I’ll start with the caveat that Extreme E is probably unknown to many, and in honesty I picked up on it for 2 reasons. 1) I am a rally Fan, and 2) I saw Australian rally driver Molly Taylor taking part (and winning) in the series. First, the video from the latest round (and yes, not rc, but electric off road racing)
It’s hard to deny the similarity in noise to the electric rc cars many of us drive, and i am unabashedly a rally fan, so I need one of these, maybe in 1/8 scale please …. any manufacturers….anybody? I love the driver change aspect of the race as well, but that’s generally not an rc thing, with the exception of the odd endurance race where a team of drivers share a car. But not tin sanctioned racing. Still it is a compelling look at electric off road racing, and where things could progress to for RC racing in many ways.
There are some great RC videos out there, but the work behind this one is exceptional. Featuring three of my favourite genres it is a winner in my book, Rally, RC and Video games. Made to look like a scene from the game of the same name, it is very impressive and entertaining.
Hello to all on my first blog post for Aussie RC News!
For those of you that know me, you know that I love Rally, in both it’s full size and small scale versions. Even to the extent of keeping up with what is happening with the fairly active Colorado RC Rally Championship.
Given the recent release of a Rally car from Team Associated, I thought we would have a stroll through the RC Rally cars that are available on the market today, or soon in some cases.
Today I am going to focus on three similar vehicles mostly, the Losi TEN Rally X, the Team Associated ProRally and the Traxxas Rally. Why? Because all there are a similar size, 4wd Short Course truck based, Ready to Run vehicles. These are a good compromise between looks ,handling, durability, capability and price. Let’s start with some numbers, prices I have pulled from Amain Hobbies and are a guide only.
Losi TEN-Rally X
LCG Slash 4×4
Of these three focus vehicles the Traxxas Rally was the first to the party with the first release of the official Low Center of Gravity (LCG) Chassis for the slash 4×4 platform. Fitted with a low hatch type body and rally tyres the Rally expanded on an already popular shaft driven 4×4 platform for Traxxas. By all accounts it has certainly hit the spot with regards to durability and price although there has been some criticism of its BFGoodrich replica tyres and handling, but it was never a dedicated rally platform to start with so you shouldn’t expecting handling like the rally cars on television. Some criticism has also been leveled at the car for it’s lack of resemblance in shape and livery to a real vehicle, but I don’t think that is enough to not want to buy it. http://traxxas.com/products/models/electric/7407rally
Losi TEN-Rally X
Whilst the Traxxas Rally isn’t exactly an older vehicle, the Losi TEN-Rally X is a fairly new release and was one of Losi’s first models to be released with Active Vehicle Control from Spektrum. Similar in appearance to it’s 1:24 micro scale cousin, it is a much larger package with a bigger punch. Shaft driven and in the conventional layout of most 4×4 short course trucks, it is fitted with rally inspired tyres and a hot hatch style rally body. However the addition of the AVC to this vehicle appears to contribute to it’s price, almost a clear $100 more than the offerings from Traxxas and Team Associated. http://www.losi.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=LOS03000
Team Associated ProRally
Released less than a week ago this rally beast is based on the Prolite 4×4 short course truck from Team Associated. The associated has a much more realistic looking hatch body with a Rockstar sponsored livery that makes it look spot on like a real rally car. A good price point which appears to be under $400 USD this vehicle is listed as having water resistant components, whereas the other two vehicles here are listed as being waterproof. How waterproof any are in real life I can’t ascertain from here, but as more real world reviews appear that will reveal itself. http://www.teamassociated.com/cars_and_trucks/Pro_Rally_4WD/RTR/
Other Rally Options
Now these three are far from your only options when it comes to rally cars, there is everything available form 1:24 rally cars up to the gigantic 1:5 Rally Car (both form Losi actually).
