RGT Intruder: An Important Release!

RGT Intruder: An Important Release!

Heard of RGT?

Before we get to the RGT Intruder EX86020 (available here), I think some context would be helpful. Previously a lesser-known manufacturer, Chinese company RGT have been making quite a splash with their 1/10 trail rig releases over 2022 and 2023.

For instance, you may have already seen our recent comparison article, “Which RGT is best for you?”. In this one, I compared three of their best and biggest recent releases: Rescuer, Challenger and Pro Runner. I’ve also looked at the Tracer, Pioneer, and the 136100 range either here or on the channel – and all have their merits.

3 RGT Models - Rear

What’s the Big Deal?

So, what’s the fuss about the RGT Intruder? Isn’t it just another car? Well, no: for a start, it’s their first big release for 2024. Secondly, it looks the same as the RGT Rescuer EX86190, which will inevitably lead to comparisons with the older, larger model. We’ll see below that this apparent similarity is only cosmetic in nature – but more on that in a moment.

I see it as an important next step after their successful, more ‘standard’ models. Their previous SWB (Short Wheel Base) models have been underwhelming, or, if finished beautifully as with the 136100v3, weaker than it should have been. (Both my 136100v2 and v3 have a broken front axle and both were the CVD joints not standing up to crawling). But now, folks are starting to pay attention.

RGT Rescuer EX86190 on Grass

The Big Reason

RGT has proven they can make great vehicles. They’ve shown how their own designs are working – obvious IP infringement aside with the bodies and often the tire treads. And they’ve shown that they can make a decently durable model that performs well AND has parts and upgrade availability. That’s actually quite a big deal.

As these models draw new potential customers to consider the brand, their newest model releases matter all the more. From where I’m watching, the RGT Intruder EX86020 is possibly their most important release. This is their first high-level scale model RC crawler that doesn’t have the extra bells and whistles that many folks disparage. It has a gorgeous body. The price suggests quality. The running gear is solid (U-joints in those front axles, for example). And it’s all 1/10 scale kit.

In short, this model needs to be good. Better than good. Newcomers to RGT are watching this one!

RGT Intruder Chassis Top-Down

What’s It Like?

The first thing that jumped out to me was that gorgeous body. I made a post on my YT community page that said something like, “Gosh, this car just looks amazing from any angle” – and it really does!

There are a bunch of extras they throw in so you can add more lights, mount a larger battery tray, add some scale extras and have a play with suspension mount points and so on. There’s a lot of good here, though the main ‘feature’ of this model is its appearance. I mean, just look at it!

RGT Intruder External Sides
RGT Intruder Included Parts

Body Issues

There’s only one issue with the body: it is not licensed. This has been the case for all of their crawlers, to my knowledge. Toyota may not be pleased, and I don’t condone the practice. Unlicenced bodies are a problem for the hobby, as are cloned parts. I really need to do a blog post on just this topic, as there are a few things to unpack here. But the car is pretty and the colour choices are all quite good.

This model comes with some extra plastics for both the cabin and the exterior of the body, like a rear-view mirror, extra spotlight cases, wipers, and so on. You need to fit these yourself. The folding side-mirrors come installed though, as do the door handles and the rear pillar air vents. If you do nothing with the extras after you unbox it, the car is still very complete. I also appreciate the captured body pins – you won’t lose these during a battery change on the trail!

RGT Intruder Captured Body Clips

RGT Intruder Interior

Well, it has one. My original RGT Rescuer did not have one (see? Even I’m comparing this car to the Rescuer! It’s inevitable!), though now the EX86190 does ship with an interior. I bought mine separately. The interior in the Intruder here is the same as the one I bought. This is a good thing, as it helps keep RGT’s costs down. It’s attractive, functional, and being polycarbonate, about as light as it could be. Good!

There are no lights in the cabin, but there are lights on all corners, controlled by a central module that’s attached to the underside of the body’s mold piece. It connects to the LED port on the all-in-one Receiver/ESC/Light Controller on the chassis. I’ll get to that further down.

RGT Intruder Front View
RGT Intruder Body Underside

Wheels and Tires

There’s the promise of performance, with vented tires (including foams), and they’re about as large as could reasonably fit under this scale of body. They’d be 43” tires in real life – and on this kind of vehicle, even something like 35” tires are BIG. So, RGT have pushed the performance there as far as they dare. It’s a compromise, scale vs capability, and I think it was the right move to max the diameter out.

They’re glued 4.31″ tires on plastic 1.9″ wheels. However, I do think the tire carcass is too stiff for the weight of this car. The foams feel about right, but the rubber in the tires is either too thick or too rigid, and to my feel, they don’t bend enough around rocks. Traction is lost that the car really needs. We’ll get to this shortly.

RGT Intruder Wheels & Tires

Chassis and Links

This is a talking point: the rails are 3mm CNC-milled aluminum with a stunning finish. They are really pretty! And the chassis is very stiff, too, thanks to the generous plastic-fiber cross bracing from nose to tail. The shock hoops are part of the rails and even the panhard mount is finished in the same lovely material. Full marks for that.

Links and geometry are also well designed. There’s full movement for both axles, no binding, and plenty of room for everything to move as it needs to. And the car isn’t heavy. These are all great things, too. Honestly, we’re off to a very solid start at this point.

Oh, those links are 6mm stainless steel with stainless steel ball ends, too. It’s so premium. Not everyone will appreciate how nice this is, but as an RC guy with ALL the cars and a lot of experience at this point, I want to emphasize just how high the quality is on this vehicle. RGT have not cut corners on chassis and links.

RGT Intruder Shock Hoops
RGT Intruder Underside


The coil-over shocks are also very nice. Aluminum body, thumb-screw adjustable pre-load, appropriately plush springs and intelligently mounted. I like these.

However, my unit arrived with empty shocks. Not everyone will notice this, and not everyone will care, but you want some oil in your shocks. It limits how bouncy they are, which limits how much the wheel reacts to changes in terrain at high or low speed. I’d recommend 30 wt. oil, give or take. Worth doing.

The shocks move well and the car is in good shape with this setup. Just don’t forget the oil like my car’s assembler did!

RGT Intruder Adjustable Alloy Shocks

Straight Axles

No portals here. But the best thing about these straight axles is how tough they are. I love seeing steel universal joints on front steering axles in a crawler. It’s really the only way to go for performance and strength. Yes, they’re not as smooth as CVDs and similar, but the extra steering angle the unis afford you make the trade-off well worth it.

The housings themselves aren’t particularly scale, but the size is small and they are attractive. It’s a high-pinion position like Axial’s AR45 axles and the gears are helical cut (or spiral? Can’t quite tell from the photos). Either way, they’ll be strong, and with the default tooth count of 30/8, overdriving/underdriving using the diff gears for better crawling and steering should be a straightforward undertaking. (I’m confident these will fit, though I haven’t tested them yet!)

RGT Intruder Rear Axle and Links
RGT Intruder Front Axle and Links

Radio & AIO Rx/ESC/Lights

After a couple of vehicles with the new FlySky MGXX-BS radio systems, this is my first one with the middle-spec option, the MG6-BS. It’s a 6-channel radio (4x AAs) and an AIO (All-In-One) receiver, 60A ESC and light controller with discrete light hub for body-mounting. The radio is comfortable in the hand, all plastic, and with two stand-out features/design elements:

  1. Channel 5 is a spring-loaded thumb dial that returns to center. What a perfect controller for a winch! (The chassis and bull-bar have a mount point and fairlead respectively for exactly that, too!); and,
  2. A set of DIP switches on the radio that give you control over drive mode (Fwd/Brk/Rev and Fwd/Rev); LiPO/NiMH; Drag Brake (0%, 25%, 50%, 100% – though it’s weak even at 100%); and all the channel reverse options.

