Tamiya has been a proponent of shaft drive for as long as it’s been building 4WD models, and the MF-01X’S system is yet another robust shaft system for the brand. An extremely stout 8mm steel shaft joins the front and rear gearboxes, each equipped with wide plastic gears. The front and rear gear differentials and their 3-gear, cast-alloy internals have seen duty on countless Tamiya models and should last basically forever. The drivetrain can certainly handle way more power. The one recommended upgrade is a set of ball bearings, and it’s best to get them before you build the car since the chassis seals everything up once the car is assembled.
Above: Tamiya’s time-tested gear differentials are far stronger than the Beetle will ever need them to be. Below: Bevel gears connect the driveshaft to the front and rear gearboxes.