A Detailed Look at Redcat’s Latest
The Redcat Gen9 is the long-anticipated successor to the Gen8 V2. We had to wait a while in Australia to get it, but now it’s finally here! This new model is more than just a Gen8 V2 with a different body. It’s a whole new beast, sporting a new Scout model body and a host of updated features underneath. Let’s dive in and see what makes the Gen9 a worthy addition to the Redcat Racing lineup.
What’s New with the Gen9?
The first thing you’ll notice about the Gen9 is its new body, modelled after the International Scout 800A. This model is slightly smaller than the Scout II, which allowed Redcat to tweak the front and rear bumper setups and enhance the already impressive approach angle performance of the Gen8. But the new body is just the tip of the iceberg.
The Gen9 also boasts a two-speed transmission, V3 portal axles, new tires (that look suspiciously close to the tread on the Marksman we reviewed last year), beadlock wheels, and an entirely new body mounting system, not seen on any other rigs to date. There’s an interior now, too – a big jump over the previous models in the series. If you’re a fan of the Gen8, you’ll find many familiar parts in the Gen9. Even as a Gen8 V2 owner myself, there are plenty of new features or updates to make the Gen9 a worthwhile investment.
A Closer Look at the Gen9 Body
Redcat has upped the ante with the design and construction of the Gen9 body, thanks to their experience with their R/C lowrider lineup. The Gen9 International Scout 800A body is a multi-part piece that offers a detailed interior and exterior with ample room for customization. The open-cage design provides an excellent view of the interior, which includes a steering wheel, shift levers, door handles, and pedals. The only other trail rig that offers this level of scale detail is the SCX10 III Early Ford Bronco and some of the Cross RC models, such as the EMO XT4 (which we have here but it’s unbuilt – must get around to that one!).
The exterior of the Gen9 also features scale details, but they may not be as durable as you’d like. Side mirrors and door handles add visual interest to the body, but they may not withstand rough handling. Our unit has arrived intact, but I’ve read of numerous others who’ve received broken mirrors or door handles out of the box. Thankfully, Redcat includes a few extra parts in case you need them. I’d suggest keeping the mirrors aside until you get your rougher trail driving done! (Or look at hinged or rubber alternatives, like this handy 5-pack).
Lights and Colors
There are light buckets for 2x white LEDs on each side up front, and 1x red and 1x white reverse LED on each side of the rear. The side signals at front and rear of the body are stickers only. But, there are also two light buckets behind the dash! I’ve just gotta work out how to open it all up – it isn’t obvious and the manual gives no clues. I’ll cover this in a future video and/or article here on rc-tnt.com.
The Gen9 body comes in two color options: Metallic Blue and Graphite. Both are eye-catching, and Redcat includes two decal sheets so you can personalize your rig right out of the box. There aren’t instructions included but the box art gives you some idea of how you might go about it. You could also image-search the web for ‘IH Scout II’ for some inspiration. The body mounting system has also been redesigned, making it easier to access the internals of the rig. Two swivel latches secure the front of the body, and releasing them allows the body to be tipped toward the rear and removed from the chassis. Some have noted the front swivel pins can get loose with driving, but ours have been firm so far!
Under the Hood: The Gen9 Chassis
At first glance, the Gen9 and Gen8 chasses may look similar. Both feature a traditional H-ladder setup with full fenders and sideboards. The motor and transmission are in about the same spot. But a closer look reveals a small shift servo for the two-speed transmission and rock light ports on top of every inner fender. The portal axles have also been adjusted to improve durability, tracking, and steering performance. There’s a new servo, too! More on that in a moment.
These updates may not be visually striking, but they significantly impact the Gen9’s driving experience. The truck’s weight is certainly hefty for a ready-to-run (RTR) model. It’s heavy, at about 4kg, but the weight distribution is reasonably low and centered. The car is a little roll-over happy, but it’s not a chronic issue. That is, until you start making turns in 2nd gear! That’s another story.
The most significant performance change between the Gen9 and its predecessor is the two-speed transmission. The first gear is similar to the standard gearing of the Gen8, which is great for crawling but leaves something to be desired for trail use. This is a big point for the Gen9 over the Gen8, as second gear offers a fun, faster than walking speed experience. This feature is great for trail enthusiasts or those who want to let loose occasionally. Just don’t get carried away or you’ll be buying new side mirrors!
