Interview: Yuichi Kanai, Designer of the INFERNO MP10 TKI2

The Inferno has established its reputation as Kyosho’s flagship model over many years with engine racing buggy racers around the world. The full model change from the MP9 to the MP10 has taken another evolutionary step with the TEAM KYOSHO INTERNATIONAL VERSION2 (TKI2). Yuichi Kanai opens up about the creation of the TKI2. 

In January 2019 the MP9 underwent a full model change with the creation of the MP10, which has evolved even further into the latest TKI2 version. When did you start developing the concept and design of the TKI2?

There was a 10-year period between the full model change from the MP9 to the MP10. During that time, the MP9 underwent several upgrades with various versions, but the limitations of the MP9 became apparent. I had a vision of what I wanted to achieve and this is when I began generating ideas for the next generation model to start the MP10 project. 

Even after the MP10 was released, there was more I wanted to do for continuous improvement! After extensive testing, we came to the conclusion that these components should be incorporated into the MP10 TKI2. I have been testing the MP10 intensively since it was released and this has led to the organic evolution of the Inferno MP10 TKI2.

What was the main focus of the Inferno MP10 TKI2?

The major change from MP9 to MP10 was the aerodynamics of the body design. I am obsessed with easier grip and power through surface gaps. However, many contemporary courses feature carpeted surfaces with very high grip and I wanted to make a body suitable for those conditions. While the MP10 body is excellent, the aerodynamics will affect its performance on high-grip surfaces. In response to this, I changed the body shape so that air flows smoothly and does not overwhelm the movement of the car, even on high-grip carpet surfaces.

In designing this body, a number of prototypes were created onto which polycarbonate or plastic plates were taped to the driver seat and side wings. Through repetitive testing, the plates were moved up, down, left and right. Once the position was tested and confirmed, I made a wooden mold according to the new shape and started the testing process again. The final result is the Inferno MP10 TKI2, finished to a complete standard. I also added ducts to the front and side pontoons to increase resistance. In addition to performance, appearance and style are also important so I wanted to make it look better with the various improvements. The TKI2 is interesting because it is quite different from the MP10. The main point of the design is a body compatible with high-grip road surfaces.

Some may ask what about the previous MP10 body? There will be situations where the MP10 body is optimal. If you have both MP10 and TKI2 bodies, I think you can handle any course.

Are there any policies or rules that are consistent through the ever-evolving Inferno series?

MADE IN JAPAN. I want to stay true to this! Other manufacturers are already producing in China, Taiwan, etc., and MADE IN JAPAN is a key point of difference. I still think that Japanese craftsmen are the best in the world. There is a special way of communicating with such craftsmen while looking over the drawings and sharing how much they want to make great things.

Also, as much as possible I want to make it with my own hands. If other designers are involved and there is an issue, it can lead to problems with accountability. Therefore I want to take responsibility for all aspects of the design, for both the chassis and the body, and nurture the development through its creation. This gives me the greatest satisfaction. After creating the prototype, I test it until I am completely satisfied. I’ll continue with this policy into the future.

The 1/8 GP buggy category has been going strong for many years and it’s likely to remain that way. Even so, the challenge of producing even better racing machines continues.

I always think that my creations should never lose to another manufacturer’s car! Kyosho's products are the best in the world, and that’s a fact!