This one-tenth scale RC racer is based on Tamiya’s feted DF-03 chassis, and as such has shaft-driven four-wheel drive and oil-damped, double-wishbone suspension.

All good? Well, yes and no: this isn’t some tacky model. Dark Impact is a self-assembly vehicle comprised of hundreds of parts. Said parts do not include radio gear and battery, so all those ‘proper car’ features will have you messing about with differential bearings and gearbox grease till it gets far too late.

New project

For some, that’s part of the fun. If you’re the type who enjoys having a project, Dark Impact is ten hours well spent.

It also means that every part is replaceable and upgradeable (there are numerous branded and third-party ‘hop-ups’, including bits made from aluminium and carbon fibre). And if you burn it up a bit much, you can diagnose the problem better than you’d be able to if it was a closed system.

High performer

And once it’s built you will come across problems – but only because you’ll be messing around with your Dark Impact so much. It’s a very, very fast machine with acres of grip and nippy steering, and it’s extremely well balanced when you launch it off stuff.

It’ll tackle most terrains, though struggles through thick grass – light sand and packed dirt is its favourite.

As with all electric cars, battery life is an issue – you can normally expect 10-20 minutes on a charge. It’s worth using a couple of high-capacity units (such as Tamiya’s RC2400SP) and a fast charger to make sure the gaps between your RC fun are short.

Warning: hobby alert

Once you’ve done all that, the Dark Impact could very well form the basis of a full-blown hobby. Before you know it, you’ll want to upgrade the motor, the suspension, the chassis…

We should probably mention that you can buy Dark Impact fully assembled, complete with all the kit you need to get going. But where’s the fun in that?


Stuff says... 

Tamiya Dark Impact review

This high-performance RC buggy can open up a whole new world of entertainment. If you want to be part of that world, don’t hesitate