It’s a good system. Be aware the light kit is a cut-down version that gives you headlights or no headlights, and indicators and reverse being always enabled based on steering and throttle inputs respectively.

The biggest drawback is that Reverse is WEAK. Slow and underpowered, it seems to have been a cost-saving choice, as you need less MOSFETs in the ESC for reverse for this outcome. Saved FlySky a buck or two, though you miss it on the trail. Apart from this one drawback, I like the whole system.

RGT Intruder MG6-BS Radio
RGT Intruder FlySky 2A-BS AIO

Our Test Course

If you’re not familiar with how we test RC rock crawlers, we have a course that challenges any 4x4 RC crawler in many ways:

  • Approach and departure angle: these  are challenged on Problems 2 and 3;
  • Side-hill ability: tested on Problems 1, 3 and 5;
  • Breakover (skid clearance): tested on Problems 4 and 6;
  •  Suspension articulation and centre of gravity: challenged on problems 2 and 5; and lastly,
  • A punishing ascent on problem 6 tests all of balance, break-over, articulation, tire traction and approach and departure angles.

Put together, we have a gnarly, challenging set of problems that challenge all crawlers. If a rig can conquer 3 or more of them, chances are you have a reasonably high-performance rock crawler. There are some machines that can claim all success on all six in stock form – but not many!

Driving Woes

I tested it on my 6-Problem course. Bad news first: that slow and underpowered reverse is a big enough drawback to be quite noticeable. I also found the steering servo to be slow and it faded under heavy crawling within a few minutes (though it didn’t fail outright).

The motor and gearing is too fast for crawling and too slow for trail driving. There’s no second speed here, so unlike the Rescuer (there’s that comparison again!!), you’re stuck with your gearing, battery and motor choice. This feels just like comparing the TRX4m to the FCX24 with its 2-speed, actually!

The tires are too stiff. The suspension moves like it should, though being filled with oil would have helped. The car is top-heavy and it tips over easily.

RGT Intruder 25kg MG Servo

Driving Wins

On the bright side, this car looks magnificent on the trail. It looks amazing on the rocks. It moves nicely, with plenty of scale body roll without being too much. It’s quiet, and very pleasant to watch it work over the ground.

Without upgrades, in stock form, this will be a frustrating car to drive if you’re going beyond basic obstacles. The waterproofing is a nice touch, as are the lights, but that capability limitation will make itself known regularly.

With upgrades, though? Yeah, I think this could easily become one of my favorite cars. I’ll get back to you on that, as I’m planning on doing all of the upgrades I list below. The car drives okay. Could be better. 4/10.

RGT Intruder Rear-Right

Value Proposition

So, did they pull it off? Is the car worth the asking price? For a bigger, established brand name, the price is good. Although, newer names have been creeping in with very durable and very capable options in recent times – just look at the Ecto if you’re not convinced (review here)!

I think this car represents real potential for the owner who loves the Landcruiser body and has plans to improve it. As a stand-alone crawler, it’s not as good as a similarly priced rig from Element, such as the Sendero HD. But as a scale crawler with potential to go ultra-scale at low speeds, it leaves the more expensive TRX4 and Axial CJ7 in its dust. But those crawlers will be better on the trail with their second speeds, and better on the rocks, with their better tires and overall performance. So, what to do here? Buy it if you love the body, but be prepared to upgrade as you’re able.

RGT Intruder Unclipped Brush Bars


Open your wallet for this one. I try to be reserved in my upgrade recommendations usually, but this rig really wants a list of things. Ready?

Wheels & Tires

First, the tires need to go. They aren’t great. And since they’re glued, go with a weighted beadlock wheel too. I’m quite partial to the Boom Racing Hustlers – check them out (and I even found some period-correct steel ‘Sunraisia’ style beadlocks that go *perfectly* with this car)!

Also, you’ll want to install wheel wells (I’ll design some soon to download and print).


The slow, weak servo needs replacing. Try my favorite budget crawler servo and you can even run it directly off the 2S battery (signal and ground wires to receiver, positive wire to battery connector, via a switch if you want). Or, my fave 7.4v brushless all-rounder is this guy.

While we’re on electronics, the AIO Rx/ESC and motor combo is sufficiently lacklustre that you’ll eventually throw your hands up and slap in a Fusion system instead.

You’ll want a radio system too, in that case – buy a receiver for any other radio you have, or consider the ever-reliable FlySky GT5.

Banggood sells really cheap 6-ch receivers so you can use this handset for up to 20 models, which is handy.

Lights & Accessories

Lastly, lights: use a Y-splitter for the light control module on the throttle channel and hope for the best (I will try to make an Arduino-based adapter for this to piggy-back off throttle and steering channels soon).

Down the track, you may consider a servo winch – the car is certainly ready for one! And perhaps also some scale accessories and you’ll be sorted!

RGT Intruder 35T 550 motor

Bottom Line

It’s a worthy body on a basic car. With upgrades, it’ll be a SWB beast! Without em, it’ll be a bit frustrating to drive. Pick obstacles appropriate to its capability and you’ll enjoy yourself. Just keep the limitations in mind if you’ve got your heart set on this gorgeous model.

My thanks to Banggood for providing RC-TNT with this model to review. I’d have purchased it myself if they hadn’t, because, just look at it! But they made the investment and have my thanks. Grab your own RGT Intruder EX86020 from Banggood here.

RGT Intruder Rear Left
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 🙂

A note on affiliate links: we were provided with this car by the manufacturer for review purposes. 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!

More RGT Articles…

Yikong 4106 Pro Has a Party Trick!

Yikong 4106 Pro Has a Party Trick!

Inspiration, Not Imitation

Yikong 4106 Pro is a 1/10 RC crawler with an ability we have not yet seen in the RC crawling world. You may not have heard of Yikong before, but they’ve been quietly making some interesting models over 2023 and now 2024. This latest one will knock your socks off, once you consider the ramifications of what they’ve made. But first, some details.

This is a model that combines the best features of the offerings of the likes of Axial’s SCX10 III with 2-speed transmission and DIG (disengages drive to the rear, then locks the rear, for tight turning and improved rock crawling ability) and the Traxxas TRX4 with its remotely activated locking diffs.

4106 Pro Undercarriage

The Killer Feature

But what makes the Yikong 4106 Pro special is something new that we haven’t seen in RC cars ever before: independent disc brakes! They’re only in the rear and they activate via a button that mixes their function with the vehicle’s steering. They work by clamping the inside wheel on a turn, when activated. So, when you turn left, for example, the rear-left wheel is braked, helping to really tighten the vehicle’s turning circle. Genius!

4106 Pro Disc Brake Engaged
4106 Pro Disc Brake Engaged
4106 Pro Rear Axle

On the Floaty Side

The suspension is a bit on the floaty side, with considerable body roll. The vehicle has portal axles, which helps cancel out torque twist while also increasing undercarriage clearance on rough terrain. The shocks are “oil-filled” but the unit I received had “oily” but empty shocks. I’d suggest adding 30wt oil to create some needed damping.

Shocks can be mounted in a variety of positions, which is very welcome. They’re neutral, by default, and I like them there for trail and light crawling. Shock preload is adjustable by thumbscrews, and I found that winding on about 8mm in the rear really helped it with crawling. Now it isn’t so fast to lift a front wheel on steep ascents.

4106 Pro Chassis

4106 Pro Servos

In the below photo, there are three servos closest to the camera. The first two are the diff lock servos, and then the one closer to the battery is the 2-speed servo. These are waterproofed servos with low power, I’m guessing maybe 2-3kg. Plastic gears, plastic spline, that kind of thing.

