Second-World Supercars: Italian Sexpots Are So Played Out—How About Slovenian? Malaysian?

il y a 10 ans, 1 mois - 14 Décembre 2012, Car and Driver
Second-World Supercars: Italian Sexpots Are So Played Out—How About Slovenian? Malaysian?
Founding a sports-car company is a surefire way to squander one’s fortune and reputation.

Think of Bricklin, De Tomaso, and DeLorean. The risk might be monumental, but so is the appeal: Be the guy whose creation inspires the next generation of car fanatics. That’s a nice headstone inscription. Perhaps not surprisingly, given the concentration of wealth in many such nations, the Second World is emerging as fertile ground for industrialists hoping to be the next Enzo or Ferruccio. While there is no shortage of vaporware being peddled to potential investors worldwide, the following companies are notable for actually, you know, building cars.


  • HOMELAND: Russia
  • ANNUAL OUTPUT: “Several hundred”
  • PRICE: $155,800
  • ENGINE: Turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6, 350 hp
  • WEIGHT: 2450 pounds
  • ZERO TO 100 KM/H: 4.6 sec
  • TOP SPEED: 250 km/h

Marussia has serious money—perhaps you recognize the name from its Formula 1 team. Founded in 2007, the Russian sports-car maker debuted the B1 supercar in 2008. Only 30 were built as test cars; now Marussia is introducing the far-wilder-looking B2 [shown top left]. Power comes from a turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 (rumor is that it’s made by Nissan) mated to a six-speed automatic. With a carbon-fiber body and an aluminum structure, the B2 will be manufactured by Finnish coachbuilder Valmet Automotive. Fifty B2s have been built for evaluation purposes. Production is planned for late 2012 or 2013.



  • HOMELAND: Slovenia
  • CHIEF OFFERING: Renovatio T500
  • PRICE: $388,405
  • ENGINE: 4.2-liter V-8, 450 hp
  • WEIGHT: 2500 pounds
  • ZERO TO 100 KM/H: 3.7 sec
  • TOP SPEED: more than 310 km/h

The vision of Slovenian race driver and businessman Aljoša Tushek, the Renovatio T500 [shown top middle] is a highly modified version of the Slovakian K-1 Attack kit car that we tested five years ago ["Just Do It! (Yourself)," September 2007]. Instead of the K-1′s Honda powertrain, though, the Renovatio uses a high-revving 4.2-liter Audi V-8. Two prototypes have been built and sold, reviews have been positive, and the company has orders for two cars. Predictably, Tushek has even more ambitious goals: Next year, he says he plans to launch the Forego T700, which will be bigger, faster, and more expensive.



  • HOMELAND: Malaysia
  • ANNUAL OUTPUT: 30–50
  • PRICE: $150,000
  • ENGINE: 2.7-liter V-6, 172 hp; supercharged 2.7-liter V-6, 238 hp
  • WEIGHT: 3300 pounds
  • ZERO TO 100 KM/H: 6.7–7.8 sec
  • TOP SPEED: 200–220 km/h

Founded in Australia some 20 years ago, Bufori relocated to Kuala Lumpur in 1994. The company’s vehicles look like they’ve been around much longer than that: Its core model is the 1930s-themed La Joya [shown top right], and it unveiled the Geneva luxury sedan two years ago. On account of the latter’s $350,000 price tag, most of the 30 to 50 cars Bufori builds each year are La Joyas. In spite of the long hood, the La Joya carries its Hyundai V-6 behind the seats; the Geneva is powered by a 6.4-liter Chrysler Hemi V-8.