If you are a beginner or even if you are an experienced player, this review of the 10 best RC cars will introduce you to some really popular models of remote control cars, both assembled and un-assembled.
- 1. Maisto RC Rock Crawler
- 2. Maisto Rock Crawler Extreme
- 3. Redcat Racing Volcano EPX
- 4. HOSIM All Terrain Remote Control Truck
- 5. Lamborghini Veneno Electric RC Car
- 6. Open Door Ferrari Laferrari RC Car
- 7. Traxxas Rustler XL-5
- 8. Traxxas Stampede 2WD
- 9. SZJJX 4WD Electric RC Cars – Rock Crawler Buggy
- 10. Redcat Racing 4WD Shockwave Nitro RC Car
- What are Remote-Controlled Cars?
- Ready to Run (RTR) RC and RC Kit Models
- How Do They Work?
- Types of Radio Controlled Cars
- Buying Guide for RC Cars
- Additional Accessories
- Racing Tips for Beginners
- Maintenance Guide
Maisto is one of the most popular brand for model cars. Its Rock Crawler remote control car has over 2000 plus reviews on Amazon and most of them are positive. The main features of this car is that it delivers a power packed performance and has two motors, low gears and TPE tires.
Rock Crawler Extreme is one of the best RC cars by Maisto. The features that set this car apart are its powerful front and rear suspension which are hinged, a light body weight, three powerful motors-each with a different use.
Redcat Racing’s Volcano EPX RC car has a poly-carbonate body, oil filled shocks which are capped with aluminium and all its electronic parts are waterproof.
HOISM’s All Terrain RC Car has a remote control of 2.4GHz and is amazingly fast. The powerful brush 390 motor makes it go at a maximum speed of 33mph. Another advantage is that its durable and has strong wheels that are suitable for all weather terrain.
Lamborghini Veneno RC Car has been introduced recently but has become extremely popular due to its sleek design and fully functioning modes of moving reverse, forward, stop, left and right in a quick motion. The glowing head and rear lights are another advantage.
Open Door Ferrari Laferrari is a 1/14 scale remote control car. It comes in a ready to run (RTR) format. It is officially licensed and can move in any direction in a quick motion. The headlights are in a working condition and even the doors of this car can be opened.
Traxxas Rustler is waterproof and therefore can survive any wet conditions. Its sleek design is further complimented by its powerful performance. It can achieve a speed of 35 mph and runs on a 2.4 GHz radio system. Its high durability and strength can make this car run all day without any kind of struggle.
Traxxas Stampede 2WD Monster Truck runs on a 2.4GHz radio system. The receiver is sealed in a watertight container, making this model safe for all weather conditions. The internal antenna further makes it impervious to any kind of damage. It uses a twelve Titan 550 modified motor with a revo spec servo torque.
SZJJX 4WD RC car runs on a 2.4GHz radio frequency and is a 1/18 scale model. It has a highly durable rack made of high quality materials, which give it a more rugged feature. The rubber tires are made of PVC and run smoothly, even on rough terrains.
Redcat Racing Nitro Shockwave Buggy is a 1/10 scale model and runs on nitro fuel. It is one of the best nitro RC cars available in the market. It has a pull start and will also require a glow plug initiator to start. The four-wheel car has a single speed transmission and does not include any reverse feature.
What are Remote-Controlled Cars?
Remote controlled cars is the term given to cars that can be controlled through a radio frequency link through a remote. They are wireless and are mostly powered by either batteries or gas.
Remote control cars (or RC cars) can either be off-road or on-road. Off-road models can run on all kinds of terrain and have more rugged durable tires. On-road models can only run on paved, smooth roads and don’t have the toughness of off road models.
Ready to Run (RTR) RC and RC Kit Models
Radio Control cars are available in two kinds of forms: assembled or ready to run (RTR) and un-assembled or kit models.
Ready to Run (RTR) hobby cars are popular among all collectors and are manufactured prominently because they come assembled, are hassle free, require less time and work. Their popularity has led to the discontinuation of many kit models and now almost all manufacturers exclusively produce RTR models.
The only drawback is that RTR models will cost you more than kit models.
How Do They Work?
All radio-controlled cars, irrespective of the way they are powered, use a common mechanism to run. They require a transmitter which produces radio waves which is caught by a receiver, attached inside the car. This receiver changes the radio signal into suitable electric signals, that can be understood by the car’s control system.
Most transmitters use an Amplitude modulation (AM) but the newer, upgraded models also use Frequency modulation (FM). Now-a-days, 2.4 GHz frequency is the standard radio signal used in almost all models. The radio signals mainly control the vehicle’s speed, servomechanisms like braking, steering etc.
