Regarding the recent Kyosho Ultima 2019 rerelease rumors

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The last week the vintage Kyosho community has been on fire regarding rumors of a late 2019 rerelease of the 1987 World Championship winning Kyosho Ultima 2WD buggy. Until now I have been very careful in commenting on those, as I have spent the last days digging into the rumors. I wouldn’t have my say on this until I had more than one independent confirmation or denial if this rumor had any substance to it.

For starters, the (internal) Kyosho documents I was presented in mid-November 2018, that laid out the plans for Kyosho well into 2019, did not have any mention of an Ultima rerelease, although it revealed the plans for an early 2019 rerelease of the Turbo Optima (see the report here). That itself really didn’t contradict the rumor, that said the Ultima was to be released in late 2019, as the papers really focused mostly on the first half of the year. What I did hear in context to these papers, was that the sales of the Turbo Optima would be considered as a make or break deal for the new Kyosho management in deciding if they should go forward with the Legendary Series, and extend it into the next obvious platforms, that (although not mentioned specifically) would be the Ultima first, and even the Optima Mid platform next.

If you want to see the Ultima and even the Optima Mid rereleased, please make sure people buy the Turbo Optima 2019……

Today I have been able to get my second independent confirmation from people in the Kyosho “sphere” about the situation. For obvious reasons I can’t say more about the origins of this info, but just believe me that I do have contacts both inside Kyosho, and people outside with decades of close connections to Kyosho. What I now have multiple independent confirmations of is that NOTHING HAS CHANGED since what I reported back in November 2018. That means the Turbo Optima is on schedule for the Shizuoka trade fair in May 2019, and will be announced very soon. I’m still guessing February/March, but I will not be surprised if they let the cat out of the bag even earlier. It also means that NO DECISION HAS BEEN MADE REGARDING AN ULTIMA RERELEASE, and the rumors of a late 2019 Ultima are not accurate. I have been told, once again, that the fate of the Legendary Series rests upon the sales of the upcoming Turbo Optima, which is seen as a gauge of the profitability of rereleases by the new Kyosho management. The Turbo Optima 2019 is a low-risk release, as Kyosho already have most of the parts needed for it. The Ultima is a different platform and comes at a much higher cost and risk to rerelease, as most parts will have to be designed and produced from scratch. EDIT: Due to the relatively small numbers of parts on the Ultima, it might not be such an expensive nor complicated rerelease to do after all, and could maybe even be rereleased late 2019 if the Turbo Optima sales are good from the very start. These are just my thoughts, and nothing I have heard or been told by anyone.

The bottom line is that if you want to see an Ultima (or even an Optima Mid) rerelease, maybe not as soon as late 2019, but probably more realistically in 2020 (but who knows?), YOU MUST MAKE SURE TO BUY THE TURBO OPTIMA 2019. It’s actually in our hands now, as we decide the future of the Legendary Series ourselves! If we want the Ultima (and even the Mid) we must all buy the Turbo Optima to show Kyosho that it’s worth the risk to continue investing in the Legendary Series.

About TomEG 74 Articles
I have been into RC cars since the beginning of the 80's, but have really never been much of a racer. I competed in some local races and some "Tamiya Cups", and actually came 6th in the Tamiya Cup Norwegian Nationals in 1987. My main interest has always been building and modifying, and that's where I still am today. Through the years I have been able to build a solid network of contacts around the world, consisting of both former and current members of the industry, as well as quite a few of the former top drivers. I have a genuine interest for the history of the 1/10 scale off-road buggies from the 80's.


  1. Let’s do this! I’ll buy two or three.. and heck! Throw in a Turbo Scorpion too 🙂

    Thanks for being our eyes and ears in the Kyosho sphere.

    • I’ll buy a couple myself, too. The Turbo Optima was my first Kyosho, and it has a special place in my heart! I’ll keep a kit NIB, and save it to build (together with a Sand Scorcher kit I have saved, which was my first Tamiya) when/if they eventually send me away to an old peoples home 😉

    • Thanks. It has been really frustrating trying to follow the developments at Kyosho the last year and a half, due to everything that has been going on. But now, so close to the release of the Turbo Optima 2019, surely nothing can go wrong :-§

    • Maybe it was a good thing it was delayed? It seems people are very hungry for a new rerelease at this time, and maybe just that could boost the sales to a level needed for further models to be developed? I’m surely going to buy a couple……..

  2. Great info! I will definitely buy one or two kits. I don’t know what I am more excited about the Turbo Optima or the re-release of the gold shocks hope they are good as the originals!

    • I’m looking forward to see what Akira Kogawa does with the shocks…. Will they look like the originals, or be just gold versions of the red shocks from the Optima/Javelin rereleases? Will they maybe be gold versions of the triple-cap velvet shocks that was released as hop-ups for the Scorpion re-release? I just don’t know. Very exciting times….

  3. Kyosho were crazy not to re release a version of Joel Johnsons 1987 WC winning Ultima in 2017. They shouldn’t bother releasing multiple versions of the Ultima. Just release a world championship replica. Optional part could be an actual Ultima body shell and carbon topdeck, like the 1989 car.

    • I totally agree on the JJ’87 WC Ultima. A huge opportunity missed by not rereleasing it for the anniversary, like Schumacher did with Masami’s CAT.

  4. Wow great news. I’m hoping the turbo will have some good upgrades over the normal optima. I hope for big bore gold shocks, universals, and ball diffs as standard!

  5. Well if there will be a Ultima release and sales are good wich i am sure they would be, Kyosho has the same option to release different versions of the Ultima with small tweaks. Like the Turbo Pro and other. I really hope it happends and just to be sure i ordered my Turbo Scorpion today 😀

    • The info has been very scarce, so far. I don’t even know which Ultima it is, but I would believe it to be the standard one. As you say, it should be fairly easy to release other models in the family, as the differences are very small. I still have a dream they would release a JJ tribute Ultima.

      • Yes!😀 A Joel Johnson replica would be brilliant! And with Mr.Kogawas Ingenious design it would be awesome !

  6. Turbo Ultima was not that great, i hope for Pro Ultima or Turbo Ultima II as the hopped up version. Basic Ultima probably wont bring that much of sales though, so chances for the hopped up versions are not to good

    • I’m not sure I agree with that. I believe a standard Ultima would be a big seller. You can modify that standard Ultima very easily, with carbon (flat) chassis, carbon shock towers, the rereleased Turbo Optima shocks etc, (like people did back in the day). That would keep the kit price down, compared to an Ultima Pro version.

  7. The Ultima pro is the one.. but give us the original with Mr.Kogawas brilliant re-design. Maybe a new gearbox with a slipperclutch? And as Tom says.. the hop-ups are the fun part 🙂

  8. Just bought and assembled my Turbo Optima! Went brushless and it runs sweeter than I remembered as a kid! Bring on the next releases, Kyosho!


    When was this edited and where can I find info about it being “on”?

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