The Traxxas Scale RC Truck – Do you want it?

Sneak Peek

4/24/2017 Update: Get a sneak peek at the Traxxas TRX-4 1/10 Scale And Trail Crawler here: traxxas.com/sneak-peek. 

Traxxas Scale RC Truck

Well, we don’t have an official name yet, but I’m sure Traxxas will give it a trendy name as it does most of their RC line up.  Maybe “Rover”, “Defender” “RR17” (as the license plate states) as it looks to have an officially licensed Land Rover body donning the chassis.  The Traxxas scale RC truck debuted at the 2017 Nuremberg Toy Show (Spielwarenmesse for those speaking the language) in Germany. It was highly guarded with “No Photography” cards all around it.  But still, photos leaked out instantly via today’s Social Media shenanigans that keep us all in the RC world apprised of what’s going on in every corner of the world.

The Players

Within a niche of our hobby that’s heavily dominated by Axial Racing vehicles, Traxxas is merging its branding and marketing powerhouse into one of the largest growing categories – Scale RC Trucks.   Many have attempted to topple Axial’s reign with it’s SCX10 and SCX10ii in the trail/scale category, but few have gained any “traction” – no pun intended. Most notably, Vaterra with its Ascender, RC4WD with its Trail Finder 2 and Gelende 2, GMade’s Komodo and Sawback and most recently with MST dropping two kits, the CFX and CMX.  HPI has been threatening the “Venture, FJ” since the 2016 Toy Show, but it’s still a no show to the scale world.   Axial Racing also has the RR10 Bomber, Wraith and Yeti/SCORE line of scale trucks.

What Scale is It?

This is the unsure part.  Scale (1/10, 1/8, etc.) is in many cases for the RC world only a way to separate the different classes of electronics, not necessarily the specific scale size of its 1:1 counterpart vehicle. Josh Thiede from Harley Designs Inc. did a video with his CAD program depicting the potential wheel base size of the Traxxas Scale RC Truck. Based on a couple of known measurements (the radio sitting next to the truck) the size of tires and wheelbase were speculated. Potentially, the wheelbase could be up to 14.” What does this mean?  Many of the most popular vehicles use a 12.3″ wheels base for bodies, tires, wheels, etc. Adding a slightly longer wheelbase could render a new class (maybe 1/8th) and of course a whole new line of aftermarket accessories.

The Specs

So, what exactly is the Traxxas Scale RC Truck?  It’s a solid axle chassis with a ladder frame design made to operate and function like many of today’s 1:1 trail trucks. Here’s some items I noticed:

  • Ladder Frame Design
  • Solid axles with Portal drops
  • Remote Locking f/r differentials
  • 2 speed hi/lo transmission
  • Chassis mounted servo
  • XL5 “trail edition” ESC
  • Titan 550 sized 21 turn brushed motor
  • Many scale details – mirrors, roll cage, flares, roof rack, etc
  • Land Rover D110 licensed body (2 colors so far)
  • Aluminum bodied shocks
  • Large “metal geared” waterproof badging on the steering servo
  • No branding on the decently lugged tires
  • 3 link front (CMS with panhard bar) 4 link rear suspension (metal links)
  • Center driveshafts are plastic and similar to the Axial branded WB8’s
  • LED roof mounted lightbar and full light kit f/r
  • Many 3D printed prototype parts like bumpers and sliders

Will it Sell?

So how will the Traxxas Scale RC Truck do?  It will do great.  Traxxas has one of the largest audiences in the RC hobby.  Hell, my first RC was a Traxxas – because I related to the brand and recognized it as an outsider.  Traxxas has the largest network of dealers across the globe for distribution of parts and accessories. It also has the most aftermarket support for upgrade and modification parts than any other brand.

Could Traxxas de-throne Axial?  Could we see “Traxxas-fest”?  I doubt it.  Axial has one thing that no other RC brand can figure out – severe brand loyalty. It’s almost like a “brotherhood/sisterhood” if you will and is growing each year.  (I’ll save that topic for another time…)

Pricing

Based on the parts shown in the pictures, licensing and Traxxas’ track record for above average RC RTR pricing…..I’m betting on a $549 price point with a possible $599 initial tag. Yes, it’s a lot and not even brushless, but it has the one thing it needs – the Traxxas name.  After all, this thing has 4 servos, at least a 4/5 channel remote and the Land Rover name.  As of this post, the only comparable RTR’s are:

RC4WD TF2 LWB – $479
Axial SCX10ii JK – $409
Vaterra Ascender – $399
GMade Komodo – $361

So what’s your thoughts on the Traxxas Scale RC Truck?  Will you be buying one once it’s available?  Should I review it?

