Best Tamiya RC Cars

Best Tamiya RC Cars: Ultimate Guide To Choose One!

The name Tamiya is quite respected in the realm of RC since 1960. Till today Tamiya has produced 70+ RC models. 

Their keen observation of details as well as dedication to delivering the best has made them such a huge brand. And so for any RC hobbyist, there cannot be a better brand than it.    

However, it is a mammoth task to pick out the best from such a vast collection. But you shouldn’t really worry as we took all the blows for you. 

Here, we have put up a list of the five best Tamiya RC cars one can find in the market. Let’s jump right into it.

Comparison Table

Image

Product

Weight

Terrain Use

Price

RC Subaru Impreza Monte Carlo 99

Weight: 3.41 pounds

Multi-Purpose

RC Subaru WRX STI 24H Nurburgring

Weight: 4.23 pounds

On-Road

RC Ford Mustang GT4

Weight: 2.2 pounds

On-Road

RC Honda NSX

Weight: 3.74 pounds

On-Road

RC Audi Quattro A2

Weight: 0.32 pounds

On-Road

RC Subaru Impreza Monte Carlo 99
Specifications:

  • Material: Polycarbonate
  • Weight: 3.41 pounds
  • Electronic brushless or brushed speed controller.
  • Powerful 540cc electric motor.
  • Terrain Use: Multi-Purpose

Product Overview

The first Tamiya RC car that we have is none other than the RC Subaru Impreza Monte Carlo 99. This car is a faithful replica of the Subaru Impreza WRC from 99. 

There are some extraordinary features that influenced me to put it on number one. Let’s talk about them one by one.

The first thing that I want to talk about is its motor. The Subaru Impreza MC99 includes a torque-tuned motor. This is an upgraded version of the standard 540 Tamiya motor. 

Now, a torque-tuned motor focuses on the torque ratio. Torque is quite important to describe the performance of an RC, especially an electric RC. More torque means more speed 

The torque tuned motor along with the 6-speed semi-automatic transmission enhances its performance further. 

This pair provides speed with a wide range of gears. Which means better control over the RC. Moreover, low-range gear means better traction. 

There is also another feature that helps to control the RC smoothly. And that is friction dampers.

Now, friction dampers absorb the kinetic energy. And transform them into thermal energy. This process helps to navigate the RC smoother. For instance, by reducing hard stops.

All these features help this model to stand out from the rest. And how do they do so? 

By making Subaru Impreza MC99 a great RC for both on and off-road use. 

Now, there is no doubt it is a great product worthy of its hype. But there are some things that can use a little improvement. 

For example, this Tamiya RC uses NiMH batteries instead of Lipo batteries.

Lipo batteries are far more long-lasting than NiMH batteries. 

However, it is rather small insignificance. Because even though NiMH batteries do not last as long as the Lipo ones, they still last pretty long. And they are also cheaper. So, that’s a bonus right here.

Pros

  • Upgraded torque tuned motor offers better performance.
  • It offers higher speed and improved acceleration compared to the rest enlisted products.
  • Due to having a torque tuned motor, the turn ratio is compatible to be used both on and off-road.
  • The friction dampers help to reduce hard stops.

Cons

  • Requires 7.2 V NiMH battery pack which is not as long-lasting as Lipo batteries.

RC Subaru WRX STI 24H Nurburgring Specifications:

  • Weight: 4.23 pounds
  • Terrain Use: On-Road
  • Material: Nylon, Plastic, Rubber

Product Overview

The second best Tamiya RC car on the list is RC Subaru WRX STI 24H Nurburgring. Subaru Impreza and Subaru WRX both are great products. And it was rather difficult to decide the positions. 

But due to one or two minor benefits, we’ve crowned the Impreza in the first position. That does not mean you should be wary of this product. Subaru WRX has immense potential.

And if you are a beginner RC hobbyist, then I will recommend you this over the Impreza. Because Subaru WRX is extremely beginner-friendly. 

The TT-02 chassis is easy to assemble. You need to put the battery on the left and the motor on the right, that’s it. It is not only easy but this layout also offers stability. 

Now, just because it is beginners level that does not mean you can’t hop it up. The chassis is designed for continuous adaptability. You can add up to ten ranges of gear ratios.

You may have noticed that the Subaru WRX’s weight is higher than the rest. Now, there is always confusion about the right weight of an RC. 

But the safer option is to go with the heavier ones. And in case you are a newbie, you should follow it by heart. 

