On-road RC Cars – Buyer’s Guide!

When it comes to radio-control racing, nothing beats a scale model with all the look and feel of the real deal. There are two types of radio control models, ready to roll and assembly kits, in this review I bring the five best 1/10 scale electric radio controlled on-road cars in both types.

Take note that these models are all for enjoyment, and can be used safely by children and adult. Since they are radio controlled (not remote controlled) there are no wires connecting the car to the controller, so make sure you buy only one of these five models, they have been tested for their radio-frequency strength. The last thing you want is an RC that doesn’t transmit over a few feet.

Final words before looking at the best on-road RC models, these might be fast, but they are not performance models, they are not designed for professional racing. If you want a professional racing model, you will need to buy a model that is around ten times as expensive and comes with some serious hardware. However, these are all 1/10 scale models designed to provide you with years of enjoyment.

PhotoModelDriveScaleDescription
1.Traxxas 36034-1 Bigfoot No. 1 2WD 1/10 Scale Monster Truck Vehicle, BlueTraxxas 36034-12WD1/10View on Amazon
2.Exceed RC Drift Star Electric Powered RTR Drift Racing Car 350 Red Style Exceed RC Car 350 Red4WD1/10View on Amazon
3.Tamiya 1/10 RC Car Series No.570 Lancia Delta Integrale (TT-02 chassis) 58570Tamiya 3000585702WD1/10View on Amazon
4.Tamiya RSR TT02 RC Porsche 911 Carrera VehicleTamiya TMYTAM585712WD1/10View on Amazon
5.Tamiya RC Sand-ViperTamiya TMYTAM583742WD1/10View on Amazon

List of the Best On-road RC Cars:

1. Traxxas 36034-1 Bigfoot 1/10 Scale Monster Truck

Description

The Traxxas BIGFOOT® is named after “The Original Monster Truck”, this is their 1.10 scale model.

Performance

The Traxxas BIGFOOT® is as exact a replica as you can find, and it’s as close to a performance model as you can find too. This little beast will reach speeds of over 30mph.

Nothing was spared when designing in this model, and while it does come at a very reasonable and budget-friendly price, it is a Traxxas, which means it’s powerful, rugged and ready to go.

So, what do you get with this model? Let’s take a look.

It comes in a brilliant blue metallic paint finish that covers the heavy-duty officially licensed F-100 Ford XLT Ranger body. There is a beefy chrome front bumper with replica winch and KC fog lights.

The chrome grill is an exact replica, with the smallest details including its light buckets and reflectors. There is also a realistic high rise dual-carb manifold that is secured to the hood, and chrome KC Lights are set on the massive chrome roll bar.

The tires are authentic “shaved” monster truck tires, and the chrome rear bumper with chrome body accents and authentic decals are an exact replication of the Original BIGFOOT.

This car will reach over 30 mph, and uses a Titan® 12-Turn 550 modified motor, to power a Revo®-Spec Torque-Control™ slipper clutch that is controlled by a Powerful XL-5 waterproof electronic TQ™ 2.4GHz radio system speed control.

Features

  • Heavy-duty, extra-thick Lexan® BIGFOOT No.1 Licensed Monster Truck Body
  • TQ™ 2.4GHz radio system
  • Traxxas 4-amp DC Peak Detecting Fast Charger
  • Traxxas iD-Equipped 7-cell Power Cell NiMH battery
  • Waterproof electronics all-weather, all-season R/C excitement
  • Watertight receiver box and 3 channel TQ receiver
  • Titan® 12-Turn 550 modified motor
  • Powerful XL-5 waterproof electronic speed control
  • Revo®-Spec Torque-Control™ slipper clutch
  • Authentic “shaved” monster truck tires on chrome rims
  • Black composite parts
  • Powder coated white springs

Recommendations

Traxxas is the best, they are, well, they are one of the best, so they are the best and this is proof of their dominance in the RC car market. This is one beast you want in your arsenal of vehicles.

2. Exceed RC Car 350

Description

The EXCEED RC Electric Drift Star is a classic 1/10 replica of a drift car (Porsche based) design with a 45A motor delivering brushless power.

Performance

What you get here is an exceptional drift model, its designed for speed at turns, and with its 45A brushless motor, and 4WD, you will be able to reproduce some exceptional drifting performance on most surfaces.

This model is constructed using aluminum threaded shock bodies, and the camber and toe are easily adjusted using the aluminum turnbuckles. This use of aluminum alloy delivers a stunning rigid and rugged RC.

The new KV 3300 Brushless motor and transmission are sealed tight, so no dirt or water will damage their performance.

The chassis is a 2.5mm lightweight construct that is engineered to provide perfect sync with the front and rear differential. Combined with the lightweight suspension arms, you get quick suspension response that reduces critical sprung weight for improved performance.

This model is controlled using a standard 2,4Ghz transmitter and receiver, and the system is powered by an 8.4V, 3000mAH rechargeable battery pack.

Features

  • 4WD
  • Front/rear camber and toe-in setup
  • An anodized aluminum drive shaft
  • Stable suspension arms and solid front/rear shock tower
  • Precise steering fitting for quick response.
  • Complete ball bearings for a smooth and an efficient drive.
  • High-performance anti-skid drift tires chrome plated spoke rims and pre-mound drift wheels
  • Gear Ratio is set to 6.52:1
  • Ground Clearance is 4.5mm

Recommendations

If you like those performance skids and want to see a great drift, then this little powerhouse will deliver the goods every time you use it. At a price this comes with, there is no room to argue for better value for money.