The HPI WR8 Flux available currently in the Ken Block 2013 GRC (Global Rallycross) livery is one that comes to mind. Marketed as a 1:8 scale vehicle it has a similar wheelbase to the above three vehicles, but is actually a much smaller vehicle than these supposedly 1:10 scale vehicles from Traxxas, Losi and Associated. The big difference is the WR8 is much narrower and is not only a licensed body shape with a real livery, but is nearer to a more accurate model in it’s scale. At $480 USD it is a great looking vehicle for the money, and very durable and powerful, but a bit of an orphan when it comes to wheels, tyres and bodies with it being almost a unique size and scale outside of HPI. http://www.hpiracing.com/en/kit/112715
The Tamiya XV-01 is another that I really wanted to include, mainly because this is my personal rally ride at the moment. With a range of realistic bodies available because it is the standard 1:10 size of most touring and drift cars. For scale realism, this is the car that ticks the boxes. This belt driven vehicle has protection for not only the belts from dirt and debris, but for the electronics of the radio and ESC as well. The motor is front mounted giving this vehicle an amazing scale handling characteristic. However where it falls down is it’s small scale. You really need to find some scale terrain to drive it on. On blue metal, it suffers and gets rocks jammed in the steering, on a 1:10 off road course the obstacles are simply too large. Whilst I have loved it, I have found fewer off road places to drive it than I expected. Don’t let that put you off, if you have the right kind of terrain, it is an absolute BLAST to drive. https://www.tamiyausa.com/items/radio-control-kits-30/4wd-rally-on-road-(xv)-36180/rc-subaru-impreza-wrx-sti-58528
Rally cars can not be spoken of without looking at the Rally Legends models. Whilst not the most technically complex or advanced vehicles, they more than make up for this in incredible scale looks. With licensed bodies and liveries of famous rally cars such as the Lancia Stratos, Fiat 131 Abarth, Lancia Delta S4, Lancia 037, Ford Escort and Iveco Tracker Dakar Truck. http://www.rallylegendsrc.com/ and http://www.rallylegendmodels.com/RLM_-_Online_Store.html
In the LARGE scale, you have the monstrous, $2000 Losi Mini WRC car, complete with AVC, 29cc petrol engine with EFI, 800 cc fuel tank, remote operated start and a licensed Mini Body. Great looks and would sound great, but out of the budget of many drivers. http://www.losi.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=LOS05000
Slightly smaller is the Kyosho DRX VE, marketed as a 1:8 and 1:9, but more like a 1:7 scale vehicle. Realistically it is a similar size to the three short course converted vehicles featured in this article, but the electric and nitro versions of this model have been on the market for some time. With a few licensed bodies available the DRX VE is more like a converted 8th scale buggy than short course truck in it’s layout, size and configuration fitted with tenth scale electronics. At around $400 USD it is a big model capable of covering a broad range of terrain. There are some weak points of the DRX design, however while the model price is good, bodies can be very expensive to replace. However all in all it is acknowledged to be a good rc car. http://www.kyosho.com/eng/products/rc/detail.html?product_id=108654
There are a lot of other rally cars of varying scales available, but I thought I would cover the more popular ones today rather than every one on the market!
Yes, another welcome addition to the available rally cars comes from Team Associated’s Qualifier range of vehicles, this time in the form of the ProRally Brushless RTR.
Disappointingly for RC Rally fans, despite being labeled as 1:10 scale, it is somewhat larger than other 1:10 vehicles. The Tamiya XV-01 being a good example of a scale rally car in size, dimensions, appearance and performance. The XV-01 has a wheelbase of 257mm vs the ProRally measuring in at 324mm, so the ProRally is more short course than true tenth scale. However it does put it on par with the Traxxas Rally at 324mm and Losi TEN-Rally X at 334 mm. Maybe these three vehicles will spawn a rally class all of their own!
From the Team Associated press release:
The ProRally RTR, Team Associated’s newest addition to the Qualifier Series, lets you experience the thrills of 4WD rally racing on a variety of surfaces. From dirt to asphalt, brick and grass, the ProRally’s suspension comes tuned to make the most of any surface you drive it on.
The ProRally is a factory assembled AWD (all-wheel-drive) rallycross-inspired RC car based on the popular ProLite 4×4 platform. The ProRally comes Ready-To-Run out of the box and features a Reedy brushless motor, Reedy 7-cell WolfPack battery, XP water resistant speed control, and high-current T-Plug Connectors. The XP 2.4GHz radio system is fully adjustable and provides reliable long distance control.
The front and rear sealed gear differentials are connected together with a tough aluminum drive shaft, and an adjustable center slipper clutch handles all of the Reedy brushless power.
The bumps are managed by four fluid-filled, adjustable, coil-over shocks and aggressive, all-terrain racing tires mounted on rally-inspired hex drive wheels. All of this comes topped off with your choice of two custom-finished Rockstar ProRally detailed bodies.