Cross RC EMO X: Epic 8th Scale!

Cross RC EMO X: Epic 8th Scale!


Cross RC EMO X is not the first model to have EMO in the name. In the past, we’ve examined the EMO AT4. (You can find the review here, along with a video). Until now, the EMO range has been a 1/10 scale family of crawlers. They’re known for their rugged capability and impressive features like remote locking differentials and two-speed transmissions above portal axles. However, the Cross RC EMO X breaks from this, hulking up to 1/8 scale. This is not your average RC crawler— it’s so much bigger!

EMO X Size Comparo


With a weight of 17lb (7.7kg) and dimensions 575 x 300 x 271mm, the EMO X commands attention wherever it goes. She’s a hefty beastie!

It comes in three striking colors: Bright Yellow, Metallic Blue, and Silver. Its design blends aggressive lines with the classic appearance of a rugged off-road truck. Note, there’s no licensed branding on this vehicle.

Equipped with features like a simulated driver, hidden body mounts and a full-size spare tire, the EMO X is thoughtfully designed. The shell is a mix of high-quality polycarbonate (or ‘Lexan’) and durable plastic pieces, ensuring exceptional ruggedness and longevity.

Cross RC EMO X Dimensions

Cross RC Swag!

Inside the Cross RC EMO X box, you’ll find an assortment of items. Alongside the impressive RC crawler itself, you’ll receive a set of quality Cross RC tools, a Cross RC baseball cap and Cross RC lanyard. None of this is necessary but it’s all awesome! There’s also a styrene ‘EMO-X’ piece still on its parts tree off-cut. Then, there’s all the usual inclusions you would expect. Notably, the manual provided is comprehensive and detailed, enabling you to disassemble and rebuild the vehicle with confidence. The sticker sheets are nice, too.

EMO X Swag


The EMO X is equipped with a 6-channel 2.4g transmitter and receiver, made by DumboRC. This one is special in that it delivers something I wish more manufacturers would do: every switch or button is clearly labelled! That’s super helpful. The other feature I love that DumboRC does is the buttons will light up when they’re engaged. No more guesswork on whether a diff is locked or what gear you’re in. I love it!

This handset series is known for providing reliable and responsive control. With its independent lock control, you have the ability to control the front and rear differentials separately or engage both simultaneously. You also have high and low gear and a light mode control button – more on that below. The trigger and wheel feel good in the hand and the handset takes 4x AA batteries. For an RTR radio, wow, this one sure is nice!

EMO X Radio

Body Details

The EMO X stands out with its impressive design and durable construction. It features a simulated racing driver, adding a touch of realism. The hidden mounts keep the body securely fastened during intense off-road driving. The full-size spare tire enhances its rugged appearance – the tire lugs are properly chunky!

A light control module is mounted underneath the shell and all wiring is routed neatly, helping keep things from catching where they shouldn’t. The body connects via a single Futaba-style radio plug that detaches easily when you remove the body, but otherwise stays connected.

There are detailed plastic trim pieces all around and even a metal front grille, next to trick, multi-feature headlights. Typical for Cross RC, this body is a smart and durable unit and it looks great.


The EMO X incorporates a low center of gravity layout, enhancing stability and control. The strategic placement of the battery at the front between the shock towers allows for easy adjustment of the vehicle’s climbing characteristics. Use a smaller battery to improve CoG or slap a bigger brick in for longer running. Being over the front axles, the extra weight isn’t as bad as if it was over the rear.

The rig has a 375mm wheelbase, solid axle suspension system, stainless steel link rods, front panhard bar, rear 4 link and rear balance bar. It’s a rigid chassis with metal where its needed and flexible but strong plastic where weight-saving is more important. The bumpers blend well with the body and overall the rig has a durable feel. I hadn’t driven it at this part of the inspection and it was already looking like being one of my favorite crawlers.

Cross RC EMO X Chassis

Transmission & Drive Train

The EMO X boasts a robust transmission and drive train. Cross RC has a lot of history delivering reliable power delivery the EMO X will be no different:

Big Motor & Tough Parts

The 4X4 drive system of the EMO X is equipped with a 25-Turn 560-size brushed motor. It’s mated to a 2-speed transmission, featuring metal gears throughout. This combination offers excellent torque at a slightly reduced acceleration potential (longer motor means more mass – a good choice for this rig). The CVD drive shafts and metal u-joints, sealed bearings and friendly gearing ratios contribute to the overall durability and reliability of the power delivery system.

