The Little Car Company’s name might ring a bell. Remember the exquisitely crafted small-scale Aston Martin DB5 Junior and Bugatti Baby II … well, we hesitate to call them toys, really, although children could certainly drive them. Many adults would fit, too, and we think for more than $30,000 a parent or enthusiastic big person should probably get to enjoy them at their 30 mph top speed at least once. In an awesome reversal of The Little Car Company’s usual modus operandi, the company’s paired up with Tamiya to release a larger version of one of its iconic model vehicles: the Wild One Max.
Launched in 1985, the Wild One is a remote-control (R/C) buggy that came in kit form. Now, 36 years later, the kids and adults that enjoyed building and racing the Wild One around yards and R/C tracks are perfectly positioned to be able to afford a really special nostalgic experience: getting inside and driving something they were wild about way back when. Frankly, it’s a brilliant idea.
And more to the point, a lot of the fun of Tamiya R/C kits was the ability to build it yourself, and then drive it around—combining the assembly fun of a static model with the enduring thrills of R/C adventuring. So, this big Wild One? It’s a kit, too. Yes, with decals to adhere, and even a catalog of upgrades just like its smaller forebear—individual “hop-ups” for both appearance and performance, and complete “packs” of upgrades to optimize the Wild One for, say, tarmac or off-road duty.
And since this is an 8/10ths scale, instead of a 1/10ths, version, the Max will be relatively large: 137.8 inches long overall and about 551 lbs, and able to accommodate drivers up to 6.5-feet tall. The chassis is a spaceframe design suspended by coilovers at each corner, coming standard with 15-inch off-road tires, and rear-wheel drive is the only option. Hydraulic Brembo disc brakes provide stopping power, and are supplemented by the electric drive motor’s regenerative braking.
Power is provided by a single electric motor and a 2-kWh battery pack, giving 5.5 horsepower peak and a maximum range of 25 miles. Upgrades can add power or battery capacity. The base top speed is a healthy 30 mph, which in this windscreen-less buggy should feel plenty quick.
There’s more! Upgrade packs to make it road-legal in various regions are available, including a kit to make it legal as a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle in the U.S. And The Little Car Company says this big Wild One Max should ring in at much, much less than the company’s other luxury offerings: $8,250 before tax. A refundable $140 deposit secures a spot on the build list, and also allows you to provide input on exactly which decals and features the company should make available.
Now, who can we talk to about getting a large-scale Sand Scorcher, anyways?