Russo-Balt  / Russo-Baltique - Impression
World presentation of Russo-Baltique Impression
A resurrected Russian brand, Russo-Baltique made its first public appearance at the Villa D'Este Concours d'Elegance over the weekend. Here's the official press release on the new Impression:
It is the honor of Russo-Baltique Company of Russia to present to the honorable public a coupe called Impression – the first model of the Russo-Baltique brand after a long intermission. On the eve of its 100th anniversary, the Russian antique car brand – the supplier of His Highness the Emperor’s Court – is returning to the market of luxury and high-powered cars with this model.
The Russo-Baltique car brand’s history begins in 1907 when a domestic autocar manufacturing was established by one of the largest industrial concerns in the Russian Empire. Two years had passed before the first car was built – a 30-hp open two-seater Russo-Baltique 24-30. First years of its existence were marked by outstanding performance in automotive sport competitions building up the reputation of a reliable, ideal and elegant model producer. In 1912, a special sport model, Russo-Baltique C24-50, won two first awards in the Monte-Carlo Rally, and the second award in the rally in San-Sebastian a year after that.
In 1913, Russo-Baltique was granted a title of an official supplier of His Highness the Emperor’s Court.
In 1914, the Russo-Baltique concern built the biggest aeroplane in the world – Ilya Muromets – developed by a remarkable Russian engineer Igor Sikorsky.
The First World War became a turning-point in the Russian history in general and the Russo-Baltique future, in particular. The subsequent Revolution brought an end to the Russo-Baltique production for many years.
According to our estimates, there are 3 complete samples of different historical models of Russo- Baltique remaining in the world. In 2003, a decision to revive the legendary Russian brand and to resume the Russo-Baltique cars production was made in Moscow. In 2005, the Russo-Baltique Company was officially registered. The main office of the company is located in the historical center of Moscow, close to the old Church of the Ascension at Uspensky Vrazhek.
Today, the Russo-Baltique company, for the first time in its history, has the honor to present the prototype of its new model – Impression, a luxury comfortable 4-seater with classic set-up. It manifests perfect style and quality attributed to all subsequent cars and brands of Russo-Baltique. With the cars of this level of perfection, the company will strive for returning its position lost in 1917.
The Impression coupe has been under construction in Moscow since 2003. The style of Impression is a mixture of the Russo-Baltique designers’ impressions from the Golden Age of the automotive industry – the 1930s – when car shapes won hearts both by their elegance and by their monumental size. For comfortable boarding, the car is equipped with rear-hinged doors. The radiator grille of the Russo-Baltique Impression is crowned by the historical heraldic sign picturing the Russian two-headed eagle - the official emblem of a supplier to His Highness the Emperor’s Court. The dash board of Impression is hand-made of a one-piece exotic African tree trunk, Zebrano, with naturally alternating black and white stripes. The steering-wheel rim and interior side panels are made of the same material. In combination with white metal these parts create both a unique and ergonomic interior ensemble.
While in the 20th century the dominant feature of Russo-Baltique cars was the Russian heritage of all their parts and their unique adaptation to Russian bad roads, in the 21st century the priority has shifted to innovations, perfection, and high technology of the car design and materials. The car quality, as it was before, will be a match to its unique title of the Court’s supplier reinforced today by new technological capabilities.
Technical data on Russo-Baltique Impression
Engine..................555 hp bi-turbo V12
Gearbox ...............6-speed automatic
Suspension ...........pneumatic, adjustable ride height
Wheels .................R22 inches, wheel rim of original design
Length ..................5.183 m
Wheelbase ...........3.150 m
Width ...................1.847 m
In 2005, German Gerg GmbH became involved in the building of the Impression coupe bringing in the capabilities of its Munich-based production facility.
Russo-Baltique Impression is ready for a limited-series production – 10-15 cars – starting from Spring, 2006. Each car production, including the preparation and approval of its exclusive specifications, will take 12 to 18 months. The company is able to build 2-3 Russo-Baltique Impression cars annually.
The price of a car amounts to approximately 50 million rubles.
Concours d'Elegance Villa d'Este April 21, 2006 - We can think of no better way to revive a nearly forgotten marque of prestige, then to display a new concept at the traditional Villa d'Este. This is exactly what the Russian company Russo-Baltique have done by unveiling their Impression supercar on the eve of their 100th anniversary at the Villa d'Este gardens.
The Impression is one of the first cars to emerge from Russo-Baltique in over 80 years. And while the first impression we got of the car was that it's far to daring and exotic for production, a very limited series of cars is available. They will be delivered at a rate of three per year and with a price tag of 50 million rubles or 1.8 million dollars!
At that price, the Impression is one of most expensive supercars of our time and Russo-Baltique have some serious convincing to prove their value. What they can do is bank on a very serious heritage that both served royalty and won the Monte Carlo rally.
Russo-Baltique history began in 1907 with 30-hp open two-seater, and by 1912, a special sport model won two first awards in the Monte-Carlo Rally. From there, they appealed to his royal highness Nicholas II of Russia, and produced some of the most well appointed cars before his forced abdication in 1917.
Today, the modern Russo-Baltique is built for a King that enjoys exclusivity and performance. Outwardly, the car is thoroughly modern: it has sweeping lines and unusual proportions which could only come from such a distinct area. Inside, the interior is trumped by an extensive use of Zebrano wood which is hand crafted from a single Trunk of the African tree. And despite is tight proportions the Impression has space for four and the performance of to match almost any other supercar.
The Impression is powered by a Mercedes-Benz V12 which offers 555 bhp. Its chassis is made from carbon fibre to ensure both ample weight and rigidity. No estimated performance figures have been released, but we are sure the engineers in Moscow have made a convincing car and one that represents their homeland well.
Since many were destroyed in the Russian revolution, only three pre-war Russo-Balt's survive. However, the modern interpretation of these cars will no doubt spread the name further and farther than the original cars ever did.