Friday, 16 December 2011

Losi Bind-N-Drive

One of my pet hates of the whole Ready-To-Race genre of R/C models is the fact that a collector who has several models will always end up with a pile of basic radio’s and receiver’s normally swapped out for something more advanced with a model memory and appropriate receivers.

It makes sense for the casual hobbyist, as they will only ever need one at a time, however i still wish manufacturers would give the outright choice of buying their models in either a RTR format (for newbies) or at least an “Almost-Ready-To-Race” format, giving the owner the opportunity to fit their favoured brand of radio gear, just like the old days when you used to build the model from the ground up.

As a secondary result, radio less kits would cost a little less and allow the expense to be applied to a new receiver. Instead of piling that on top and then hoping for a sale on the OEM radio kit.

Losi have almost made this a reality with their Bind-And-Drive models. The minor drawback is you need a Losi or Spektrum radio. No prizes for guessing… Losi and Spektrum are one and the same.

Traxxas do offer this too with the TQ radio systems, but its a horrid and messy affair trying to program the radio with the LED’s and buttons, however the TQi radio with the iPhone dock will more or less solve all those problems.

Anyway, a recent announcement, and back to the main point, a new Losi 1/16th Scale SCT with Brushless with capability for 3S LiPo’s is now available! All yours for a very reasonable £99… if you own an appropriate radio.

Perfect for back yard bashing though while the nights are long and cold.

losi_sct_brushless

Losi Product Page

Thursday, 15 December 2011

HPI WR8 3.0 Nitro Rally

I'm completely psyched by the announcement of HPI’s latest for 2012.

Years ago, one of my most cherished R/C models was an original HPI RS4 Rally, which took the usual RS4 setup and added longer shocks and a few beefed up components, and a pretty cool internal body shell, the bottom half providing a form of under tray, and the top half to stop debris collecting in the chassis and drivetrain components. It also sported a couple of moulded figures for the driver and co-driver for a bit of scale realism.

hpi rs4 rally internal

When i returned to the hobby after a few years of absence earlier this year, the first thing i looked for was a modern equivalent of the RS4 Rally, but was saddened to find that HPI had discontinued it years ago and there were no comparable models.

At the time it made me wish i had never sold my RS4-R as they are like hens teeth now! Back when i sold it on eBay it went for an unexpected and hefty price, around £200 if i remember rightly. I was then shocked it made that much, but over joyed, and obviously didn't realise how much it was worth!

So i am pleased today that HPI have announced the WR8 3.0.

Built on the proven Bullet Truck drivetrain, this is a 1/8th scale, Nitro Star G3.0 powered rally car, opposed to the 1/10 scale, brushed electric of the old RS4-R.

hpi_ws8_30_front

HPI say…

When you combine the ultra-tough Bullet 3.0 drivetrain with the true to scale look of the Ford Abu Dhabi WRC team, you get the HPI WR8 3.0: scale realism and awesome nitro power!

Rallying is the ultimate test of a road car, pushing it beyond its limits, and by starting with drivetrain from the Bullet 3.0 nitro-powered truck, our designers had the perfect starting point to make an all-new HPI rally car! By making improvements to the suspension and wheelbase, the WR8 3.0 chassis was born! The WR8 keeps the tough bevel gear differentials, 4WD shaft drivetrain, twin disc brakes and fully ball bearing-supported drivetrain of the Bullet nitro truck, but adds a new Nitro Star G3.0 High Output engine, racing-style clutch, new suspension geometry, thick sway bars, plus scale gravel tyres and wheels to make it a real rally contender!

To make it a complete scale package, our body shell designers got to work replicating the 2011 Ford Fiesta RS WRC used by the Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team, the official Ford works rally team. This car saw action all around the world, from New Zealand to Norway, Great Britain to Germany! The shape and decals of this championship contender are absolutely spot-on, and when you add the officially licensed Abu Dhabi/Castrol livery, Michelin gravel tyres and OZ wheels, it's impossible to distinguish it from the real thing!

