2WD buggies are super fun to drive, are easily maintainable and not to mention an affordable way to get into the off-road RC scene. Since they are only two-wheel-drive, it reduces the number of parts required thanks to a simple drivetrain system and this helps to help keep the price down. On top of that 2WD buggies are easier to maintain with a less complex chassis. Behind the wheel, these cars are a total blast to drive. They handle well on off-road terrain and can jump very well. Following is the 2WD off-road buggy lineup from Tamiya. This lists includes all the currently offered vehicles from Tamiya except for the chassis kits. You will find modern buggies along with some comical versions of Tamiya buggies and even a few of the classic releases that helped shape the RC world.
The Astute 2022 is one of the latest 2WD off-road buggy releases to enter into the Tamiya lineup. If you are on old school Tamiya fan, you will recognize the Astute name from the original that was released back in 1989. This is an entirely new version of that buggy that is now based on the Tamiya TD2 chassis. The TD2 is a 2WD variation of the TD4 chassis and utilizes a unique inboard front suspension layout. This gives the Astute 2022 a very low-profile with an ultra-narrow nose that resembles a formula one racecar. Exceptional handling is partially aided by the 25 degree skid angle of the front suspension arms that are nicely mated to CVA oil-filled shocks that allow the suspension to move smoothly.
In order to create a very stiff structure, Tamiya created a one-piece monocoque frame for the chassis of the Astute 2022. The drivetrain spins on ball bearings to keep friction to a minimum and a ball differential is spec’d for the transmission. Proper balance of the chassis is achieved with both the battery and motor mounted transversely.
Blitzer Beetle 2011—#58502
Desert racing has inspired quite a few of Tamiya’s vehicles and the Blitzer Beetle is no exception. The Blitzer Beetle comes with an injection ABS molded body instead of polycarbonate. This gives the body more realistic details which is further enhanced with metal-plated chrome side mirrors and headlight bezels. On top of that, Tamiya includes a driver figure torso complete with a steering wheel.
Under the body sits a tough, lightweight ABS bathtub chassis with the 2WD enclosed gearbox and motor is mounted at the rear. Each corner has CVA oil shocks with 4-wheel independent double wishbone suspension. One piece, molded orange, multi-spoke wheels are used at the front and rear with the front spiked tires featuring a three rib pattern for improved handling while the rear tires have a mix of spikes and X-pattern that makes up the tread and provides plenty of grip.
Holiday Buggy 2010—#58470
The Holiday Buggy is a blast from the past with the original released over 40 years ago in 1980. The 2010 version comes with the straight-forward Tamiya DT-02 chassis. The body is molded in blue ABS plastic so you don’t have to paint the body to achieve the classic Holiday Buggy look. It comes with headlight buckets that get mounted up front as well as on the roof. A plastic platform makes up the cockpit and has the driver figure molded into it. You need to attach the driver’s head and cowboy hat. For some added scale realism, Tamiya provides plastic jerrycans that can bolted onto either side of the body.
Beginners will appreciate the easy of assembly of the Tamiya DT-02 chassis. It has a bathtub design with the battery run down its centerline, 4-wheel independent suspension and a 380 brushed motor to spin the transmission.
The Mad Bull almost did not make this list because of its very odd setup for a 2WD buggy that runs massive monster truck chevron treaded tires. A tough ABS injection molded body that matches the one used on the Tamiya Grasshopper II comes stock with the Mad Bull. Inside the cockpit of this off-roader is a single seater setup with a molded driver with partial torso give it a nice added touch of some realism. Big yellow wheels are wrapped with the giant tires and a larger sticker sheet so that you can replicate the box art of the Mad Bull.
Tamiya uses its proven monocoque chassis that is decked out with front swing arm and rear rolling rigid suspension setups. Red plastic body friction shocks that are super easy-to-maintain support the suspension all around. For added ground clearance and even more shock absorption, the Mad Bull rolls on giant 115mm tires. When it comes to building the Mad Bull, Tamiya has saved you some time by having the wheels installed into the tires, the shocks are already assembled and the uprights are connected to the steering linkage.
Neo Fighter Buggy—#58587
Here is the Neo Fighter Buggy that comes with the DT-03 chassis, a variation of the DT-02 that comes with the Holiday Buggy mentioned above. The DT-03 is very narrow and is built using a monocoque system that allows the chassis to be light in weight while being very durable, not to mention it protects the electronics mounted within. On top sits a polycarbonate body complete with rear wing and a sticker sheet to finish it off.
Like the DT-02, the battery is positioned longitudinally along with the steering servo, receiver and speed control for excellent balance. This buggy can easily tackle off-road terrain with its long 287mm wheelbase and friction dampers and 4-wheel double wishbone suspension. At the rear is an enclosed gearbox to keep it protected from dirt and debris and inside spins a durable gear differential. Tamiya selected a standard tire setup with front ribbed tires and rear square spike tires.