My front diff lock servo was broken, out of the box. I may replace it with another similarly cheap unit, or I may even just leave it be. I don’t mind the front being locked all the time. It’s the rear one that wants to be able to unlock, both for general driving and so that the ‘tank steer’ feature can work correctly.

The steering servo is a metal geared unit and has plenty of punch. I’m guessing 15kg or so, which is fine for this car.

4106 Pro Servos


The ESC and receiver are an all-in-one unit from Flysky, which is OEM-only at time of writing. The Flysky FS-MG11-BS radio system incorporates a connected light kit that is designed to work with the radio system. It manages a lot of complexity in an elegant way. I like it. (It’s the same one you’ll find with the new FMS FCX10 1/10 model, and no doubt we’ll see it in other vehicles soon, too).

The car can take either a NiMH battery (6 or 7 cell), or 2S or 3S lipos. The ESC has a Deans (or T) connector. The power switch is located underneath, behind the skid, and is waterproofed.

The radio transmitter takes 4x AA batteries and you’ll need to supply all the batteries for this vehicle.

The motor is a large, 550-sized can with 32 turns. It’s well suited to the vehicle and I like it on both 2S and 3S.

4106 Pro Power Switch

Axles & Undercarriage

Axles are a pleasing scale design, with smooth lines and bolts in the right places. They engage well, seem like they’ll be durable, and the portals are tastefully implemented. No hulking, unnecessary chunks of plastic here. The front axles are steel universals, adding to their strength and something I always want to see in a crawler.

Thoughtful design is what you’ll find underneath the vehicle. Stainless steel links and inverse-rotation drive shafts are also like this. There’s a servo saver in the form of a passive steering damper on the steering link, too. It’s a solid undercarriage, overall. Nothing is hanging down to be grabbed by sticks or rocks and it just looks good.

Now, you may have read that it has a molded plastic chassis instead of the usual steel stamped C-channel rails. This is true. But, it works. The car is lighter for it, flex isn’t a huge issue and it keeps the cost down. I don’t see a down side in this model with that choice.

4106 Pro Steel Unis
4106 Pro Front Underneath
4106 Pro Body Screw

Mercedes & Hyrax: Clone Wars

The wheels are 2.2″ and look like the real thing, with the tiny Mercedes G-Wagon spokes around a solid wheel hub. The tire treads are not so scale, being a Proline Hyrax clone, but run on a 4.56″ tire carcass, which Proline does not make. Not entirely a clone, then – though the treads themselves clearly are Hyrax. The foams are a little on the firm side but they work well.

4106 Pro Tires

A Mysterious Interior

This G63 body has a complete interior, including dash, steering wheel, dash details and shifters, seats front and rear, and nicely finished. It’s in moulded polycarbonate, keeping the weight low.

However, there’s been a weird decision to apply a frosted, semi-opaque paint layer to the inside of the body on the windows, making it possible to only see the blurred outline of the seats, at best. Why go to the trouble and expense of including an interior, only to hide it? Perhaps subsequent manufacturing runs have removed the paint from the windows. I hope so.

Yikong 4106 Pro Body
4106 Pro Bendy Mirrors

Front Bumper Dilemma

The car comes with a solid plastic front bumper that can be installed. By default, it is not installed, instead allowing the stock polycarbonate body to show off its pretty, moulded front lower grille. If you want to install that front bumper, some of the body needs to be cut away to fit it. I was going to do this on mine but realised it would look worse. Cutting it is a one-way decision, so I’ve decided to keep mine as it is.

I should also add a note here about the sliders. They look like the aluminum of the real car -that is to say, they’re molded and painted on the polycarbonate body here. That means they look great, but it also means they’re weak. Just like the real thing, they’re really just for looks. You could beef it up with steel or plastic underneath, but it would be a custom job. As far as I know, there aren’t after-market rock sliders available for this model (yet).

4106 Pro Under Body
4106 Pro No Sliders

Lighting Up the Trail

The body also enjoys a complete light system. It functions as part of the integrated Flysky receiver/ESC/light unit and provides full-function lighting. Low beam, high beam, flashing, indicators, braking, reverse, and fog lights are all part of the vehicle’s abilities. Looks great and you can switch between off, low, high, and flashing configurations.

4106 Pro Light Kit

Drive Modes

Also part of the Flysky system is a set of DIP switches on the radio transmitter. Switch 1 toggles driving mode from Fwd/Brk/Rev (trail driving) to Fwd/Rev (crawling). In the Trail mode, the taillights increase red luminosity when braking. In Crawl mode, there is no braking; you simply see the white Reverse lights when reversing, and the low-glow red taillights when otherwise stationary or driving.

Speaking of the transmitter, the wheel feels very premium. There’s a weight to it, though plastic, that has the feel of a much more expensive radio. The spring is light, the balance neutral, and it just feels great to use. The throttle trigger also has a pleasingly light action.

4106 Pro ESC

Radio Freedom

There are many options on this radio and happily, many are not used. There’s a thumb dial that has maybe 5mm of movement from neutral in each direction – that isn’t populated on the receiver, so it’d make a great winch controller or rear steer option.

On top, there’s a button and a dial that also aren’t used on the receiver (unless mixing interferes with this; I haven’t tested them yet), but you end up with quite a few options. You could put a sound system in the car and have the spare top button as a horn, for example.

Yikong 4106 Pro Radio Side

Drag Brake on the Fly

Lastly, the radio also gives you a dial (Ch.11/Drag Brake) that allows the drag brake rate and intensity to be adjusted on the fly. The maximum setting feels like the equivalent of about 70% drag brake on a WP-1080 ESC (incidentally, see our programming guide here), in this vehicle. The minimum setting is basically zero drag brake. My video review shows the difference between these on the steep rock descent near the end. It’s a nifty feature.

Yikong 4106 Pro Radio Top

Yikong 4106 Pro Driving Dynamics

The car drives quite nicely. This is a scale vehicle more than a performance machine. With it’s many driving accessories, it’s very fun to play around with. The two-speed transmission has a pleasingly wide ratio between first and second. The lockers engage nicely – well, I should say, the rear one does.

The front one does too, when I do it manually, but my front locker servo arrived faulty, so I can’t tell you from experience. I’ll swap mine out for a replacement servo (just a mini size, they’re pretty universal, so no worries there) and it’ll be fine. The so-called ‘tank turn’ feature of those rear disc brakes is just fabulous, and the lighting kit in the pretty body makes night driving possible and day driving more scale.

4106 Pro 32T 550 motor

Back to the Big Thing

Now, onto those ramifications I mentioned in the intro: independent disc brakes. Yes, this model uses a single servo to modulate between left and right, for the sole purpose of tightening your steering radius when active. It works well. But as a proof of concept, now we know disc brakes work and that they can be rugged enough to be effective in an active, wet-n-dirty off-roader. On its own, that’s already impressive, right?

4106 Pro Disc Brake Servo

Now Think BIG

Okay, now think about faster cars. The Arrma Infraction has a disc brake on the rear outdrive from the transmission, for example. (Incidentally, buy an Infraction using this link for a discounted purchase; it’s my all-time favourite street car and so very worth it). Already a super fun, super powerful street machine, you now effectively have a hand brake feature on an 80mph-capable street basher. Nitros have also been using a disc brake on the drive shaft for years.

But to have disc brakes independently on each wheel? This means the traction control of full-size cars can be brought into road and track RC cars! Do you see the potential here? We already have the technology in the tiny ESC modules of current RC vehicles. Add a few extra servos and now you have something that can brake each wheel as traction is lost in a corner or under acceleration, and so on. What an exciting idea! I don’t know of any other manufacturer currently doing this, but I’m hopeful and excited to see more. Wow!