Sounds great so far, plenty of tough components and a replica body shell.

It comes as an RTR model, so what's included?

The inevitable 2.4GHz TF-40 Radio.

hpi tf40 radio

hpi_ws8_30_1

Tough underbelly and debris guards.

hpi_ws8_30_2

Plenty of ground clearance.

hpi_ws8_30_3

Nitro Star 3.0 engine.

hpi_ws8_30_4

Dual disc brakes. As far as i can work out they are not exposed on the underside. A great method for stopping debris and small stones getting trapped in the pads.

hpi_ws8_30_5

Efficient tripled diff drive train. Again from the Bullet, but no word if they are metal gears?

hpi_ws8_30_6

Waterproof servo’s. A must for rallying of course!

hpi_ws8_30_7

Splash proof electronics box, again a bit of a must…

hpi_ws8_30_8

Chunky front bumper foam and skid plate, just in case your air time comes to a bit of an abrupt end.

hpi_ws8_30_9

Special suspension geometry and solid upper links.

hpi_ws8_30_10

Replica Michelin tyres and OZ wheels.

hpi_ws8_30_11

Sway bars front and rear.

hpi_ws8_30_12

Shock guards, a simply yet excellent solution!

hpi_ws8_30_13

The replica body. One of those that makes you feel reluctant to bash with and rather keep as a shelf queen!

hpi_ws8_30_14

As said its an RTR model, so you need the usual “Nitro Stuff” such as fuel, a glow ignitor, batteries and charger etc. to get it up and running.

A video of the car in action…

From HPI Official on YouTube

A summary of the WR8 3.0’s features.

  • Pre-Assembled 1/8th scale Rally Car
  • Based on the Bullet 3.0 nitro truck
  • Nitro G3.0 High Output engine with slide carb
  • TF-40/RF-40 2.4GHz 3-channel radio system with failsafe and drop-down steering wheel
  • Powerful & waterproof steering servo
  • 3mm aluminium chassis with centralized weight balance
  • Steel flywheel for improved idle stability and low RPM response
  • 1/8th buggy 2-shoe racing clutch for optimal throttle response
  • Dual steel disc brakes
  • Full-time 4WD for excellent control
  • Efficient and tough shaft drivetrain
  • Front skid plate with durable foam bumper
  • Splash proof receiver box
  • Composite chassis braces for extra driving feel
  • Tough oil-filled gear differentials
  • Realistic Michelin gravel rally tyres
  • Aluminium shock towers front and rear
  • High ground clearance for driving on most surfaces
  • Mud guards for rear shocks prevent dirt build-up
  • 75cc fuel tank for long runtimes
  • Quick access to all critical maintenance points
  • Dual bell crank steering
  • Cam type servo saver
  • All socket head hardware
  • Full set of rubber-sealed ball bearings

One question that is on my mind, and I'm sure a few others….

“Will HPI make a brushless electric version of the WR8”

I would expect so. There is a brushless Flux version of the Bullet to start with, so I'm sure that HPI will make an adaptation and create the WR8 Flux…

The thought of that personally leaves me torn…

The WR8 will defiantly be going on my Wishlist as i feel it will finally fill the void through the loss of the RS4 Rally, however i think it will be fantastic as both a Nitro and a potential Brushless model.

However a Brushless model would need more than "”Splash Proof” for the electronics, as to realise the full potential of a rally model… you really need to get it dirty!

“How much will the WR8 3.0 cost?”

RRP is £339.99

To conclude, i think this is a great addition to the line up and would like to see other manufacturers create their own proper rally models. Will just have to wait and see what materialises in the coming months, but there will be no doubt one makes it way into my fleet.

Pictures, videos and some wording are property of HPI Racing.

Official HPI Page can be found HERE!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

TQi Stand Alone Availability

As per my previous hopes, the Traxxas TQi Radio (6507) is indeed available as a separate item very soon (early 2012).

