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.

1 comment:

  1. I was way off with my prediction on the price! Expect the XO-1 to land you with a whopping £999 bill! Thats going by most of the pre-orders that i have seen to date.

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