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On or Off Road - Which Is The Best Radio Control Option For You?

Maximum Speed and Handling, Big Jumps and Rocks, Or A Compromise?


You've chosen whether to go electric or nitro (like petrol) for the power source of your Radio Control Car, now you've got to choose whether you want to go off-road or on road.

In my opinion, when choosing the best Remote Control Car for you (or your kid ;)!) its all about where you're going to run it. To get the most fun, you'll want to be using it regularly and in a stress free environment, and that will decide whether you'll get an on road or off road car.

My Viper and My Sons SkylineFirst on-road. I'm a bit biased, having just got a HPI Viper and a Tamiya Skyline, both on road Touring Cars, really only suitable for very smooth concrete or tarmac surfaces. Both cars are very fast, so it will have to be a very large area, with plenty of run-off to deal with mistakes. So the flat racer, touring car solution will give you the best handling, fastest cars, but you have a very limited number of places to run them. Their inherent lightweight design, with limited protection means that a high-speed crash will lead to expensive repair bills.

Touring cars can be adapted with longer travel shocks and larger tyres for better off-road RC performance, but the surface will still have to be flat, and mods will be needed to protect the delicate inners from small stones jamming the gears, drive-train or transmission.

HPI RushNext we have the stadium trucks or buggies, like the HPI Rush, which comes in 2wd and 4wd options. The stadium truck is an off-road vehicle, but still close enough to the ground for decent handling without rolling on sharp turns. A stadium truck / buggy will handle quite high jumps and rough ground, a nice compromise for the user who wants an R/C car for bashing around, off road or on.


HPI SavageThe ultimate Off-Road Remote Control Cars are the Monster Trucks, such as the HPI Savage 21 or 25. These beasts have large engines and shocks, huge tyres, 4wd, and fantastic off-road performance over the really rough stuff. Double shocks mean a HPI Savage can handle drops over 10ft, but they're not indestructible. High speed turns can lead to expensive rolls, bad landings snap suspension, and hit something fast enough and you'll be taking it home in bits.

So which Radio Controlled Car should you choose, Touring Car, Stadium Truck or Monster Truck? If its straight line speed and superb handling, but with limited places to run, get a Touring Car. If you want a truck that can jump over cars and take on anything, but the handling isn't great, get a Monster Truck. For most people though, the best option is probably a Stadium Truck or Buggy, like the HPI Rush, which has good handling on and off road, is fast, cheap to repair, and can be used almost anywhere.

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