A fun kit to build and run
The Tamiya XV02 Pro Chassis Rally Kis is a ready-to-build "Rally Ready" offering from Tamiya for 2022. Arrives in a nicely packaged box with a carry handle with 3D outlined art of the car and an end label that details what the specifications are. My first impressions were on par with the quality and layout of parts like the Tamiya TA-08 kit. It appears Tamiya is striving to reduce unnecessary eye candy to reduce cost.
As a "Pro-Kit," I was somewhat disappointed that there are not that many "pro" upgrades other than the few listed, and Tamiya's website shows a number of additional upgrade options I felt should be part of this Pro package. If adding ball bearings and Aluminum Oil Shocks is considered a pro chassis, then I guess the XV02 is a Pro Chassis. I wished Tamiya would have at least included the graphite shock towers.
Quality of the Kit: Typical Tamiya. Mostly Plastic. Chassis and Suspension parts are comprised of different materials that best suit the needs of the intended purpose, such as lower arms of more flexible plastic. Whereas the carriers are of reinforced plastic. All gearing is plastic, mostly reinforced material. Overall the quality is ok but not in keeping at the price point of over $300.00
Build Level: Skilled beginner to intermediate. There is nothing overly challenging about the kit. The biggest challenge is to pay attention to the left and right orientation of arms, connecting rods, and adding locking rings to the drive shafts.
Tools Needed: A 1.5mm, 2mm, and a 2.5mm Hex + a small Phillips screwdriver. Tamiya includes the hex and nut driver tools but not a Phillips screwdriver. A 2mm hex driver would be handy as it is the most common screw used. A set of calibers would be nice, but not required as Tamiya has detailed diagrams on paper. Motor screws and grub set screws can be installed using Tamiya-supplied tools 2.5mm hex. A tie rod installation tool would help speed up building tie rods and spare your fingers from soreness. Use blue lock tight on metal to screw connections.
Body Choices: You can use the same bodies from the XV-01 and or a 257mm wheelbase body. I will be using a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X or a Lancia Delta HF Integrale or even, the Subaru BRZ R&D Sport. Most likely the Lancer Evolution X. More photos to come.
Wheels and Tires: This kit comes with paintable wheels and a set of knobby tires. I don't particularly like either. You can do your own research to secure a better set to match your car's body. 5mm hex 1/10 touring wheels fit the car as well as the tires that fit touring wheels. Basically, you have a large group to choose from.
Adjustability: The wheelbase is not adjustable. Other adjustments with options include caster and camber. Steering throw and ride height are via screws and shock spring tension. The kit does have difficult to adjustable tie rods.
Things to watch out for when building:
- The lower Rear arms are asymmetrical. Ensure you pay attention to the left and right orientation for the correct installation of the ball caps and on the vehicle. Tamiya shows a close-up.
- A few spacers are employed, pay attention to the size and placement on the lower arms.
- Front shocks employ two rubber dampers while the rear shocks have only one
- When building the connecting rods ensure left and right are built and attached as described
- Pay attention to similar screw sizes which are sometimes only one mm different. Build by instructions and open bags only as needed per the page.
- Pay attention to drive shaft locking ring orientation for left and right installations
- Consider routing of electronic wiring to avoid rubbing on moving parts.
- The dual drive train shafts need to be slid into the NARROW slots of the output shafts.
Additional Hop-Up Options you may wish to consider: Some may not be available yet. Some may be available at your local hobby store because the hop up is a common part associated with other kits.