Tamiya has offered numerous vehicles based on their M-chassis for over twenty-five years and have earned a massive following around the world. People love the smaller size of these cars compared to your standard 1/10-scale touring cars. They are fun to drive, modify, race and have a footprint ideal for recreating accurate versions of 1:1 cars like a Suzuki Jimny. Originally, all of the Tamiya M-chassis cars were designed solely for on-road use. That is until Tamiya developed and released the MF-01X chassis. The Tamiya MF-01X vehicles have M-chassis pedigree with off-road capabilities.
Currently there are four Tamiya vehicles that come with the MF-01X chassis including the Ford Escort Mk.II Rally, Mercedes-Benz G320 Cabrio, Suzuki Jimny JB23 and the Volkswagen Beetle Rally. Below will be some details on each along with our recommendations on what hop-up option parts you should consider if you want to enhance the performance of the MF-01X.
ABOUT THE MF-01X CHASSIS
The Tamiya MF-01X chassis that was built to be perfectly capable on both asphalt and flat dirt surfaces. For a vehicle with this type of capability, you want a chassis that is tough and that is why Tamiya employed a monocoque frame that has the gearboxes integrated into it. Not only is the MF-01X chassis tough, but it is also compact. All of the cars come stock with a 540 brushed motor with the exception of the Ford Escort which includes a Tamiya Torque Tuned motor. The motor is positioned in the rear of the chassis with gear-driven rear wheels and a metal propeller shaft to transmit the power to the front gearbox. Both the front and rear gearboxes utilize tough and reliable gear differentials. Tamiya built the MF-01X chassis with three sections where if you change the central spacer section it enables you to select either short (210mm), middle (225mm) and long (239mm) wheelbases. Positioned in the middle of the chassis is the battery pack to help maintain a balanced setup for the 4WD chassis. Your standard four wheel independent double wishbone suspension with friction shocks helps to keep these cars in control while rallying.
MF-01X CHASSIS SPECS
- Scale: 1/10
- Chassis Type: MF-01X
- Length: 16.30 in. (414mm)
- Width: 6.42 in. (163mm)
- Wheelbase: Short 8.27 in. (210mm), Middle 8.86 in. (225mm), Long 9.41 in. (239mm)
- Construction Type: Assembly Kit
- Chassis: ABS plastic monocoque frame
- Drivetrain: Shaft-driven 4WD
- Differential: 3 gear, bevel gear diffs
- Bearings: Metal and plastic bushings
- Motor: 540 Torque-Tuned brushed
- Speed control: Electronic speed control
- Suspension: Lower H-links w/ front upper fixed links and rear upper adjustable links
- Shocks: Molded plastic, friction type
- Body material: Polycarbonate
- Required to complete: 2-channel radio system, steering servo, battery pack, battery charger, paint
MF-01X CURRENT KIT OPTIONS
Ford Escort Mk.II Rally — #58687
RC Rally racing is a total blast and if you have wanted to give it a shot, pick-up the Tamiya Ford Escort Mk.II Rally. This model recreates the classic Ford Escort Mk.II, but in rally trim. This particular livery was a RAC Rally Champion from 1975-1979. The polycarbonate body comes pre-painted in white and includes loads of detail stickers along with separately molded plastic components for the big fog lamps mounted on the front end along with side mirrors and bumper. Making contact with the ground are Tamiya rally block tires that are wrapped around blue colored 8-spoke one-piece plastic wheels. The Escort uses the long wheelbase length.
Mercedes-Benz G 320 Cabrio — #58629
If a rally car is not what you are looking for, then you have a great option in this Mercedes-Benz G 320 Cabrio sport utility vehicle. Tamiya selected the Cabrio model which is a convertible version of Mercedes’ popular G class of vehicles that was sold between 1997 and 2001. While many G Series cars were produced, this version featured a soft convertible top and was based on a short wheelbase version of the G Series chassis. Tamiya nicely replicated the G 320 Cabrio with a highly detailed polycarbonate body that is completed with some ABS molded parts like the side view mirrors. The Cabrio uses the long wheelbase length.
Suzuki Jimny JB23 — #58614
Here is the Suzuki Jimny JB23 and if you are familiar with these cool little trucks, then you will know it is modeled after the 3rd generation Jimny that came out in 1998. The telltale feature is its modernized rounded body design that concealed a potent little fuel injected, turbocharged 658cc engine. The wheels have a split spoke design like you would find on a real SUV like this and are wrapped with Tamiya’s rally block tires. The Jimny uses the middle wheelbase length.