Types of Radio Controlled Cars
As mentioned earlier, rc cars can be either off-road or on-road. But apart from those two, they can be also classified according to the way they are powered. Below is the classification based on the same:
1. Electric Models
They are powered by an electric motor and rechargeable cells (Ni-Cd, Li etc). The electric motors may be brushed or brush-less.
These models use a mechanically or electronically driven control to deliver signals to the electric motor attached in the car. The power transmitted to the engine is directly proportional to the signals transmitted by the transmitter. That is, the more you pull the trigger, the faster will your car run.
This is the best model for beginners to work with.
2. Nitro Powered Models
Nitro RC cars use small internal combustion engines which are powered by a ‘nitro’ fuel-a mixture of methanol, nitromethane, and oil (castor + synthetic oil). They also use glow plug engines.
They are generally not meant for beginners because they have complex working and refueling will need special care.
3. Gas Powered Models
Gas powered RC cars are fueled by a mixture of oil and gasoline. They are more expensive than both electric and nitro cars.
Some of their advantages are that they do not need frequent refueling, are cheaper to maintain over a long term and last much longer.
Buying Guide for RC Cars
Below is a comprehensive buying guide, that will help you make a conscious decision while buying your remote control car.
Cost: Radio Controlled Cars come in a price bracket of $ 30 to $ 299. Their cost is mainly influenced by their brand, scale model, features, and assembly. Brands like Traxxas have models starting from $ 199 and are generally equipped with superior features. Maisto has good RC car models from $ 30 dollars like Maisto RC Rock Crawler.
It is not always guaranteed that a high cost will give you a car with superior features. Many cars priced under $100 do deliver a good performance.
The Best Selling RC Car Brands:
These brands are known for manufacturing top quality racing model cars.
Traxxas: Traxxas completely justifies its tagline- “The Fastest Name in Radio Control” through the manufacture of performance based racing cars models. Traxxas RC cars are ready to go from the moment you open the box and they can be credited as one of the earliest companies to introduce a new line of revolutionary ready to race (RTR) cars. Their legacy in the world of RC cars still continues with newer and advanced innovations.
Maisto: Maisto was founded in 1967 but it gained popularity among the masses only in 1990, after manufacturing 1/18 scale models of Italian cars like Bburago, Polistil etc. The key features of their brand are their attention to detail, sleek designs and high performance.
Redcat Racing: Redcat Racing promises to be three key things- fast, affordable and fun. It is amazing how it does manage to be all three. They produce fastest RC cars at a comparatively lower cost, as compared to other high-end brands like Traxxas. Their cars have all the necessary features which make them fast, power driven, durable and extremely fun.
Apart from a radio transmitter, all radio-control cars require powering mechanisms. For electric cars, batteries and a charger are required. Most use a Li battery with voltage ranging from 7.4 V to 11.1 V. Also, Nitro powered cars require a glow fuel heater, a set of rechargeable batteries and nitro fuels.
Racing Tips for Beginners
If you are just starting to race, then here are few tips that will help you to race your car in a better and perhaps in an award-winning way:
Acceleration: The most common mistake that every beginner does is in controlling the acceleration. Speeding up your car randomly won’t make it win the race. It is better to accelerate during the second half of the race or when you are close to end of the race. Also, avoid accelerating your cars at any bend or turn because it will lead to loss of control and your car may topple over.
Practice: Race your car regularly to observe what common mistakes you are making. Explore all the possibilities by taking risks whenever you practice, this will help you in knowing what your car can do or can’t do. Being consistent with your practice is more important when it comes racing.
Track: Inspect the track well in advance before any race. As this will help you in deciding how to run your car at every turn, bend or slope.
To make your remote-control cars last longer and retain its performance efficiency, the following tips might be helpful:
It is advisable to replace the bushings (which help tackle friction during running) with ball bearings. The latter have been proved to be more durable and long lasting.
Tires made of PVC should be preferred while buying or look for tires that will withstand all kinds of weather conditions.
A good engine is an important component of every radio control car. Many RC come with mechanical control driven engines which deliver less performance as compared to electronically control driven engines. Therefore, it is advisable to replace the same.
Also, try to buy a car which runs on rechargeable batteries for easy operation and maintenance.
RC Cars (or RC drift cars) are not only fun to play with but can be operated easily by people of all ages. Remote control cars can run anywhere at any time, without any prior preparation. They are easier to maintain and require a lesser maintenance cost than other toy models. The important thing to note is that when you are buying your next RC, do look for features, ratings and the value for money.
Last Updated: 2 August 2018