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Wednesday 19th September 2012

Tushek Renovatio T500

Slovenia joins the supercar race



So, what'll be the first comment below? I’m guessing it will be "how much again?" You’d be right, of course; I certainly couldn’t take a €300,000 (£240,110) punt on a car from a company that until very recently I’d never heard of. That’s as much down to my fiscal situation as my desire to punt, but then I’ve not got a garage full of exotica or lots of zeros on my bank balance.

Kit car origins show in wedgy profile
Kit car origins show in wedgy profile
Many of the people here at Salon Privé do. The Tushek Renovatio T500 is parked up in the grounds of Syon House among supercar royalty (alongside a McLaren F1) where it’s being pored over by a throng of car-mad, often red-trousered millionaires fuelled by bottomless champagne glasses and plenty of lobster. I may be out of place here, but the Tushek isn't: it's courting the right big-pocketed audience.

It’s a fussy looking thing. Blame its Attack K1 kit car origins (though I rather like the suspension pushing out of the front carbon fibre panel). The wedgy, edgy lines are straight from the inside cover of a schoolboy’s jotter - if, indeed, they still use such things. It's an old-school supercar then, created by Alojoša Tušek, a Slovenian ex-racer who got tired of the on-track softness and inaccuracy of supercars. So, doing what we would all do with a contacts book containing carbon fibre manufacturers and racing people, Tušek decided he could do better.

Aircon is about it in terms of features
Aircon is about it in terms of features
He started with that Attack kit, though quickly found it lacking. Keeping elements of its spaceframe chassis, Alojoša binned the V6 engine and popped in a 4.2-litre V8 from Audi's B7 RS4. To say that’s all he’s done would be to sell his efforts short. It’s longer and wider now, but in bald terms the Renovatio T500 is a 1133kg machine with a mid-mounted 450hp V8 driving the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. Carbon ceramic brakes save about 19kg over conventional discs, though Alojoša admits they work better on the track than on the road.

That’s kind of the point. Tušek wants his car to be driven. Hard, and on track. The purchase price includes two years of trackday support, based on five events each year. This car, the third produced so far (the other two having been sold) has undertaken over 27,000 miles of testing - most of it on track - to ensure it’s up to the task. The hubs and the suspension are man enough for slicks, though even on Conti Force Contact road tyres there’s no shortage of grip. It’s the lateral G figure of 1.7 that Alojoša gets most excited about. The 3.7-second 0-62mph time is largely academic to him, likewise the 192mph top speed.

450hp Audi 4.2 V8 drives rear wheels
450hp Audi 4.2 V8 drives rear wheels
For Alojoša it’s all about the track, which isn’t something we’ve got to hand as we leave Syon House in heavy traffic. For just the third car built (Tušek still refers to it as a prototype), it’s nicely finished inside. The pedals are adjustable by 15cm should you need more reach or be short of leg, and the fully-customisable seats are fitted with racing harnesses. There’s an Alpine head unit with satnav, air conditioning - and that’s about it. The instrumentation is from AIM PISTA, supplemented by three dials on top of the dash. Refreshingly there are also three pedals and a gearstick, Alojoša grinning when I point to it and thank him for not taking the paddle-shift route. Actually, there is a paddle-shifted option, via a Hewland sequential gearbox, but Tušek concedes that’s a little bit too extreme for the road.

Carbon brakes work best on track
Carbon brakes work best on track
Not that the manual isn’t an effort. If you’re buying the Tushek to look different on the Kings Road, then go do some legwork at the gym first. The clutch is heavy. That’s fine when you’re on the move and on and off it quickly, but a pain, literally, in traffic. The six-speed manual transmission shifts cleanly and accurately though, and there’s never any question of pace with the 450hp and 428Nm propelling the T500’s low bulk. It’s lighter than a Lotus Exige S, has around 100hp more, and absolutely no traction or stability aids to help you if you get it wrong.

Not that it’s lacking in grip. The 305/30 R19 rear tyres are barely troubled by the engine’s output. It feels properly quick too, the feeling enhanced significantly by the niggling thought that it’s you and you alone who has to sort it out should you get it wrong. Not that the T500 is a seat-chewing, monster of a car. In fact, it proves to be quite the contrary. There's a sophistication to the drive that belies - or comes entirely courtesy of - its simplicity.

