I have seen the future and it is tiny. Yesterday, Les and I visited Kyosho America's head quarters in Lake Forest California. We went down looking for info on their monstrous 1/8th scale nitro powered RC cars, but left with a buzz about the latest offering in micro RC, and they are going to be HUGE!
A massive Inferno GT Audi A4 Touring Car crouched on the table in front of us we marveled at the adjustability and sophistication of well-designed race car. Fully adjustable suspension, two speeds, adjustable limited slip differentials, all-wheel drive, an absolutely astounding piece of machinery and at 20 inches long and a foot wide had quite a presence. We were convinced we were looking at the coolest thing we had seen in months. Then suddenly I was holding what I thought was a 1/43rd scale model in my hand. They are roughly 3 inches in length for those unfamiliar with them. I however, am extremely familiar with these; I have car models all over my apartment. To be honest I love them and would probably own every car made if I could.
With a deft pry and a flip, the body was removed to reveal a fully functional RC car. I have a few micro RC cars at home, but they are just toys. Non-proportional controls mean the throttle is either stop or go, and either turn or no turn. There is no half throttle, or slight steering corrections its all or nothing on the cars I have. Apparently the Kyosho Dnanos are fully proportional and fully functional. At first I didn't see the implications of this.
We walked back into their development area where an entire track was set-up on a table not much bigger than a pool table or HO train set would require. I still didn't quite get it. I was handed a controller to a Mazda GTP car and it was ON! Suddenly I was clipping apexes, shooting down straights and Les and I were dicing for position. We hit an occasional wall, every other turn at first, but the cars just bounced off and away we went. After a few minutes we had gotten a decent handle on the cars and actual racing was taking place. I can't say the last time I had so much fun and not actually in a car, on a track. The Dnanos are completely addicting. If you like cars, you will love these things.
But wait there's more! Kyosho isn't just selling tiny cars. They have big plans for these little things. Tracks will be located all over the country that will have cars and controllers to rent. Also, when you buy your own car, it will have its own unique registration number. That means all your lap times can be tracked and logged. If your buddy is at the track and breaks your record, you could get a notice sent directly to your phone or computer. You could have identical tracks around the world and compete with people in foreign countries. You could be an internet racing super star.
While we still think that 1/8th scale nitro cars are ridiculously cool and an extremey valuable learning tool, we think the Dnanos will have cool factor beyond belief. They aren't selling an RC Car, they're selling a whole new level the hobby. They should be out before Christmas and we think they will fly off the shelves.
Contact: Kyosho America