Nikolay Fomenko, FIA N-GT Champion, has just launched Russia's first sports car company, named Marussia (is that a contraction of "Mother Russia"?), and in the process has unveiled its first pre-production hybrid concept vehicle. One nice mother. The vehicle shown is still in the early stages of development, with many important decisions still yet to be made, but at least the exterior design is headed in the right direction.
Fomenko envisions a purely electric vehicle in the future but for now hybrid is the way. A Renault or Nissan derived 180kW 3.5-litre six cylinder engine is slated to appear in the engine bay, but at this stage there are no details on the electric component of the drive-train.
The Marussia will heavily rely on parts from existing manufacturers but will feature approximately 35 percent Russian components. In addition to the hybrid drive-train, a range of technological features have been listed including a 4G Yota network with 10 Mbps data transfer rates, Bluetooth, GPS, a 320GB hard drive, and a host of display screens throughout the interior.
Russia's notoriously cold winters will play havoc with the battery systems but Fomenko has explained that the solution might come courtesy of a nanotechnology project from one of Russia's leading technology companies. Sounds interesting.
Marussia is expecting the car to reach 100km/h from standstill in around five-seconds, be capable of a 400km range, and to carry a price tag of around USD $100,000. Plans indicate first deliveries may occur as early as mid next-year with race versions doing battle in the 2010 series of the FIA GT Championship.
We're all for the development of performance-oriented hybrids but we'll reserve judgement on the Marussia until some concrete performance figures are available. Well keep you posted once we've got the low down.