4106 Pro Brake Mechanism

Final Thoughts

Frosted interior windows aside, the Yikong 4106 Pro is very well thought out. A manual would be appreciated, especially for hobby newcomers, as there’s a LOT going on with the radio. Thankfully, it’s well labelled.

I don’t support the blatant IP theft that Yikong have seemingly undertaken from Mercedes with the pretty G Wagon body, nor from the Hyrax tires. But, on the whole, they’ve created something special.

I’m loving the progress we’re seeing from these smaller brands and I’m so pleased the Yikong 4106Pro is not just another clone of an existing vehicle. It’s fun to drive, capable for what it is (think ‘Class 1 comp crawler’ and you’ll be pleasantly surprised) and it looks great. Recommended.

4106 Pro Steering Damper

Where to Buy

Here’s where I bought mine (not an affiliate link; it’s just the only place I could find it in stock in Feb 2024). There’s another Yikong model on my ‘to-buy’ list, but it’s a bit bigger than this one! Check out the Yikong 4083 1/8 RC crawler here.

Yikong 4106 Pro Rear
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 🙂

A note on affiliate links: we purchased this vehicle ourselves for test & review purposes. Some of the 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!

Losi Super Baja Rey 2.0

Losi Super Baja Rey 2.0

It’s Huge

The Losi SBR 2.0 is one of the larger RC cars available today (currently on sale here). But it’s also quite different to most of the other 1/7, 1/6 and 1/5 scale fare you can choose. It might be the most unique offering in this scale, now I think about it. Consider: if you want to bash hard, you buy an X-Maxx, Outcast 8S or Kraton 8S. If you want to crawl or trail drive, the SCX6 has you covered. Large scale race track nearby? Get yourself a Losi 5IVE-T 2.0 or a DBXL and have at it. HPI’s Baja 5B has you sorted for big buggy action.

But what if you want scale desert truck driving? Humungous suspension travel, the kind of cornering that only a live rear axle can deliver? Something to match the Traxxas UDR favored by so many? But… bigger and more aggressive? Losi has you covered with the Super Baja Rey 2.0. Let me show you what makes this enormous monster so special.

Losi SBR 2.0

This is a 1/6 scale desert truck. I didn’t have the original one, so I can’t give you a side-by-side comparison, but Losi says this one is built on the Super Rock Rey chassis, but with an extra inch of wheelbase length. They’ve combined it with the front of the Super Baja Rey and there you go, SBR 2.0.

It’s a four-wheel drive vehicle that is engineered to be tough – but of course, with the live rear axle, it will take the right driving approach to keep the wheels on the ground. This style of vehicle is made to soak up big bumps at high speeds. While they can slide and corner reasonably well, this will never be a basher to replace the likes of the Arrma Senton 6S or similar, with its independent front and rear suspension. I guess you could say that RC desert trucks – the SBR here, the BR2.0, Traxxas UDR and so on – are all about the scale drive.

Losi SBR 2.0 Front LHS Corner

Body Issues

I’ll start with something that was a bit of a let-down. It’s only minor, but this isn’t a cheap model and so you expect the thing to be pristine out of the box. For this design, Losi elected to use something like vinyl wrap for the livery. Mine was a little worse for wear, with cracks in the decals around folds and edges. Some sheets were even misaligned. Screws were oxidized and there’s dust under the light bar lenses.

To be fair to Losi, this is surely a challenging model to assemble. Even in a production-line style setup, I expect it would take considerable effort to get something like this together without mistakes. But to find so many minor issues with my unit does make me wonder about quality control. Is it only the body I should be concerned about here, or will there be missing grease in diffs or a critical screw not secured completely?

Still Gorgeous Tho

The issues I had with this thing are only skin deep, as far as I can tell. At time of writing, I haven’t run the car yet, so if there are underlying mechanical oversights, I’ll edit this section later to let you know. But if you’re not looking closely, those misaligned panels and livery sheet cracks are not obvious. It’s all forgivable when you step back and take the thing in. This is a machine of beauty.

Radio System

Cars rarely came with radio systems in decades past. However, relative to RTR (Ready To Run) sales, kit builds are a lot less popular than they used to be. Many hobbyists may still prefer a kit (including me), but it isn’t what sells. Instead, manufacturers are typically now releasing models with everything assembled and included. The included radios with RTR systems have been hit and miss, maybe more on the ‘miss’ side for some time.

Horizon Hobbies has several big brands under its umbrella at this point. This includes the Losi vehicle here, but notably, also Spektrum. This is why you’ll get a Spektrum radio and power system with most Horizon-brand RTR models these days (Arrma, Losi, Axial, and so on). While the common and more basic Spektrum SLT3 system is fine, the better one is the Spektrum DX3 with 6100AT AVC receiver – and that’s what comes with the Losi Super Baja Rey 2.0.

I like this system in particular because of two dials that make it so much easier to use than so many others. The first is an adjustable braking dial – turn it up for more aggressive braking. The second is a stability control dial, or steering gyro – turn that up to have the car counter-steer more responsively to keep the nose pointed forward. In a car like this, I’d suggest the former is quite important and the latter is probably best left turned mostly down. Experiment and see; it’s so easy to adjust on this radio. I’m a fan! (The marks and dust are because Metro Hobbies sent me a floor model without telling me. Disappointing, but not a big deal).

Losi SBR 2.0 Spektrum DX3 Radio

The Main Thing

This is what we’re here for: that epic, desert truck suspension and live rear axle. Check these pictures out! Look at how much range there is, especially over the rear axle. It’s plush, heavy-duty and epic. Of course, the rear suspension is mounted on trailing arms, and everything about the arms at both ends is heavy duty and well designed. There are hefty sway bars at each end and it looks great. Even just typing this, I’m wondering how I’ve managed to not drive this car yet. I’m busy, but too busy to drive this car? I’m selling myself on this thing just writing this.

The front end has plenty of travel as well and the body has a pleasing amount of roll. There’s bolstering around the chassis mounts and both ends are adjustable with alu thumb screws. Looks great, too.

Drive Line

Steel universals are found throughout the vehicle’s drive line. The rear shaft is a fibre-infused telescoping unit that attaches to the steel unis at each end. Given the crazy power this car can make (and we should talk about that in a moment, see below), you’d reasonably question if plastic will be up to the job on the rear end, in particular.

Well, there are steel drive shafts available on the after-market for this car, but having discussed this car with other owners, the consensus seems to be that it’s tough enough for the job. Certainly, there’s not a lot of flex in the parts, but rigidity is probably the more important element here. The glass element should be sufficient. We’ll see!

Losi SBR 2.0 Rear Shaft and Links

Wheels and Tires

BF Goodrich Mud Terrain T/A KM3 tires are clamped securely in Method Racing beadlock wheels on 17mm hex adapters. Side walls are firm but have some flexibility and the foams are also medium-hard. Of course, there are the two full size, functional spares on the rear of the vehicle, which is part of the magic of this interesting car.

Power System

Bigger numbers don’t necessarily mean bigger speed. With RC power systems, getting the voltage, motor kv (revolutions per volt), and gearing correct can be a balancing act. Typically, larger scale vehicles will run lower kv motors, favouring higher volts to achieve the torque and power required to move a heavy vehicle rapidly.

The SBR 2.0 runs a Spektrum Firma 160A 8S-capable ESC, powering a hefty (no, really) 5687 750kv motor. This is both a huge diameter and lengthy can – this motor is 56mm across and 87mm long.Batteries are loaded from the bottom of the vehicle, also helping to keep the weight low. It has a claimed top speed of around 50mph. Doesn’t that sound kind of uncomfortable! Fun, though!

