Tamiya Street Rover #58522 Review + Build

The Tamiya Street Rover #58522 is the on road variant to the #58500 Sand Rover DT02 chassis rear drive buggy.  The Street Rover I received from Tower Hobbies had bonus 540 sized motor and full ball bearings.

Unlike the packaging from the the 80's and 90's, this Tamiya Buggy had full color PHOTOS rather than artist rendering on the box and the box itself was very compact. This takes away from the original Tamiya kit lure and I hope that they will still offer kits with the bigger, flatter boxes with the beautiful box art for the future.

There are a number of bags of parts. The chassis build was straight forward. I will not bore you with details. I really liked the full ball bearings as that really made the transmission smooth and it saved me from buying. The shocks are NOT oil filled. I built the included friction shocks as dictated in the instruction manual. They actually work OK for the speed that this vehicle attains if one plans to keep it stock. Of course one can upgrade, but frankly with the stock setup, one will not really notice a difference.

The tires and wheels are wide - and that is why Tamiya wants one to use a transmitter with dual rate steering so that one can dial out the throw to avoid rubbing of the steering rods. My only gripe is that I use Hitec servos and Tamiya does not provide a 24 rib servo horn insert for the included steering servo saver. I had to supply a Kimbrough unit for my Hitec servo. Other minor modifications included a Deans Ultra plug for the included ESC so that I can plug in my battery packs ( can't stand those Tamiya plugs ) and I did solder thicker wire to the motor as the stock motor wires just looked lame.

I spent about two evenings assembling the chassis. A third evening I was putting together the body and painting the driver figure.

I did order a CheapBatteryPacks.com 3300mah Elite 6 cell NiMH battery pack. My stock of Lipos would not fit. The battery box is only designed for 6 cell NiMH sub c sized packs. CheapBatteryPacks.com custom made my 3300mah Elite 6 cell battery pack with 14G flex wire and Deans plug for about $30.00 shipped. Great service. I didn't feel the need for a higher capacity pack as I figure with the stock 540 motor I should get on the order of 20 minutes run time with 3300mah.

I really wanted to keep this as true to stock as possible. True to stock means about 15 - 20MPH. That is it. I must say it is fun to drive. I really only had a 5 minute run. Down here in Atlanta we have had much rain and on my day off....it was raining. See some indoor pictures of the completed model:

I plan to update my review with some outdoor pics and more information on how it runs. For now I am happy. As a kid I always wanted a Sand Rover - so the Street Rover seemed like a good choice considering I run in the street more often. If one is looking for performance - this is not the kit to get. Other Tamiya offerings in the 2WD buggy segment would be better. The RC 2WD Buggy Zahhak - DN01 would be my choice with ball differential, oil filled shocks, as well as Lipo battery fitment options. The Street Rover could easily handle a mild brushless system. My goal as stated previously was to keep this stock with a 540 brushed motor for a nostalgic fun to run Tamiya buggy.  I might get some off-road tires and wheels from the Sand Rover so that I can have off-road fun as well.