The Avante Junior (Japanese: アバンテJr., Abante Junia) is a Mini 4WD car released by Tamiya on December 15, 1988. It is based on the famous R/C buggy Avante by the same company. It is also the first to employ the Type-2 Chassis. There's also the Black Special version which is based on the same version of its R/C buggy.
Tamiya would later release the VS Chassis variant known as Avante RS on December 21, 2004.
It was first featured in the manga Mini 4 Top as the racing machines for Hayato Takamura and Shuichi Saino. It was also featured in the manga and anime series Dash! Yonkuro as Yonma Yoshimoto's machine and later as a machine for Fujiyama of Team Heavy Metal.
Both the Avante Jr. and its R/C counterpart were also featured together in the manga Moero! Avante Kyoudai as the Ohzora brothers' primary machines, which were joined by the Avante 2001s later in the story.
The Avante Junior is the smaller sibling to its R/C buggy counterpart and feature the same, futuristic racing buggy body design. There are damper props on the front nose and the on the rear, with the tie-rod props accompanies the the front damper props.
Original variant and Black Special
The original Avante features the Avante blue body color, with various manufacturer decals on over it. The Black Special, on the other hands, features the smoke body color.
Both were equipped with the newly-designed 6-spoke Teardrop-type wheels and the black, Avante-type slick tires, which sets the standards for any future large diameter wheels design for future Mini 4WD cars. The standard models has its chassis molded in gray, while the Black Special has its chassis molded in black. A re-issue of the Black Special variant released in 2019 has the ABS plastic chassis frame instead.
Unlike its R/C buggy counterpart, the wheels for the standard model were molded in white instead of yellow. On the other hand, the Black Special spots the neon pink wheels.
One later Avante models, the Aero Avante, would later reuse the original's Black Special variant's color scheme for its Black Special variant.
The RS variant features the similar color schemes as the standard model, but lost many of the original decals and are replaced by Tamiya logos and 'RS' marks. The RS variant is notable to be the first to utilizes the foil-type decals, which would later used in many future Mini 4WD cars.
It was equipped with the VS Chassis as opposed to the Type-2 and is equipped with the chromed large-diameter mesh-type wheels akin to that of the RS variant of the Super Astute Jr and was paired with the black Avante-type slick tires. The chassis frame and A parts were molded in black, and was equipped with the blue, 16mm ringless lightweight plastic rollers on the front.
Released in 1990, the limited Special version variant features the same body color as the standard model, but with the chassis and wheels molded in clear and yellow respectively.
Champion's Gold variant
The Asia-exclusive Champion's Gold variant, based upon the standard model, features the gold plated bodyshell and was equipped with neon green wheels and red tires.
RS Purple Special variant
The Bunka-exclusive Avante RS Purple Special features the matte purple plated bodyshell.
It was equipped with the purple plated large-diameter 5-spoke lightweight narrow wheels paired with the purple arched tires. The chassis frame and the A parts were molded in purple.
30th Anniversary Special Kit variant
The limited 30th Anniversary Special Kit is mostly the same as the standard Avante Jr., except it comes with an additional blue plated bodyshell, two sets of body decals and an ABS chassis frame.
About the Avante 1/10 R/C buggy
Released on March 31, 1988, the Avante 1/10 scale R/C buggy is the most advanced R/C buggy to be released by Tamiya at that time.
It features the double-deck fiber-reinforced-plastic chassis supported by four independent, adjustable multi-link, double-wishbone suspension that has been matched with the aluminum oil dampers. The use of an electronic speed controller is required, a first for a Tamiya R/C buggy.
The 530 motor and battery are both placed in a longitudinal position on the left and right side of the middle of the chassis respectively. It has a Mabuchi-made RX-540VZ Technigold motor. There's a center differential which distributes torque to both front and rear differentials which was then distributes power to all four wheels.The Avante was intended to be more customizable than any other R/C buggy at the time. However, it suffers a lot of problems; The aluminum suspension and front knuckle parts are fragile, the front suspension can bottom out and its handling was subpar when compared to the other R/C buggies. Some of those problems were later fixed with the releases of new models based on the Avante, including the Vanquish, Egress and Avante 2001.
Tamiya would later release the renewal version of Avante in 2011 which fixed the aforementioned problems. Some of those improvements were also carried over to the re-release of Egress, as well as the new Vajra R/C truggy. Later, the Black Special variant of the Avante 2011 (Based on the aforementioned Avante Jr. Black Special Mini 4WD car), comes with all the hop-up parts as standard, was released in January 2012.
In the manga
Moero! Avante Kyoudai
This section of the article may contains details concerning the progression of the plot. If you do not want it to be spoiled for you, skip this section!
Shouichi, the older of the Ohzora brothers, brought the Avante R/C buggy using his savings (as the Avante itself is very expensive). Upon seeing the R/C buggy, Shouichi's younger brother Fuuta brought the Avante Jr. himself. Together, they were the Avante brothers.
Later in the series, Shouchi's Avante was crushed by the wood pipes while saving the uncontrollable 2001 test car from it. Although his Avante was busted, many of its salvaged parts were used in his new Avante 2001 R/C buggy, which was modified from said test car. (This is despite the fact that he already has a Avante 2001 that was scratch built.)