I've really enjoyed reading this thread so far, great to see people's thoughts and perspectives. I'm another who believes a car should at least have a driver and preferably an interior, even if the interior is sold as an optional extra. As mentioned earlier in the thread, the interiors that are currently available are quite nice but a little more variety would be appreciated. The current range of driver figures could also benefit from an overhaul as most of them are showing their age - less-than-sharp detail in some cases, imperfect joins in many. Comparing a 1/10 driver figure to, for example, a 1/35 military figure it's hard not to feel that RC figures are rather neglected! Given Tamiya's prowess as a scale model manufacturer, it's easy to imagine what they could achieve with even a relatively small range of new figures, interiors and detail parts.
I was also intrigued by the mention of slotcar racing. Slotcars were my main hobby from around 1998-2008. Not the wing cars shown in the video earlier, but the scale cars. During the late 90s and early 2000s, scale slot racing expanded massively. As mentioned earlier, Fly were a huge part of that. I think it's fair to say they took the market by storm. Sure, their cars were pretty fast, aided by stronger magnets than those used by Scalextric, Carrera or Ninco at the time.
But their real appeal was simple - their cars were beautiful! They looked almost as good as die-cast models; the cars were realistic and nicely detailed, great paintwork and liveries, and even the interiors had at least some level of detail. They made the other manufacturers' cars look very poor indeed. It didn't stop there, as they introduced new models the level of detail increased and yet the cars remained very durable. Fly also introduced new chassis layouts so their cars would mimic 1:1 engine placement - front-mounted motor driving rear axle via prop-shaft, mid-engine (motor just ahead of rear axle) and even rear-engine. Their rear-engine Porsche 911 range was one of my favourites.
Of course, Fly arriving on the scene and grabbing a huge slice of the market forced the other manufacturers to respond. Soon all of them were offering high quality, beautifully detailed models. Scale appearance became a major selling point, something the manufacturers competed over, because it was obvious that the majority of buyers wanted their cars to look as realistic as possible. Yes, people continued to build and race wing cars, that's a fine art all of its own and it remained largely unchanged. Home racers and club racers were the customer base for Scalextric, Carrera, Ninco and Fly and those customers wanted scale, detail and realism rather than outright performance.
Almost sounds like some of the views expressed in this thread...