Lockable Portal Axles

One notable feature of the EMO X is its lockable portal axles. These axles have durable, nylon housings and metal internal gears. Portals give you increased ground clearance and improved torque delivery, eliminating torque twist. The lockable differential feature ensures maximum traction and improved maneuverability in demanding terrains. Plus, you know, it’s fun! With the ability to remotely lock and unlock the differentials, you have greater control over the power distribution to the wheels. It’s not for everyone, but I’ve always been a fan.

Transmission & Slipper

The transmission and drive train components of the EMO X have been designed for durability and performance. Finger-friendly, adjustable slipper clutch, strengthened 60t spur gear, and 20t metal pinion gear comprise the main input. The final drive ratio, with options of 17.8 (high speed) and 38.9 (low speed), provides the flexibility to adapt to various terrains and driving conditions.

More Than Its Parts

The combination of the 2-speed transmission, lockable portal axles, and reliable drive train components ensures that the EMO X is ready to conquer any off-road challenge. Whether you’re crawling over rocks, navigating steep inclines, or powering through muddy trails, the EMO X’s transmission and drive train deliver the power and control you need for thrilling off-road adventures.

Lighting System

The EMO X is equipped with an impressive lighting system. It is conveniently controlled by a single channel, which can be operated through a button on the radio transmitter, clearly marked with a light symbol. You can cycle through the various lighting modes available on the vehicle with a single button press.

One of the notable features of the lighting system is the position lights. When you’re crawling or navigating challenging terrain, these lights blink to provide enhanced visibility. In addition to the standard position lights, the EMO X features an angel eye position light, which adds a unique touch to its overall appearance.

The lighting system is designed to illuminate in a specific sequence. Initially, you will have just the position lights activated, followed by low beam lights, and finally, the third position will engage the full power forward lights. The rear lighting setup is equally impressive. It completes the overall lighting package of the vehicle, ensuring that it stands out even from behind.

Cross RC EMO X Blue & Yellow

Links & Suspension

The EMO X features a well-designed suspension system that ensures optimal performance and durability during off-road driving. The rear suspension utilizes a standard 4-link setup with coil-over shocks, providing excellent articulation and control. However, what sets the EMO X apart is the unique addition of what Cross RC calls the ‘balance bar’.

What Linkage?

The ‘balance bar’ consists of a link connected to each end of the axle, which then connects to a center-mounted pivot arm on the chassis. This innovative design allows for a dynamic response when encountering uneven terrain. Believe it or not, this design is hundreds of years old! (See Watt’s Linkage on Wikipedia). When one side of the axle is raised, the center bar pivots, drawing the other side of the axle up slightly. Essentially, this system performs somewhat like a sway bar or anti-roll bar.

The rear balance bar offers several benefits to the EMO X’s overall performance. Firstly, it enhances stability by minimizing body roll and controlling the weight transfer during cornering or uneven surfaces. The pivoting action of the center bar effectively counteracts the forces exerted on the vehicle, resulting in improved handling and traction.

Another notable advantage of this system is its ruggedness and simplicity. Traditional sway bar systems can sometimes become stuck or damaged by mud or debris encountered during off-road driving. In contrast, the EMO X’s rear balance bar utilizes larger-sized materials and a straightforward mechanical design, making it considerably more robust. This ensures that the suspension system remains functional even in demanding off-road conditions, providing reliable performance without compromising durability.


The combination of the standard 4-link suspension setup, coil-over shocks, and the rear balance bar makes the EMO X a capable and reliable off-road crawler. The suspension system allows for excellent articulation and control, while the rear balance bar adds an extra layer of stability and control during challenging maneuvers. Whether you’re navigating rocky trails, crawling over obstacles, or tackling uneven terrain, the EMO X’s suspension system ensures a smooth and controlled ride.


The EMO X is equipped with high-quality servos that not only deliver precise and accurate control but also offer convenient operation. One of the standout features of the EMO X’s servos is their differential lock control, which requires no trimming or end point adjustment. These servos are designed to “just work” at 100% EPA (End Point Adjustment) due to their mechanically adjustable design.

