Back in April 2021, The Little Car Company announced plans to build a Tamiya Wild One MAX EV. It would combine the look of one of the most iconic radio-controlled cars in history with a battery powertrain for what looked like a huge amount of fun on four wheels. With official backing from Tamiya, too. Following the delays that have beset virtually every bit of the industry recently, its maker has now been confirmed that the Wild One MAX will be shown in full this summer. And it appears to have been worth the longer-than-expected wait.
Certainly the TLCC team hasn't been resting on their laurels. The production model is set to be a little bigger and a lot faster than the first concept following feedback from deposit holders. The finished item will now be capable of 60mph (where 30mph was originally stated) thanks to a substantial battery upgrade from one 2kWh pack to eight of them, meaning 14.4kWh. Even with the upgrade, the Wild One Max should still come in at 500kg or so, which means it can qualify for road-legal status (which 95 per cent of those with an order wanted) under L7e quadricycle regs.
Where the Wild One was previously said to be 3.5m long and 1.8m wide, it’s now 3.6m long and 1.9m wide - and the simple reason for that is that the car's customers wanted a passenger pew rather than the single-seat arrangement the original came with. Frankly, who wouldn't want just enough space to take another big kid along for the ride with you? The front suspension is now double wishbones instead of trailing arms, too. Which is also good.
The Wild One MAX won’t be merely a plaything either, TLCC stating some pretty punchy off-road stats. There’s 270mm of ground clearance, for starters, an approach angle of 34.1 degrees, a breakover of 28.4 and departure of 50.8. You can even have a windscreen (with wiper) if desired, to clear away whatever it is the Tamiya goes splashing through.
To begin with, the Wild One MAX will be built as a Launch Edition, fully assembled by The Little Car Company and with the public highway eligibility. We’re promised other models will follow ‘offering a variety in performance’; hopefully the dream of building a kit at home like the Tamiya original isn’t dead yet, and you'll just have to wait. As befits anything with a Launch Edition tag, be it electric buggy or luxury saloon, the Wild One comes crammed full of kit, with Cobra bucket seats, Brembo brakes, Bilstein dampers with Eibach springs and ‘an IP-rated digital screen with marine specification switches’ all as standard. It seems that TLCC has every intention of these Wild One Maxes being used as you might have as a nine-year-old - and who can argue with that?
The Little Car Company CEO, Ben Hedley, said: “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. 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 are incredibly excited to show you the finished car and can’t wait for everyone to experience it for themselves.” Bring on the summer, eh!
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