The Racing Fighter is similar to the New Fighter Buggy in that it comes with the DT-03 chassis. Tamiya designed this chassis as the ideal way to get people started in RC. It is very easy to build with hassle-free assembly steps. As a bonus with the Racing Fighter, it comes with a torque-tuned brushed motor instead of a stock Mabuchi 540 to make it faster out of the box. Moreover, CVA oil shocks are included instead of friction shocks which will allow the Racing Fighter to handle rough terrain with more ease. The polycarbonate body has a more boxy style to it that is more in line with what a real off-road buggy would look like and comes paired with a stylish rear wing.
If building a kit is not something you want to tackle, Tamiya offers the Racing Fighter as an X-SA model (#46702). If you are not familiar with the X-SA designation, these are models that come with fully assembled and setup chassis with a speed control included, plus a fully painted body and detailed with stickers. All that is left is for you is to add your own radio system and battery pack and you are ready to drive.
If you have not already surmised, the majority of the buggies listed here have a simply and uncomplicated chassis design. The Rising Fighter is no exception with its ABS resin bathtub chassis and floating rear gearbox. Up front there are lower A-arms supported by plastic friction shocks which are also used at the rear. The fully enclosed gearbox is quite tough and keeps dirt from entering inside. A stock 540 brushed motor spins the gears with a reliable gear differential that is key for tight turning ability. White one piece wheels are used at the front and rear with the front being narrower and wrapped with wide groove treaded tires. The wider rear wheels are mated to square spike tires for serious traction. An ABS resin body with driver figure and rear wing top of this buggy.
Arguably the most iconic 2WD buggy here is the Tamiya Sand Scorcher. This is a re-release of the buggy that came out all the way back in 1979 and was so well-loved by thousands of RCers. It’s realistic looks is one of the big draws to this buggy thanks to its accurately reproduced ABS plastic VW buggy body that replicates the car that competed in the Baja 1000 in California. Tamiya includes metal plated chrome parts for the headlight bezels, side view mirrors and even the “VW” emblem mounted just ahead of the windshield. At the rear is a plastic cage like you would see on the real buggy that would protect the motor with exhaust pipes and even a metal whip antenna.
Underneath the body is an old-school chassis setup featuring 2mm thick FRP plate with aluminum reinforcing plate to provide strength and flexibility. An enclosed gearbox sits at the rear is constructed from aluminum with a plastic cover over the gears. Swing axle setups with die-cast aluminum suspension arms and oil shocks finish off the rear. Up front are more die-cast aluminum suspension arms but differ in that they have a trailing arm design. A plastic mechanism box houses the electronics and battery pack for protection from the elements. Three-piece plastic wheels are found at the front and rear with grooved fronts and ribbed rear tires.
The Sand-Viper is based on the DT-02 chassis yet is a step up, performance wise, comparted to the Holiday Buggy. Tamiya equipped the Sand-Viper with a larger 540 brushed motor and scrapped with friction shocks for a complete set of super smooth operation oil filled dampers. Full ball bearings support the drivetrain and 2WD enclosed gearbox spins a gear diff inside. Four-wheel double wishbone independent suspension has the ability to smooth out uneven off-road terrain and makes this buggy a great racer.
A lightweight polycarbonate body with edgy styling and large rear wing give the Sand-Viper its modern RC buggy looks. To nicely compliment the yellow paint scheme and stickers, Tamiya includes gray-colored one-piece plastic wheels and spec’d spiked rear tires and grooved fronts.
If you were a kid in the 80’s, chances are you were familiar with The Frog. It has the most unique looking chassis out of the bunch with a gray molded plastic space frame. Rear trailing arms supported by horizontally mounted oil-filled shocks provides effective shock absorption. Up front is a double wishbone setup that uses an in-board spring and rigid metal components. An enclosed rear gearbox feeds power out to the rear wheels via steel dogbones. The battery is positioned as low as possible on the chassis for the best stability and weight balance. It also makes it easy to change the battery and does not require the removal of the body.
A driver figure is mounted on the chassis and is then covered by the polycarbonate body with rear wing attached. Two plastic molded light buckets are included and add some nice detail to The Frog. Narrow front grooved tires and wide spike tires are wrapped around 3-piece plastic wheels.
The Grasshopper was another buggy that was released in the 80’s and was intended for the beginner. This re-release version is just like the original with a chassis that has a very straightforward layout which makes it easy for someone who is just starting out to build and maintain. It is also equipped with a 380 brushed motor that keeps the overall speed down and thus makes it easier to drive. Paddle style rear tires and grooved front tires roll on 3-piece plastic wheels and work great on most surfaces. An ABS body that mimics full-size single seat buggies is screwed onto the bathtub style chassis. The battery is easily accessed from the underside. Friction shocks with springs help this buggy negotiate off-road terrain.
