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Tamiya Hot Shot re-release

Tamiya Hot Shot


  • Model #: 58391
  • Gallery: View
  • Released: 2007
  • Prebuilt: No
  • Category: Buggies
  • Chassis: Hot Shot
  • Scale: 1/10
  • Use: Offroad
  • Style: 4WD buggy
  • Config: MA
  • Driveline: Shaft drive
  • Body: Polycarbonate
  • Finished body: No
  • Susp. front: Double wishbone
  • Susp. rear: Double wishbone

Photo gallery samples

Visit the full Tamiya Hot Shot gallery for more photos.

JANG's Impressions

First released in 1985, the Hot Shot was Tamiya's very first 4WD buggy, and in its day, it was the best game in town. It featured double wishbone independent suspension in the front and rear, sway bars, adjustable oil monoshocks, front kickup, and a low-mounted mid motor configuration for class-dominating performance, at least for a brief while before the competition heated up even further. I, personally, remember seeing a Grasshopper and Hot Shot side by side in a hobby shop back in those days, and though I wanted the Grasshopper more than life itself, I dared not covet the Hot Shot, for it was to me a rich adult's dream toy, something a humble kid like me couldn't even imagine ever owning.

In 2007, Tamiya re-released the Hot Shot to worldwide applause, giving me a chance to finally own what I once thought unattainable, and at a reasonable price, no less. Once again Tamiya was as faithful as reasonably possible to the original, but they did make a few sensible design adjustments to subtly improve the durability and handling of the car. First, the traditional Tamiya ball hex center shaft was replaced with a dogbone-ended shaft that is lighter and less likely to strip. Next, the shocks were redesigned on the inside. At the bottom, a rebuildable lower seal cartridge was added. At the top, the dual-rate "flapped" 4-hole piston was changed out for a single-rate 2-hole unit, and the old spring-loaded volume compensating upper cap was replaced with a simple silicone bladder setup. Finally, there was the whole issue of the highly recognizable Hot Shot MSC resistor heat sinks. Tamiya wasn't about to include a MSC in a modern kit, but they weren't interested in losing a trademark visual feature of a classic car either. Their solution? Dummies! Hollowed out aluminum pieces are mounted in the stock locations.

While the Hot Shot's suspension looks somewhat sophisticated and performance-oriented, it actually has some very fundamental flaws. Both monoshock arrangements are linked up in a way that actually promotes roll. The sway bars actually have to fight against the suspension itself and don't have the power to really work against roll forces. At the rear it's even worse, where the interesting cantilever setup is actually geometrically self-defeating and will bind solid under even compression by the time the lower suspension arms are parallel with eachother.

Flaws aside, the Hot Shot was, again, the best-performing buggy when it was first released, and to this very day it remains a completely iconic model in the history of both Tamiya and RCs in general, and a great model to own either as a shelf queen or for an occasional nostalgic drive.

The Build

Unfortunately I didn't have the pleasure of building this one as I purchased it pre-assembled. You can preview the construction, though, by viewing at the pages of the manual in the gallery.