The Wild One MAX is an '80s Tamiya radio control car you can drive
If you were a kid growing up in the 1980s there's a pretty good chance that you spent your afternoons messing around with radio-controlled cars. If so you'll know that the models to have back then were mostly made by Japan's Tamiya Corporation. These included the Midnight Pumpkin, Hornet, Frog, Grasshopper and – for the especially well-heeled – the mythical Avanté 2001. Damn, just typing out these names is making me all nostalgic.
I was fortunate enough to own a Thunder Dragon and after playing with it for countless hours out in the street I'd always imagine how cool it would be to build a real life-sized version I could actually get in and drive one day. Well it turns out I wasn't the only person to have such dreams as the savvy engineers over at The Little Car Company in the UK have just unboxed the Wild One MAX: an all-electric 8/10th scale replica of the original 1985 Tamiya Wild One that anybody can now strap themselves into and take to the road.
Delivered in kit form (yes – you assemble it by hand at home just like Tamiya models of old), the new Wild One MAX sports a lightweight space-frame chassis with four-wheel coil-over suspension and rear-wheel drive. Fifteen-inch wheels clad with grippy off-road wheels come fitted as standard as does a high-performance Brembo brake system.
In terms of performance the base Wild One MAX comes fitted with a 2kWh PowerPack that drives a 4kW electric motor. While top speed is limited to 48km/h you can expect a maximum operational range of 40km, depending on terrain and driving style. If this sounds a bit tame you'll pleased to know that a host of optional "Hop-Ups" will be available to take your Wild One MAX to the next level. From increasing speed and range to sharpening handling, The Little Car Company has your personalisation needs covered.
A range of upgrade packs can also be ordered, including a "Tarmac Pack" that bolts on road-biased tyres and mudguards. For those keen to drive their Wild One MAX around town (who wouldn't?), the "Road Legal Pack" supplies you with everything needed to keep the authorities happy – brake lights, turn signals, reflectors and a rear-view mirror.
Inside the cockpit you'll find a single adjustable composite seat with a three-point seatbelt, digital gauges and a racing steering wheel. According to The Little Car Company the Wild One MAX can accommodate drivers ranging from 160cm to 195cm in height. Three preset driving modes are available (Novice, Eco and Race), each offering different top speeds, throttle mappings and power outputs according to pilot skill level.
So how much will a Wild One MAX set you back? At the moment you're looking at £6,000 (roughly R119,287) excluding shipping and duties. If you're interested you can reserve a build slot today at WildOneMax.com with a £100 (roughly R1,987) refundable deposit. Build slots are being allocated “first come, first served”. Deliveries will begin in 2022.