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Kyosho 1:9 EP/GP 4Runner - Pajero - Pathfinder/Terrano


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Considering my inquiries, this series appeared around November/December 1991 in the modeling magazines. Representing more than a half-hearted attempt in putting a real scale offroader on its feet, or more on its wheels. This series has been produced with an electric motor, as well as with a glow plug engine.

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This vehicles are really impressive, its scale 1:9, therefor more than 21" long. The substantial use of fiber reinforced plastic over the whole chassis resulted in a low overall weight, at about 5 lbs. 2 ozs. for the electric powered version and 5 lbs. 15 ozs. for the gas powered version. This low weight even enables the electric vehicle with its 540 motor doing spectacular performance, and for those who weren't satisfied with only on motor, could bolt on a second one. The models concept allowed to do so.


Left picture: The Kyosho 4Runner as shown in the 1994 catalogue. For an enlarged view, click on the picture.


The models have a rigid rear axle with a bevel differential, mounted to the chassis with four control arms and one stabilizer. The front axle is featuring an independent suspension with two A-arms on every side, here is a bevel differential working too. Both axles are supported by coil springs with integrated damper dummies. In the electric version motor power is transmitted from the motor to the counter gear, and from there with a toothed belt to the center differential. And like in real off road cars, the axles are driven by two shafts from the center differential. In the first gas powered version motor power has been transmitted with a variable controlled transmission to the center differential. Later on, the costly CCVT-transmission has been replaced by an automatic 2-speed-transmission with a disc brake.


The detail-mania didn't stop at the chassis. It even features mold-on fenders at the rear, as well as separate mounted fenders at the front. At the rear of the chassis one found two hooks to tow loads, now it makes sense, why this vehicle could be equipped with two motors. It couldn't have nothing to do with the maximum speed, that is high enough, even with one engine. The whole thing is running on well profiled tires mounted on aluminium-like-looking plastic rims. Last but not least has the chassis been topped with a polycarbonate body with molded add-on parts, like mirrors and bumpers. Give it a good paint job and it could hardly be distinguished from the original car.

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Right picture: The Kyosho Terrano/Pathfinder with and without body. The electric version looked lavish void on the chassis, which has been similar for the electric and the gas powered version.

For an enlarged view, click on the picture.


Admittedly it could not beat the scale appearance of Tamiya's Bruiser, but the gap is pretty close. And the little lack of details has been equalled by the 4Runner's striking perfomance. Runs with full throttle on sandy or small graveled areas are making an terrific fun, since this model offers a good control even when it is drifting. Travelling through rough terrain needs some far-sighted behaviour, since the model loose traction when one wheel is loosing the ground, due to the three differentials. A small advantage for the Bruiser with it's larger tires and his rigid, locked rear axle.

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At the end of the 90ies, the model vanished from the shelfes of the hobby shops. Considering the always positive responses to this model, where I appear with it, I find the decision of Kyosho hard to understand. But being asked for the price of that model, is offering me astonished faces and the recognition, how to explain the end of the production. At a contemporary price of about 350$ for the electric- and 500$ for the gas-powered version, that has been a lot of bucks.


Left picture: The Kyosho Pajero from the 1996 catalogue. The scale-like-appearance really pays off in this picture. For an enlarged view, click on the picture.


Today, when I am "strolling" through the auction websites, and see how rare a 4Runner, a Pathfinder or Pajero is offered, I am aware, why Kyosho discontinued this kits. Although I am pitied about that fact, since vehicles with an own character are hard to find this times. Today uniformed chassis are dominating the market, where the companies can offer 5 to 8 different body types. From the financial point absolutely comprehensible, but why has it not been realized with the 1:9 EP/GP-chassis in the off-road car sector? New models appear every year even here. Just imagine this superb chassis with a 2000 Jeep Cheerokee body, that would have been a real hit.

technical data:


5 lbs. 2 ozs.

Right picture: A 4Runner running wild, from the 1994 catalogue


For all who are interested in the technical aspects, find a link here to a parts breakdown of the 1:9 EP chassis.

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Please click on the picture to get to the link.

All pictures are copyright of Kyosho Co., Japan