Model Number: 58080




2WD Rear, ball differential


Wishbones with upper links, coilover oilfilled shocks,

Chassis Description


Body Type








5/28/2014 9:57:33 PM

I've owned my Astute since purchasing it NIB when it was originally released 20+ years ago and absolutely love it. It's beautiful lines, high-quality parts and materials make it a must have for any collection, IMHO. While the deficiencies of the Astute in stock trim as a competitive racer are well-documented and remedied with Madcap parts, etc, I chose to resist the temptation to dumb it down with more simple and reliable parts in favor of enjoying this model in all its over-engineered and underdeveloped glory. I kept the modifications to a minimum which included a Novak T4 ESC, Speedworks 350 2WD motor, Duratrax oil-filled shocks and ballbearings all around shortly after it was originally assembled followed by the more recent addition of Hi-cap dampers and a Technigold motor. My Astute has not been run in many years but it remains classified as a runner since it could see action again if the proper vintage event came along.


8/11/2013 6:54:59 AM

The Astute, so sleek and swift, never really impressed on the international racing scene as intended. A combination of fragile parts and higher weight did it in, but when properly modified - ironically, using some Madcap parts - it could be very fast indeed.

And so this is my experience with the Tamiya Astute. By now, Jamie Booth's modifications as done on his 1991 European Championship car are necessary for a reliable runner, and the problems with the undersized ball differential are clearer. So long as the throttle is carefully regulated under acceleration, the car can reward one with clean driving response and easy augmentation of the prevalent understeer found in most setups. My own car features several Booth-inspired changes to the chassis, and I can see its potential as a racer in this configuration even with the stock 27T motor installed.

The build requires many screws and a lot of bearings - be they metal, plastic, or ball. You may lose your bearings just keeping track of those!

In almost any paint scheme, though, the Astute is sure to please, with a slender, svelte form featuring protuberances only where clearance of the chassis is required. It is not quite shrink-wrapped over the mechanicals, but the minimalist feel is there. Gearbox access is also very easy with the short bodyshell and rear wing placement - the gear cover can be removed without removing wheels or the gear case itself from the chassis.

In stock form, the Astute is beautiful in its complexity if fragile as a runner. With some simplification, it can become a much more resilient runner and an excellent driver. It could very well be one of Tamiya's best-looking buggies...


2/10/2008 9:59:46 PM

I`m not quite sure what it is about the astute that I find so appealing, I have gone from having just one, to three new built ones (as well as a Super astute) in a a matter of a couple of months!

Having read several other members comments about the famous Jamie Booth Astute, I thought I would set about converting one of my new builds into a decent and, moreover, tougher than standard runner.

I started by replacing the normally very weak D5 part with a superbly cast alluminium replacement (I had this in a parts lots from a fellow member, but think they originally came from another TC member). Also replaced in alloy were parts D1. I then set about redressing the balance of all those intricate parts that make up the rear adjustable arms. Basically, I replaced parts B2 with Macap lower wishbones and used dynastorm upper arms (turnbuckles), substituting Part C2 with super astute rear knucles, using two 3mm alloy bushing either side mounted on the shaft.

The front end got similar treatment, using the dyna storm turnbuckle set for the upper arms and the steering rods, and usiing tougher dynastorm/super astute nylon knuckle arms.

ALL brass bearings were replaced with shielded ball bearings and the rear drive shafts replaced with hop up UJ`s, fitted to the excellent TTC gear train from the super astute. This last option is a must in my opinion as the standard ball diff is so prone to slipping and requiring re-tightening, and eventually needing a re-build.
As for what motor, well it`s a choice between the torquey Tamiya 14 turn acto pink or the Dyna tech 02H (13 turn rotor), both of which are superb motors.

The shocks have been replaced using yeah racing alloy bodied dampers. 90mm rear, 70 mm front - having a very plush action and in my opinion assisting greatly when setting up the rear tow -in angle, as the screw cap compression ring makes it so easy to alter the coil compression helping to sit the back end up. That said, using these shocks and the aformentioned combination of replacment parts makes the car sit a whole 6mm lower than when running standard - again in my opinion this not only looks better, but when test running, the entire car appears to steer in much tighter (perhaps one of the downfalls of the original).

For now the tires and wheels remain standard, although I am tempted to try super astute/dyna storm front tires.

This project has been costly to say the least, but has helped converge three of my favourite tamiya buggies into one very decent runner.


9/2/2004 12:32:11 AM

A great model to build, a night mare to maintain! all those metal bearings! i upgraded about half to proper ball races, but the slop and adjustment were a constant worry. maybe if had fitted a decent motor and a elec speedo, it might have started to thrill, but as with so many tamiya models, it need a lot of work to get it to a worthwhile standard. mine ended up getting crunched at the back end, and it got scrapped, some of the parts ending up being used to keep other cars on the road. I had more fun with my Hornet!


8/29/2003 9:08:02 PM

What a sheep in wolfs clothing !
A superb looking car, which sadly handled like a supermarket trolley. I bought one to race at my local club, and as 2wd was pretty popular and cheaper to buy I went for the Tamiya option, not the usual Topcats that were going around.
Sadly it was a huge mistake, every suspension link had bags of play and slop. All, and I mean all the weight was over the back wheels and offered little to no front end grip ! Performance in a straight line was superb, but cornering was a nightmare....
Better to look at than to drive, my shelf sitter is gonna remain just that.


3/19/2003 12:48:11 AM

Astute is a beautifull 2WD car and has been the little sister of the Egress 4WD, same style and common parts such as ball diff and wheels and tires disign. At difference with Egress wasn't sold with Hi Cap dampers and not full ball beared.
The beautifull and fascinating rear toe adjustment was the bigger problem of the car. Rear adjustable uprights broke very easly and need to replace with Mad Cap ones. Another problem is the front end that broke with a little crash. I substituted it with the Mad Cap too. All suspension arms are mountehd on bronze bushing and can be upgraded with ball bearings. Very amazing but very expensive and weight tons. So I substituted front and rear arms with Mad Cap. At the end my running Astute is a Mad Cap with FRP chassis and shock towers. Upgraded with Hi Cap dampers too. But Astute remain a beautifull collectible car. I have one new built too!


12/8/2002 8:40:49 PM

Like the Avante, the Astute is badly overengineered and underdeveloped. To my knowledge, it was the first 1/10 car ever with bushings on all pivoting axles, like the suspension arms. If you wanted to replace all bushings with ball bearings, you needed a total of 52 !! bearings of different kinds! Sadly, the suspension remained rather sloppy even with ball bearings, and the adjustable toe-in on the rear suspension was always very "loose", the toe-angle varying from multiple + to - degrees. We replaced the adjustable uprights with the fixed uprights of the Mad Cap, thereby curing the Astute's worst problem.

The gearbox was basically sound, but to keep rotating weight down, Tamiya made the gears and the ball differential very small, and if not built correctly, the differential would melt within minutes. Most of the Norwegian customers never got it right, I know from experience from the service department. Tamiya was also criticized for the often snapping "C"-bracket on the middle shaft in the gearbox. It was such a problem that Parma made a nylon replacement part. However, the original part never snapped if the screw on the other end of the shaft was tightened sufficiently and kept there with Loctite.

The steering mechanism and chassisplate and its layout are among the parts I like on the Astute. The drive shafts and wheel axles are among the best ever from Tamiya. The body is quite nice as well. Kept MIB or built but unused, I think it's a nice model, but it surely failed in its intended role as serious competitor in the 2WD buggy class. A Kyosho Ultima or a Losi Jr-X2 were much better choices in their time.