How Fast Can R/C Cars Go?
There are plenty of RC cars on the market that can reach the same speed as a regular vehicle. Some RC cars can reach 60 mph, and others can go up to 120 mph without you needing to modify the engine or anything else. However, there’s a price to pay. Read on to find out.
What Are the Fastest RC Cars?
Three of the fastest RC cars are Traxxas XO-1, JLB Racing Cheetah, and Traxxas Unlimited Desert Racer (with top speeds of 120 mph, 55 mph, and 50 mph respectively.) Read a bit more about them below.
The XO-1 features 2.4 GHz radio, steering servo, a docking base, painted body, wireless module, and a brush-less motor. Cars with brush-less motors go the fastest, and these are always electric cars, but more on this later.
XO-1 can accelerate from 0-100 mph in less than 4 seconds, making it second to none in this regard. On the downside, it’s very pricey. You can’t get much speed out of your RC without some investment on your part. You can get a cheaper car, but then you need to invest in modifications to make it go faster.
JLB Racing Cheetah
This is another impressive vehicle with a powerful brush-less motor (3670 2500KV) and a top-capacity LiPo battery (4000mAh). Thanks to the battery, it’s possible to run the vehicle continuously for at least 45 minutes.
The car features fully independent suspension and high flexibility. 8 coil springs are fitted on the truggy, all with completely independent suspension, guaranteeing a smooth ride even on off-road terrain. The JLB Racing Cheetah features the best pace to durability ratio. Its massive frame isn’t a disadvantage in any way. It’s shock- and bump-resistant, which helps protect the electrics of the car.
Traxxas Unlimited Desert Racer
Our third choice features cantilever sway bars, 4-link rear suspension, and functional limiting straps. Extreme suspension travel lends exceptional off-road racing ability. The chassis remains steady and composed thanks to the suspension. The car is also gorgeous with a muscle car/truck design, which is the brand’s hallmark.
What Makes RC Cars Go Faster?
There are a few things you can do to make your RC vehicle go faster, such as changing the tires, reducing the weight, adjusting the gear, and upgrading your motor and batteries.
Get slick tires if you’re running the car on asphalt or tarmac, full spikes for slippery grass or mud, and mini pins on carpet. Mini spikes are the best choice for optimal grip. It’s important to buy quality tires because cheap ones won’t last long and you’ll probably spend more money in the end.
Bigger tires weigh more, but also cover more ground per turning because of the bigger diameter.
Adjust the Gear
RCs have two gears: the spur gear and the pinion gear. Upgrading both is the cheapest and best way to improve your speed and acceleration.
The pinion gear is directly attached to the motor. You can replace it with one that has more teeth using a hex driver, but don’t go up by too many teeth, because this might damage the vehicle. Adjust it only by up to two teeth at a time and check the RC’s temperature periodically. Go with a smaller gear with fewer teeth if faster acceleration is what you’re looking for, but note your top speed will be slower as a result.
The spur gear is the bigger plastic gear turned by the pinion gear. Increasing the size of the spur gear will lead to a slower maximum speed, but faster acceleration, while decreasing it will give you less acceleration and a higher maximum speed. Change both gears for best results.
Reducing the car’s weight is one of the easiest ways to improve the speed. We suggest using lighter materials, such as aluminum, light carbon, or graphite. You’d be surprised what difference even a slight reduction in weight can make.
Replacing the batteries is another way to lighten the car. Switch to lithium batteries if you’re currently using Ni-Mh – if you can afford them, of course. Li-Po batteries are more powerful and lighter. If you’re currently using a 2-cell lithium ion battery, replace it with a 3-cell one. These packs are more powerful because they have a higher voltage output. On the downside, they weigh a bit more. Also, the vehicle is much harder to control if it’s running on a 3-cell.
While reducing the weight guarantees a higher speed, it results in traction drop. This will render corners challenging because the weight pushing through the tires onto the surface will be lower. The car then becomes more prone to flipping over. Add some weight to the front to keep this from happening.
Replace the Motor
There are two types of electric motors – brushed and brushless. The latter offer higher speeds, but they’re better for pros. They are technically more efficient and increase both speed and power because a lower amount of energy is lost through friction.
Are Gas Cars Faster than Electric Cars?
Midrange and lower-end RC gas cars are faster than electric cars, but electric cars with brushless motors are the fastest. Apart from less energy loss from friction, they can handle much higher voltage. These RC cars hold the fastest speed records. However, they are not without their disadvantages. Their suspension, steering, and responsiveness are more complicated. They cost much more than brushed motors and are more expensive to maintain. In some cases, the motor will cost more than the car itself. You can find cheaper motors online.
Advantages of electric RC:
Electric cars tend to have higher speeds and perform better.
Disadvantages of electric RC:
They are more expensive than their gas brethren. Normally, midrange and lower-end cars run up to 20-30mph+.
Advantages of gas RC:
Gas RC car owners can customize the setup to perform as they wish. Normally, these vehicles run at 40-60 mph.
Disadvantages of gas RC:
The car won’t run optimally if your tuning is off.
No matter what type of engine and motor you have, you can achieve top speed and performance. However, this will not happen on a tight budget. Invest in quality equipment to enjoy your vehicle for as long as possible.