Losi Super Baja Rey 2.0

How does it drive? Well, I can’t give you that quite yet. I’m looking forward to it, but I’ve been waiting to drive with a Traxxas UDR so we can compare them a bit. I might try to throw in an Arrma Mojave 6S as well, and then we can see which might be the best to get for your purposes. I’ll put that video here, when I make it. I can’t wait!

Read more here and buy your own Losi Super Baja Rey 2.0 here.

Losi SBR 2.0 Front LHS

Don’t Miss

Meanwhile, you might be interested in reading about the 10-car roundup we’re doing at the end of 2023 and into early 2024. There are ten short course and desert trucks in 1/10 and 1/8 scale from all the big names and some of the smaller ones. The list includes the new Tekno SCT410 2.0, the Losi Baja Rey 2.0, Arrma Mojave 4S as well as the Senton 3S BLX, and more. Check out the channel for more.

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 🙂

A note on affiliate links: the Amazon 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!

Which RGT Trail Rig  is Best for YOU?

Which RGT Trail Rig is Best for YOU?

RGT Pro Runner

The RGT Pro Runner EX86130 is just the latest in a growing line of interesting and capable RC crawlers and trail rigs. And hasn’t RGT been on a roll this past year or two!

On our YouTube channel, RGT has featured every now and then when there’s an interesting release to examine. But it was almost as if the company was just warming up for 2023’s big releases that we’re now so lucky to be able to choose from!

RGT’s Other Options

Fans of the channel will recall the well-received RGT Pioneer EX86110, which was arguably a forerunner of the current upper echelon of EX861XX models. (Find our RGT Pioneer video series here). With some careful upgrades on a budget, the Pioneer is an exceptional all-rounder. The EX86010-CJ is also a budget stand-out, while we’re at it. (Video here).

Also, I should note up-front that there’s a gap in our coverage of this family of models: the RGT Tracer EX86180Pro. This is a 4WS-enabled SCX10 Pro type vehicle, and one I think we should try to get hold of in the new year. For now, just be aware that it’s an option for those with a rock-crawling focus rather than trail aspirations.

3 RGT Models - Top

The Three Contenders

If you love a mix of trail driving and scale rock crawling, things are now very interesting. As of the start of 2024, there are three fantastic models that the discerning RC trail driver and scale crawler driver will want to know about:

Let’s take a look at them!

RGT Rescuer EX86190

There’s a complete article about this model on RC-TNT.com here – have a read when you’re done with this one. The scale crawling and trail driving community had their interest drawn to RGT’s mid-2022 release of the RGT Rescuer (EX86190). And it wasn’t just the attractive 70-series Toyota Landcruiser body – though unlicensed – that made this RC crawler something special. Sporting essentially the same feature set as the full-version Traxxas TRX4, the Rescuer’s scale looks, 2-speed and remote locking diffs made for a very attractive option.

What really stood out to me in my testing of this model was its fun factor. The vehicle rides on 4.75” tires and the live portal axles work under alu-shock, oil-filled, coil-over suspension on all corners. With a moderately high center of gravity, this leads to a scale model that moves pleasingly, with body roll that mimics the real thing. There are many RGT mods available. You can improve the vehicle’s CG (Center of Gravity), for better crawling with some brass parts. Or, you might better light the way  with bull bar and roof rack light bars complement the existing light kit. Maybe you want to improve the scale model experience with a complete, polycarbonate interior, with driver. You can do all of this!

RGT Challenger EX86170

On the heels of the Rescuer, RGT next released the Challenger. This was more of a retro style pickup truck and in my opinion, its features put it roughly in between the Rescuer and the Pro Runner. Like the Rescuer, the RGT Challenger sports a pair of portal axles, with a 2-speed transmission that incorporates a DIG (rear axle locking), opposite-spinning drive shafts to minimise torque twist, and a built-in 6.6% overdrive to the front axle.

This attractive machine also sports a rear-facing servo winch, sway bar system on the rear end and a functional light kit! Priced only marginally less than the Rescuer, this is another compelling model. I found there were a few ways to modify this model to make it more convenient to use, but there’s very little this vehicle needs addressing, out of the box. A solid choice.

RGT Pro Runner EX86130

I found the Rescuer to be fun and the Challenger to be quite complete. And so the RGT Pro Runner EX86130 took me quite by surprise, not least because it costs about 20% less than the other two! The Pro Runner is another unlicensed body that looks very close to the Traxxas TRX4 2021 Bronco, even down to the smaller details such as the ABS plastic folding side mirrors and similar front grille. (Quick note: the top photo in this article shows the Pro Runner with different tires. The plastic, silver beadlocks are standard, with the 4.19″ tires. See the rock test video for how good they are).

However, the Pro Runner is special for two reasons, I think. First, the price – in Australia at least, I can buy two Pro Runners for the price of one TRX4 2021 Bronco. That’s already quite significant. Secondly, the feature set – it is vast! Check this out: 2-speed transmission with DIG, 6.6% overdrive and opposing rotation drive-shafts, just like the Challenger; full-function light kit, including brakes and reverse options; straight axles rather than portals for added scale; front-facing servo winch; servo-on-axle hidden in such a way that you’ll miss it if you’re not looking for it; steel universal front axles for greater turning angle and strength than the CVD-equipped Rescuer and Challenger’s portal axles. What a list!

How Do You Choose?

That really is the question, isn’t it? I am in the process of making a video about this, and I suppose writing this article is helpful in distilling my thoughts on this difficult choice. There are some little quality-of-life things, like how the body attaches to each (see the below picture), but the unique blend of features, capability, appearance and handling all add up to something different in each case.

So, I do have some thoughts that you may find useful. I’ll try to use this to guide you on why you may (or may not) decide to select each one. Read on!

RGT Body Attachment


This is the first, and to my mind, most compelling reason to consider any of these vehicles. For trail driving with some crawling, one vehicle really stands out to me: the Rescuer. Why? Consider the remote locking diffs in the portal axles, for a start. The Challenger has portals and the Pro Runner straight axles, but being able to remotely run them unlocked means more scale fun on the trails. When traction gets harder to find, lock one or both ends!

The second part of the fun formula is scale handling to match the gorgeous looks. With the suspension setup on the big, bouncy tires, the Rescuer rolls and moves like few others. I’ve driven this through deep water, mud, rocky ground, and long dirt paths. It just keeps on trucking and it looks great doing it. Vote 1 for Rescuer if you’re shopping for fun!


There are two kinds of RC crawler owners: those who mod their rigs, and those who just haven’t done it yet. The Challenger is a very complete vehicle out of the box, yes. However, there are a few things you can do to improve its design for easier daily use. I actually cover some of these in my modding video, linked at the end of the article.

But, aside from fixing wiring and putting a body-stand in place, there’s one mod in particular that this vehicle is just begging for: converting that rearward-facing winch to power a rear towing assembly! They’ve actually done most of the work for you already. A boom assembly could be made from aluminum, braised from mild steel, or even achieved with some 3D-printed beams (the last of which I think might be the way I go with it). You already have the winch, so re-route the cable and add a tackle block under the end of the boom and you’ll be done! The Challenger gets my choice as most promising for mods.

Budget All-Rounder

Fun is subjective and not everyone wants to convert a trail rig into a tow-capable machine, I get that. Where I think we’ll all find common ground is on the subject of sheer value for money. On that front, the Pro Runner absolutely and completely delivers.

I took this car with me last weekend to a meet-up with a bunch of folks and we went on a 4-hour mudding adventure in the Aussie bush. Water crossings, treacherous rocky ascents, muddy gullies, greasy clay climbs – this day had it all (video here). I ran the Pro Runner on 3S, which the included WP-1060 allows (and all three vehicles have the same ESC and steering servo, by the way), and this vehicle was reliable and fun. It wasn’t the most capable, with those small 4.19” tires and straight axles, but oh, boy, was it satisfying to wheel. I can’t recommend the Pro Runner enough, if you’re on a budget and want a single all-rounder. Get this, you won’t regret it.