Redcat Gen9 Wheels and Tires
The Gen9’s tire choice is another departure from the Gen8. The Redcat team chose a 1.9″ version of the Interco Super Swamper SS M16, and I’ve just gone and looked – yep, it is the same tire found on their 1/8-scale TC8 Marksman, but in 1.9 instead of 2.2. This tire offers reasonable traction for both crawling and normal trail use. The wheels have also been updated with a faux outer beadlock ring for added scale. The actual bead locking is achieved from the rear of the wheels.
The tires of the Gen8 were fairly poor. We did a big tire test in 2021 that covered the Swampers from the Gen8 and they came up poorly overall. We do have an upcoming ‘biggest on YouTube’ tire test this year that’ll test more tires than ever before in one series and we’ll include this set in that test for reference. I’ll update this article with a link when it’s done.
The Gen9’s Radio System
DumboRC has been making its way into many RTR configurations over 2022 and 2023. It’s good to see Redcat jump onto this as well. The Gen8 V2 came with the AFHDS protocol of the older FlySky system, which made it inconvenient for binding to newer radios. Now that DumboRC is commonplace, there’s a heap of flexibility out of box with this system.
You not only get the 5-ch receiver with the Gen9, but it’s the light-control variant as well, with an entirely separate, dedicated row of pins just for LEDs in the car. On the transmitter, only three channels are active in the default configuration. You can easily add a fourth and there’s even a Channel 5 dial under the cover of the radio. I’m unsure if this works yet, but when I get to testing it, I’ll update the article (yep, Ch5 is a dial-controlled channel with full functionality). The third channel controls the two-speed transmission servo via the left blue button on top of the unit. The two auxiliary channel buttons are easy to find and use, and they light up when activated, so you can easily tell what gear you’re in. Good!
Redcat Gen9 Moving Parts
Portal axles grant clearance without hurting center of gravity too much and the metal diff plates are a nice touch. If construction and materials are at least as good as the Gen8 V2, then this drive train will be a solid and reliable performer.
There’s finally a better servo for steering than Redcat has done before – see the woeful unit on the Marksman, for example. They’ve been underwhelming for a few years now. To finally see a metal geared, metal cased, waterproof and 8.4v capable unit is awesome. It even gets to 42kg/cm of torque at 8.4v – what a turnaround from Redcat’s previous fare!
Drive shafts are plastic but tough. Axle components are also solid and the stainless steel links and ball ends are stainless steel. It’s a decent package all round, especially given the price. Even if this rig was $449, this would be a positive review of this vehicle. But the model is surprisingly good for its RRP of just $399 (and selling for less from some dealers).
Crawling and Trail Performance
The Gen9 shines when it hits the trail. The two-speed transmission is a standout feature, as the Gen8 was either fast and bad at crawling or slow but frustrating on the trail. The simple addition of the 2-speed is a winner. The first gear is perfect for smooth, low-speed crawling, while the second gear lets the rig move at impressive speeds. Despite its weight, this rig can really move.
When it comes to crawling performance, the Gen9 is excellent. After the Gen8 V2 was capable but not exceptional out of the box, the Gen9 has been a real surprise. I’d put it nearly on the level of the TRX4 Sport. The 1.9″ Interco SS M16 tires have an aggressive tread pattern and a high grip compound, allowing the rig to navigate obstacles with ease, even in challenging conditions. They’re not the all-rounders of the Traxxas Canyon Trails, but they’re a real improvement over the Gen8 V2’s tires. (See our Gen8 V2 review here). For more on performance testing, see our video (posted at the end of the article once it releases).
Final Thoughts on the Gen9
The Redcat Gen9 is an impressive machine at an impressive price. For USD$399.99, you get a capable crawler and trail truck with features typically found in higher-priced models. It’s a great 1/10-scale rig for outdoor driving, whether in your yard or on the trail. With plenty of room for customization, the Gen9 offers solid performance and stunning visuals. That’s a win-win in our book.
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 🙂
A note on affiliate links: the Amazon and AsiaTees links in the above article are affiliate links, which means we may be paid a small commission if you choose to click on them to make a purchase. As always, we make effort to ensure that no review is impacted by this – we still report on bugs and issues encountered during product testing, and our fixes or solutions if found. Thank you for reading and happy RC-ing!