The fourth-generation Suzuki Jimny hails from a storied line of highly regarded compact off-roaders that specialize in bringing driving fun to the masses. Like its full-scale cousin, FMS’ 1/12-scale RC version of the Jimny also aims to bring fun to its driver.
FMS delivers the latest generation Suzuki Jimny (JB74) into the hands of RC and scale model enthusiasts in a big way. The 1/12-scale JB74 is a highly detailed RC vehicle that’s as detailed as any static model we’ve encountered before. FMS’ RC version comes in an accurate neon yellow rendition of Suzuki’s Kinetic Yellow paint scheme. We really like the bright color choice.
Since Suzuki left the U.S. market back in 2013, many of us may not know much about the latest version of the Jimny. Let’s remedy that. Introduced in 2018, the 2,500-pound mini SUV is powered by a 1,462cc inline four-cylinder engine. With its highly touted reliability, small displacement, small size, low price and unique market position, the latest Jimny carries on the legendary Jimny line very well. This FMS rendition of the unique off-roader looks to do the same in the RC realm.
FMS’ officially licensed Jimny measures almost 11-and-a-half inches in length and is finished in an outstandingly accurate 1/12 scale. The vehicle is scaled so perfectly that it can accommodate 1/12-scale figures if you choose to add a driver and passengers. The vehicle’s realistic foundation is based on a solid full-frame chassis that contains metal frame rails. The SUV also features a front and rear three-link rigid axle suspension with coil springs.
Each of the Jimny’s doors can be opened. Both passenger doors, the rear cargo door and the front hood open up to reveal a treasure trove of details. The interior detailing is simply stunning. The interior features fully positional front and rear seats that fold forward. The front seats can even slide forward or backward in case your figures need more legroom. Flatten the rear seats to enjoy some spacious storage, and the trunk area features a hidden storage area under the floor. Examining the instrument panel reveals a highly detailed array complete with display screens.
Looking beyond the dash, you’ll also find a gearshift, a set of foot pedals and even a steering wheel that’s linked to the steering servo. This means that the steering wheel will turn as the vehicle is driven. How is that for life-like realism? In the rear, a full-size spare tire is mounted on the rear door. From the adjustable windshield wipers to the rubber roof antenna, this RC is detailed in every way.
With all this detail, where are the “guts” of this RC, you may be wondering? We were too, actually. Popping the hood reveals the 180-type motor, ESC, receiver, power switch and battery in the engine bay. Just open the hinged hood for full access.
Lighting always makes an RC look more realistic and this first generation Jimny does not slack in that department. LED lights are included with the Jimny and its headlights can be activated for low-beam, high-beam and even fog lamp operation. Jimny also has turn signals and reverse lights that activate as you turn or reverse.
It’s worthy to note that the Jimny comes in a dense foam case that looks very much like a Pelican hardcase. The carrying case has a locking latch that keeps it securely closed and it is robust enough to protect the vehicle and its accessories. The inside of the case’s top has cavities carved out of it that can hold parts and tools when it is fully opened. This makes the case doubly useful as a tool tray and work area, especially nice when you’re out in the field. FMS also includes a USB battery charger and cross wrench in the case.
We charged up the included FMS battery and hit the trail. When powered up, the Jimny cruised around quite well and looked really good, especially with its LED lights on. The four-wheel-drive system can be changed from high to low gearing with the flip of a third-channel switch on the transmitter. Switching to low gear gives the Jimny more torque for steeper climbs.
Seeing the steering wheel moving as the vehicle turned was especially cool. It’s worth noting that we consider this Jimny a fully detailed model kit that can be driven, and not necessarily a fully capable crawler. It’s not very fast, but it’s still fun to drive. This neon-colored mini-SUV looks really good scooting about.
FMS really did a fantastic job in terms of the Suzuki Jimny’s scale looks and life-like detailed features. It’s a highly detailed model that offers the benefit of being able to be driven like an RC vehicle, and we really enjoyed it. For those looking for realism above pure crawling performance, this Jimny may be your next ride.
Text and Images by Jerry Tsai