Oh yes, the full-size Tamiya Wild One is nearly here | Top Gear
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Wednesday 4th October

Oh yes, the full-size Tamiya Wild One is nearly here

The Wild One MAX Launch Edition will see a few changes versus the original plan, but it should still be a retro dream

Published: 15 May 2023

When we first heard the news that the Tamiya Wild One was set to be reborn as a real-life off-road buggy, it’d be fair to say that we were a little bit excited. In fact, we immediately went out and bought some sweatbands and brightly coloured workout gear for a full 1980s throwback.

That was back in April 2021, and ever since then we’ve been waiting patiently for an update from The Little Car Company on its fantastic creation. And now, after many delays thanks to industry-wide supply issues, it’s here…

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Well, it’s close. This is the Wild One MAX Launch Edition, which is set to be properly unveiled this summer with first deliveries in early 2024. Just 100 examples of the reborn R/C car will be available in this spec, and each one will come complete with a ‘road pack’ that allows the thing to be registered under L7e quadricycle regulations to make it road legal in the UK and EU. Wonderful.

There have been a few changes since we first heard about TLLC’s intentions though. It’s now bigger with space for two inside for a start, and the front suspension has switched from a trailing arm design to double wishbone. That allows the turrets to be smoothed off which helps visibility and pedestrian safety.

Oh, and originally there was supposed to be a 5.5bhp electric motor that would offer a top speed of 30mph, but we’re now told that the top speed has increased to 60mph. That’s more like it. The battery has grown in size too, with the production car set to get eight removable battery packs that add up to create a 14.4kWh unit. There’s no word on an official range figure but given that it weighs just 500kg it should do rather well on that front. 

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It'll be fun to drive too. “I want to thank all our Tamiya deposit holder community, who have provided us with some invaluable contributions and suggestions for how we can make the Wild One MAX the best possible vehicle,” says The Little Car Company boss Ben Hedley. 

“We have listened to every single one of them since the first unveiling and have taken their ideas on board. Their feedback has helped us develop a new type of vehicle which illustrates that electric cars can be fun, without having to rely on brain-scrambling acceleration. By simplifying the design and reducing weight, this car is a perfect example of not requiring 500 horsepower to make an enjoyable drivers’ car.”

We’re told that the Launch Edition cars will come with Cobra bucket seats with four-point harnesses, a 5.0-inch digital screen inside, Brembo disc brakes all round and Bilstein dampers with Eibach springs. Fancy. And expensive probably. We don’t know how much this ultimate childhood throwback will cost just yet, but at this rate it could be a bargain at any price in our minds.

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