Automobile

Tamiya’s Wild One RC Buggy From the ’80s Is Becoming a Real Electric Off-Roader You Can Buy

To some younger Gen X-ers and older Millennials, the name Tamiya is synonymous with nostalgic afternoons wiled away at workbenches or in the dirt. Kids would assemble their remote-controlled Wild One buggies and send them across the roughest terrain in the neighborhood, often imagining themselves at the wheel. But driving a Wild One needn’t remain a fantasy, as Tamiya has licensed its Wild One design to the makers of the Bugatti Baby II, The Little Car Company, which will release a human-sized Wild One next year.

Like the one-tenth scale 1985 original and its 2012 re-release, the Wild One MAX will be a homebuilt electric buggy kit, but this time at eight times the original’s size. From its bucket seat-equipped cockpit, the driver can actuate its steering, Brembo brakes, and fully electric drivetrain, which The Little Car Company will produce with varying horsepower outputs, top speeds, and ranges.

Entry-level models will have a four-kilowatt (5.4-horsepower) electric motor on the rear axle that’ll push them up to 30 mph, and as far from home as 25 miles. There will be higher-performing variants, but The Little Car Company did not disclose their capabilities—though we’ve reached out for comment and will update when we hear back.

No matter the drivetrain, each Wild One MAX will get the original’s four-wheel independent suspension, which slings the passenger tub between 15-inch off-road tires. Though it doesn’t ride especially high for an ostensibly off-road vehicle, its minuscule base weight of 551 pounds will help stop it from digging into soft surfaces.

The Little Car Company anticipates some versions of the Wild One MAX will achieve street legality in some countries—likely Europe and parts of Asia, where nostalgic, short-range EVs like this Tamiya are better supported by competent city planning and infrastructure. If someone manages to get one plated in the United States, one can’t help but wonder if the Wild One MAX would be eligible for the $7,500 EV tax credit, which would cover most of this Tamiya’s roughly $8,360 starting price. A silly notion, yes, but perhaps not as silly as tax breaks on a $900,000 Ferrari.

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