Tamiya and Little Car Company pair up to create the Wild One Max
The Wild One Max is an eight-tenths-scale buggy that can even be made road-legal
Nostalgia is a hell of a drug, and it’s one two companies are hoping people will pay at least £7,200 for a hit of. That’s the sum you’ll need to get behind the wheel of the Wild One Max, the latest creation from radio-control and model maker Tamiya, and The Little Car Company – the firm behind ‘junior’ cars such as the three-quarter-scale Bugatti Baby II.
The Wild One was an iconic Tamiya model, launched in 1985 when radio-control cars were becoming more mainstream, capable and affordable. A one-tenth-scale rear-wheel-drive off-road buggy, the Wild One was emblematic of Tamiya’s eighties range, as the firm played a huge role in the rising popularity of radio-control cars, at least partly due to a focus on off-road models at a time when many cars could be driven only on tarmac.
So enduring was the Wild One’s appeal that it was rereleased in 2012, but this latest creation is an entirely different proposition: rather than a model driven via radio control, it’s an eight-tenths-scale buggy you sit in and drive yourself.
Just like smaller Tamiya models the Max can be assembled at home, although at 3.5 metres long, 1.8 metres wide and weighing 250kg, you’ll need a fair bit of space to do this. The single-seater buggy is built around a spaceframe chassis and features coil-over suspension, plus hydraulic disc brakes (from Brembo, no less) that have regenerative capability, topping up the battery when the buggy is slowing. That battery pack is a 2kWh unit, providing 5.5bhp to an electric motor driving the rear wheels. The Max has a top speed of 30mph and a range of up to 25 miles, but owners can upgrade both figures with modular ‘PowerPacks’.
Digital dashboard gauges, a racing steering wheel and three driving modes all feature, while the Max rides on 15-inch wheels shod in knobbly off-road tyres at the rear, and smoother rubber at the front – like the original model. The standard Max can’t be driven on the road, but a ‘Road Legal Pack’ brings components such as brake lights, turn signals and mirrors, so it complies with quadricycle legislation.
Ben Hedley, CEO of The Little Car Company, described developing the Max as “a dream come true”, adding: “We are honoured to be working with the Tamiya team.” The Max is set for release next year, with prices expected to start at £6,000 plus VAT. Reservations can be made at wildonemax.com with a £100 deposit.
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