The Forgotten Zil-4102 Limousine

ZIL was once a proud Soviet truck manufacturer, which also produced executive sedans for the upper echelon of the Communist Party. Their last attempt was the Zil-4102, which some consider to be the predecessor of the new Aurus luxury limousine.

To this point, we must return to 1985, when the production of ZiL-41041 began, in which it was possible to see the Soviet or Russian statesmen. But even then, it was clear that it was not technically the most modern car, so ZiL began working on its successor in the following years. It was given the label ZiL-4102. Like the 41041, the new vehicle was planned to carry the leadership of the Communist Party, presidents and other similar folks.

The first prototype was made in 1987, and for the then Soviet Union, it was an unprecedentedly modern vehicle. First of all, it had a construction based on a self-supporting body, making it the first ZiL vehicle without a chassis frame. Under the front hood, a 7.7-litre eight-cylinder engine was installed from the ZiL-41041, featuring 315 horsepower.

According contemporary reports, designers used the Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit as a benchmark. They paid special attention to interior luxury. Hence, the first prototype included leather seats, electric front seat adjustment, air conditioning, a radio with cassette and CD player, ten speakers and similar conveniences. In terms of design, the 4102 may be reminiscent of a 1992 Cadillac Seville, a Volvo and other cars of “Western” provenance. But the fact is these models were not around back then.

Although it was to be a car for the leadership of the Soviet Union, there were to be different versions, just like Aurus is doing now. The sedan was envisioned in different wheelbases. Other bodystyles were also designed, such as a convertible and a two-door coupe.

Be that as it may, two prototypes were created, one of which remained the property of the carmaker, the fate of the other is unknown. The 4102 is a serious piece of “what if” – what if the Soviet Union were not to collapse, what if ZIL would not have to abandon this field and so on.


Sources: ZiL,

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