The Bottom Line

So where does that leave us with the choice? Chances are, you already have a pretty good idea of which you prefer after reading the above sections. And if you’re noticing that, wait a minute, none of these three has the remote locking diffs AND a DIG AND portal axles AND a winch, well, yes, you’re right. But not even Axial or Traxxas will give you all that, out of the box. The TRX4 2021 Bronco comes close, as it currently even includes a winch, at time of writing – but no DIG. The Axial SCX10 III gives you DIG and portals, but the diffs are locked full-time. And they are both considerably more expensive than any of the RGT offerings, at least, in Australia.

If you can’t decide and all three grab you, I do have one final suggestion: buy the one that moves you. Pretend you’re going with one of them and see how you feel about not getting either of the others. Repeat for all three vehicles; you may just find you’re most wistful about ‘missing out’ on one of them in particular, and that would be the one to get!

3 RGT Models Nose-In

Reviews & Test Videos

Now, if you’ve come this far and you’re pretty sure you know what you want, great! I have a growing catalog of videos that may be useful in helping you get to know any of these three vehicles better. Check them out here:

RGT Rescuer EX86190

Review & Crawl Test video

Muddy Trail Run video

All the RGT Mods video 

RGT Challenger EX86170

Review & Crawl Test video

First Mods video

RGT Pro Runner EX86130

Unboxing & Review video

Crawl Test video

Trail Run video: coming soon!

Mods video: coming soon!


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 🙂

A note on affiliate links: although RC-TNT purchased all vehicles in this article, the AsiaTees links contained herein are affiliate links. This 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. Integrity first, always. We still report on any bugs or issues encountered during product testing, along with fixes or solutions if found. Thank you for reading and happy RC-ing!

Best RC Car – The Definitive Guide

Best RC Car – The Definitive Guide

Last updated: July 2023

What Are the Best RC Cars?

You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for the best RC cars currently available. If you simply want to browse different models, click through the categories on homepage. We have a growing library of articles and videos. Also, there’s a list of our best-of-category picks further down in this article.

This is a long one, but if you have the time to read along, we have a few goals to help you in your journey:

  1. To help you get a feel for what’s current in the hobby.
  2. To help you work out what you want from RC.
  3. To give you some direction on making a shortlist and making a choice.

Whatever you’re into, there’s never been a better time to get into RC cars. Choice and variety are abundant – how exciting! We’re looking to set you on the right path from the start. Want to find the best RC car for you? Let’s get to it!

Traxxas TRX6 Ultimate Hauler

Trust & Marketing

First, a quick note about us: RC-TNT is a hobbyist content creator with a focus on fun. We love the tech specs and the comparisons as much as you do, but having fun is the number one priority! We’re not a shopping site. We do have some sales affiliate links in this article, primarily with our favourite international hobby store, AsiaTees.com (aka. ATees). We’ve been buying from them for years, long before RC-TNT ever existed.

It’s a thrill to be able to partner with ATees now for some great picks, though we’ll also have vehicles from other places below. However, as with all our articles and videos, any affiliate links or marketing does not and will never influence our recommendations to you. Integrity matters and you’ll find that here. We don’t do cheap, mass-produced click-bait articles with long lists of Amazon marketing links. Everything here is written and filmed by hobbyists, for hobbyists – just the way it should be!

RC-TNT Rlaarlo Review

State of the Art


You may be pleasantly surprised at the price to performance of RC models these days, especially if you have never investigated the world of RC before. Electronics are small, reliable, and often waterproof. Detailed plastic manufacturing is now very good, as is the quality and availability of CNC aluminum parts. Gears are wonderfully strong, and axles don’t break often. Even on cheaper models, parts are tougher and smoother than ever before.

TRX6 Hauler Underneath


Then there’s power: motors are incredibly good these days. Brushed motors (the old electric style) are still cheap and plentiful, but newer brushless motors are making their way into cheaper models. Brushless is high-efficiency and big on power output and it’s a wonderous thing.

The loud engines that used to be common in RC models (that’s nitro) is still a thing, but it’s become niche. If nitro is what you like, there’s still plenty of choice. However, brushless power is where the ultimate performance is found.

MT10 Brushless Motor


Batteries are a whole new thing these days, also. We recently reviewed a great all-rounder battery that would suit many RC cars, the Ovonic 2S 100C LiPO (Lithium-Polymer; see our article for more on batteries). There’s choice for days, whether you’re into RC trucks, heavy machinery (including real hydraulics!), RC crawlers, drift cars, high-speed racers, off-road buggies, epic stunt trucks, large scale bashers and sand blasting Baja rigs.

The older NiMH rechargeable batteries are still common, while NiCAD has been made largely obsolete by LiPO. Many RTR (Ready To Run) models come with a basic NiMH battery and charger, whilst performance and runtime gains are usually found in switching to LiPO. Our article here is a decent primer on modern batteries.


What Do YOU Want?

So, there’s choice galore. But where to start? Having walked this path, my advice is to begin with considering what you want to experience from the hobby. Many vehicles can scratch an itch, whether its conquering rock problems with a crawler or setting high-speed, straight-line drag records. But many find they value the feeling that comes from these pursuits. It’s what people end up chasing and where personal satisfaction and fulfillment can be found. Then, sharing it with others often focuses and enhances that satisfaction, leading to a deeper appreciation of the hobby. Sound enticing?

RC Rock Crawlers


Some things to consider with location and experience:

  • Do you know of tracks or other promising local areas that may inform your choice of model?
  • Are you looking for plain old fun wherever you can find it, blasting something around a bumpy bike track, on gravel and over home-made jumps?
  • Do you want to run something at high speed, on or off-road? Are there areas nearby for that?

Some like the idea of competition and working to make a name for themselves. If you’re into scale realism or getting epic air at the skate park, again, there are niches in RC that will be perfect for you. (Side note, watch this recent video for feel of driving on bitumen, dirt, jumps, trails, water and rocks.  It’s worth a watch as a primer to RC, different terrain and modern batteries).

RGT Rescuer


One last important consideration is the social element: who else runs RCs near you? Are there clubs you want to check out? Do you have a friend or two who socially drive regularly that you want to join? The social element of RC is a huge draw, and we recommend social drives and events as a benefit to your mental health and general wellbeing. Find more on that topic and RC crawling in particular in this article.

Deadbolt Comp

Sorting Through It All

How Much?

At this point you may have a few ideas of what you want to try. We haven’t discussed budget yet, but some vehicles cost vastly more than others. As a quick primer, ‘cheap’ RC cars that are still somewhat hobby-grade will be obtainable for $50 to $130 (all prices in this article are in USD). Various things will influence the price, from level of preparation required to run the model, to its performance, complexity, and size. High-end, larger-scale vehicles can cost up to around $1,000.

Specialist, niche models can get quite expensive, even up to many thousands of dollars. There are nearly endless ways to niche-down on a vehicle type, but big money is definitely not a pre-requisite for enjoying RC cars. Broadly speaking, quality hobby-grade 1/10 and 1/8 RC vehicles will cost roughly $200 to $600. There are many exceptions, this is just a general idea.

Redcat Marksman Interior

Simple Fun?

If you know that you just want to have some fun, we suggest you get something that can run off-road and take a tumble. We’ll call this the ‘Yard & Park Fun’ category, and you can find this at the top of the shortlist, further down this page.

But what if you’ve followed along so far but are still completely unsure what you want? If you still have questions beyond simply, “What’s fun?”, then read on! We’ll help you work it out!