Volkswagen Beetle Rally — #58650
We really like how Tamiya gave a nod to all the Volkswagen Beetles that competed on the global rally circuit from the 1950’s through to the 1980’s with this great looking RC version. The Beetle offered exceptional reliability and uncomplicated upkeep which made it an ideal car to champion in rally racing. A beautifully molded polycarbonate body very accurately captures the look and all of the details of the VW Beetle. Then when you add on the separately molded ABS metal-plated parts like the side mirrors, bumpers and fog lights followed by the rally-style stickers, you end up with one great looking rally Beetle. The Beetle uses the long wheelbase length.
TAMIYA HOP-UP OPTION PART RECOMMENDATIONS
M-Chassis Aluminum Damper Set — # 54000
A chassis like the Tamiya MF-01X is great for people just starting out in RC because it is very easy to build and maintain not to mention not cost a small fortune. One of the features on the MF-01X that has been created to be super easy to maintain while also keeping the overall price in check are the friction shocks. They can be built in a matter of minutes and do not use any oil which virtually does away with maintenance. The downside is that the MF-01X can be pretty bouncy when running off-road and become difficult to control. If you are reading this then you are obviously looking to improve performance and the way you fix the bouncy trait is with a full set of oil filled shocks like these Tamiya M-chassis aluminum damper set.
These shocks are not your ordinary aluminum dampers, but rather high-performance units designed just of the M-chassis models including the MF-01X. They have features like slick black coating on their mirror-surface interior of the aluminum shock cylinders, fluorine resin 2- and 3-hole pistons, soft silicone O-rings and fluorine resin spacers to minimize oil leakage. The shock bodies are threaded to adjust spring lengths and comes with three spring rates to choose from. Stepping up to these high-quality aluminum dampers is a pricy add-on and if you need a more affordable option, check out the Tamiya C.V.A. Super Mini Shock Unit Set (#50746).
We suggest that you pick-up the Tamiya M-05 Front Aluminum Damper Stay (#54236) and the Tamiya MF-01X Carbon Damper Rear Stay (#54659). The aluminum front damper stay is a lightweight component yet quite rigid to maximize the shock performance. There are also three different holes to attach the shock thus giving you more suspension tuning options. Like the aluminum damper stay, the carbon damper stay is much stiffer than the stock plastic unit. This translates into making your new shocks even more effective.
All of the Tamiya MF-01X cars include plastic and metal bushings. These units work fine to start off with and they help to keep the cost of the kits low. When you want more from your MF-01X, pick up this complete set of metal ball bearings. This set will replace all the stock bushings with these super smooth, high-quality bearings. They work great in reducing friction in the drivetrain and help keep components from wearing sooner than they need to.
This is a pretty neat hop-up from Tamiya. They are essentially universal drive shafts, however they are designed with double joints. The concept is to eliminate the binding that can be caused with the stock dogbones and will offer better performance over standard universal shafts. You will find improved steering when under power and better suspension action.
MF-01X Aluminum Propeller shaft — # 54671 (S), 54672 (M), 54673 (L)
You might be thinking that this optional propeller shaft is just to dress up the looks of the MF-01X chassis. It actually does more than that. Yes it is nicely anodized in Tamiya blue and includes a white logo which makes it look very sharp, but there is another benefit. This shaft is made of lightweight aluminum and is 1/3 the weight comparted to the stock steel propeller shaft. Less rotating mass equates to a more efficient drivetrain and more responsive to throttle input. Since there are three wheelbase lengths to choose from when building the MF-01X chassis, there are three different length optional hop-up aluminum propeller shafts to choose from.
If you are looking to swap out the stock motor for something with more horsepower, then we recommend picking up this MF-01X aluminum motor mount. In stock form the MF-01X comes with a molded plastic plate to mount the motor onto. Upgrading to this aluminum motor mount will give the hotter motor you are installing a more secure and rigid plate to attach too. And since it is machined from metal, you gain the added benefit of heat dissipation to help keep the motor running cool. Lastly you gain some style points with the brilliant blue anodizing that creates a cool looking blue vertical stripe on the rear gearbox.
For more information about Tamiya products, visit: TAMIYA