Russia’s First Supercar
Russia is a country that hasn’t really had a strong focuses on automotive. Their most well-known car in the world is the Lada Nova and it is a car that is just uninspiring and hasn’t really improved since the 1980’s. So go from to from a Lada to making a supercar that’s slight faster than the European giants is well…an anomaly. Marussia Motors was founded in 2007 and released their first car in 2008 the B1 a geometric sports car that bares a sight resemblances to the Pagan Zonda. In 2009 they then release its successor the B2. After that they joined Formula One calling themselves Marussia F1 and then disbanded from the circuit after just two years. The company introduce a reasonably priced SUV the F2 in 2012 only to finally shut down entirely by 2014.
The funny thing is that people actually liked the cars Marussia made especially the B2. Only 500 units were made and every one of them sold. The was rated as one the safest cars to be tested at Russia’s automotive health and safety lab. They even had a planned concept for its successor the B3 which would have been a smoother, less geometric shaped body with triangle head and taillights.
7 years is how long Marussia Motors lasted and in those 7 years they made three production cars one of which was featured in six major video game titles, they joined Formula One and race for nearly two years and they had plans for a fleet cars to sell across the world. But by far their greatest success was they created a supercar seamlessly from thin air that could race with names that have been around for nearly half a century.
So for the first time it is in the virtual world of gaming where we can experience this anomaly for ourselves. There are three major developers that were luckily enough to be allowed to have this car is their games Need for Speed, Evolution Studios, and Gameloft.
Marussia B2 in video games
Gameloft the people who make the mobile sensation Asphalt, were the first to include the B2 in their car list in Asphalt 7 in 2012. It was places in the supercar bracket and certainly looked the part. It’s rather impressive handling made an excellent choice for those tight and tricky courses while its speed acceleration made it competitive against the Lamborghinis and Ferraris on the track.
Need for Speed
Later that year in November, Need for Speed revealed this car in in their remake of Most Wanted one of their greatest titles ever made. It also was released as a DLC car one month early in Need for Speed World which allowed you to customize it. They later made it a price car during one of their online tournaments.
The car in Most Wanted however was categorized as a supercar with incredible handling like in Asphalt and was a good all rounder once fully upgraded. yet is presence I felt was overshadowed by the mainstream giants of Porsche, Lamborghini, and even chevy’s (at the Time) new Camaro LTZ. Thus it wasn’t until Need for Speed Rivals in 2013 that the car at last got its shining moment. Whereas previous titles have had it as a racer, Rivals has it as a cop car in three different factions. They also placed it near the bottom of the car list as the fifth car you earn after you get the Aston Martin Vanquish. Another unusually fact is that the engine in Rivals sounds high pitch and humming whereas Asphalt and Most Wanted have the engine sounding low and growling.
This is probably a attributed to the two real world engine options for this car. customers could choice between a 2.8L Turbocharged V6 producing 420bhp and a naturally aspirated 3.5L V6 producing 360bhp. A natural aspirated engine unless it’s a Ferrari usually has a low growling noise that rattles the bones whereas turbocharged engines make high pitch roar or hum that finishes with a burst compassed air.
This may also explain why in Rivals the B2 despite being low on the car list seems to outperform the cars surround it in terms of keeping up with suspects, beating Rapid Responses, and overall being a very manageable cop car. Thus the engine in Rival’s version of the car must be turbocharged. I’ve busted racers who were driving the AMG SLS Mercedes, Ferrari 458s and GTOs, Lamborghini Gallardo, Corvettes, Mustangs, even a K:One making this car one of the best cop cars in the game. Its real shame then that Forza never got a hold of this anomaly, would have loved to seen it on the Sebring track or Road America.
Evolution Studios the creator of the PlayStation exclusive Drive Club were the last major developers to feature this car. Released in 2014 exclusively for PlayStation 4 and just as Marussia Motors had closed its door indefinitely. It was back as a racer and once again high on the car list sitting next to the McLaren 12c, Lamborghini Aventador, Ferrari F12, and RUF GT3 aka (Porsche 911 GT3).
HOWEVER like Rivals this version of the car differs. The engine sounds more in line with Most Wanted and Asphalt though a bit muffled. We also for the first time get a cockpit view which allows us to see the very futuristic interior however where the car differs most is in its handling. Up to now its infamous agility and grippe handling was easy to pick up and master but here in Drive Club that ease is oddly missing. On your first initial drive, the car will send you crashing into walls and into other drivers. The brakes while responsive require a great deal of effort to slow the car down and when exiting a corner, one has to feather the throttle or risk spin out.
To be fair this is not uncommon as arcade racers like Need for Speed and Asphalt do dumb up the handling stats to make it easier for casual players to drive and master thus when playing a racing game with a heavily focus simulated driving, it can be a bit of a culture shock when the same car in Need for Speed suddenly doesn’t handle the same way in Drive Club.
Still even with hours of practice one can’t help but realize that the incredible handling ability is only really unlocked when fully alert and prepared. In other words,
“You gotta know your corners before you hit them.”
In a race against a Lamborghini Huracan, I barely was able to keep up only managing to keep a car’s length distance between us for the half the race before spinning out at a tight turn. When racing against an AMG SLS Mercedes however, the match couldn’t be closer with both of us passing each other at the corners and racing neck and neck on the straightaways. This difference in performance is mostly likely due to the fact that the B2 like the AMG Mercedes is RWD whereas the Huracan is AWD which is yet another thing that arcade racing games don’t do a very good job at demonstrating.
Still, by no means am I suggestion that the B2 is a bad car, instead what I’m saying is that in Drive Club, this not an easy car to drive. This means you’re always going to have to keep in mind where the corners are and how to get around them because even when you do get a handle on its handling, it only going to make you slightly faster than its mainstream rivals.
To some this conclusion is the deal breaker and as such will never be a go to choice for online events however when you remind yourselves where this car comes from in the real world this deal breaker is actually a very impressive statement.
“Russia’s first supercar is only slightly faster than its European rivals.”
Its handling in Drive Club may not get you 1st place but you won’t be bore when racing with it. It made only be a cop car in Rivals but you’ll be constantly surprise by how many racers you will bust with it. as for the older titles Most Wanted and Asphalt 7 or 8, the experience should be even more special as these were the first two titles to add it to their car selection.
Personally I’ve always prefer the B2 in Rivals than anywhere else. It may not be the most realistic in terms of handling or engine sound, but you can enjoy the anomaly the car represents a lot more freely than in other titles
So that is the Marussia B2 an anomaly that came and went as fast as it accelerates. It would be nice to see this car return both real and virtual however it’s very unlikely that this will happen so until that day, look for it in the six games that have it in their car selection and drive it. Drive it as a cop, as a racer, or as jet powered record breaker on your mobile devices. If it will not live on in the real world than let us ensure it lives on in the virtual.