3. Tamiya 1/10 RC Car Series 570

Description

The Tamiya Lancia Delta Integrale is an exact 1/10 replica of the 1992 world rally winner. This little shot of history also provides you with exceptional performance features.

Performance

Since this is a Tamiya model (Proudly made in the Philippines), it comes with the latest materials and technologies, and this includes the polycarbonate body. With exact replication of the angular 4-door hatchback, it comes complete with front and rear blister fender, and also includes the bulge on the front bonnet and all the air intakes in the front bumper.

This model uses a shaft driven 4WD TT-02 chassis and uses rally block tires so you can drive it on and off the road.

The shaft driven 4WD TT-02 chassis has the battery located on the left, and the motor is set on the right, this creates a better balance load, and combined with the identical left and right suspension arms, delivers high-quality performance.

This model comes with 10 possible gear ratios, the main one is 9.58:1, but you can also add a further 9 ratios from 11.38:1 to 7.28:1 with the use of a separately-sold pinion.

The Integrale comes with 2 different wheelbases and gives you 2 ground clearance settings that also combine with the 2 tread set-ups.

So, apart from looking good, it delivers a very adaptable and versatile performance configuration.
You also get a 3-Piece Steering Tie-Rod, and a 4-Wheel Double Wishbone Suspension with Front/Rear Friction Dampers.

Features

  • Grippy rally block tires
  • Features high ground clearance at the front and rear.
  • 4-bevel resin differential gears
  • Resin ball links in the chassis joints.
  • Receiver case protects from dust.
  • The motor cover includes a removable cooling duct

Recommendations

Without getting overly complicated, Tamiya has put together an exceptional model that delivers performance on many levels and comes with an even more exceptional budget-friendly price. This is the perfect gift for any youngster aged 5 to 75.

4. Tamiya Porsche 911 Carrera RC

Description

The Tamiya TT-02 Porsche 911 Carrera replicates the legendary 900kg with a 300hp-plus horizontally opposed 6-cylinder engine that won both the European GT Championship and the 24 Hours Daytona and 12 Hours Sebring races in 1973, the year of its release.

Performance

When it comes to replicating pieces of motor history, no one beats Tamiya in this performance range. The TT02 is a proud feat of excellent replication with its polycarbonate body, perfectly formed and coated, sitting on a beveled main chassis designed for improved cornering clearance, and an adjustable gear ratio powered with an RS-540 Torque-Tuned Motor.

This model comes with symmetrical fully independent double wishbone suspension components, and brake disc-shaped wheel hubs and with a square battery compatible compartment.

This is an easy to build beginner model and is perfect for a first time user. The price is reasonable for such a level, but is also exceptional in performance, so you do invest in the first model, but get to experience control and performance that will wet your appetite for more.

Features

  • Motor 540-brushed type
  • Shock Damper friction damper
  • Easy to build entry level kit
  • Includes RS-540 Torque-Tuned Motor
  • Includes window masking seal for easy painting
  • Highly detailed body with vinyl stickers
  • Symmetrical suspension components
  • Beveled main chassis for improved cornering clearance
  • Brake disc-shaped wheel hubs
  • Suspension fully independent double wishbone

Recommendations

If you want to get your hands dirty with RC model racing, and don’t know which model to start off with, then just relax, this is the one that will solve all your trepidations and deliberations.

5. Tamiya RC Sand-Viper

Description

The Tamiya Sand Viper is one of the newer 1/10 Off-Road 2WD Electric Buggy car models, and it’s based on the DT-02 chassis.

Performance

This model uses the Tamiya lightweight polycarbonate body, and it comes with a standard set of oil dampers and full ball bearings, which mean that the spiked rear tires are in contact with the dirt at all times.

The motor is the standard Tamiya 540 motor that comes with their TEU-101BK forwards and reverses Electronic Speed Control.

This kit comes with a low center of gravity bathtub frame, and 4-wheel double wishbone suspension.

It will take you around 4-5 hours to build this kit, and once you do, you will see and feel how the bucket chassis construction give the Viper that rugged go-anywhere feel.

This is a very easy model to clean up and maintain, since wiping the polycarbonate body is simple, and all you need to do is clean off the much from the wishbone suspension after use. Five minutes and its ready for the next roll.

However, remember that this model does not come with the RC controller or the motor, hence the low price. You will need to buy these separately.

Features

  • Adjustable Gear Ratio
  • Bearings shielded ball bearing
  • Assembly Kit model
  • 3-bevel differential Type gear
  • Oil-filled damper
  • 260mm wheelbase
  • Motor compatibility is only for a type 540
  • Gear Ratio: 9.28:1

Recommendations

This is a nice performance model that is perfect for someone that wants to start with an assembly kit model. This will give you the ability to learn all about the RC and how its constructed. However, take into consideration that you will need to buy a motor and the RC controller to complete the package. Welcome to the world of professional RC modeling.

Conclusions

RC models can come ready to roll, like the Monster Truck, or in an assembly package like the Viper. The prices reflect the level of quality and efficiency you derive from the system and also reflect brand image. I would suggest that you buy two models. The first model is a budget-friendly starter ready to roll model, where you just start to learn driving techniques and control methods. The second is an assembly kit where you learn how to build, paint and control a model from scratch. You will get emotionally attached to an assembly kit, after all, where did all those hours of sweat and concentration go to?

About the author

Jim Malkovich

If you have any ideas or seek cooperation in any way, contact me today and let’s see where this leads us to. You can reach me at jimmalkov@gmail.com

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