Tamiya also offers The Grasshopper in its X-SA configuration (#46704). It comes out of the box completely assembled with the body completed right down to the placement off all the stickers. All that is left is to install a radio system and add a battery pack.
The Grasshopper II 2017—#58643
The Grasshopper II is essentially a variation of The Grasshopper and is equipped with the same chassis, friction shocks and gearbox. The front suspension arms were updated and it does have a sleeker and modernized looking ABS plastic body complete with a small driver figure. At each corner, instead of 3-piece wheels, Tamiya went with one-piece plastic multi-spoke wheels. The tires were also tweaked and now uses spike tires for the rear and a more aggressive groove tire for the front.
The Grasshopper II Black Edition—#47471
The Black Edition of The Grasshopper II is exactly the same as the standard The Grasshopper II except that it comes with the ABS body molded in black and only need stickers to be applied to finish it.
The same year that The Grasshopper was released, The Hornet hit the market. The Hornet was in all intents and purposes an upgraded version of The Grasshopper and was Tamiya’s most popular buggy ever released. It had awesome performance on both dirt and on-road tracks. The Hornet shown here has the same bathtub chassis, rear gearbox and suspension arms as The Grasshopper, but is equipped with rear aluminum body oil filled shocks, a larger and more powerful 540 brushed motor and a tweaked rear suspension system. Tamiya also gave The Hornet a polycarbonate body and wing which gave a better CG to the buggy and completed it with a driver figure.
The Hornet is also available as an X-SA model (#46703) where is assembled right down to a finished body. You just add a radio system and battery pack.
Wild One Off-Roader—#58525
The scale realism of the Tamiya Wild One is hard to deny. It is one great looking 2WD buggy complete with a roll cage, headlights, cockpit and driver figure. The standard ribbed front tires provide directional control while the rear tires with block tread pattern offer high grip which is ideal for off-road running. A durable and lightweight ABS chassis is the backbone to the Wild One and was built to be compatible with today’s battery packs. Oil-filled shocks matched to four-wheel independent suspension and trailing arms makes this buggy great to drive. The 2WD gearbox is enclosed with a reliable gear differential spinning inside. To protect the driveline, rubber boots cover the dogbone-type joints.
Wild One Off-Roader Blockhead Motors—#58695
In acknowledgement of the Wild One Off-Roader’s popularity over the last several decades, Tamiya decided to celebrate the buggy with a special release, the Wild One Off-Roader Blockhead Motors version. The sticker set is designed by Jun Watanabe’s brand “Blockhead Motors” which has produced stickers and apparel and customizations of Tamiya off road buggy models from the 1980s. This version comes with the body pre-cut and pre-painted in light blue, and includes metal plated parts, window nets, number plates and a dummy antenna.
The Tamiya Zahhak is quite possibly the most race capable buggy in this article. It was derived from the high-end, expert-level TRF201 buggy. When you look over the Zahhak’s DN-01 chassis, you can see that it has a similar layout as the TRF201 including four-wheel double wishbone suspension with long-span suspension arms, longitudinal battery position and a compact rear mounted gearbox. Electronics are mounted on either side of the battery compartment ad keeps the overall CG nice and low. Up front is a monocoque section that features a steering crank with built-in servo saver, an aluminum front suspension mount and CVA oil filled shocks that are also carried over to the rear of the Zahhak. A cool feature is that you can upgrade this buggy to the TRF201 specifications with all of the available Tamiya Hop-Up Options Parts.
Comical Frog—#58673, Comical Grasshopper—#58662 AND Comical Hornet—#58666
The last three of the 2WD off-road buggy lineup from Tamiya are all from the Comical series of vehicles: Comical Frog, Comical Grasshopper and Comical Hornet. All three utilize the Tamiya WR-02CB chassis which is a super fun to drive platform that works great on and off-road and can wheelie. Polycarbonate bodies with stickers based on the original buggies come with each Comical buggy. There are also light buckets that LEDs can be added to along with dual flags and even molded rear exhaust pipes. Neat bubble tires help to give these buggies a fun look and have color coordinating 6-spoke wheels.
Underneath the body is the WR-02CB chassis that comes out of the box with the gearbox pre-assembled with the motor already attached. Long suspension arms supported with CVA oil-filled shocks aid these buggies to handle some rough terrain. Side guards and under guards act as a way to keep the chassis protected and at the rear is a wheelie bar to keep the buggies from rolling over backward when you punch the throttle.
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