Street-legal, overgrown Tamiya R/C car will debut this summer
One of the most gloriously silly projects in the automotive world is set to launch within the next few months. The Tamiya Wild One Max is a faithful replica of a hugely popular R/C toy from the '80s, upscaled to a two-seat, street-legal electric buggy.
Obviously this runs completely backwards compared to how things normally go; plenty of real-world dream cars have been miniaturized for kids to play with, but we're not aware of any other project designed to bring a car designed first and foremost as a kids' toy up to full size for the young at heart.
This wicked little buggy has grown about 10 cm (3.9 in) in both length and width since we first covered it in 2021, and will hit the road at 3.6-m long (141.7 in) and 1.9-m wide (74.8 in).
Mild off-road action is definitely on the menu, although with ground clearance of 270 mm (11 in) and an approach angle of 34.1°, the Wild One certainly doesn't aspire to be a rockhopper. Its 14-in rims, shod in Maxxis tires (smooth at the front, chunky Bighorns at the back), rise and fall on long-travel Bilstein suspension, and the open sides and back of the cabin, behind a basic, flat windscreen, will ensure it's a breezy ride.
It won't be a noisy one, though. No specs have dropped as yet on the electric rear wheel drive powertrain, but we do know it'll run eight removable battery packs for a total capacity of 14.4 kWh, making for a kerb weight around 500 kg (1,102 lb). Range isn't yet specified, but it ain't gonna be a tourer.
More importantly, the weight without batteries will be less than 450 kg (992 lb), meaning that with certain accoutrements it'll be street-legal as a class L7e quadricycle if you register it in the EU or UK. Don't expect too much of it on the road, though; it's rated for a top speed of just 60 mph (96.5 km/h), so it's better suited to swanning around near the beach than attempting any hard, fast driving.
Still, some 95% of people who'd already pre-ordered one of these giggle buckets told The Little Car Company (yep) they wanted their Tamiya to be street-legal, so street-legal it shall be, and all 100 launch edition cars will ship with a pack of appropriate mirrors, lights and whatever else is needed.
It's such a cute project, and so openly childish, that I can't help but grin at the idea. I look forward to seeing them in the wild, and sincerely hope they don't get eaten by dogs or lost down sewer drains like so many of the originals.
Speaking of the originals, here's a video from back in 1985 to reminisce with.
Source: The Little Car Company