Slovenia doesn’t have a rich heritage in supercar manufacture, it’s true: but Ferrari’s composite body panels are made here, as are Ducati panels and Porsche’s ceramic brakes, while it’s home to Akrapovic exhausts.
So there are experts in carbonfibre, ceramic composites and titanium. Tušek works with them all. The Renovatio makes a modest (by supercar standards) 444bhp, but here's the thing: dry, it weighs only 1090kg. Tušek thinks most supercars aren’t particularly suited to track use because they're too heavy. I'm inclined to agree. And the Renovatio is pitched at the track-oriented end of the scale, which makes it additionally unusual in supercar circles.
Anything else unusual? Yes. A refreshing lack of over-ambition on the part of the people who build it. They're modest; the claimed top speed starts with a one; the 0-62mph time is a believable (if it gets there in first gear) 3.7sec. Tušek isn’t exactly out to shake-up the establishment, either. He only plans to build 30 (a successor is already on paper, looks good, and would satisfy his output for the next ten years), and is pleasingly open about progress so far: two early prototypes were made and sold.
This is the third (it isn’t for sale) and, as I write, there are another two paid-up orders. Tušek wants to make another five this year. Those cars will get an R8 rather than RS4 motor because it’s dry sumped, while there’s also a stylish coupe roof option. It takes a couple of minutes to manually remove the roof you see in some of these pictures. It’s a less slick operation than in all of its rivals, but the thinking is that the weight saving is worth it.
The Renovatio could be one of those cars that’s easy to dismiss. But sometimes there are exceptions, and I’m inclined to think and hope that this is one of them.
It’s the details, as much as anything. The quality of the body mouldings is excellent. The interior is sweetly finished, which is all too often a rarity among start-ups who let people see, feel and touch cars before they’re ready. Tushek has even made its own windscreen wiper assembly. It gives you a good feeling about quality of the engineering.
The hardware is pretty straightforward. There’s no bluff and no nonsense. Double wishbones all round with inboard dampers at the front, the engine in the middle, slight rearward weight distribution, hydraulically assisted power steering and servo assisted (but non-ABS) carbon-ceramic brakes.
The driving position is a bit off, for me: the seat is too short in the squab and set too high, too. “No problem,” say the Tushek lads. “Customers can be seated how they like.” That’s the key to making these cars work, I think, by offering a level of bespoke tailoring that the accepted supercar establishment can’t match. There is a list of options as long as your arm. Telemetry and a sequential Hewland race gearbox (which will shave another 30kg or so) are among them.
My first taste of the Renovatio comes on the road, where it shows itself to ride very firmly, but not harshly. The dampers can be slackened if you want.
It also has a pretty raw drivetrain, but in a good way. With fluids this is still only an 1133kg car, so it gets along pretty nicely. Makes a good noise, too, and, because of a lack of sound proofing, a very audible one. There’s quite a lot of heat soak, perhaps inevitably. But it feels very honest.
We take it to an airfield where a small circuit has been set up and where we’re encouraged to give it the lot. Frankly, it’d be rude not to. Wound round towards the 7900rpm power peak the T500 feels about as quick, to me, as a Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera. I don’t ever remember thinking one of those needed more power.