It’s usually a given that when a press release starts with “It is the honor of Russo-Baltique Company of Russia to present to the honorable public . . .” that a series of pretty unbelievable details will follow. Details like a dashboard that’s hand-made from one piece of exotic African Zebrano tree, or a grille “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.” But what else would you expect from a car that takes twelve to eighteen months to produce and has a price tag of fifty million rubles – er, $1.9 million?
The Russo-Baltique Impression is the first vehicle the brand has built since Russia’s post-World War I revolution, and it celebrates R-B’s centennial, having been founded in 1907. Only three original cars still exist from the pre-war production period, and that happens to also be the number of Impressions that will be built each year. While no cars have been built for ninety years, the company has stepped forward from its old 30 hp two-seater, doubling the number of seats and multiplying the horsepower output by 18.5 times to 555 Orlav Trotters. Design hasn’t advanced quite so far, though, since the Impression borrows strongly from 1930’s icons like the Talbot-Lago Figoni-Falaschi. Like cars of that era, it’s much longer than it is wide, measuring eighteen feet from front to rear but only six feet wide. We’re unsure where the chassis and engine are sourced from, but the Impression’s Mercedes-Benz gauge cluster might give away that secret.