The TQi was released with the new Traxxas XO-1 Supercar.

For £150 you can get both the radio and the iPod/iPhone dock, and the 6518 5-Channel receiver, although no solid information for if the telemetry sensors are included.

Also no evidence yet of the availability and price of the lone docking station upgrade to allow owners of the XO-1 to get the full benefit.

The 6518 receivers are also available for a reasonable £45 for any additional models you may have, again, unsure if the receiver comes with a full kit of telemetry sensors.

Interestingly it first appeared that the docking station and the radio itself had their own independent power supplies. The radio states that it requires 4 AA batteries, and the dock also requires 4 AA’s but also has the ability to use the Traxxas 3037 NiMH hump pack to provide the juice, and will also keep your Apple device charged up.

This make would sense in a way as the iPhone element is not a critical element of the system so you wouldn't want it reducing the radio power to nothing and rendering everything unusable. At least with the radio still powered you can continue to operate your model.

Alas, studying the gallery images appear to paint a different picture, and several in particular demonstrate that the batteries are stored in the bottom of the hand grip.

traxxas_radio_batteries

I'm certainly leaning towards getting one of these for release day and see how well it all performs. If it lives to expectations and has an all-round improvement on the R/C experience i could be seriously tempted to make it a single system and swap out all of my Spektrum kit.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Traxxas TQi Radio System

Thankfully, it does look like Traxxas will be making the new TQi Radio available separate from the recently touted XO-1 Supercar.

This is great news as i would love to get my hands on one.

No real clue on the pricing for the unit, the iPhone dock or the App as of yet. Release dates state the end of December with the Apps release on the 20th.

http://traxxas.com/products/parts/transmitters/6507tqitraxxaslink2ch

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Traxxas XO-1 - My Opinion

This isn't based on any real world review and is so far only centred around the information that has recently become available.

I have already done a post taking a quick look at the news and information released here.

This post is my own opinion and thoughts on the Traxxas XO-1 from what i have read from this released information.

Firstly, the question from some people, “How much will the XO-1 cost” and “When will the XO-1 be available”

To answer the latter question first, on the Traxxas website it says the XO-1 will be released on the 30th December 2011.

Whether that will coincide with a European/UK release is not made clear.

So how much will the XO-1 cost? The only hint I've seen on this so far is a comment made on the Traxxas XO-1 page saying it will retail for $1099.99.

Converted by todays exchange rate to Sterling and adding the VAT onto that works out to roughly £850… ouch!

The same money will have you comfortably in the 1/5th scale Petrol model category…

My first point of critique is that claim of 100+mph and that only experts are allowed to use it.

To start with, Traxxas claim these speeds are achievable “out of the box”. They are… and they aren't.

If you read the whole page including the slightly smaller text right at the end.

*Unlock the 100+mph speed only with the Traxxas Link App.

Unlocking 100+mph speed capability requires the Traxxas Link Application (download from the App Store) and an iPhone or iPod touch (sold separately). iPhone and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

So unless you own an Apple iPhone or iPod touch, you cannot do 100mph. I believe without it, the vehicle is limited to about 50mph.

Also, you need to purchase the separate iPhone/iPod docking unit for the radio in order to gain the functionality, as it is not supplied with the model.

On top of that… there is the Traxxas Link App, will this be free, i doubt it! So far, it doesnt appear in the App store as its not released until the 7th December.

So.. the cheapest way into this… buy a base model iPod touch for ~£160, and i will hazard a guess of ~£40 for the dock(?) and ~£5 for the App(?)

So that would be a roundabout £200 to obtain the full functionality. Pushing you over a £1000 if you don't already own an Apple product.

I'm no conspiracy theorist, but have Traxxas and Apple got something going on here? Or will the same limits be achieved by using the Castle Link laptop programming device to alter the ESC? The Link only costs ~£20 not including your Laptop of course.

Lets now assume you have all the elements to achieve that three figure speed. Fair enough Traxxas state this is for Pro’s only, as the only real situation i can see this model being any use in is oval racing, and if that’s its sole intention then fair enough.

