Slovenia's supercar: The Tushek Renovatio T500
By C.C. Weiss
August 20, 2012
In the future, every nation on the globe may just have its own home-brewed supercar. We're getting closer every year, one country at a time. We've seen a 1,100-hp electric supercar from Croatia. Brazil and Poland have chimed in with their thoughts on supercar design. The Netherlands and Denmark have represented. Now, Slovenia has a little something to say.
Truth be told, establishing a unique country of origin may be the most difficult part about building a "supercar" these days. While some supercar start-ups really wow us, the concept of supercar has been watered down to a predictable formula of dropping a derivatively styled composite body atop a lightweight chassis, throwing in a (possibly tweaked) V-8 engine from a more established automaker, and jotting down a ~3.5 second acceleration time and ~200 mph (322 km/h) top speed to round things out. Whammo! Your country just made it to the great world atlas of supercar manufacturing.
The Tushek Renovatio T500 follows the script pretty closely. It derives a 2,500-lb (1133-kg ) curb weight from a combination of tubular chassis and carbon fiber/composite body. The low weight means that Tushek didn't have to get too fancy when shopping around for engines. The 4.2-liter Audi V-8's 450-hp output is downright measly when compared to some of the Renovatio's supercar contemporaries, but it still empowers 3.7-second 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) and 193 mph (311 km/h) claims. Eventually, we'll have a proper designation for exotic-but-not-that-exotic cars like this one, but for now, Tushek is obliged to call it a supercar.
When it comes to styling, the Renovatio T500's main claim to intrigue is that it's a removable hard-top convertible in a world where supercars tend debut as hard-headed coupes, with convertibles following sometime thereafter. It also has a pair of scissor doors, a feature that always manages to catch the eye. Other than that, it has a typical mid-engine stance, and its front reminds us of a Camaro – nothing all that unique or memorable.
The car should impress its drivers a little more. The Renovatio T500 is the brainchild of Tushek founder and race car driver Aljosa Tushek. Tushek's first effort is designed to be driver-focused and race-inspired, a car that is both effortless and fun to push to the limits. Far from the barren, utilitarian race car cockpits of some supercars, the interior is trimmed in suede and includes comforts like air conditioning and an audio system with Bluetooth.
“As a race driver I have long dreamed that I would be able to drive a road car that provided the response, the turn in, traction and tactility that we expect from a race car but that could be usable every day," Tushek explains on his website. "Our car is full of emotions and emotion enhancing technology, much of it focused around lightness creating one of the best handling, lightest and fastest supercars on the circuit with uniquely good looks for the road."
Tushek debuted the Renovatio T500 at the Top Marques Monaco in April. It will show the car for the first time in the U.K. next month at London's Salon Privé. The car is hand-built upon order and carries a base price of €300,000 (US$370,000 as of publishing). Only 30 models are planned. Potential customers may want to wait a year or so, however, as Tushek says that it will debut the lighter, higher performance Forego T700 next year.