The original Tamiya Wild One was a groundbreaking radio control car when it debuted in 1985. It featured highly detailed working suspension and powertrain bits that functioned like a real car’s, and building one was a lesson in automotive engineering for those of a certain age. Now, a U.K. company has turned the Wild One into a car that the adult version of that kid can actually drive.
The main structure consists of a polycarbonate bathtub chassis and metal roll cage suspended by coilovers and oil-filled shocks and a trailing-arm rear suspension. It runs on electric power fed through a differential to twin half-shafts with U-joints in flexible rubber boots, and — oh wait, that was the toy from 1985.
The redux version, dubbed the Wild One Max, is built by the U.K.’s Little Car Company under license from Tamiya. While the original was in 1:10 scale, the Max isn’t quite full-size. It measures at 8:10 scale, or about 138 inches long and 71 inches wide. That’s about as long as a Fiat 500 and wide as a Volkswagen Golf.
It seats one with a three-point racing harness and racing wheel. Wheels at all four corners have Brembo brakes, coilovers, and 15-inch wheels. Tire-wise, narrow units in front, ribbed for directional control, and knobby grippers in the rear for traction on loose surfaces, mirror the original.
The Wild One Max is powered by a battery that will last about 25 miles in range and that can be recharged via regenerative braking. It also powers an electric motor that generates 5.5 horsepower for a 30 mph top speed.
That may seem a bit meager, even for its 551 horsepower, but like any good Tamiya kit the Wild One Max offers a slew of hop-up parts. In this case, they include a more powerful motor, better suspension, and bigger brakes. The Little Car Company is even developing a kit that will add head and taillights to allow the Wild One Max to be classified as a quadricycle in Europe or a NEV in the U.S., meaning it could be street legal.
The company says the Wild One Max will cost about $8,250, not including tax, and is taking pre-orders now. Compared to some of their other offerings, like the $40,000 Baby Type 35 licensed by Bugatti or $49,000 2/3-scale Aston Martin DB5, it’s downright cheap. The Wild One Max will go on sale in 2022. Some assembly required.