From Rus­sia with shove

Marus­sia is tak­ing aim at the SUV mar­ket, writes Paul Gover

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Onroad -

THE first — and, so far, only — Rus­sian su­per­car com­pany has just re­vealed the start of a sec­ond model line-up.

Marus­sia is hit­ting the SUV cat­e­gory with its all-new F2, which fol­lows the B-se­ries su­per­cars— B1 and B2 — in a hi-tech at­tack from Moscow.

The B2 was re­vealed last week at an in­for­ma­tion technology show in Moscow, sit­ting along­side the rad­i­cal stealth-style B1 al­ready de­tailed in cars­Guide af­ter an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view ear­lier this year at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Marus­sia is a ma­jor backer of the Vir­gin F1 team and its founder, Nikolay Fomenko, has ag­gres­sive plans aim­ing at the top end of the car busi­ness. The F2 is the next step in Fomenko’s plan to build a hi- tech car­maker us­ing Rus­sian brain­power but me­chan­i­cal com­po­nents from Bri­tain, in­clud­ing Cos­worth V6 en­gines.

The F2 is very dif­fer­ent to the alu­minium-Kevlar bod­ied B2, which weighs only 850kg.

It’s de­signed for pri­vate sales, but also for use as an army, fire depart­ment, emer­gency squad, po­lice or mo­bile op­er­a­tion con­trol cen­tre ve­hi­cle.

The work fo­cus ex­plains the slid­ing rear doors and the chunky body, which packs more work­ing space into the rear end than most fam­ily-style SUVs.

Marus­sia says the cabin can be made for any buyer, from a li­mou­sine com­pany to the mil­i­tary, thanks to equip­ment rang­ing from on­board in­ter­net to tele­vi­sion and wide-rang­ing Blue­tooth and GPS sys­tems.

Fomenko made his money in the com­puter busi­ness and he brags the F2 will be fu­ture-proofed with the best on­board com­puter sys­tems and technology links avail­able.

He has yet to re­veal the tech­ni­cal de­tails for the bru­tally ag­gres­sive Marus­sia F2, be­yond its V6 en­gine and all-wheel-drive pack­age.

More is ex­pected when the com­pany hits the Moscow Auto Sa­lon soon, in­clud­ing with a Marus­sia elec­tric car.

‘‘Our com­pany is not the biggest, but our am­bi­tion af­ter five years is 10,000 cars,’’ Fomenko says.

Hi-tech SUV: Marus­sia un­veils the all-wheel-drive V6 F2.

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