Audi A4 - Mini Z  

MR02 RM Chassis




























Let me start by saying this might be the nicest looking RC car I have ever driven.  This car could sit on a shelf and be a display piece, that is until you drive it, then it might never sit long enough to collect dust again.  The car I tested was the Kyosho Mini-Z with the MR-02 chassis.  The body is made to resemble the Audi A4 driven by Mattias Ekstrm in the 2005 DTM series and comes in a readyset package, all I had to do was install the antennas and the batteries and I was ready to run.




The body is an extremely close match to the real car, with every little detail finely detailed.  The rear splitter, the winglets, even the mirrors are very well done.

The paint and decal work on the car is also amazing.  You can see in the photos that the blue has a sparkle to it that really helps it pop.







The MR02 chassis that this car comes with is a very neat and compact design.  The center of gravity is very low which definitely helps this car handle well through the corner.  The chassis is very low to the ground which does require you to run on a very smooth surface, any irregularities or pebbles can cause the chassis get hung up and not move.  But any normal kitchen floor, low nap carpet such as an industrial carpet, or best yet any concrete surface like a garage would be perfect.

The front suspension has two small coil over springs which provide adequate movement for a car this size.  The rear of the chassis has a single coil over shock mounted on top with a flexible T bar on the bottom.  This setup gives the chassis enough rigidity to handle well but still absorb the small bumps that it may encounter.

This car comes with a 130 motor mounted very low and just behind the rear axle.  There are other motors that can be installed but the stock motor provides plenty of speed for the majority of applications.  If you want a little more speed the pinion gear can be changed out with a couple different choices that Kyosho supplies with the car.  They supply the tool to remove the pinion plus all the different spacers required to make it an easy change.  The electronics include a one piece electronic speed controller and receiver that performs very well, and a small servo that provides plenty of torque to turn this car.  All of the electronics are mounted down the center of the chassis, this leaves room for the 4 AAA batteries to be  put along both sides of the car.  The car runs well on a good quality alkaline battery, but for repeated use I would recommend getting some rechargeable NiMH, they provide a little more power to the car and they will save you a lot of time and money not running to the store to get more alkaline batteries.

Overall this is a solid chassis that holds its own in the kitchen or a race track, it allows for a lot of easy adjustments.  The car is also extremely easy to work on.  The body attaches in 3 places, the nose and both sides just in front of the rear wheels, and can easily be removed to work on the car or install new batteries






















The radio that is supplied with the kit is a PERFEX 2 channel wheel type radio made by KO Propo and requires 8 AA type batteries.  The Radio was very comfortable in my hand and even had a selector to move the neutral point of the trigger, this allows a smaller or larger hand to work the controller and both be able to be comfortable.  It provided enough adjusts that I could get the car to handle the way I liked.  The radio has adjustments for steering trim, located just above the wheel, and throttle trim as well as steering dual rate which can increase or decrease that amount the front wheels turn when you turn the steering wheel.  This is very helpful if the surfaces you drive on are different, or if the track or space is tight and narrow or wide and fast.  The last two adjustments hidden behind a door on the left side.












Now I have been driving RC cars for about 30 years, and have raced them on and off for the last 16 years but never really considered these little cars too exciting.  I drove 1/10 scale cars and enjoyed the extra speed that these cars provide, but a few years ago got a small scale off road truck and found it quite fun.  So, I was intrigued by this little car, the space required to run it was much less than what I was used to, and it had very decent performance.

So I took it to a large carpeted room and began to layout a small twisty track.  I found the car stuck very well to the carpet and allowed quite quick cornering speeds.  The car was a blast to drive and handled every type of track layout that I threw at it.  I drove for quite a while fine tuning my driving to master the quickness of the car, and soon could control the car quite well.  I then went looking for another car, and soon found someone who had one.  This is when the fun really started, we race for quite some time and found the cars to be quite evenly matched.  I thought I would have been reaching for a taller pinion gear to get more speed but found that the stock 6T pinion was quite quick enough for the space and layout that we had.

I later wanted to try the car on a different surface and decided to used my garage floor.  The garage is concrete, and probably had some dust on the floor, but this was quite a different car to drive on this surface.  The car slid around a lot more and required a lot more finesse to drive fast, but it was a lot of fun to slide around a corner. 

All in all this car was a lot of fun to drive and the car came with everything you need to work on the car other than a screwdriver.  The manual is very detailed and extremely through, it even provides a full exploded view of every piece on the car.  This is very useful if you ever need to change or repair something.  The only downside of the manual was that it is done in multiple languages, and can at times be hard to follow, but if you take your time and read everything there is a tremendous amount of information available to you.  And if you want to upgrade the car Kyosho offers a huge list of optional parts from a motor, to chassis, to shocks, to wheels and tires.  You can even get different bodies, and modify the wheel base to fit them.

If you are new to the hobby or find that you have limited space to drive an on-road car, it will be hard to beat the performance of this car for the price.


Thanks to Kyosho for the car to review.