However judging by the hype, most interest is coming from the common hobbyist.

You cannot run this calibre of model in your normal operating locations. It’s the equivalent of trying to fly your brand new jet airplane in your dining room.

Lets put its attainable figures into a metaphor. Considering that 100mph is approximately 45m/s, and a football (soccer) pitch is regulated at a maximum of 120metres, hit full speed, count to 3 and your model is the other end of the field! Count to 22… and your model is a kilometre away!

However the range will have been exceeded and the failsafe's will have engaged long before you managed that!

My point being that Average Joe doesnt need a 100mph hyper model, and even if you never intend to go that fast anyway, spend you money more wisely.

I don't want to sound like I'm completely putting down the XO-1 based on its speed claims alone.

It looks as beautifully engineered as all Traxxas models do, and will likely be a dream to work on.

The new Cush Drive looks like a fantastically innovative new idea, and i would like to see how it works (see my previous post for my prediction). Hopefully it will have great success and eventually phase out the pad based slipper clutches.

Despite it being heavily Apple biased i really do like the look of the TQi Radio. Being an iPhone owner already, i am really curious on if the TQi will be available as an individual purchase. As i would love to have a single control for my two Revo’s, and on top of that, fit Traxxas Receiver's into my other models?

I have tried using the normal Traxxas Link, but its a horrible system to be honest, compared to after market systems that use an LCD display already.

I like the Aerodynamic elements of the model, despite the lack of clear evidence that it has been thoroughly tested in accurate lab conditions.

My conclusion:

Do i want one? In a way, yes! But mostly for the new and interesting features (Cush Drive and Radio). I have no desire to specifically purchase a model on the 100mph claim alone!

Would i spend my own money on one? No, not for the predicted asking price. Plus, i don't really have access to ample flat asphalt or concrete, or a track, so would never be able to realise its full potential.

As said though, i would love to see the other features make their way into other Traxxas models or become available as retro-fit options for existing models, and i would love to give the TQi a shot.

Traxxas XO-1 - Announced

The 30th of November has arrived and their has been an explosion of interest into the new offering by Traxxas.

Boasting a top speed of 100+mph in a 1/7th scale package, the new XO-1 certainly looks the part and packs some very interesting new features and concepts.

The following images are from the Traxxas Facebook page, and the Traxxas XO-1 Gallery

The car has a distinct “supercar” type body shell. Although not based on anything production wise.

Traxxas XO-1

The chassis has some very interesting ideas applied to it, and its not hard to work out will get the most focus… that Aerodynamic Under Tray.

Claiming such high speeds, aerodynamics do start to play a major factor on how any vehicle will behave, regardless of it’s scale.

I would love to have come across some evidence that this element of the model has been done “properly” with the use of fluid dynamic modelling and wind tunnel tests… without that its just a gimmick to me that has been modelled by someone on a computer and made out to be aerodynamically superior for the sake of it.

It looks good though, and would do more good than harm.

The “scoop” is also an interesting feature for feeding cool air to the motor fins, whether that will also pickup moisture, grit and dirt from the surface is another matter. Three things that you don't want passing in the direction of the gearing and electronics.

Traxxas XO-2

Traxxas XO-17

The plan view of the chassis certainly gives you a bit of a notion on the physical scale of the XO-1, the long thin “spine” of the vehicle is probably no wider than a regular 1/8th chassis, with most of the breadth made up by the under tray.

It does look neatly laid out through, the twin battery clamps positioned equal about the width and length of the car should provide good weight distribution. Although it would expect it to be slightly rear biased due to the motor being at the back. Only time will tell when someone gets one onto some scales.

Traxxas XO-23

This leads on nicely to the motor itself.

Traxxas XO-3

A custom built design by Castle Creations. That's not a bad thing by any standards, but its nothing new. Essentially it appears to be a slightly scaled up Mamber Monster and associated ESC, but to make it a bit more melodramatic it has been labelled with the EXTREME badge.