Unlike some other RC crawlers that may require manual adjustments and fine-tuning to achieve optimal performance, the EMO X simplifies the process. With the differential lock servos set at 100% stroke, you can rest assured that they will operate flawlessly without the need for additional adjustments. This ensures optimal performance without the risk of burning out the servos or compromising their functionality.

The innovative self-lubricating steel wire assembly of the differential lock servos makes them water and dust-proof, allowing for quick and secure locking in seconds. This means that you can engage or disengage the differential locks effortlessly, enhancing the versatility and excitement of your off-road adventures.

With a 6-channel remote control, you can independently lock the front and rear differentials. The radio will indicate what’s happening under the car. Honestly, it’s a simple but brilliant system.

The steering servo is a 23kg coreless unit with alu housing. Part of why I like Cross RC so much is their choice to not scrimp on components where they could have. The ESC and motor are premium, as are the servos here. Awesome.

Cross RC EMO X Locker System

Wheels & Tires

The EMO X is equipped with Cross RC Talon 136X55 R2.2 high-performance crawler tires mounted on 2.2″ bead lock wheels. These tires are specifically designed to deliver superior grip and durability. With their larger studs, snow lines, and high-grip tire wall, they provide exceptional traction on a variety of surfaces. Measuring 136mm in diameter and 55mm in width, these tires offer compatibility with common 2.2-inch wheels in the market. The lightweight nylon clip wheel hubs reduce the load on the shaft and enhance the dynamic performance of the vehicle.

Cross RC EMO X Wheels


The Cross RC EMO X 1/8 RTR RC Crawler is an outstanding off-road vehicle that exceeds expectations in terms of build quality, advanced features, and thrilling performance. Its exceptional design, durable construction, and attention to detail make it a dream come true for off-road enthusiasts seeking something a bit bigger than the norm. From its rugged appearance and imposing presence to its innovative components and precise control, the EMO X is ready to unleash your passion for off-road exploration like never before.

Cross RC has once again proven its commitment to delivering outstanding RC crawlers with the EMO X. So, gear up, take the wheel, and let the EMO X take you on unforgettable off-road journeys. It’s time to explore new horizons and push the limits of your off-road adventures with the Cross RC EMO X 1/8 RTR RC Crawler.

Find the Manufacturer’s website for this rig here:

This is not a sponsored article. We bought this one at full price. Stay tuned for the running and review video, which we’ll link here soon (late May 2023). Thanks for reading!

EMO X Displayed
Craig Veness

Craig Veness


Craig has been into radio control since the 90s and into RC crawling since about 2010, when a Losi MRC started the obsession! Now it's all rocks this and crawl that and upgrade all the things! ...You know how it is, right? Welcome home 🙂

Cross RC EMO AT4 vs Traxxas TRX4 Bronco

Cross RC EMO AT4 vs Traxxas TRX4 Bronco

All The Bells And Whistles

When You Want the Full-Fat 1/10 RC Rock Crawler 4X4 Experience

EMO AT4 vs TRX4 Bronco

Two Heavyweights

There are many RC rock crawlers to choose from today, but not many with all the options. Two such vehicles bring everything to the table and present a dilemma on which is best: Cross RC EMO AT4 or Traxxas TRX4. They both include:

  • high and low gear,
  • front and rear lockers,
  • portal axles,
  • integrated light kit that goes beyond simple LEDs in the bumpers,
  • pretty scale trim atop a durable polycarbonate body,
  • quality tires that don’t need immediate replacement,
  • decent off-road capability,
  • astonishingly capable rock crawling ability, and
  • rugged durability (no cast gears to be seen, here), including water resistance.

Pinch me, I must be dreaming – there are at least two different manufacturers with such a vehicle already on the market? Don’t tell 12-year-old me from the 90s. This was the stuff I dreamed of back then, but the technology just wasn’t there. Well, in 2021, now it is! And boy, is it good!

If you have a cool grand burning a hole in your pocket and you want that one, special, do-it-all machine for the rocks and the trails, you may have come to the same dilemma: Cross RC EMO AT4 or Traxxas TRX4? Do you buy the Cross RC EMO AT4 (or JT4) or the Traxxas TRX-4 (Bronco, Chevy Blazer, Defender, etc.)? Both are compelling, given they satisfy all of the above on paper. Let’s take a closer look!

