As long as there have been remote controlled vehicles there have been RC races. Put a couple of drivers together with their machines and they’re going to have to know whose beast is stronger faster and tougher. Suffice it to say RC enthusiasts tend to be a little on the competitive side. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the fast-evolving world of Short Course RC Truck Racing.
Short Course Racing Trucks are based on the Championship Off Road Racing tour trucks. CORR’s 900 horsepower trucks run motocross-like courses rich with technical turns, rhythm moguls, monster jumps and plenty of bashing. RC Short Course scales down the vehicles, but not the action. Short Course RC Truck Racing is quickly evolving with multiple classes of electric and even Nitro vehicles.
If you want to get into Short Course Racing, there’s no time like the present. Let’s review the topmost RC Short Course Trucks out there. We’ll take a look at four of the most awesome short course RC trackers out there: the Traxxas 4×4 Slash 1/10 truck, Team Losi’s XXX-SCT 2WD RTR 1/10 truck, the Traxxas 1/16 4×4 Slash, and Team Associated’s 7030 SC10 RTR 1/10. With a little background information, you can choose the best RC Short Course Truck for your racing style so you can get out to the track and get the bashing, flying, or just plain tear up the track.
Traxxas 1/10 Slash 4X4 Brushless Short Course Truck
Traxxas has quickly become the standard in Short Course Racing and for good reason. They were one of the first to market this breed of RC beast, and they put a lot of heart into it. When Traxxas decided to create a 4×4 version of their class leading Slash 2WD they didn’t just slap a few extra parts into the existing model and call it good. The 4×4 Slash was reconceived from the ground up. The result is one of the hottest trucks you’ll ever drive. Whether you’re a super technical control freak or a full-on basher, the Traxxas 1/10 Slash 4×4 won’t disappoint. There’s a reason why a Slash was RC Car Action’s 2014 Readers’ Choice for Best Electric Truck. The Slash is pretty comfortable with the title Fastest Short Course RC Truck.
The Platinum 4×4 incarnation of the Traxxas Slash features Velineon’s Brushless Power System. That’s a symbiotic pairing of a matched Electronic Speed Control and a brushless motor that turns out power and speed like no other stock setup. As equipped with 13/54 gears and a 7-cell NiMH battery the Slash 4×4 easily runs upwards of 35 mph. Swap out your pinion and spur gears and battery for a hotter combination and you can push, 40, 45, even upwards of 60 mph course speeds.
The Traxxas Slash 4×4 might be the fastest 4×4 short course race truck out there, but it’s not just a thoroughbred with weak knees. When the Traxxas team engineered the 4×4 Slash they beefed up the chassis so it won’t flex under the stress of that vicious power system. The simplified shaft driven powertrain assembly is easy to service (there are just nine screws involved in a total tear down of both front and rear drive assemblies) and has fewer parts to wobble and wear.
Handling the 4×4 Slash is a treat. You can drift through the turns and pour it on heading to the next jump. Do a gut check and see how much air you wanna get. If the pilot can control it the Slash has the suspension to land it. If you bite off a little more than you can handle and end up with the Slash 4×4 on its side, you’re not totally at the mercy of the turn marshal. Give the wheel a turn and give it some gas and chances are you’ll bounce up square once again.
Team Losi XXX-SCT Brushless RTR AVC 2WD SC Truck
If you’re the kind of driver who likes ‘em fast and loose, 2WD Short Course is your class. Powerslide into the corners and countersteer like your life depends on it. That’s SOP in the 1/10 scale 2WD class where Team Losi’s XXX-SCT 2WD Short Course Racing Truck takes on all comers.
The XXX-STC Brushless RTR AVC brings power to spare in a ready to race 2WD that’ll put up roosters without hesitation from the start. Active Vehicle Control helps the driver keep the power of the brushless Dynamite 3300Kv motor in hand, but don’t think this truck isn’t a blast to drive. Get on the throttle a little and you can wheel stand with the best of them. The XXX-STC also flies off of jumps better than you’d expect for a 2WD Short course truck. Team Losi put this one together well enough to stand up to the 2WD Traxxas Slash and take away the thunder with the right operator at the controls. I’m not sure I’m that operator, but this one was a lot of fun to run.
When you pull the Team Losi STC RTR out of the box, you’ll be greeted by the low, wide, predatory stance you expect from a Short Course Truck. The decals on this one are taken from their Lucas Oil Tour counterparts and the realism doesn’t stop there. Some drivers will even tell you the scrape of the flaps on a hard landing and the sound of flying dirt against the fenders is identical to the racing sounds of its bigger brothers. If you’re looking for the best 2WD Short Course Truck, this one could be what you’re looking for.
Traxxas 1/16 Scale 70054-1 Slash 4WD RTR Electric Short Course Racing Truck
Yes, it’s a Traxxas 4×4, and it’s everything you expect, and just a little less. The 70054-1 Slash is a 1/16 scale 4WD short course truck that features the aggressive style of the CORR trucks it’s based on in a mini class package. As a Ready to Run Truck, this 1/16 Slash is pretty impressive. It’s built to take the track by storm, with the proven suspension of the Traxxas Revo which has claimed the National Championship in its class eight times.
The power of the 70054-1 Slash is supplied by a Titan 12T 500 modified high-torque motor. That’s the same motor that you’ll find in some 1/10 scale trucks and it’s easily one of the largest power plants in the mini class. It’s paired with the XL-205 ESC for a racy set up right out of the box. Put it in the dirt and it not only outperforms the rest of the class, it takes obstacles better than a lot of trucks twice its size.
The Traxxas 70054-1 Slash RTR 4×4 is a blast to drive. It’ll hold the course under a steady hand or fly on the orders of a throttle junkie. Mini is just a class like age is just a number. This little truck is a whole different animal. The Traxxas 70054-1 Slash is one impressive mini short course 4×4 truck.
Team Associated 7030 SC10 2WD RTR RC Truck
This review of the Team Associated SC10 is going to concentrate on the 7030 SC10 KMC Wheel edition. This is a 2017 Ready to Run release that comes out of the box with customization options most of us only expect after dropping a few days’ pay at the hobby shop. While it’s an RTR vehicle, you’ll need to buy your battery and charger separately according to your preferences. It’ll accept a 6-7 cell NiMH stick or 2 cells of LiPo. Either way, you’ll get around 20 minutes of action out of it before it’s time for a battery swap or to retire to the bench.
The 7030 is an exceptional starter truck for the walk on a newbie. It might not be the fastest short course truck out of the box, but it makes a respectable run with its 17T brushed motor and it handles very well for a stock setup. The 7030 keeps up, even passes a lot of brushless trucks on short sprints, but it won’t hold on on long straights. It’s a little short on power to take long jumps too, but it’s so tough you won’t cringe when it does an endo, just flip it back on the rubber and keep going.
It’s ready to bash without taking too much punishment. If you want to get started with a 2WD short tracker, this one will provide plenty of power and durability while you accelerate through the learning curve. When you get hungry for more power, the SC10 2WD RC truck is easy to upgrade. Swap in a brushless motor for speed, tweak the suspension or change the steering or speed control. The possibilities are endless.
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Whether you’re an experienced stadium truck driver or a total noob, there’s a short course truck out there for you. We’ve looked at four very different trucks that can all lay legitimate claim to the title “best short course RC truck.” It’s up to you to choose your brand of short course racing and run with it.