The folks behind the $53,000 Bugatti Baby II and the Aston Martin DB5 Junior have a new trick up their sleeves. Their latest is a revival of the Tamiya Wild One radio control car, but this time as a giant off-road buggy you build yourself and then drive.
If you grew up in the ’80s or ’90s and played with R/C cars, chances are you built, and maybe crashed, the Tamiya Wild One R/C car. The famed car, originally released in 1985, was so beloved that it made a comeback in 2012 — and again in 2015. Part of the original’s magic was the fact that it was more than a R/C car; you actually got to put it together!
Now a UK firm, the Little Car Company, is building the Tamiya Wild One as the Wild One MAX, a real drivable off-road buggy in 8/10 scale. And yes, you get to build it yourself, including slapping stickers on the thing!
The Wild One MAX is a rear-wheel-drive electric off-road buggy that uses a spaceframe chassis and coil-over suspension. It gets dirty using 15-inch off-road tires, and it even features Brembo brakes and regenerative braking. The cockpit comes with a three-point seatbelt and digital gauges. You get all of that for a base price of $8,250. It’s quite a bit cheaper than the company’s Bugatti replica.
That all sounds cool, but here’s where things can get a tad disappointing. The base-spec Wild One MAX comes with a 5.5-horsepower electric motor and a battery of only 2kWh. That makes it good for a top speed up to 30 mph and a range of up to 25 miles. Power is managed through driving moves that change top speed, power output and throttle maps.
If that isn’t enough speed and range for you, the Little Car Company will have a Tamiya-esque catalog of upgrades. There will be kits to make it faster, more powerful and give it longer range, while other upgrades will make it street legal, improve the braking and improve the suspension.
The Little Car Company is expecting the Wild One MAX to fall under Quadricycle rules in Europe and as a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle in the United States.
The company notes that it’s still in the early stages of development, but it expects to see these on the road in 2022. So get ready to break out the tools, slap on some stickers and become a kid again.