Bronco Towing

Traxxas Heritage

Traxxas hit it out of the park with their release of the TRX-4 platform. Over the course of 2008 to 2016 or so, I was watching Traxxas and thinking their designs were stagnating. The Slash hadn’t received an update in years. The Stampede and EMAX were still suffering the same design issues and breakages and accordingly, the hop-up market was doing a roaring trade. I had a few of their models but there really wasn’t a lot special going on. This began to change around 2017 when Traxxas began hinting at new models.

We have since seen an overhaul of their off-road vehicles, new road cars, even drones and boats. Part of this reawakening, of course, was the TRX-4. This all-new 4X4 crawler made its debut after much rumour and excitement online. From 2018, the TRX-4 has dominated with the popular vote and has become famous for its unbreakable drivetrain and excellent off-road capability.


Traxxas TRX4

The model line does have its weaknesses. From the RTR Sport to the TRX-6, the same, weak steering servo is the first thing I remove when I unbox a TRX model. The shifting servos will last as long as their end points are set correctly and the servo-saver spring assemblies are adjusted ‘just so’. The ESC is fine on 2S and 3S but what many of us do is replace the servo and ESC on day one. We’ll often change the radio as well. There are numerous good options – I’ll have a video and an article up on this in coming months. Once the electronics are sorted, the TRX-4 is good to go.

A little weight down-low is required to bring its rock crawling performance in particular up to scratch. The links, drivetrain and chassis are fine and the tires are excellent. However, the centre of gravity is too high for more extreme crawling. Adding a little brass on the axles can be helpful, or even just weighted, beadlock wheels. Do note that rotational mass isn’t desirable. With such broad, after-market support for the TRX-4, you’d be better served swapping some of the axle housing outer pieces, like the portal covers. Brass instead of plastic on just a few bits on each corner can be transformative on the rocks.

With the centre of gravity issue addressed, you’ll have a capable and durable vehicle that will go wherever you like and do it well.

Manufacturer site:

EMO AT4 on Rocks

Cross RC EMO AT4

Until recently, Cross RC has been best-known for its military trucks. 4X4, 6X6 and 8X8 models have featured detailed styrene bodies, heavy leaf suspension (or even torsion bars on some, like the BC8) and scale military tires. The company’s trucks and trailers are generally excellent for what they are. I have numerous Cross RC models and they’re well engineered with quality materials and clever electronics and design flourishes. Their manuals have needed improvement, but this is slowly but surely happening.

Where Cross RC fell down was with their earlier 4X4 RC rock crawlers. The SP4 Demon was ‘okay’ – not great, not awful, for example, but left much to be desired. There have been some other, light-duty, off-road civilian models in recent times that have avoided such criticisms only because crawling was not part of their design purpose. Engineering a 4X4 vehicle that can actually crawl on rocks is much more difficult than simply building a trail-ready truck. If you’re not copying other existing platforms (*cough* RGT HSP *cough*) then designing such a rig from the ground up is no small thing.

Enter the AT4 and JT4: underneath the bodies, which are a Chevy/Bronco mash-up in the AT4 and a minibus/pickup mash-up in the JT4, you have the same chassis. I recently built, tested and reviewed the EMO AT4. I’m delighted to report that Cross RC has managed to build an exceedingly capable, ‘heavy’ 4X4 crawler with all the features of the TRX-4. Indeed, they’ve done it in a unique way that is very much their own design. And this thing is tough! It out-performed the modified TRX-4 Bronco in my video test and looked amazing doing it.

Manufacturer site:

Aftermarket Parts

Parts Availability

In considering the EMO AT4 vs TRX4 Bronco, you may be asking: can I get parts for it?

You are going to need replacement parts for the faster RC vehicles, for those times when mass and velocity meet gravity and immobile objects. However, with crawling, the pain points are most often in the spinning bits: diff and transmission gears, broken drive shafts and axles, burned out motors and cooked servos. Gears are usually available from manufacturers. Also, there’s a healthy after-market range of higher-grade (and sometimes lower-grade) gears for most common crawlers.

Cut-steel (or ‘hardened steel’) parts are the gold standard for gears and axles. Steel universal joints are the go-to for front axles and drive shafts. On both models, the gears and shafts are strong enough that you’ll be hard-pressed to break them under normal driving, even vigorous driving. As with all things, if you abuse them hard enough you’ll eventually get breakages. Manufacturer parts are locally available at time of writing, keeping in mind this is in Australia and November 2021. The COVID-induced slow-down is going to affect manufacturing for several years yet, so this situation may change. Rest assured that as long as you keep these vehicles out of the local skate park and on the trails and rocks they’re designed to traverse, it is not likely you’ll need much in the way of specific spares.

