President Putin test drove a new model produced by Russia's biggest carmaker AvtoVAZ, the Lada Vesta, on his way to a session of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi.
The Russian leader got behind the wheel of a brand-new lime green Lada; he gave the car his presidential approval, calling it a “very good” vehicle with “good throttle response.”
He was accompanied by AvtoVAZ CEO, Bo Andersson, a native of Sweden.
"A very good car, a very good throttle response and it handles easily," Vladimir Putin said of the vehicle. "There are winding roads [in Sochi] and you are permitted to drive 30-50 kmph but I'll tell you in confidence that we drove a little bit faster," he confessed.
"They [AvtoVAZ] are already planning car sales in those regions of the world and those countries which already know Lada: Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America, and I think the sales will go well," the president added.
The commercial production of the Lada Vesta was launched at AVTOVAZ's Izhevsk plant in central Russia on September 25. Some 5,000-6,000 cars will be produced in 2015. Next year, the carmaker estimates that it will produce nearly 70,000.
The model is slated to be introduced in 22 Russian cities on November 25; it will sell for between 495,000 and 600,000 rubles ($7,900 — $9,600).