15 Comments:

  1. It will probably be very good. You’re right, their pricing has been a little more dear than the rest of the competition. For over 10 years, Traxxas has really taken advantage of a larger slice of profit margin….. I owned a few before this period. They were inexpensive, fun and durable. They’re still fun and durable, but now they’re just too expensive for my taste.

    It will do well, in spite of itself! I’m not buying one, mainly because Traxxas is now only RTR. I’m a hobbyist. To me, taking something out of a box and running it, is not a Hobby IMHO.

  2. I am always happy to see some competition in the scale market. And i will give Traxxas a try…but before i will check it out in Person before considering a buy. But i think Traxxas brings its Quality to the plate. I hope they will also come out with a kit with some Upgrades included…just like Axial.
    Cheers Rich!

    • Competition is good. Axial has owned the market for sometime with many people attempting to topple the giant. Hopefully Traxxas has complied to some of the standards as to not make things difficult to cross populate parts on.

  3. Ha,i am not only a hobbyist .I am a driver too and the Traxxas Trucks i own (E Maxx Summit) work on any surface.With the release of the first Axials i come in love with crawling tough trails as possibel.Because this i bought one of the first Summit crawlers and enjoy tons of fun crawl and bash with the same Truck.I hope this Land Rover Scaler open a new century for Traxxas “first straight axel Traxxas Truck”. I think some other scale brand owners give this Truck a try to compete with the what we call here the “Platzhirsch” ha ha means the Truck that sell most in this category.

  4. I’m impressed to see Traxxas finally enter the scale/crawler market, and I’m not too surprised to see the implementation of “Summit tech” on the chassis, since that really set the Summit apart. Unfortunately, it is because of that excessive functionality that I will likely not purchase one. I got into scale trucks because I knew it would be fun to take them on hikes, for the most part, and there is no room on any mountain trails I’ve been on to shift into a higher gear and go faster. I also simply don’t want to deal with multiple servos and moving parts (locking/unlocking diffs), because I don’t see a need for it, regarding my purposes at least.
    The Traxxas scaler will have its own tribe, for certain, and I think it will be many of the same types of enthusiasts who love the Summit, and love the added control. I prefer more simplicity in my scalers, because it’s less to maintain, and fewer chances of breakdowns.

    • I agree, John. Hopefully all the tech in the TRX-4 will be solid – portals, multiple Servos, locking diffs, 2 speed, etc. we will see and I’m sure the population will put it to the test!

  5. As much as I love wrenching, I don’t have a lot of free time these days. I prefer as much uptime as possible. Traxxas comes through in the clutch in this regard. I have my comp rigs that require my attention on the workbench often, but I can’t wait to have a scaler I can just beat and drive. Bring it on.

    • I agree, Brian. Traxxas does makes some durable vehicles. I am skeptical on the portal axles, locking diffs and 2 speed transmission. That’s a lot of moving parts….hopefully their R/D is solid!

  6. I plan to order one of these. I compete in all three classes and have won the local series several times. In the last Summer Series I won the series in all classes. I hope this fits into the Class 2 size because that’s my plans with it. Love the portals and hope they got them right, love the selectable locking diffs and I hope they are repurposed Summit diffs. Not so sure on the 2-Speed trans as they tend to have a lot of slop in them and that’s not good for getting through tight gates. The tires look good but the compound will be the deciding factor and I hope most normal 1.9 wheels fit these axles. Also hoping it has a right turning radius like the Ascender or new Axial.

    I have my hopes up for this truck.

    • Sounds good Joe and congrats on the Victories! I too am worried about the sizing of the TRX-4 and also the ability to use other components in the truck (like Servos, etc) as Traxxas as does like to make proprietary items sometimes.

  7. At some point I might get one. I think before I do so I’m going to drop the Yeti transmission into my SCX10-2 and make it a 2-speed. At this point I’m really interested more in the line coming from HPI in the scale class.

  8. Ok. As a newbie to scale crawlers, SCX10 II vs the TRX4. Of the two which has the most possibilities for upgrading and supporting a “Hard Body”?

    • The TRX-4 is catching on quick with the aftermarket vendors, but the king is still the SCX10/SCX10ii – there’s so much out there like Killer Body, RC4WD, etc for hardbodies. HB’s can get too heavy quick though….I learned that with my RC4WD Gelande II. Happy RCing!

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