Now, it is very easy to assemble and control. But when I was testing it, the wheels were kind of loose. And so they were not working well.

Once I ordered spare wheels, the RC was running smoothly as I expected from it.

Pros

  • The TT-02 chassis is beginner-friendly yet highly adaptable and versatile.
  • The polycarbonate body material is lightweight as well as durable.
  • The kit is very budget-friendly.

Cons

  • The wheels sometimes do not work 

RC Ford Mustang GT4

Specifications:

  • Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Terrain Use: On-Road
  • Material: Plastic

Product Overview

The next RC on the list is RC Ford Mustang GT4. It was inspired by the Ford Shelby GT350R-C. 

I usually talk about the technical aspects before going to the external materials and the body. But in this case, for once I will make an exception.

And the sole reason to do so is the extraordinary replica of the Ford model. Tamiya and Ford Performance and Multimatic Motorsports jointly designed the Ford Mustang GT4. 

The polycarbonate design body was designed with the CAD data of the actual car to deliver superb accuracy. It is a must-have for any RC hobbyist who is also a huge Ford fanatic.

Now coming to the technical part, they are similar to the Subaru WRX. It also has a TT-02 chassis along with a torque-tuned motor.

Listen carefully because I am about to give you in on a secret tip. One thing I like to do before buying any RC is to look up its spare part online. 

And why do I do so? Because life is too short to waste time on finding spare parts that are not easily available. 

Lucky for you, this RC has a huge range of stock parts online. And above that, this kit is super cheap. 

However, when you try to hop up the RC with advanced servo, batteries, and receivers, the total amount may exceed the actual price of the kit.  

Pros

  • The replica is flawless with superb accuracy to all the details.
  • Stock parts are easy to find
  • The car kit is cheap

Cons

  • The separate servo, transmitter, and receiver may cost more than the kit.

RC Honda NSX
Specifications:

  • ESC Included
  • 27t Brushed 540 Motor Included
  • Terrain Use: On-Road
  • Friction Shocks
  • Weight: 3.74 pounds

Product Overview

We are almost at the end of our list. The product I will talk about right now is RC Honda NSX. 

The replica perfectly captures the aerodynamic style of the NSX. Just like other Tamiya products on the list it has a torque-tuned motor. Its drivetrain is 4WD just like the rest of them. 

Now the chassis is huge. It has a bathtub-like structure. Which offers ample space for all the necessary upgrades one may want to do. 

But the feature that makes it one of the ‘best of the best is its nine-speed dual-clutch. It is especially great for performance driving. Such as RC driving where one may do a lot of stunts. 

The dual-clutch provides amazing precision. And shifting gear is so smooth, you can change it extremely fast. You will find this feature really helpful.

Another thing to point out about the Honda NSX is its hybrid powertrain. The hybrid powertrain has three electric motors and a mid-mounted twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6. They combinedly make the output of 573 HP. The superior HP is the reason behind its top speed.

However, hybrid powertrains drain a lot of energy. And as a result, batteries run faster than the other models.

Another thing that is quite different about the NSX is that its drivetrain is all-wheel type.

Though the all-wheel type offers maximum traction on road, it is not very suitable for off-road usage.

 

Pros

  • The nine-speed dual-clutch offers a smooth shift and a high degree of precision.
  • The bathtub type frame of chassis provides ample space for adaptation
  • The hybrid powertrain with a combined output of 573 HP offers top speed for an RC.

Cons

  • The hybrid powertrain may degenerate the batteries faster than usual.
  • All-wheel drivetrain makes it unsuitable for off-road driving.

RC Audi Quattro A2
Specifications:

  • Weight: 0.32 ounces
  • Terrain Use: On-Road

Product Overview

And the final product on the list is the RC Audi Quattro A2, an incredible replica of the iconic Audi rally race car.

Firstly, let’s talk about the good parts. The Audi Quattro has a double-wishbone suspension. It means the tires will have more contact with the surface. Which gives better stability. And offers better handling performance through the consistency of steering and wheel alignments. 

A unique feature is the lights on this RC. The makers have provided a scope to improve the lights by adding LED lights that are sold separately. However, you cannot upgrade the fog lights.

Now, let’s come to the part that concerns me. You see the Audi Quattro A2 is the lightest of all the enlisted products. 

On the right hand, they can be an excellent competition. However, driving such a light RC can be difficult for an average user. It will be harder to control the speed. Therefore, there will be a high risk of overturning the vehicle. 