Grippy: up to 1.7 lateral G
Grippy: up to 1.7 lateral G
There’s double wishbone suspension all round, which can be adjusted to suit your needs. Here, it’s set up for track work. So it’s understandably taut, yet there’s suppleness in the way it copes with the horrors that pass for UK roads. That obviously improves with speed, the rougher edges taken off the ride when the pace increases.

Those brakes? They’re okay. Obviously they’d work a bit better with some heat in them, but they’re not the stab, hope then grab you get with some carbon setups. The electrically-assisted hydraulic steering delivers speed and accuracy, backed up by fine weighting and decent feel. It’s not dissimilar to the Lotus Exige S in feel, and works better at low speed than the Hethel machine.

The engine sounds glorious too, especially when it’s routed through the higher-mounted pipes of the racing exhaust option. Choose that and the T500 loses the compartment to stow the jigsaw puzzle-like roof, but your ears will tell you it's worth the sacrifice.

Scissor doors ideal for SW7
Scissor doors ideal for SW7
Whether your bank balance will is another matter. Looked at rationally, the Tushek struggles to justify its lofty price tag. You could have a couple of Audi R8s and change for the cost of one of these. That’s not really the point though: in this playground, being different is enough to appeal, regardless of the sticker price. That’s perhaps understandable given the tiny anticipated production numbers, but it does mean only a handful of people will ever get to drive a Tushek Renovatio T500. And that’s a shame, as it’s really rather good.

Kyle Fortune
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Author Discussion

MrTappets

Original Poster:

812 posts

77 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
Well, you said it in the article so I'll gloss over the obvious point. The most surprising thing to me is that it's lighter than an Exige (or rather, the Exige is heaver) even though this has a V8. Have to say, if you put this and an M600 next to each other, I know which I'd pick.

lazygraduand

1,629 posts

47 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
Don't ever remember seeing a car whose front brake calipers are at the 'front' of the wheel arch not the back. Looks odd!

paperbag

dukebox9reg

1,049 posts

34 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
Rather have my friends K1 attack with its 400bhp turbo'd prelude motor. Cost him 25k in total to build. Cant see how they can justify that price for a wider track and an audi v8. Barmy.

Ali_T

1,785 posts

143 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
lazygraduand said:
Don't ever remember seeing a car whose front brake calipers are at the 'front' of the wheel arch not the back. Looks odd!

paperbag
Just realised, my Evo does! And never really thought about it until now. But you've made me notice it now and, damn you, it looks odd!


ArtVandelay

6,506 posts

70 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
BAC Mono and any of the current crop of supercars makes more sense. Car is stupidly priced.
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vit4

3,378 posts

56 months

[news] 
Thursday 20th September 2012 quote quote all
lazygraduand said:
Don't ever remember seeing a car whose front brake calipers are at the 'front' of the wheel arch not the back. Looks odd!

paperbag
Most mundane stuff seems to have this set up, whilst sportier cars are the inverse. Always wondered why, I'm guessing weight distribution?

splitpin

2,562 posts

84 months

[news] 
Thursday 20th September 2012 quote quote all
300,000 Euro .............. Slovenia ................

Yeah, put my name down for three, matt white, matt black and matt grey rofl

gofasterrosssco

654 posts

122 months

[news] 
Thursday 20th September 2012 quote quote all

Its a good looking car (some minor detailing aside), and has all the right ingredients I'd look for, with regards to weight, layout, engine etc..

At £100k it would probably shift quite a few, but there's alot of other exclusive ways to spend £240K!

Just puts some perspective on what a relative performance bargain the new Exige actually is..

98elise

5,542 posts

47 months

[news] 
Thursday 20th September 2012 quote quote all
Its a kit car, with a revised, engine for silly money....doomed to fail.

The K1 looks better, and is a better bet all round (if you can find one for sale)

kambites

41,012 posts

107 months

[news] 
Thursday 20th September 2012 quote quote all
Sounds like exactly my kind of car, and if I was going to spend that much money on a car I'd consider it... however I don't think I ever could spend that much on it when I could have an Exige Roadster for about a quarter of the price.