For the parts you may be more likely to damage – the electronics – things are absolutely fine for both models. Thankfully, you’re not tied to the manufacturer as long as standard sized components are used. For both the Cross RC and Traxxas models, any brand of motor, ESC and servo that fits can be used if you burn out your first ones. Spend a little more money to get better stuff and it’ll last longer in many cases.

After-Market Support

Brushless motors and controllers are a good longer-term investment over the stock brushed motor, brushed ESC and brushed servos, but for servos especially this does come at a cost. Most folks buy the trucks, run them until they break something, then upgrade from there. This is a wise idea unless you have the budget and experience to unbox the truck and immediately rip out and replace the stock Traxxas electronics like I did, for example. Whatever works; you’ll be fine with both of these models for parts.

I will add that the after-market for hop-ups and modifications is vastly bigger for the Traxxas model. I can’t overstate this point. If you plan on upgrading and playing with various hop-up options, Traxxas is the only answer here. Cross RC is not well supported at all in this regard. But again, for the main running gear, such components are readily available for both models.

EMO AT4 box

Kit vs RTR

The Traxxas TRX4 Bronco and similar are only available as Ready-To-Run (RTR). The Cross RC AT4 and JT4 are available both as RTR and also in kit form. A kit build is where you build the vehicle from loose parts with tools and a manual. For kits you also must provide the electronics yourself. This is less convenient than a RTR vehicle, but it does mean you aren’t paying for wasted things you don’t need or plan to use.

If you’re new to the hobby, you should still consider a kit for the educational element you will definitely get from the build. However, you will also probably need some advice on which electronics to buy to complete the build. Well, that’s great! But there’s no shame in buying a RTR model instead. You do get to play with an RTR vehicle the day you bring it home. You also have the assurance that an RTR vehicle generally will be (or at least, should be, but sometimes isn’t) set up and ready to go with just a battery.

If you want the extra dimension of getting to know the vehicle through the build process, a kit can’t be beaten as a great way to get going with your new truck.

If you really don’t want to assemble it and just want to get out there and enjoy it, both Cross RC and Traxxas sell the AT4/JT4 and TRX4 models in RTR form. Go for it.

EMO AT4 Body

EMO AT4 vs TRX4 Bronco – Which To Get?

Given how similar these are, how do you decide? So, replacement parts supply is sufficiently established for both. Each truck seems durable and unlikely to need a constant supply of parts. How, then, do you decide which to buy? This is a tough decision: EMO AT4 vs TRX4 Bronco. They’re both excellent.

We do have an article already here on which RC crawler to buy. Though it isn’t about either of these rigs in particular, it may be helpful in bringing up various elements you may not have considered. Find that article here.

That’s where personal taste, price and reviews come in. There is some value in looking to online forum discussions for a cross-section of opinions from many in the hobby (and and forums are great for this). You also may find some of my videos helpful. That includes this playlist, Truck vs Truck, where I’ll put vehicles against each other to assess capability and durability, for example.

We’re living in a golden age for rock crawling, I think, at the moment, things are available, they’re getting cheaper all the time. These are both really, really good rigs. They’re both solid choices and both will deliver many hours of adventure and fun. And isnt’ that awesome to be able to say?

Craig Veness

Craig Veness


Craig has been into radio control since the 90s and into RC crawling since about 2010, when a Losi MRC started the obsession! Now it’s all rocks this and crawl that and upgrade all the things! …You know how it is, right? Welcome home 🙂

Cross RC EMO AT4 1/10 4×4 Crawler

Cross RC EMO AT4 1/10 4×4 Crawler

This is the Cross RC EMO AT4 4×4 Crawler Kit review. It’s a 1/10 scale RC rock crawler and it is excellent! Is it good enough to take the top spot from the TRX4? Read on to find out!

A 1/10 Kit To Make Traxxas Nervous!

When the Traxxas TRX-4 hit the scene, it was ground-breaking in a number of ways. Before that, no other 1/10 scale RC rock crawler had engageable, locking diffs and a two-speed transmission. Icing on the cake, it was fully waterproof and super durable!