And this makes it susceptible to damage. But if you have experience of handling such lightweight products then I would suggest giving it a try. You won’t be disappointed, that’s for sure.

Pros

  • Double wishbone suspension makes the RC more stable.
  • Consistent steering and wheel alignments offer better handling performance.
  • The light cases can be upgraded as they are compatible with separately sold LEDs

Cons

  • The fog lamps cannot be upgraded.
  • The model is too lightweight which makes it less durable.

Buying Guide

Now, I know it is hard to memorize all the technical specs. Therefore, I have listed a few basic criteria below to make matters easier for you. You cannot afford to miss these while buying your next best Tamiya RC car. Basic info is important even while picking between TT01 and TT02.  

So, let’s get into the basics-

Scale: Bigger One or Smaller?

One of the first things you must consider before buying an RC car is the scale of it. The size of the RC is measured as the fraction of a full-sized car. It depends on the length, width, and height of the original car it is modeled after.

For instance, a 1/8 Audi Quattro A2 RC car is one-eighth the original vehicle’s length, width, and height.

One of the most common scales of an RC is 1/10. Now, an RC can be double or triple in size. But that may not be the best option for an RC hobbyist. 

You see, the bigger the scale the costlier it is. You would need bigger spare parts to put on your RC, a bigger battery, a bigger receiver. Not only the size but the components as well must be suitable to perform well on that scale. And unfortunately, all that comes with a higher price.

Therefore, the most suitable is a size that will offer the speedy performance of an RC without putting a hole in your pocket. And 1/10 is just the right scale. 

To make your decision a little easier, all the Tamiya RC cars we have enlisted here are 1/10 in scale. 

4WD vs 2WD: Which Should You Choose?

Whether an RC is 2WD or 4WD, is a crucial factor to ponder on. Now, what exactly is 2WD or 4WD?

Well, 2WD means two-wheel drive and 4WD means four-wheel drive. When the power is distributed on two wheels of a car from its engine through the drivetrain it is called 2WD. Now, it could be either the front two wheels or the rear two wheels.

And when the power is distributed equally to all four wheels it is called 4WD. You see there are advantages and disadvantages of both 2WD and 4WD. 

But you need to ensure stability when it comes to performance-induced driving like that of an RC.

You would need better traction. Because there will be a decent amount of skids and wheelies.

And for that, 4WD takes a tad bit of advantage. It offers an easier speed control and is suitable for critical environments. 

So, even though 4WD is a bit pricier than 2WD, you should go for an RC that is compatible with 4WD.

Torque-Tuned Motor vs Standard 540 Motor

Now, this feature is a Tamiya exclusive feature. Because the torque-tuned motor is a special kind of motor that Tamiya came out with.

This newly developed motor offers performance that is between that of a standard 540 motor and a sport-tuned motor. 

As the name suggests, a torque tuned motor focuses mainly on torque. Higher torque suggests the motor’s ability to perform better. 

Now, a torque-tuned motor may have a higher speed. But it has less turn ratio compared to the standard 540 motors. 

A Standard 540 turns 27T and has a top speed of 24.3Km/h. And a torque-tuned motor turns 25T  and has a top speed of 26km/h.

Therefore, compared to a standard 540 motor, it provides a higher top speed and improved acceleration when used with RC cars. 

Model of Your Preference

You see, preference is a subjective matter. But that does not mean it is not equally important to be considered. 

In the end, it will be you who will assemble, paint and then drive it. So, you should be its number one admirer.

If you are an ardent fan of Ford cars, then I would suggest buying a 1/10 scale model of any Ford car. However, if you are passionate about Audi, then go for it. 

In the field of appearance, there is no wrong answer, that’s what I personally believe. 

Lastly, after making the decision and buying your Tamiya RC car, you have one more task. That is to upgrade the Tamiya RC from time to time. This way you’ll have a great experience with the car.

FAQs

Question: What servo can I use in my Subaru WRX?

Answer: You can use the DSSERVO 20 high rate in the Subaru WRX.

Question: Does the Subaru Impreza do the drift tricks?

Answer: You need to switch to the drift tires in order to do the trick.

Question: Does the body of the Honda NSX come painted?

Answer: No, it does not. You have to paint it yourself.

Conclusion

With this, we have come to the end. Hopefully, now you can detect the best Tamiya RC cars out there. If there are any more queries, comment below. 

And let us know what you would like to know about next….

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