Traxxas like to show us that it is indeed bigger than other products on the market…

Traxxas XO-26

This new ESC also has what looks like three of its capacitors in a position to aid airflow. Now I've got a bit of experience (and qualifications) when it comes to electronics and they look like run of the mill electrolytic capacitors, cheap and reliable yes… but to make up the EXTREME side and wow us with technology, lets get some solid state items in there?

Traxxas XO-16

That said its only a computer render, the final item may well be different.

Next the controller, the new TQi.

Traxxas XO-4

Yes that is an iPhone connected to the base of it! (Or iPod)

If you are already a member of the Apple fraternity you will be slightly excited now, if you're at the other end of the spectrum you are probably feeling a bit tight chested and short of breath now.

The iPhone dock allows massive expansion capability of your radio system, allowing the following…

  • Adjusting control settings
  • Save different ESC tunes for different driving conditions (high speed, torque, crawling, etc.)
  • Telemetry.
  • 30 model memory.
  • Compatible with a range of Traxxas receivers.

So one controller for all your Traxxas models!

Now i know that other Traxxas Link radios do the same thing, but it is a horrible and convoluted affair to set the things up, compared to aftermarket radios like the Spektrum DX range, as their LCD screens turn a chore into a dream. The iPhone mounted on one of these will offer that similar, if not better, flexibility.

Judging by the functionality it will also replace the need for the Castle Link Programmer that you can obtain to tweak the settings in the ESC.

Traxxas XO-19

Traxxas XO-18

Its not all rosy though, that iPhone dock is an optional extra, and believe it or not, the iPhone doesnt come with the model either! More on this later…

Another new concept…. the Cush Drive

Traxxas XO-8

A new generation of slipper clutch type assembly developed to handle the EXTREME power of the XO-1.

Quite how this system works, i haven't quite fathomed out yet, But a guess would say that blue part is some sort of semi flexible material that the silver component pushes against?

Giving a form of shock absorber to take the initial load of the motor on the drive train and then return to its original shape as the load tails off?

It would be nice to see and dissect one, and if its a vast improvement over the slipper pad type clutches that are rife with models at the present time, this system would be a welcome addition.

Traxxas XO-24

This is a screenshot of the exploded view available from the Traxxas website.

Traxxas_Cush_drive_Exploded.bmp

Digital Servo and waterproof receiver box also part of the mix. I don't think you would run this thing in the wet though

Traxxas XO-15

Traxxas XO-20

Plenty of included aluminium items to beef up the drivetrain and most likely withstand those 100+mph crashes…

Traxxas XO-14Traxxas XO-22

Special tyres also for those speeds, tyre ballooning at this level would without doubt cause catastrophic failure!

Traxxas XO-10

Two bundled 5000mAh 3S LiPo batteries. Nice.

Traxxas XO-11

This post has just been a general observation of the recently released news of the Traxxas XO-1, and isn't representative of an official review.

My own personal opinions can be found at this post.

Friday, 25 November 2011

LiPo Winter Storage

With the long, cold winter nights well and truly on top of us now, I've found it increasingly more unlikely that i get to go out with my models lately, and sadly even tough we had a nice bright and dry weekend last time round, i was unfortunately busy elsewhere and got no R/C time.

As a result i decided to set my LiPo’s into their storage state while they are going to remain unused for a while.

With it being the wetter months too, it makes sense to keep the electronics out of the way! I'm still bitter about myself when i blew my Flux Blur ESC recently!

So how do you store LiPo’s?

This i find is another slightly grey area about LiPo usage, depending on what you read exactly on the Internet.

When LiPo’s are to go unused for a length of time (at least a month) you should put them into the storage state, in order to keep the cells conditioned and maintain their life cycle.

Some people will argue that the batteries should remain fully charged at 4.2volts. Others say that they should be charged to a specific value.

