Over the past few months I’ve been getting to know the guys at Porsche Cars North America. We don’t talk often, but when we do it’s a friendly and open conversation. I’m forward about my desire to drive a Porsche from their media fleet and their candid about the likelihood of that happening. So, you can imagine my surprise when the doorbell rang one night last week and I opened the door to find a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup VIP Car had just been dropped off in my driveway. Take a look at the images below and see for yourself.
I know, I know. You're most likely asking yourself, why would Porsche drop off a SuperCup track car in my driveway? Truth be told, they wouldn't. Tamiya, the manufacturer of high-performance radio controlled cars, however would. Especially if it meant a review of their officially licensed Porsche 911 GT3 Cup VIP. Did I fool any of you? Even for a second?
With a large collection of nitro and electric powered cars, trucks, boats and motorcycles some might say my interest in radio controlled toys borders on obsessive. So, it should come as no surprise to those who know me that I would jump at the chance to mix two of my favorite past times: Porsche and Radio Controlled Cars.
The Tamiya Porsche 911 GT3 Cup VIP is no different.
With inputs from Porsche, this RC car is an exact 1/10 replica (at least from the outside) of the SuperCup Porsche Design race car. The car Tamiya sent to me was “Ready to Run” (RTR) meaning it came completely built and packaged with almost everything you need to get started right in the box. The only thing you need to purchase separately is a 7.2 volt battery pack and charger. Once you've charged the battery, dropped a few double As into the remote and clipped on the body, you're good to go.
Below is a quick video that I put together while trying the car for the first time. After the video is my complete review including a few suggestions/modification that can only stand to make this car that much better. If you're interested in purchasing one of these for yourself you can find the kit on Amazon, Ebay or at you local hobby shop.
I Highly Recommend the Tamiya Porsche 911 GT3 CUP for Anyone Looking to get Started with RC Cars
Given my experience with RC cars and the fact that most of my cars are highly modified kits (vs. RTR) I wasn't expecting a whole heck of a lot. Let me say this, my expectations were totally off! Not only does this Tamiya look great, it runs even better. The car was responsive, quick and handled like a champ. The included LED lighting system is a really neat feature and can be highly modified if you like to tinker around (add blinkers, reverse lights, strobes, etc.) After searching around the web, I'm pretty sure I'm going to turn my unit into a modified drifter and really have even more fun with it (see the video at the end of this post.)
As I said above, I think this car is exceptionally well done for a RTR that took less than five minutes to open, assemble and put on the road (assuming you already have a charged battery.) My only suggestions to Tamiya are as follows:
- Change out the little tiny cotter pins that hold on the body with something more substantial. For anyone with a hand larger than a child they are pretty tough to handle. It's only fair to note that Tamiya isn't alone in this problem, most cars use these tiny pins and I end modifying all of mine as shown in the picture below. To do this simply take a plastic quick lock strap, loop it through the pin, trim it to about 1 and 1/2 inches, cover with surplus fuel tubing and you have an easy to handle quick release pin that even large adult hands can manage.
- The switch to turn the LEDs on and off is fixed under the body. Every time you want to turn this feature on or off, you have to take off the body, flip it over and activate the switch. It would be pretty easy and a nice feature to have this as a switch on the outside of the body for ease of use.
- Lastly, the braking on this car was exceptional. However, there was a bit of a delay between breaking and engaging reverse. Not sure if this is a function of the speed controller or something in the design. Has anyone else experienced this? Is there an easy adjustment or fix?
About the Tamiya Porsche 911 GT3 Cup VIP
• Newly designed TT-01 type E chassis features brand new A Parts and D Parts.
• Damper Stay and Gear Case parts are made from fiberglass-reinforced resin for greater strength. These parts are now also separately molded to enable easier maintenance (regular TT-01 had damper stay and gear case molded as one piece).
• New front and rear uprights are also made from durable fiberglass-reinforced resin.
• Improved steering linkage design features TA05 steering posts for sharper steering response.
• New upper deck enhances chassis rigidity and mimics Tamiya’s high-level race-spec machines.
• Upper deck also features a convenient transponder mount to further encourage fans to go to their local track and experience R/C racing.
• Rear suspension arms installed in reverse position to create shorter wheel base for greater scale accuracy.
• 4WD shaft-driven bathtub chassis with coil spring damped, 4-wheel independent double wishbone suspension and sealed front and rear gearboxes.
• Unmistakable Porsche 911 body shape is accurately reproduced with lightweight polycarbonate.
• TEU-101BK ESC, Type 540 motor, and LEDs for headlights and tail lights are all included.
• 2-Channel R/C system, 7.2V battery pack & charger.
• Compatible with a wide variety of Option Parts (sold separately).
• Flat Clear polycarbonate spray for an even more realistic finish
Drifting the Tamiya Porsche 911 GT3 Cup VIP
The video below gives you an idea of what is possible with this car if you purchase it in the kit format and turn it into a drifter. If you want to get right to the action, simply fast forward to about one minute in. Otherwise, watch and enjoy.