The Little Car Company Built An 80s R/C Off-Roader You Can Drive

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With a top speed of 60 mph and more ground clearance than a standard Jeep Wrangler.

  • Limited to 100 units
  • Top speed of 60 mph
  • 1,100-pound weight
  • 10.6-inch ground clearance and 34.1/50.8-degree approach/departure angles
  • Road-legal in The UK and EU

The Tamiya Wild One radio-controlled car that was first released in 1985 has been transformed into a drivable electric car called the Tamiya Wild One MAX Launch Edition by The Little Car Company. While The Little Car Company typically specializes in making miniaturized versions of history's greatest sports cars, this time, the company has scaled up an 80s icon.

While it won't replace your Tesla Model 3 as your daily driver, it looks like about as much fun as one can have in an EV; as we've bemoaned in the past, EVs are almost too perfect to be truly enjoyable.

The One MAX Launch Edition is the antithesis of heavy, sanitized, and technology-laden EVs, boasting impressive ground clearance and a featherlight weight of around 1,100 pounds.

The Little Car Company
The Little Car Company

Since the project was initially announced, The Little Car Company has made various improvements to optimize the little off-roader.

The One MAX is now larger at 141.7 inches in length and 74.8 inches in width, up from 137.8 inches/70.8 inches, respectively, for an earlier version of the car. The increase in width can be felt in the cockpit, which can now accommodate two occupants comfortably, a request made by customers.

The Launch Edition has approach/breakover/departure angles of 34.1/28.4/50.8 degrees, respectively, and ground clearance is up to 10.6 inches - almost as much as a Wrangler Rubicon. An optional windscreen and wiper mechanism will be available as well. Further improvements include a more sophisticated double-wishbone front suspension than the previous trailing arm design and smoother front suspension turrets.

The Little Car Company
The Little Car Company

Eight removable battery packs will power the Launch Edition and these have a total capacity of 14.4 kWh. The top speed is only 60 mph or so, but that's faster than you'd need to go to have fun in the great outdoors while being mostly exposed to the elements. For the Launch Edition, expect Cobra bucket seats with four-point harnesses, a five-inch digital screen, Brembo disc brakes, and Bilstein dampers with Eibach springs. 14-inch off-road tires from Maxxis give the EV greater dirt-road abilities.

In the UK and the EU, the Launch Edition will come with a road legal pack, another option requested by the vast majority of customers.

"We are absolutely thrilled to be one step closer to revealing our Tamiya Wild One MAX Edition," said Ben Hedly, CEO of The Little Car Company. "Whilst there have undoubtedly been a few hurdles along the way with industry-wide supply issues, our team has done a tremendous job of bringing an R/C car to life at full size, and I couldn't be prouder of them."

The Little Car Company
The Little Car Company

The final Wild One MAX Launch Edition typifies a belief that many gearheads share: Even slower cars can be fun. Hedly is proud of the fact that the One MAX doesn't rely on "brain-scrambling acceleration" and says it is "a perfect example of not requiring 500 horsepower to make an enjoyable drivers' car."

The Little Car Company has made huge strides in recent years and gained the respect of some of the world's most prestigious automakers. Bugatti asked Hedly to help it design a modern Baby Bugatti, while the company has also produced downscaled versions of Ferraris and Aston Martins. But the Tamiya Wild One MAX Launch Edition demonstrates that a fancy badge on the nose isn't necessary to build something enthusiasts can get excited about.

The Launch Edition will be limited to 100 examples, and deliveries will start early next year following further performance and durability testing.

The Little Car Company

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