Today, Cross RC challenges the TRX-4’s dominance in this category with the EMO AT4. This interesting-looking platform also has remotely-lockable differentials and a two-speed transmission. Sealed bearings and heavy beadlock wheels round out a very capable platform. That’s on paper.  But how good is it, really?

Cross RC has a history with very pretty, hard-body rigs. However, the EMO AT4 is an unlicensed blend between an old Chevy Blazer and a Ford Bronco. There’s no badging on the vehicle, but it’s a very attractive looking, American-style off-roader.

Cross RC EMO AT4

Also in the Family

Interestingly, Cross RC has also recently released the JT4, which has the same undercarriage and running gear as the AT4. The difference is the body: a late-50s inspired bus-cum-utility style body with a utility rack behind a twin-cab. It includes rock bars and a roof-rack. There’s nothing else quite like it in the RC crawling space. With this platform’s performance, the JT4 is a compelling and interesting option if you’re in the market for an RC crawler with a difference.

If you’re looking at more traditional car bodies, though, you’re in the right place. The EMO AT4 delivers the scale crawling experience that will be consistent, capable and enjoyable, time and again.

Cross RC EMO AT4 box

Cross RC 4X4 Crawlers

This is my third Cross RC vehicle. Well, sixth, if you count the trailers I have as well. Trailer or truck, all were kits requiring significant time to complete. However, the AT4 was my first ‘soft-body’ or polycarbonate-bodied vehicle build from Cross RC. I’d avoided earlier such models from Cross, as there were common criticisms about various design issues with some models. For example, the SR-4A Demon had some steering and linkage problems. It seems Cross RC has gone back to the drawing board for the AT4, as this is an all-new vehicle that seems to have been very carefully designed.

EMO AT4 box
AT4 Build

Vehicle Dimensions

The machine is not light, being 4.7kg/10.4lb. It has a typical wheelbase of 314mm (313mm seems to be an industry standard), so it should fit many common bodies from other manufacturers. It’s 531mm nose-to-tail, 246mm high and 252mm wide.

EMO AT4 Dimensions

What’s Not Included

The Cross RC EMO AT4 does come with a motor. It’s a 540, 35-turn unit that seems about right for the vehicle’s gearing and intended use. However, you’ll need to supply everything else:

  • ESC (Electronic Speed Control) – go with the HobbyWing WP-1060 (what we’re using) or its bigger brother, the WP-1080;
  • Steering servo – get a waterproof, 6v unit to pair with the WP-1060 (that’s what we’re using) or go a little up-market to a 7.4v coreless or brushless unit to match the WP-1080.
  • Shifting and Diff Lock servos (that’s two in total) – you’ll want the ‘mini’ rather than ‘micro’ size here. However, I used a micro (the Power Hobby TR-4) and just added a little plastic to extend the factory bracket, snugging it in nicely. For the diff-lock servo, you’d just need to drill two holes a little closer to the other side and it’ll bolt in just fine.
  • Radio system – I recommend the FlySky GT-5 and its 6-ch receiver if you haven’t got anything already, or you could just buy another receiver to match an existing handset if you have one for another model. Just be sure you have 4 channels for this model, as you want to be able to change gears and lock/unlock the diffs.
  • Cross RC lists ‘Sound and Light System’ as not included, but the AT4 does include nice little lights for front and rear. These are powered directly by a spare channel on your receiver. You will need your own sound system if you desire that, but the lights it comes with are definitely adequate!
EMO AT4 Electronics


Both axles lock and unlock simultaneously. The TRX-4 allows independent front and rear locking of your differentials. This sounds like a good thing, and on my TRX4 vehicles, I do make use of it. I’ll often unlock just the rear while I’m trying to crawl up an obstacle, if I need to pull the nose around with the front wheels. The idea is that one of the two rear wheels would be unloaded enough that it could just sit and spin. This allows the front wheels to draw the vehicle onto the line you want. However, this can still be achieved with front and rear unlocked at the same time. It just needs slightly more careful tire placement on the front to get there.

With a little hand-craft or 3D design and printing, one could set this vehicle up to have independent control of each end. However, I’d argue that is unnecessary for this vehicle. It’s quite capable in the default configuration.

EMO AT4 Axles

Wheels, Tires and Foams

The Cross RC EMO AT4 has the Traxxas TRX-4 soundly beaten in the wheel department. The Canyon Trail tires that Traxxas crawlers ship with are excellent see our tire test video series for more). While the Blackrock rubber on the Cross RC is also excellent, I’d concede they’re probably a draw on that.

