Tishillyman's got it back.
Written by Michael Carlson
First published on Driver's Edge, 2nd August 2005
When the Baden-Württemberg based Tishillyman announce that they would stop production of the much loved Supercars shaming "Turbo" trim lineup in 1999. The cheap speed enthusiasts cried single tear down their cheek.
These Tishillyman Turbos are basically just your typical Tishillyman, usually in the guise of compact Avici, mid-size Utpala, or the sporty Sagata. But with massive engine paired with massive turbochargers driven rear or all wheels through rally bred differential system. During the 80's these were making 320hp when most cars had no more than 200, couple with lightweight assembly they had scorching performance. You could be in the fastest, most powerful super cars of the era. And yet a well driven Sagata Turbo will keep up with you. And if you were in the rain, forget it, the speedy Tishilly AWD Turbo will left your precious Italian monster in the water spray with ease.
And despite all the performance, they were not expensive. Not cheap, mind. But they're always within the realm of common men and women. The first Sagata Turbo that came out in 1985 cost about the same as a base German rival, but could go from nought to sixties in less than 5 seconds (some did it in 4.7), while it will run out of puff at 150mph due to brick aerodynamics, the acceleration was simply mind boggling.
In 1994 they introduced the Whippet and Tigris line of cars. These were also quite fast, but never as fast as the good old Turbo. They were more civilized, easier to drive, but at the cost of sheer speed. The Turbo line didn't appear to be going anywhere. But out of nowhere, in 1999, they stopped production leaving the Whippet as the fastest trim available. With the reason simply being that "Not many customers actually use any more performance than the Whippet or Tigris can offer."
But now, after 6 years of absent, the Turbo line is back.
The current Tishillyman Sagata have been in production since 2002. Not a bad car by any means, and the 2.0 Inline 4 Turbo Tigris trim really is a formidable force both in Rallying world and on the public road. While the Whippet Inline 6 Turbo is the Autobahn muncher they always were.
Today, however, Tishillyman announce the come back of the Tishillyman Sagata Turbo. And I must say it looks absolutely cracking. The normal Sagata is sleek and discreet, yet not too aggressive. They're the sort of cars a lawyer or a doctor would buy. The Turbo offer a very nicely integrated body kit that keep the discreet look, subtle flared wheel arches give the car that much more panache. But not boy racer-ish at all.
But that's always been the strength of the Turbo Tishillyman. They DON'T look that fast. But they ARE fast.
How fast you're asking? How fast do you wanna go? The old brick 1987 Sagata Turbo might be able to achieve only 150mph. But this new sleek 2006 Sagata Turbo is a very slippery design. With 3.5 litre Turbocharged Inline 6 engine producing allegedly "410hp". (Remember when they said the 87 Sagata Turbo produce "270hp"? 270hp my ass). Unlike any other German marque out there, the Tishillyman isn't limited to 155mph. And it will surge up to 180mph or more very easily. This makes it one of the fastest 4 door saloon out there on the market.
It is quiet heavy, but isn't too heavy. It's also All Wheel Driven with 40/60 split front and rear, like nearly all good old Tishilly Turbo. Providing good traction off the line, this thing will, and I'm not making this number up, nought to sixties time of 3.8 seconds. Three point eight.
What do people need this thing for? Out running supercars? Hang on. That's the whole point of Tishilly Turbo, isn't it?
Unlike the Tishilly Turbo of old, the Sagata Turbo is also now available with luxurious optional extras. This means the good old day of the Sagata Turbo with wind up windows is gone. You can spec up the Turbo any way you want just like a normal Sagata. And they're also talking about including the 6 Speed Automatic Transmission option, but Tishillyman says that they have not been able to make the gearbox withstand the power with their high standard of reliability yet. They'll figure it out eventually, and it'll be available then.
Pricing depends on how much option you throw at it, but they say that the absolute base spec won't cost much more than a small engine Bavaria. But that would be a bit austere in my opinion. Spec-ing it up won't hurt that much and will improve your day to day usage massively.
My goosebump is lit up like ashwood in a house fire. I'm so looking forward to actually driving this car in real. And I'm sure Hutchinson is too.