system between a number of Russian and foreign companies was created under the Aurus brand, which also influenced the success of the scientific and technical development and launch of a new contemporary car platform. The creation of AURUS cars is a real breakthrough in the development of the Russian car industry.

The AURUS SENAT Limousine L700 and the AURUS SENAT S600 are equipped with smart all-wheel drive in combination with a hybrid all-wheel drive system, which in itself is a current and popular offer for luxury cars in the world. AURUS vehicles also stand out as regards the development and design of the transmissions integrated in these vehicles. The automatic gearbox is created by Russian engineers from KATE according to a patented kinematic scheme. The AURUS SENAT Limousine L700 and AURUS SENAT S600 are fitted with a classic planetary automatic converter, but without a torque converter. The absence of a torque converter ensures higher efficiency and less fuel consumption. At the same time, the control unit and software were developed in house, which indicates a high level of scientific and technical expertise of the engineers and specialists who create AURUS cars.

 

 

Armoured and unarmoured versions of AURUS cars were designed simultaneously, usually, the development of armoured cars across the world is always based on existing models. During the creation of AURUS cars, unique design solutions were offered, which allowed achieving the required level of performance in the armoured cars segment. The Russian AURUS SENAT Limousine L700 car is equipped with ballistic and blast protection that meets the requirements of contemporary luxury cars.

 

The AURUS SENAT S600 is a part of the commercial unarmoured series of AURUS cars, which implements contemporary technology and materials in combination with a luxurious exterior and interior. The AURUS SENAT S600 also offers high parameters in terms of performance, comfort and safety, all complemented by an elegant and timeless design, attention to detail and thoroughness of all elements.

 

 

UNIFIED MODULAR PLATFORM

AURUS cars are united by a unified wheelbase, which creates the conditions for designing different types of cars and ensures the economic feasibility of production. These vehicles

were originally created specifically for Russian conditions, taking into account the climatic and road features that country, which allows us to provide the maximum level of comfort and safety in all operating conditions.

AURUS vehicles are built on a completely new unified modular platform. The use of modularity in the design allows easy and quick changes to the wheelbase, length and even type of car, and adapting the production plant to the production of different models of the family. The basic vehicle was the AURUS SENAT S600 and was developed from a scratch. Over the course of its creation, the following key requirements were highlighted: ensuring high dynamic characteristics while maintaining maximum comfort, creating an exclusive and elegant design of the exterior and interior with a high degree of performance and elaboration of every detail.

The use of a unified platform implies the unification of the main components, units and entire modules within the framework of the production of a family of different types of cars. In order to accomplish this task, the layout schemes of the entire future model line of cars were initially developed, and the principles of achieving maximum unification within the framework of the project were determined. The adopted AURUS architecture allows arriving at cars with different wheelbases, ground clearance, body type and total weight.

DESIGN. EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR

In the style decisions of AURUS SENAT Limousine L700 and AURUS SENAT S600 cars, monumentality and the greatness specific to high status of representative cars are followed. Hence the noble proportions of the exterior and the classic timeless design. Impress with contemporary, laconic surfaces in harmony with carefully designed details. The weighted use of the design techniques typical for luxury cars helps preserve the classic elegance of both the exterior and interior.

The luxurious, respectable and comfortable interior of AURUS is characterised by the features of the highest category car showrooms.  This becomes evident from the serenity and completeness of the shapes of the dashboard's impressive size, door upholstery or luxurious seats. High-quality finishing materials: the best natural leather made in Russia, wood of valuable species girdle the interior and support the ceiling arch. Metal and glass multimedia devices mean that there is no doubt that a contemporary car equipped with the latest technology is in front of you. The authenticity of the AURUS interior becomes clear from the balance between tradition and innovation. Classic elements of discreet luxury blend harmoniously with contemporary technical solutions. AURUS is the standard bearer of respectability and high-tech.

Future owners of AURUS cars will be offered bright opportunities in terms of choosing the appearance of their cars. The possibility of customising the vehicle in personal contact with the designer and engineer will be an important selling point when making a purchase. A variety of bodywork colours, a wide range of colours and textures, a variety of noble woods, five different seating options - all this will allow implementing the most original ideas. This approach most closely matches the expectations of customer and their way of life.

Particular attention should be paid to the ergonomics of AURUS cars’ interior. It is important to note that the AURUS interior is created around the rear row passenger, hence the unprecedented level of passive safety: even with the backrest tilted backwards, the "comfortable position" of the passenger, an effective system of seat-belts guarantees the retention of a person in possible extreme situations. The passenger space in the back seat is best in class, allowing you to sit comfortably. Door construction and a large opening functionally ensure the cleanliness of the thresholds in all weather and the convenience of entering passengers and the driver.

There are also additional useful details, such as the presence of a wireless induction charger for mobile phones, a built-in refrigerator as well as a box for storing two crystal AURUS wineglasses. The rear console is equipped with folding tables, the tops of which are decorated with natural leather and metal edging around the perimeter.