But those wheels, wow! Traxxas ships with plastic wheels that require glue for the tires to work. Those wheels weigh about 25g. None of these things are good where the Traxxas is concerned.

The AT4, on the other hand, ships with weighted, metal beadlock wheels. They weigh 177g each (!) and clamp onto the tires with no glue needed. Everything you just read about them is what people pay good money for when modifying their vehicles with after-market parts. That Cross RC includes such a luxury feature is incredibly good value. It’s so good that it may be a decider for potential buyers considering ‘TRX-4 vs AT4’. It’s a big deal.

EMO AT4 Foam Stiffness
EMO AT4 Wheels

Cross RC EMO AT4 Transmission

Mated to the transmission from factory is a non-rebuildable, 35-turn 540 motor. Whilst I typically would stick a 40 or 45-turn 540 in a crawler of this size, I left the stock Cross RC unit in. My thinking was that the manufacturer has tested and knows best. When I burn this motor out eventually, I will still use a 40t rather than another 35t, but we’re splitting hairs. The 35t is a good choice and suits the truck just fine.

The transmission shifts smoothly. There’s a good gap in the ratios between first and second gears. This means you get nice and slow crawling in first and a moderate jogging pace for second. You won’t be getting any epic air in second gear with this crawler, but that’s okay because, y’know, it’s a crawler. I like this transmission, I like the transfer case and I like the motor.

EMO AT4 Transmission

Cross RC EMO AT4 Suspension

The shock bodies are aluminium and well made. There are numerous o-rings throughout the construction of the shafts and I filled them with 40wt. silicone oil, which was perfect. You could really run anything from 25wt. to 50wt. and I expect it’d be fine.

There are a few mounting points on the upper shock mounts, but only the one on the axles (which is normal for most crawlers). The default position is optimal, I think, unless you’re using a different body and therefore may have different needs. Keep it to factory spec for good results if you build one yourself.

The coils are a single-piece, dual-stage spring. The instructions suggested stiffer springs go on the front, which is what I did during my build, though it is the opposite to what I’d usually do in a crawler. You want the heavier spring in the rear to help stop the body squatting down over the rear axle on steep ascents. This allows the suspension to travel fully and to help get the front up as high as possible to help pull the car over an obstacle.

However, the design in this case works. Very well, in fact – more on crawling performance in a moment, but it suffices to say here that in its default configuration, the suspension works brilliantly.

EMO AT4 Shocks

Cross RC EMO AT4 Body & Trim

The unlicensed body looks to be a mix between a late 70s Chevy Blazer and a short wheelbase Ford Bronco from the 80s. The grille is all Blazer, but the nose is Bronco. Though it’s a bit of a mash-up, it just works. The included sticker sheets (not just one, but numerous) are plentiful and varied, so you can go for an upmarket finish or a basic and rugged look, or somewhere in-between.

The included window mask sheet was just fine and had extra pieces to suit your creative taste. This was a thoughtful inclusion over just the basic window lines. I took advantage of some of these by masking out the tailgate and finishing that with copper highlights. Looks good and that’s thanks in part to this well-appointed masking sheet. Thanks, Cross RC!

There are some plastic bits and pieces that attach to the body. Typical of Cross RC models, you need a soldering iron with a flat end to melt flat the stumps that go through the pre-drilled body holes. In other brands, Traxxas in particular, you instead would get injection-moulded pieces that clamp onto both sides of the polycarbonate body with screws. That’s a better, more durable design, so Cross RC loses points for that. However, the Cross method still gets the job done and is simple enough to do. From the outside, you’d not know one from the other.

EMO AT4 Body Top-Down
EMO AT4 Headlight Cut
EMO AT4 Headlight Inners

Wheel Wells, Sliders and Body Mount

The injection-moulded plastic parts that attach to the chassis rails underneath the body are good. The plastic quality is high – strong, but flexible, so I think they’ll all be quite durable. The wheel wells give good coverage to the wheels, so the interior of the body should stay reasonably muck-free even with muddy running.

The sliders can take a decent amount of scraping and impacts, helping to protect the smooth lines and shiny finish on your body sills. There are also narrow gutters that run along each side into which the body sills sit. This helps keep everything straight and protected. It’s a nice, basic system and it works well.