The method that follows the latter argument, normally involves maintaining a charge of approx. 3.7volts. Which to me makes a deal of sense as this is commonly the nominal value of LiPo cells.

So this is the method i have used personally, and a it pays here to have a good quality digital charger. I used my XMove 2.0 to take care of this, which includes a specific storage cycle. Making it a simple case of choosing the desired cell voltage (conveniently it defaults to 3.7volts), plugging the battery in and press go.

A while later the charger buzzed to inform that the task was complete, and i bundled the batteries into LiPo safe bags and a secure container.

This isn't the end of the process though, you shouldn't just pack them away and hope for the best when you need them in future.

Ideally once a month you should take them out of storage and perform a full balance charge on them, discharge them (run in a model if you get the opportunity) and then restore them to the storage state. This should help boost the integrity of the battery and its cells.

Again, its a theory shrouded in mist, with no real black and white correct answers, in which case you own experience will play a big part.

To summarise the method.

  • Storage charge cells to 3.7volts
  • Store batteries in adequate containers
  • Once per month, fully charge to 4.2volts, discharge (use), storage charge back to 3.7volts.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Traxxas New Model

If you head over to the Traxxas homepage at Traxxas.com you will notice a repeating animation of a rotating “X” and a date for 11/30/11 (which is the 30th of Nov if your not used to backwards US date logic!)

All looks very hush-hush and no clues to what it may be yet.

Maybe Traxxas are working on their own C1 type buggy?

We will have to wait and see!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

RC Roundup

I’ve just been sent this video of a Traxxas Summit rounding up or at least intriguing a herd of cows!

I like how they arc round it when it stops as if its a visitor from outer space!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Monday, 14 November 2011

HPI Apache SC Flux - Official Release

Announced alongside the Apache C1 Buggy, the Apache SC (#107105) is as the name states, the Short Course Truck version of the HPI’s newest breed.

Fundamentally everything looks the same underneath, with the same Alpahstar Kv2350 motor and Q-Base ESC.

The main chassis looks to have minor differences but really this looks like the end users choice of having the SC looks or the C1 Buggy looks.

Interestingly the Short Course Truck appears to be retailing a little bit cheaper, so far i have seen prices for £500 (RTR) making it £20-£30 cheaper than its C1 brother.

HPI Apache SC Flux Webpage

Pictures from the HPI website

hpi apache sc flux - 1hpi apache sc flux - 2

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Oneill Brothers Racing - Twin X

Every now and then you come across a product or idea that just makes you go “wow”…

Admittedly this is the first time i have come across what Oneill Brothers Racing have to offer, and their 50.8cc Twin X mod for the HPI Baja is certainly one of those “wow” products.

The impressive thing is its also a twin cylinder engine rather than a single, so the power delivery must be exceptionally smoother… but completely brutal!

After all, 50.8cc is the same as a small motorcycle/moped engine, resulting in an extremely impressive power to weight ratio.

Not a cheap conversion considering the $1600 price tag, but if money is no object then this would definitely be a worthwhile project.

http://www.oneillbrothers.com/rc-car/engines-1/full-mod-50-8cc-twin-x-package.html

Pictures are from the OBR Website and HPI’s Facebook Page

obr two cyl - 1obr two cyl - 2obr two cyl - 3obr two cyl - 4

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

HPI Apache C1 Flux - Official Release

Finally HPI have shown the new Apache C1 with their own words and pictures.

Kit part #107108. HPI have confirmed most of the speculation surrounding their new Class 1 buggy.

  • 2.4GHz Radio System
  • Alphastar 2350Kv Brushless Motor
  • Q-Base Brushless ESC
  • Water Proof Steering Servo
  • Water Proof Radio Box
  • Innovative Battery Box
  • Licensed Yokohama Tyres
  • Front and Rear Sway Bars
  • Adjustable 16mm Shocks
  • Monocoque Suspension Arms

SPECIFICATIONS:
WIDTH: 300mm
OVERALL LENGTH 580mm
TIRES 114mm
WHEELBASE: 375mm

So there is a few interesting things in that list. The 2.4GHz not really being anything to scream and shout about, as that's pretty much the industry standard of things and would be a bit of an insult not to include it in a higher quality RTR model.

