Marussia Motors (Russian: Маруся [ma´rusja]) is a Russian sports car manufacturer founded in 2007. Its cars are notable for being the first sports cars to be made in Russia. Marussia is the first Russian manufacturer of premium-class vehicles. It designed, developed and produces the B1 and the B2 sport cars in Russia. The Marussia B1 was launched on the 16 December, 2008 in the new Manege hall in Moscow, with the company’s first showroom following in the city on the 10 September, 2010.
Interesting that there are two possible name origins – MaRussia with patriotic context and romantic and tender Marussia, female nick name for Maria.
Marussia Motors has stated its intention to open at least two new showrooms in 2011, with London and Monaco named as probable locations. The company wishes to market its cars to large European countries and some in Asia within several years, with the United States to follow. Planned steps to support this are the desire to manufacture vehicles in Western Europe and increase the product range.
In November 2010 Marussia Motors acquired a controlling stake in the Virgin Racing team taking over the stake held by Lloyds Banking Group. That’s when the team became known as ‘Marussia Virgin Racing’ for the 2011 season, which was renamed Marussia F1 Team from 2012.
Marussia Virgin Racing’s new engineering director is Nikolai Fomenko, president of Marussia Motors and a well-known Russian musician and comic actor. Fomenko is also an experienced racing driver, with a career spanning FIA GT and Le Mans Endurance Series championships, including the 24 hours of Le Mans and Daytona and the 12 hours of Sebring. He was also chosen as the host of Top Gear Russia, when it was launched in 2009.
So rather than being another Russian industrial oligarch, Nikolai is without doubt a real ‘car-guy’ with a passion for racing and a solid ambition to build the Russian equivalent of Ferrari, both in terms of road car and racing prowess. His team of Russian partners are similarly idealistic but also intellectual in nature – renowned brand strategist Efim Ostrovsky and award-winning technology entrepreneur Andrey Cheglakov .
Marussia has concluded a long-term Technical Partnership with McLaren Applied Technologies which will see the Anglo-Russian team benefit from access to McLaren facilities, knowledge and capabilities, for example their test rigs and driver-in-the-loop simulator, supply chain experience and CFD and CAE techniques including race strategy tools.
The first Russian sports car and first car made by Marussia Motors. It has a rear mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout. Marussia has announced they will build only a limited run of 2999 units.
The B2 features a more aggressive and “brutal” design and is available with the same engines as the B1. The list price of this model is the same as the B1 – about 100,000 Euro.
Marussia F2 SUV
The Marussia F2 is an SUV model. According to Marussia it can be used as a mobile command center, as a military vehicle or as an emergency vehicle. The prototype was shown on May 2, 2010. The SUV model will be made 300 units in 2012 by Valmet Automotive.
The Marussia B1 and B2 models are based on the same semi-monocoque chassis with a steel spaceframe covered by carbon fiber panels – differing only in body shape.
Both Marussia sports models are mid-engined, with the engine mounted transversally on the back axle. The English company Cosworth supplies Marussia with two different V6 engines. One is a naturally aspirated 3.5 liter producing 300 horsepower and the other is a 2.8 liter turbo-charged engine offered in 360 or 420 horsepower variants. The 420 horsepower engine allows Marussia cars to reach a claimed top speed of 250 km/h and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds.
The B1 and B2 use a six-speed automatic gearbox. A six-speed manual gearbox is in development.
MaRussia, Ferrari and Lamborhgini on Russian Kupavna Track
Safety and reliability
The energy-absorbing cockpit is a three part space frame of steel tubes of different sections. The front and rear subframes are attached to a central cell. In an impact, the subframes are designed to absorb energy by deforming. The B1 and В2 vehicles have passed Russian safety tests and obtained their certification.