I thought this was an interesting article found on RCZone.net:
Tech Racing from Japan have presented a new conversion kit for the Tamiya TA05 chassis, called the TA05 Athlethe. The conversion kit will be available in Japan around the middle of this month and will see for around 18500 yen. Although very much for the Japan market and one of many TA05 conversions, perhaps it's worth taking a closer look at the Tech racing kit? Read on to find out why!
Tech Racing is one of many small specialist after market RC companies in Japan, known for their high quality parts, mainly for Tamiya kits. They also make their own touring cars that are fairly well known in Japan, but very rarely seen outside the land of the rising sun. Their latest touring car is the MY07 Medusa that replaced the earlier MY05 model during last year. Tech Racing is however definitely most known because their logo appears on the Tamiya TRF415 boxes, one of the most successful touring cars of the past 3 years. The logo is seen on the boxes of all TRF415 versions, from the original 415 to the latest MSXX version.
How come their logo is on the Tamiya boxes, and Tech Racing decals are included with all TRF415's? This is because Tech Racing was consulted by Tamiya when designing their next generation touring car in 2003. The TRF415 was developed in cooperation with Tech Racing and finally released early 2004.
This is also the reason we should perhaps look a bit closer at the TA05 Athlete. If we are interested to find out what the next Tamiya TRF belt drive TC will look like, it might just be a good idea to look out for what Tech Racing are doing. Definitely if you look closely at the MY07 as well you could see some ideas that will find their way onto the TRF416. It is fairly well manifested that the MSXX will indeed be the last in the line of TRF415 versions. This has been more or less confirmed by a number of sources close to Tamiya.
Considering this a TRF416 can be expected to debut sometime during this year. With Tamiya as well as the other Japanese manufacturers putting a lot of effort into the off-road class this year with the worlds in Japan, the TRF416 project could well be a bit delayed compared to what we would normally expect, but it would still be surprising if the 416, or it's prototype, was not seen during 2007. Of course, it is not known if Tech Racing will be consulted for the 416, so this is just speculation.
The Athlete conversion changes quite a few fundamental things on the TA05 chassis as it is intended to make a TA05 chassis more race-worthy. The biggest changes are to the weight distribution with the motor moved much further back into a similar position to the current high-end TC's. This also allows the battery to be moved closer to the centre-line for a narrower chassis.
Much attention has also been directed towards keeping the centre of gravity as low as possible. The motor mount is a clever new design attaching the motor in a way not seen on any other TC yet, that allows the motor mount to be very low. This in turn allows the use of a very low and long, symmetrical upper deck, similar to that on the Xray T2'007. Another purpose of the long upper deck is also to improve overall grip.
The drivetrain has also seen some attention with both the centre pulley and belts being Tech Racing designed unique parts. The centre pulley is aluminium and larger than the standard part, with 2 teeth more. The belts are white low friction soft belts.
- 2.5mm carbon fibre high grip main chassis
- 2.0mm carbon fibre super long upper deck
- New development motor mount design
- Duraluminium 18T direct drive center pulley
- Tech Racing super soft low friction belts
- Aluminium parts light blue anodized
- Possible to use stick pack batteries
Overall it looks like maybe the most potent TA05 conversion to date with a few interesting and innovative design features.
The TA05 Athlete conversion is scheduled for release on April 16th in Japan, and the price announced by the manufacturer is 18500 yen.