Traxxas Bandit XL-5

Budgets Aren’t Just For Money

So far, we’ve considered where and how you might run an RC car. Off-road, on-road, drift, gravel, jumps, stunts, yard and parks, skate park, rocks, and rivers. You’ve thought about what you want to get out of the hobby and perhaps you have a setting in mind. Great start!

However, there are a few other factors to consider before we’re ready to make a shortlist – you want to get this right, after all! And you can always come back and do it again for the next vehicle if you don’t end up stopping with just one. Below are some other factors for which you may want to budget.

Redcat Marksman Size Comparison 2

Time and Space

Will you have hours to put into running this thing here and there, or will it be more an opportunistic 20 minutes here and half an hour there? Will you have daylight hours to enjoy your RC car or is it likely to be in the evenings, after school or work? Is build and maintenance time something you want to enjoy as part of the hobby, or do you want to be able to just grab and go?

If you have a few locations or types of spaces in mind, are they nearby? Are they huge, or small? (This may influence the scale of what you get. Some cars get nearly as big as the back seat of your car, whilst others could fit in a cargo pants pocket, for example). If running noisy models, can you do it somewhere you’re not disturbing other people? Do you have a safe place to run the really fast stuff without endangering yourself, traffic, other people or animals?

SCX6 Water Splash

Preparation and Mechanical Requirements

Are you ready to do the setup and post-run maintenance of a more involved nitro model? Do you have the tools and the mindset to tune and adjust things yourself and to find answers to problems that may crop up in such cars? Do you want it to ‘just work’ with minimal hassle and fuss? Consider electric vs nitro here.

Electric stuff is clean, easy to run, and has minimal maintenance requirements. That is, unless you get into fine dust, mud or water – everything needs a little love after that kind of treatment! Also, electric systems don’t require periodic tuning and rebuilds like nitro engines.

BRX01 Transfer Cases


We’ve got a few huge models here, such as the Traxxas X-Maxx 8S and the Axial SCX6. Nose to tail, these two will barely fit in the back seat of a car. You need somewhere for such monsters to live when they’re not being driven!

Batteries come under this heading, too – both these vehicles go best with a pair of hefty lithium-polymer batteries, which need a decent charger and safe storage place themselves. Keep that in mind as you think through your options!

RC Scale Difference


Most RC vehicles will need the odd bit of tinkering, as well as basic hobby supplies for the odd repair, upgrade or maintenance. Nicer hand tools make life easier, but this all costs money. Many RTR (Ready To Run) models do come with their own tools, but some cars really need knowledge and tools that aren’t included with the car at all.

For example, we recently tested the HPI Vorza 4.6 Big Block nitro truck (video here). To get going, we also needed to buy fuel, an engine starter, a receiver battery (we made our own) and basic tools for tuning and adjustment. There were also the little things you don’t think of until you need them. For the Vorza, we needed some old rags, iR thermometer and heat gun for running-in, space and a couple of bricks to sit the model off the ground for running-in, and so on. This all needs to be on-hand when you need it, so keep in mind the need to ask “what else do I need” when you are looking at your final choices.

SCX10 III Kit Axles

Best RC Cars Shortlist

Ok, this is it. You’ve got an idea of what you want from RC. Your shortlist of models will be different to that of others, so our job at this point is to nudge you in the right direction. We’ll give some examples typical of each category below, and then you’ll be on your way to finding other potential machines on your own. Let’s get to it!

MT10 Berm Jump

Yard & Park Fun

Known as ‘bashers’, this is the car you wanted as a kid. It’ll take off-road adventures and back yard fun. It’s a general fun category and is broad in scope. General purpose vehicles like this are easy to find, maintain and drive. Most 1/10 scale short course trucks (SCT), monster trucks (MT), truggies (truck + buggy design elements) and buggies will deliver on fun and durability. They will also serve to help familiarise newcomers to modern RC cars. We’d recommend one of the following for general fun:

There are many other great options, but these are a good start. Plus, we own and run all four, so this recommendation is from direct experience!

Fazer Mk II Glamor
TT-01E and TT-02

Parking Lot Fun

This category also covers bashers but tends toward the more classic scale models of the past couple of decades from the likes of Tamiya and Kyosho. This is where you’ll find the pretty car and truck models from Tamiya’s TT-01, TT-01e and TT-02 range of vehicles. These are all fairly slow cars in stock form.

We’ve recently built a TT-01e racing truck and a TT-02 saloon car. Both are designed for your driveway or local street, but we’ve been running ours on a local track. Faster but still brushed is the Kyosho Fazer Mk II range of cars. The Tamiya TT models are considerably cheaper to buy but there’s a LOT of work in the body in particular. They’re a great first car if you want to learn to build your first RC model, but performance is limited, even with hop-up parts.

We’ve got a video of our Fazers on the local track – in the wet, which is not generally the done thing. There’s some maintenance to consider with wet running, but water plus RC is seriously quite fun, whether its on or off road. Check out our little video here for a taste of that.

We recently (July 2023) looked at the MJX RC Hyper Go, a 1/14 4WD brushless road car that delivers bigly on value – it’s under $200, fast and quite durable. Article here for that one!

And for something different, the MST MTX-1 4WD Monster Truck Kit is an interesting option. You’ll need to build it yourself and supply the electronics, but as a project on a budget, it could be a rewarding experience. For older kids, this could be a memorable first hobby-grade project car. Check it out here.

RC Drift

Best RC Drift Car

Drift is a category that is unique from the others. It is also one of two categories where RC-TNT cannot give you deeper advice based on direct experience, as it’s a category we’ve yet to really delve into. The next best thing we can recommend is some knowledge and technique pages to help you get a grasp of this category:

  • Start with a solid beginner’s guide for drifting. Super-G R/C Drift Arena is probably worth a look (their beginner’s guide is here).
  • We also found a sweet technique and practice guide on DriftMission.com (guide is here).
  • We recently reviewed the MJX RC Hyper Go, a pocket rocket that has 4WD and a gyro! Video here.
  • Lastly AsiaTees has an impressive catalogue of MST, Himoto and HRC Arena vehicles and many parts for drift, listed here.
BRX01 Water Drive

Best RC Car for Rock & Trail

This category is all about RC crawlers, the bread and butter of RC-TNT. We’re all about crawling and we have an article written to take you through getting the best RC crawler for your needs. Find that article right here on the site: What Is The Best RC Rock Crawler?

Rlaarlo XDKJ-006

Gravel and Dirt

Who doesn’t love hooking up the tires and ripping giant rooster tails in the softer stuff? You’re well catered for in this category if gravel and dirt running are your thing. If you’re reading this guide, we’ll want to look at more entry-level machines to start with and add some more premium choices further down:

