Tamiya and the Little Car Company team up to create full-sized Wild One

Published: 28 April 2021

► Iconic RC car reimagined at 8/10ths scale
► Original model came out in 1985
► Top speed of 30mph, range of up to 25 miles

What car-mad child hasn’t dreamed of being able to drive their radio-controlled car just like it were the real thing? Now, that can be a reality – sort of.

RC car manufacturer Tamiya has teamed up with The Little Car Company (manufacturer of shrunken delights such as the Bugatti Baby II and Aston Martin DB5 Junior) to re-imagine an 80s icon – an 8/10ths scale version of the Tamiya Wild One, known as the Wild One Max.

We review the Bugatti Baby II…

I remember the Wild One…

First released in 1985 and re-released in 2012, the Wild One was a 2WD off-road buggy and quickly became madly popular among RC enthusiasts.

Tamiya Wild One Max - in garage

That 80s nostalgia is alive and well in the Wild One Max, which is a faithful replica of its little brother.

At about 3.5 metres long and weighing in at 250kg, the Wild One is built around a space-frame chassis with coilover suspension and rear-wheel drive courtesy of a battery pack and electric motor.

With 2kWh of battery capacity it’s capable of up to 25 miles on a charge, and its 5.5bhp electric motor will propel it to a top speed of 30mph. Additional power packs for greater range and performance can be added, though.

There are even a few driver modes – Novice, Eco and Race, which map performance to different skill levels.

The firm claims drivers between 5’3” and 6’5” should be able to get comfortable behind the wheel.

Do I have to build this one myself?

You don’t have to, but you can. And just like the real thing, you can add ‘hop-ups’ or accessories to customise your Wild One – everything from high-performance brakes to a four-point racing harness.

Tamiya Wild One Max - box

There’s also a selection of complete ‘Packs’ including a Tarmac Pack with road tyres and mudguards. The really exciting ones are the three Road Legal packs, which turn the Wild One Max into something fully compliant with Quadricycle legislation in Europe. It’s unlikely to replace your executive cruiser, but with these components fitted you can take your Wild One onto the public highway.

How much?

That depends on how many hop-ups you add, but the Little Car Company anticipates a starting price of £6,000 plus taxes on release in 2022. A £100 refundable deposit will secure your build slot.

Tamiya Wild One Max - stickers

More excitingly, this could open the door to a whole new era of life-size RC cars. Ben Hedley, CEO of The Little Car Company, said: “Because it is still early days in the project, we have the opportunity to include the feedback and feature suggestions from the legions of Tamiya fans out there.

“We encourage anyone with imaginative ideas and feedback around the engineering of the project to sign up to the newsletter at WildOneMax.com. We can’t wait to get these on, and off, the road in 2022!”

By Tom Wiltshire

Bauer Automotive staff writer; enjoys Peugeots, naturally-aspirated diesels, column shifts and steel wheels