A British company is set to offer big kids across the country the chance to live out their childhood dreams of driving a life-size remote control car on the road.
The Little Car Company will hand-build electric, driveable versions of the Tamiya Wild One radio control car – and buyers can get a road legal kit that qualifies the vehicle as a ‘quadricycle’ so it can be used legally on the road.
The bonkers vehicles will cost from £7,200 in the UK, be capable of speeds that are ‘sensible’ for road use and have up to 100 miles of range. Order books are set to open soon ahead of first deliveries next year.
‘Honey, I blew up the remote control car!’: UK-based The Little Car Company has today announced plans to build a scaled-up version of one of the most iconic remote control cars that buyers will be able to drive
The lifesize creation has been been officially licenced by Japanese remote control car manufacturer, Tamiya, which first produced the toy in 1985.
It is renowned as one of the iconic R/C models of all time and was relaunched to the market in 2012 to the excitement of plenty of nostalgic middle-aged people.
The radio controlled car was in 1/10th scale to what a full size version was imagined to be. However, this latest iteration is about to take things to a whole new scale – literally.
The Wild One Max will have a top speed of 30mph and a peak power output of 4kW, which is around 5.5bhp. Power comes from a single PowerPack onboard with a capacity of 2kWh and a range of up to 25 miles, depending on terrain and driving style. However, performance upgrades will be available
Rather than being 1/10th of full size, the Wild One MAX will be an impressive 8/10th scale and be suitable for drivers between 160cm (5ft3) and 195cm (6ft5) tall.
This means those who grew up in the late 1980s and early 1990s will be able to live out their Honey, I Shrunk the Kids! (and Honey, I Blew Up the Kid! sequel) childhood fantasy of being of adequate size to see one of their toys at a real-size scale.
Although at 8/10th scale, it is still slightly smaller than how a full size version was originally envisaged.
Production will be at the company’s Bicester Motion HQ in Oxfordshire and, like the toy version, it can be purchased from The Little Car Company and then assembled by the customer at home – though they will need a bigger box to store it in their garage.
The rear-wheel drive, off-road electric buggy will be approximately 3.5 metres long, 1.8m wide and weigh around 250kg.
It uses a spaceframe chassis, four-wheel coil-over suspension and 15-inch off-road tyres on lightweight wheels.
The buggy’s braking system includes hydraulic Brembo disc brakes on each corner, backed up by regenerative braking to maximise range, just like you’d find in full-scale electric and hybrid cars in showrooms today.
It also comes with a three-point seatbelt, digital gauges and a racing steering wheel.
The Little Car Company will produce a supply of 8/10th scale Wild One Max buggies and will provide additional packs that will make it road legal for use
The Wild One was released by Tamiya in 1985 and again in 2012. It is recognised as one of the toys of a generation for those growing up during that era
The life-size R/C car will be produced by The Little Car Company in Oxfordshire and, like the toy, have the option for customers to build their vehicle at home. It is likely to need a fairly large box
Anyone who has played with a remote control car in the past – especially one of Tamiya’s high-performance examples – will know they have blistering acceleration and surprisingly rapid top speeds.
However, this won’t necessarily be the case here. The ‘base’ Wild One Max comes will have a top speed of 30mph and a peak power output of 4kW, which is around 5.5bhp.
Power comes from a single PowerPack onboard with a capacity of 2kWh and a range of up to 25 miles, depending on terrain and driving style.
If you would like to go faster or further, up to four modular PowerPacks can be used at one time to increase the performance and range. These cost an extra £1,000 each, meaning paying out another £3,000 for the most potent set-up.
In theory, this should boost the range to up to 100 miles. And while The Little Car Company tells us the outright top speed should be ‘sensible for the road’, it won’t disclose what that precise figure is until it has completed ‘full testing’.
‘We may look at a long range system in the future to add even more performance and range,’ it said.
The life-scale model of this Tamiya remote controlled car will have the option of using up to four modular PowerPacks at one time to increase the performance and range. These cost an extra £1,000 each, meaning paying out another £3,000 for the most potent set-up
Rather than being 1/10th of full size, the Wild One Max will be an impressive 8/10th scale of what a full size car is envisaged to be and be suitable for drivers between 160cm (5ft3) and 195cm (6ft5) tall
The life-size remote control car will be road legal as it qualifies as a ‘quadricycle’
The firm has confirmed is that it will be entirely road legal, if buyers want it to be.
Among the selection of upgrade ‘Hop-Up’ packs will be a ‘Tarmac Pack’ that adds road tyres and mudguards and ‘Road Legal’ packs providing the components required to build the vehicle to be compliant with L6e or L7e Quadricycle legislation in Europe, or Neighbourhood Electric Vehicle legislation in the USA.
The customisable electric cars will cost from £6,000 plus local taxes, so from £7,200 in the UK with VAT included
These packs will include brake lights, indicators, reflectors and rear-view mirrors so you have everything to make your vehicle fully road legal.
While the vehicle will qualify as a ‘quadricycle’, younger motorists won’t be able to legally get behind the wheel on the road.
That’s because the current legislation demands that only ‘light quadricycles’ weighing less than 350kg and with a top speed no higher than 45kmh (27mph) are eligible for 16-year-old drivers to use.
Ben Hedley, CEO of The Little Car Company – which already produces scaled-down versions of Bugatti’s Type 35 (called the Bugatti Baby II) and Aston Martin DB5 Junior, both of which cost in excess of £50,000 – said of the scaled-up remote control car: ‘As a child of the ’80s, developing an almost full-size Tamiya model, which you can actually drive, is a dream come true.
‘We are honoured to be working with the Tamiya team on the project to bring one of their most iconic models to life for a new generation.
‘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!’
Pete Binger, chief executive of The Hobby Company, which is Tamiya UK’s official distributor, added: ‘We are massively flattered and thrilled by the launch of the Wild One Max by The Little Car Company under official licence from Tamiya.
‘Tamiya assembly R/C kits, especially our unique buggy range, have captured the imaginations of generations for over 40 years.
‘The prospect of a nearly full-size Tamiya buggy, which can be built and driven, is truly exciting and will be the ultimate vehicle for any Tamiya fan.’
The Tamiya Wild One MAX is expected to cost from £6,000 plus local taxes – so £7,200 with VAT – and is planned for global release in 2022.
Customers can reserve a build slot from today at WildOneMax.com with a £100 fully refundable deposit. Build slots are allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.
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