The Motor is stated to be optimised for 4S batteries, whether this means it is limited to 4S and cannot handle 6S is unclear. But still, 14.8volts isn't really to be sniffed at!

One thing that especially concerns me about the Apache C1 is the boast of having a Water Proof Servo and Radio box, which is great… but nothing said about the ESC? Judging by the released images, one would assume that the ESC is not water proof at all, going by the open grille on the top for a cooling fan. 

I for one have been on the end of a blown ESC due to liquid ingestion! Its not fun, satisfying or cheap to experience!

One interesting thing though, the ESC appears to be mounted under that “spare wheel” arrangement on the rear of the truck body, as the wires emerge from beneath it.

Is this spare wheel an actual usable part (as a wheel obviously) or is it an ingenious protective cover for the ESC?

hpi apache c1 09-11-2011 10-13-17

Intended purpose or not, its still precariously mounted out on the extreme end of the chassis and will not be immune to rolling or end-over-end flips! Although that surrounding structure should help somewhat.

I would have much preferred to see the ESC mounted inboard on the chassis with some form of protection.

The Innovative Battery Box is also an interesting item as it looks like a couple of battery stays and some Velcro straps… not a bad thing, but i fail to see where the term “Innovative” fits in!

The branded tyres… nice touch, but only serves as bragging rights in my opinion! No doubt most would eventually swap them out!

Front and Rear sway bars.. a nice touch for the harder surfaces, might be a bit of a drawback on the softer ground (it is an off road vehicle after all).

The Monocoque Suspension arms, honestly, i think they look great, and they should be substantially more resistant and tougher against the inevitable impacts that components in those areas are constantly subjected to.

This is obviously comparing them to the traditional wishbone type suspension components that we have all come to know and love… and snap.

The Monocoque design should add much needed strength into those zones.

How much will the HPI Apache C1 cost?

Up to this present moment I've seen pre orders being taken at a price of around £570.

Update! 11/11/2011

The original prices of the £570 mark look to be the prelim RRP prices. I am now seeing figures of around £520 from the same sources.

When will the HPI Apache C1 be released?

Again, at the time of writing, mid February 2011 seems most likely.

Conclusion

£570… That's the same price as a brand new Savage Flux HP, and the Traxxas E-Revo Brushless is only another £30 more, and they both run Mamba Monster ESC’s and motors, and are certified for 6S power.

The Apache C1 however, will most likely out handle them both (especially the Savage) with its proven HB suspension.

Basically if i were looking at buying a brushless off road vehicle in this price range and were a basher rather than a track frequenter. I would be more inclined to go for the Savage due to it being insanely rugged and having a well proven following.

I'm also slightly struggling to see where this whole Class 1 Buggy Genre is going to fit in.

HPI themselves say the Apache C1 is based on the HB D8 and Vorza Flux… so is it just a slightly different type of buggy?

I know there's a real race series and competition related to this type of model and its great that model manufacturers give the fans the chance to experience the same thing in the scale world. Just look at the success of the Short Course Trucks!

I do think it needs a bit of time to evolve and establish itself, but even with my minor criticism… i still think this is going to be a big thing over the coming months.

One thing is, it does look great! The video below is superb with the camera mounted between the two figures.

Apache C1 Flux on HPI Website

HPI Pictures

hpi apache c1 09-11-2011 10-13-55hpi apache c1 09-11-2011 10-14-00hpi apache c1 09-11-2011 10-14-06hpi apache c1 09-11-2011 10-14-10hpi apache c1 09-11-2011 10-14-14hpi apache c1 09-11-2011 10-20-30hpi apache c1 09-11-2011 10-20-35hpi apache c1 09-11-2011 10-20-44hpi apache c1 09-11-2011 10-13-16