Model Number: 58045
Friction front, Coil over oil filled rear
Bathtub ABS black plastic
Everybody had a Hornet. The universal first time buyer car. A brilliant package combining high performance, agile handling and durability. The car was easy to maintain and to hop up.
The Hornet was my introduction to the world of Tamiya and RC. Some will say the Hornet is pedestrian compared to other higher performance models, and they are right. However, Let's not dismiss the Hornet for it's lack of Hop-ups. One thing can be said for the Hornet, it's extremely robust! Some even use the term 'bulletproof'. The planetary gears and rolling rear axel tend to be very strong. The floating rear axel and oil shocks in the rear of the Hornet give it a nice feel, especially on soft dirt. Yes, the friction shocks in the front do leave much to be desired. Obviously, understeer is a big problem on tarmac. The tub chassis does lend to it's strong, sturdy character. When paired with an upgraded Tamiya Super Sport motor, it will propell itself along very nicely. For some reason many of us Hornet owners have a storied love affair with this beauty. It's obvious I'm smitten with the Hornet. So it is my recommendation that if your just starting out in RC, the Hornet is a good choice. And if your a long time collector, well perhaps you should fall in love with the Hornet as well. One thing about the Hornet that is true, you can sure beat the snot out of it and chances are, She will keep on running!
Seen as an upmarket Grasshopper by the fitting of the RS 540 motor, oil shocks that didn't seem to work as well as the normal friction ones and a polycarb body, Tamiya reinvented their beginners car for the upmarket beginner.
It's basic construction and lack of set up adjustments made it simple to use and not taxing to set up for optimum performance which was pretty much what you got out of the box. The Hornet was never going to be a winner and this showed by the lack of hop-ups that where available. For serious Tamiya buggy racing the ORV Frog was the car of choice. But this never stopped it from being a worthy runner up.
It was pretty to look at though it's sister was far prettier. Decals applied and painted simple mono tone black it was easy to paint and very hard to make it look like a dogs dinner. This was one car that you could never go wrong with. Start to get cocky with the paint like the Frog and it would go wrong. But then we were all small children when this came out and our abilities were called into question.
Driving is vigorous to say the least. It bounces and changes direction at ease with out the drivers input. Not the best in a race situation but for what it lacked in controlable damping it wasn't that bad in the corners, well sort of not bad. In keeping with Tamiya fashion it would understeer at full speed but slow down and it was off the track and into the crowd or spinning in circles, all was not lost though as this thing really did have the legs to catch up with the cars in front.
Where this thing excelled in was off road sand and dust thanks to the spiked tires and light wieght and in the jumps it was a winner. For some reason it was beautifully balanced and took to flying like the name suggests. You had to be very unlucky to get the inflight system wrong with this car.
There is one serious weaknesses with this car and that's the chassis which also plays a huge part in holding the car altogether. The irony here is that it's the suspension mounts that give up well before the gearbox needs a strip down and service. That part really is its saving grace for once the Hornet has been deemed dead on arrival you can mount it to anything you like (with a little bodgery and cutting to the car needing the power train) it will once again give hours of fun even if it doesn't look like the shiney black Hornet it once was.