  • Traxxas Bandit XL-5 1/10 Buggy (article; video). It’s not a pure race machine, but for the price you can expect a solid starting point if you want to build a budget buggy for local comp meets. For a basher, it’s a light to moderate duty fun machine that will benefit from mechanical sympathy and regular maintenance. The Bandit is a stalwart of the RC off-road hobby and its value proposition for a fun and simple dirt blaster is hard to beat.
  • Rlaarlo XDKJ-005 1/14 Truggy (article; video). This thing is fun. It’s fast for its size and its well-made. The 005 gives you predictable handling, linear steering response, less-than-expected heat after hard running and it looks great. It’s a smaller size than the 1/10 models we’re covering on this page, but it’s cheaper and takes a brushless upgrade well (which you can see at the end of this video about another excellent option, the AM-X12).
  • HPI Jumpshot SC V2 (article; video). RWD Short Course Truck (SCT) that takes a brushless upgrade without needing to upgrade other parts. Only weak point is the steering arms, which can be replaced with more traditional links and ball ends for a few dollars. Fun, durable and a very pretty vehicle. Check it out!
  • Arrma Senton BLX 3S 1/10 SCT (video review). This is a brushless vehicle and it is tough. Boy, is it tough! It costs more than the other two listed here, but it’s very, very good. You can turn the throttle down on the radio, too, so younger folks can have a go without destroying it or themselves in the process. Easy to recommend, the Senton is just tops.
  • Arrma Kraton V3 6S 1/8 Truggy. This vehicle stars in our recent battery-review video here. We have an older version to the current V5, but being easy to upgrade and tune, ours is very close to what you get with the V5. For high performance on gravel and dirt, if you can afford it, the Kraton 6S is an easy recommendation. (We don’t have a Typhon, but that would also be worth looking into if gravel and dirt are your thing).
  • HPI Vortex 4.6 Big Block 1/8 Nitro Truggy (video). Something different, this one is big, loud, and a bit more involved. There’s nothing quite like nitro, so if you have the space and the freedom to run something obnoxiously noisy, check out the video for more info.
Rlaarlo XDKJ-006 Small Jump

Jumps & Stunts

SCT (Short Course Trucks) can handle big air, but this is where MT (Monster Trucks) truly excel. We have a few recommendations on this one, ordered from small and cheap to big and expensive. Keep in mind that there are HEAPS of options not listed here, but these are ones we’ve all tested and can recommend quite happily:

  • Rlaarlo XDKJ-005 1/14 Truggy (article; video) and its faster brushless sibling, the XDKJ-006 1/14 Buggy (article; video). These are both built on the same platform, but the 006 has a carbon fibre chassis and a lightweight, brushless system. It’s very tough. Take a look at the abuse it took at a skate park (video) where we were intentionally trying to kill it in order to find its limits. Most impressive! Also, the AM-X12 was recently released and is worth checking out, but it won’t be as agile in the air with its longer wheelbase.
  • Team Associated MT10 Rival 1/10 MT (article; video). If you’re considering a skate park bash session, make sure you give this video a watch. A truly impressive machine, this one.
  • Arrma Senton BLX 3S 1/10 SCT (video review). We mentioned the Senton above, but make sure you check out our upgrade and skate park video as it really shows off its considerable durability.
  • Arrma Kraton 6S 1/8 Truggy. We don’t have an article or video review for this one, but it’s totally worth including. We do have footage of this machine in a related video where you can learn about batteries at the same time – check that out here. We have the V3 and while the V5 is current, the Arrma vehicles are famously modular and easy to upgrade and tune. It won’t handle endless abuse like the next entry in this list, but for larger-scale fun on a moderate budget, the Kraton 6S is hard to beat.
  • Traxxas X-Maxx 8S 1/5 MT. (article; video) we’ve been running and upgrading one for several months now. It’s a popular choice for all-out durability and big air. Handling isn’t great, given its high center of gravity, but it can really take a lot of abuse. There’s plastic throughout, granting it the flexibility to absorb bad landings in a way that vehicles with an aluminum chassis simply cannot match.
144001 Speed Mod

Straight Line Speed

This is the other of two categories where our experience is limited to only a few cars. For RC no-prep drag racing in particular, we don’t have enough knowledge to recommend a starting point, beyond knowing of a few options. Best thing to do is try a quick start guide (like this on Nankin Hobby) or to read this interesting interview and follow the links at the end of the article.

However, we do have some experience with building and running faster things and have a few useful suggestions to get you started.

Smaller Scale

We have been playing around with making slow cars go faster in 2022. This year we mainly were experimenting with suspension and tires on a few of the 1/14 buggies, such as the 144001, and fitting epic brushless systems and stabilization aids (aka. steering gyros) to help support the power. You might also be interested in reading about a recent speed run contest that Rlaarlo ran – they asked us to do a write-up for them, which you can find here. You won’t believe how fast these guys got the XDKJ-006, it was quite a contest

Halfway between small and large is the Rlaarlo AK-917, a 2023 release that hit some shipping delays for many, but as of July is now going out promptly for the foreseeable future. This is a 1/10 4WD brushed and brushless vehicle that has open diffs and comes in alloy and carbon fiber chassis variants. They even sell a few rollers (BYO electronics). Worth checking out (article; video).

Larger Scale

Out of the box, there are two big names that have high speed associated with them:

The first and older of the two is the Traxxas XO-1 1/7 Touring Car. We haven’t had this car so recommend you try YouTube for more info and drive demos. If you like the sound of 0-60 mph in 2.3 seconds and 0-100 mph in under 5 seconds, this may be for you. Handling is apparently better on the newer version than it used to be.

What we can speak to is the Arrma Infraction 6S 1/6 Pickup (and its sibling, the Arrma Felony 6S 1/6 Muscle Car). Capable of 80mph+ out of the box, they’re an impressive option. We’ll have videos and an article coming soon for this thing and will update this post at that time. Meanwhile, we’ve been driving and modifying it as we get to know the vehicle and can recommend it for sheer power, stability and presence. It’s quite an experience to drive.

Also, Arrma make the Limitless 1/7 Roller, now in V2. This is a BYO electronics deal where you get the rolling chassis and add the power and radio system of your choice. If you want high speeds, Arrma is currently the popular, mainstream option.

Arrma Infraction 6S

Off-Road Trucks

This category tends to the more expensive and labor-intensive builds. There are some RTR trucks that give you decent quality and play so we’ll list them first, sorted by high to low price:

Then there are the kits, which are many, varied and amazing. We’ve got a YT Playlist on 1/14 scale trucks that shows off everything in the below list and might be worth a browse if you’re curious. Here’s a list of great models to consider:

At the very cheapest end of such kits, the King Kong RC ZL-130 4×2 Tractor Truck is a fun little build. It’s available here. We’ve built one and combined it with a 20’ container trailer from Herc Hobby. The ZL-130 features in this fun little video we did last year.

You also may wish to look into models from Cross RC. Here’s their catalogue. We’ve built and run the BC8 Flagship, the HC-6 kit and the King Kong RC tractor truck. Cross RC US, as linked above, also sells the AT4 and JT4 – check out our article here for the EMO AT4, it’s a brilliant machine. Lastly, if you’re into towing and trailers, Cross RC sell a wide variety of them. Their biggest one, the T247, featured in a recent video, along with the BC8 and the JDM Zetros. We also use and love the T835 Logging Trailer (video here).

Off-Road Trucks

Large Scale RC

The big stuff! If you have a large-scale club nearby where you can visit to check out what 1/5 scale is all about, that’d be a great first move. There are nitro, petrol and electric options in this category. Electric is the fastest, cleanest and simplest, while the internal combustion powered vehicles have the drama and presence that electric can’t match. Here’s a list of the fast stuff to check out:

And of course, we’ll finish this list with something big and slow, the Axial SCX6. We have a comprehensive YT Playlist for the SCX6 and an article with more details here.

3 SCX6

Next Steps

We’ve not even touched on flying, FPV/drones, boats or construction equipment – and there are big followings for all of these and more. But now you probably have some idea of what you’d like to start with. We’ll continue to publish regular videos on our YouTube channel, covering the above categories on a regular basis.

To find like-minded folks online, there are two great resources we can recommend:

  1. RC Groups forums: https://www.rcgroups.com/
  2. RCCars Subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/rccars/

Sign up to either or both of these and take advantage of the Search function on either site. If you have questions, chances are they’ve been asked before. There are many great discussions, projects and resources on each of these sites.

Thank you for reading our guide! It’s a big one and we hope the time you invested has paid for itself. Now go find the best RC car for you, get out there and have fun! We’ll catch you next time here on RC-TNT.

RC4WD TF2 and TF3
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 🙂