Ian974

1,849 posts

85 months

[news] 
Thursday 20th September 2012 quote quote all
98elise said:
Its a kit car, with a revised, engine for silly money....doomed to fail.

The K1 looks better, and is a better bet all round (if you can find one for sale)
yes Only ever seen a K1 attack at the Autosport show a few years back but it looked excellent, seems a bit of a shame you don't see any of them about.
I'm sure this is a bit of a beast but the pricing just seems ridiculous.

chrisironside

174 posts

48 months

[news] 
Thursday 20th September 2012 quote quote all
lazygraduand said:
Don't ever remember seeing a car whose front brake calipers are at the 'front' of the wheel arch not the back. Looks odd!

paperbag
Seems to make more sense having it this way (to me). If I had to stop a giant hamster wheel from crushing my gandma in her sleep I know I'd fancy my chances better standing in front and stopping it as it comes down, rather than running behind and stopping it as it goes up!

Pistonwot

413 posts

45 months

[news] 
Thursday 20th September 2012 quote quote all
Good luck Mr Tushek,
it is good to see a well built supercar designed for a driver for a change.

mikey77

561 posts

74 months

[news] 
Thursday 20th September 2012 quote quote all
'Renovatio'

Ho pulllllease, Why leave off the last letter? rolleyes

Seb d

490 posts

83 months

[news] 
Thursday 20th September 2012 quote quote all
chrisironside said:
Seems to make more sense having it this way (to me). If I had to stop a giant hamster wheel from crushing my gandma in her sleep I know I'd fancy my chances better standing in front and stopping it as it comes down, rather than running behind and stopping it as it goes up!
Very different scenario with a brake disc - if something is spinning in place, it doesn't matter where you grab it, the stopping force will be just as effective. Remember the calliper is not chasing the disc, it's in a fixed position with it.

chrisironside

174 posts

48 months

[news] 
Thursday 20th September 2012 quote quote all
Seb d said:
chrisironside said:
Seems to make more sense having it this way (to me). If I had to stop a giant hamster wheel from crushing my gandma in her sleep I know I'd fancy my chances better standing in front and stopping it as it comes down, rather than running behind and stopping it as it goes up!
Very different scenario with a brake disc - if something is spinning in place, it doesn't matter where you grab it, the stopping force will be just as effective. Remember the calliper is not chasing the disc, it's in a fixed position with it.
Good point. It's easy to appreciate if imagining the wheel/car on its side...

leon9191

713 posts

79 months

[news] 
Thursday 20th September 2012 quote quote all
chrisironside said:
Seb d said:
chrisironside said:
Seems to make more sense having it this way (to me). If I had to stop a giant hamster wheel from crushing my gandma in her sleep I know I'd fancy my chances better standing in front and stopping it as it comes down, rather than running behind and stopping it as it goes up!
Very different scenario with a brake disc - if something is spinning in place, it doesn't matter where you grab it, the stopping force will be just as effective. Remember the calliper is not chasing the disc, it's in a fixed position with it.
Good point. It's easy to appreciate if imagining the wheel/car on its side...
I think it will just be down to packaging and set up of the front hubs, with steering racks, hubs, ball joints and callipers all having to fit and work in a small space the design might actually follow the components selected for use on a small volume car like this.

steve_n

115 posts

88 months

[news] 
Thursday 20th September 2012 quote quote all
With regards to caliper placement there are (slight) weight distribution benefits to putting the front at the back and the back at the front so the weight falls within the wheelbase.

I think it's an ace car and I would have one if I could afford it like I can afford a £1k shed. There's no point 'ordinary' people moaning about the price as they are not trying to sell them to us...

Edited by steve_n on Thursday 20th September 13:30

PascalBuyens

2,868 posts

168 months

[news] 
Thursday 20th September 2012 quote quote all
mikey77 said:
'Renovatio'

Ho pulllllease, Why leave off the last letter? rolleyes
Probably bcs in Czech it's written like that? wink

Carnnoisseur

525 posts

40 months

[news] 
Friday 21st September 2012 quote quote all
Loving the rear and side profiles, but unsure about the front? However, taking the pedigree of the designer into consideration, I can only imagine what it's like to drive, exhilarating to say the least.....
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