Anatomically shaped seats offer unrivalled passenger comfort. All seats are equipped with a variety of adjustment mechanisms according to personal preferences. Length and height adjustment, changing the angle of the backrest and the length of the pillow, adjusting the lumbar support in height and depth - all these are mandatory attributes of the seat both in the business segment and in the executive cars category. Adjustable shoulder and neck support, cushion and back ventilation and several types of massage are essential for long journeys. The comfort of the rear passengers has been given maximum attention, meaning that the second row consists of two separate seats with individual elements of transformation, the seats are equipped with down pillows of an individual design, which will be appreciated by passengers.

The Multimedia system has been developed exclusively for cars of the AURUS family. In addition to its high acoustic capacity, the system provides zonal viewing of video content, internet access and also offers a number of functions: information, navigation and video recorder. The loudspeaker system provides high-quality surround sound at all frequencies, taking into account the peculiarities of the interior space. The AURUS interior is equipped with individual Harman wireless headphones for listening to recordings from any media, including USB. Communication with portable devices via WI-FI is possible. The number of screens varies from 3 to 5 depending on the car model.

The zonal climate system provides comfortable conditions in the interior with the ability to maintain different temperature regimes for each passenger. The intuitive interface for climate and vehicle controls is a source of particular pride for the vehicle designers.

To create a special atmosphere and for the comfort of passengers at night, the interior is equipped with LED lighting with 8 lighting modes. Passengers can choose any of them based on their personal preferences.

INNOVATIVE AND TECHNICAL SOLUTIONS

Many advanced technologies have been implemented in AURUS vehicles.

The current offering in the luxury segment is the combination of a hybrid system and all-wheel drive used in the AURUS SENAT Limousine L700 and the AURUS SENAT S600 sedan, which showcase smart all-wheel drive with switch-over front wheels. The cars are equipped with a powerful 4.4-litre V8 engine, which is a new development specifically designed for AURUS cars. The engine is paired with a powerful high-voltage electric machine on board, which acts as an electric assistant machine. High voltage system voltage - 350 V. AURUS SENAT Limousine L700 accelerates to 100 km/h in 9 seconds, and the AURUS SENAT S600 in 6 seconds.

Transmission. The AURUS SENAT Limousine L700 and the AURUS SENAT S600 are equipped with a 9-speed planetary gearbox without a torque converter. Permanent all-wheel drive system - type ATC (active torque control) with multi-disc friction coupling.

Suspension. The AURUS SENAT Limousine L700 and AURUS SENAT S600 are equipped with an independent multilayer rear suspension and a two-lever front suspension with a double lower hinge, with active gas-filled telescopic shock absorbers and an anti-roll bar.

Braking system. AURUS vehicles are equipped with a dual-circuit braking system with disc brakes on all wheels and the latest generation of ABS/ESP systems.  Parking brake drive - remote, electromechanical.

The steering is equipped with a hydraulic booster, and the telescopic injury-free steering column is equipped with an electric drive to adjust the position of the steering wheel.

The AURUS SENAT Limousine L700 and AURUS SENAT S600 are equipped with an LED outdoor lighting system, including headlamps with automatic switching of the headlights to dipped beam when detecting oncoming traffic. Outdoor handle lighting illuminates’ sills and allows for exiting the vehicle comfortably.

SAFETY

In accordance with contemporary safety requirements, AURUS vehicles are equipped with the Advanced Driver Assistant System (ADAS) function, which includes adaptive cruise control, electronic stability control, an automatic emergency braking system, a collision avoidance system with pedestrian detection, a road sign detection system, a blind spot tracking system and others, which allow avoiding emergency situations and minimise possible consequences.

AURUS vehicles are equipped with 9 airbags: a front one in the steering wheel for the driver, a front one in the dashboard for the front passenger, a knee one for the driver, side ones in the rear of all four seats and two inflatable curtains above the side windows of the vehicle.

Additional benefits of AURUS vehicles include keyless access and start functions, handless luggage compartment opening, a built-in immobiliser and anti-theft alarm.

The design of the bodywork of the commercial series of AURUS sedans meets the requirements for the passive safety level of 5 stars according to the requirements of Euro NCAP. AURUS offers the highest level of protection for all passengers.

AURUS vehicles are equipped with the ERA GLONASS emergency warning system, which in the event of an accident helps to automatically identify and transmit information about the details of the accident to the emergency services. You can also contact the ERA GLONASS operator manually by pressing a special button or using the multimedia system.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL COMPATIBILITY

AURUS vehicles comply with all UNECE standards. The share of recyclable materials is 95%. Heavy metals harmful to health are excluded.

 

TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF AURUS CARS:

Parameters:

AURUS SENAT Limousine L700 (armoured)

AURUS SENAT S600 (unarmoured)

Length

6630 mm

5630 mm

Width

2020 mm

2020 mm

Height

1695 mm

1685 mm

Road clearance

170 mm

200 mm

Engine

4.4-l V8 (598 hp)

4.4-l V8 (598 hp)

Drive unit

AWD (full)

AWD (full)

Transmission

Automatic 9-gears

Automatic 9-gears

Tyres

255/55 R20

255/55 R20

Wheelbase

4300 mm

3300 mm

Maximum speed

N/D

250 km/h

Acceleration to 100 km/h, sec

9 sec

6 sec