EMO AT4 Chassis

Lights & Electronic Setup

As noted above, you don’t get much in the way of included electronics, other than the motor and a set of front and rear lights. Cross RC have paid attention to the lights though, as even a simple set can really set the body off from the competition if done right.

And done it right they have! You get a pair of basic PCBs for both front and rear clusters. The body itself comes with light buckets and plastic brackets to fit the PCBs nice and flush with the body. Then, the wiring is done in one continuous series from front-left to front-right to rear-right to rear-left. It results in a working set of double-bright (and old-school yellow coloured! Yes!!) and pleasingly-dim but still functional rear red tail lights.

The single cable that comes out of the setup goes into a spare radio receiver port and expects 6v. Note, I can’t find whether it’ll take 7.4v, so be careful if you end up running a WP-1080 on 7.4v. A small, 6v BEC may be advisable. Alternatively, run everything but the steering servo from the WP-1080’s 6v output and fit a separate 7.4v BEC to run your stronger steering servo – if you go that way.

I stuck with a basic, waterproof ‘LV’ steering servo and it was well suited to the Cross RC EMO AT4. I do have high-powered servos in other crawlers, but this truck doesn’t seem to need it, despite being on the heavy end of the spectrum.

EMO AT4 Lights
EMO AT4 Front

Crawling Performance

Here’s where the magic happens. In testing the EMO AT4 on my 6-problem course, the vehicle is being tested against every other rig to ever have been tried on it. And for what it’s worth, only one other 4×4 1/10 scale crawler (in stock configuration) has been able to finish all 6 problems, and that was the recently-reviewed GMade BOM TC GS02F. The EMO AT4 is seriously impressive. Check out our video to get the full detail on crawling performance, but to put it bluntly, this thing is really, really good. (And spoiler alert, it beats the TRX4 Bronco, 6 problems to 4).

EMO AT4 on Rocks

Trail Performance

Having live axles is a pro on the rocks but a con on the trail. Independent suspension is ideal for higher-speed driving, but of course, rock crawlers usually have live axles for maximum articulation and performance, and rightly so. Having a second gear gives the EMO AT4 that extra layer of usable speed that some single-speed rigs really are lacking. It’s stable, has a good centre of gravity for its class and handles well at speed. Being able to unlock the diffs goes a long way to increasing trail stability, so overall I’d rate this as a very capable truck.

Just remember you don’t have a waterproof receiver box in the kit, so you’ll want to be sure your radio receiver is either already waterproof or that you’ve taken measures to protect it from the wet stuff. Otherwise, go for it – this is a rock and trail machine I can heartily recommend.

Cross RC EMO AT4 Durability

How well a model will last comes down to a few factors. Some elements are within your own control, like where you drive and how you drive. Some are obvious, like the quality of build materials in a rig. I think one of the biggest factors is actually how the rig is designed. You could have good materials, careful driving and appropriate terrain but still have breakages if there’s a poorly engineered linkage mount, for example. Stress on parts can be mitigated with good design and research, to some extent at least. When I build or examine a model, one thing I often look for is design oversights, as well as areas where care and attention was obviously given.

The Cross RC EMO AT4 is well designed, overall. I can’t think of any particular area where this vehicle has an obvious weak point, apart from – and I’m nit-picking here – the omission of a waterproof receiver box. It’s overall design is good, the materials are solid and the construction is well thought-out. I expect this vehicle will need minimal attention over its service life. At this early point in my ownership of one, I can heartily recommend it as a solid trail and rock machine.

EMO AT4 Top-Off

How It Stacks Up

It out-performed the TRX4 on the rocks. It’s similar in handling and capability on the trail to the Traxxas. It looks great, is a fun build and gives you the option to go all-out or cheap and cheerful with the electronics. The body detail is a little lacking and the plastic attachment methods for trim isn’t ideal, but overall this is already one of my all-time favourite crawlers. It’s very, very good. Recommended.

>> Find more info on the EMO AT4 on the official Cross RC website.

 >> Wondering if this is the best RC rock crawler for you? Well, it’s an excellent machine, but here are a few other ideas for you!


Craig Veness

Craig Veness


Craig has been into radio control since the 90s and into RC crawling since about 2010, when a Losi MRC started the obsession! Now it’s all rocks this and crawl that and upgrade all the things! …You know how it is, right? Welcome home 🙂