ARRMA has done a great job over the years of keeping their product line updated. Recently, ARRMA started rolling out their 2018 model line-up. Their 8th scale line-up received a bunch of updates including a new battery box, various stronger plastic parts, and new rear wings. The 2018 Typhon received all the latest updates to improve on an already potent bash weapon. Is the 2018 version of the ARRMA Typhon the best one yet? Is it the best bash oriented buggy you can buy? Read on to find out…
Review By: Cubby
Pictures By: Tim Mohr
RTR or Kit: RTR
2wd or 4wd: 4wd
Shaft or Belt: Shaft
Electric or Gas: Electric
Weight: 7lbs 3oz
Motor: ARRMA BLX 2050kV, non-sensored brushless
Speed Controller: ARRMA BLX185
Low Voltage Cut-off: Yes
Radio: Tactic TTX300 2.4GHz
Differential: 3 gear diffs
Slipper Clutch: No
Driveshafts: Metal, bones center, CVD style at the wheels
Shocks: Aluminum bodies, oil-filled, plastic caps
Servo Saver: Yes, in steering rack
Screws: Metric, hex
Spur/Pinion Pitch: Mod 1
Tires: dBoots Exabyte
Battery: Not included
Part Number: #AR106028
Warranty: 2 year limited
Front wheel travel: 2.5″
Rear wheel travel: 2.2″
Wheelie on demand: No, center diff
Backflip off ramps: Yes
Stability Control: No
Sound Module: No
Top Speed (measured by BSRC on Duratrax 6S LiPo): 57 mph
Runtime (measured by BSRC on Duratrax 6S LiPo): 22 minutes
Street Price: $429
Primary Competition: Oh ya, the 8th scale buggy class is no joke. The ARRMA has competitors like the Losi 8IGHT-E RTR and the Team Associated RC8.2e RTR.
What’s Needed To Complete: Not a whole lot. You’ll need 4 to 6S worth of LiPo power, plus a charger and four AA cells for the transmitter.
Build Quality: We found that our test unit was built very well. We could find no faults with how it was put together.
Test Drivers: The usual crew of Iron Mikeee, T-Money, Hawaiian Chris, and yours truly.
Test Venues: We hit two 8th scale off-road tracks, our local Costco parking lot, and two different city parks during our evaluation of the Typhon. And for the ultimate test, we used it during our demos at the Rocky Mountain Hobby Expo in Denver, Colorado.
Set-up Notes: We didn’t change a thing for our review. Ride height was left alone, as were all the other suspension settings. For power we used a pair of Duratrax Onyx 3S 5400 packs wired in series for 6S and a Duratrax Onyx charger was used to keep the packs going. MaxAmps supplied the AA cells for the transmitter and they seemed to last forever.
Turning: The Typhon has gained a ton of popularity in recent years because of its durability and handling. In the corners, while not the absolute most uber buggy on the track, it does really well. The front, or the rear, never unexpectedly steps out. The front has a bit of push to it at corner entry, while the rear simply does nothing funny, it just stays glued to the ground. For bashing this set-up makes it easy to corner, for racing, it helps make it consistent.
Jumping: Oh yes, the much talked about jumping prowess of the Typhon is no joke. It can handle a small hip jump, or it can do roof landing after roof landing without complaint. The stout BLX power-plant makes it a breeze to bring down, or raise up, the nose during mid-jump, while its center diff also contributes to how easy it is to catch airtime with. We had no issues jumping with the Typhon, in fact we were super impressed. It rarely takes off at a strange angle, and when it does, it is easily corrected with steering or trigger inputs. On a nice straight, non-rutted, take off face, the Typhon launches exceptionally flat, requiring little in the way of input for a perfect flight. Landings are also well done thanks to its suspension settings.
Bumps/Whoops: While truggies and monster trucks are known to be the kings of the bumps at the local bash spot, the Typhon more than held its own. It doesn’t have huge tires like a truggy or an MT, what it does have is excellent suspension geometry and stellar base shock settings. Occasionally while blitzing a rutted out section the rear end would step out, but it took hitting gnarly sections at crazy speed to get it very far out of shape. Well done ARRMA, very well done.
On-Road: Nope, the Typhon was never designed for the street, but that is where we had some of the most fun at. With nuclear power, good tires, and solid suspension settings, we were able to drive the Typhon crazy hard on-road. Yes, it can, and will, traction roll when cornering at speed or when catching an edge, but generally it was easy to drive fast in the corners and when doing speed runs. The stock tires are not belted (maybe in 2019?) so they balloon up a bit, but not so much as to make the buggy undrivable when doing WFO passes on 6S.
Grass: For a buggy, the Typhon was a beast in grass. If you mostly plan on bashing in grass, the Typhon isn’t a bad choice. No, it doesn’t ignore grass like a Kraton or Nero would, but still, it does a great job of grass bashing.
Tires: How about those dBoots tires? They are molded from a fairly soft compound and the stock foams aren’t bad, although a bit on the soft side. We found the tread pattern was best suited to hard packed dirt, which, said another way, is that they bite best on a real rc track. Still, they worked fine for short stints on pavement, but not so well on sand or loose dirt.
Power: The BLX power system in the Typhon is a beast. If you are buying an rc car strictly to get a thrill, the Typhon will totally hook you up. On 4S LiPo the Typhon barks hard, on 6S it simply screams! While not the smoothest system ever made right off the bottom, the low end hit is substantial (some might say insane), then it rips right through the mid-range. Up on top, well, words don’t really do the Typhon justice, it just doesn’t bog, it simply keeps on pulling like an old war horse until it runs out of gearing.
Radio: The Tactic TTX300 is a solid RTR radio. The ergos work for a number of different hand sizes and range is top notch. We didn’t experience any glitches during our test period, the Tactic simply did its job.
Broken Parts: Oh yes, our poor Typhon. So, our Typhon may have received one of the worst beatings we’ve ever put on a buggy. It lived through our normal testing, then got packed out to Denver, Colorado for the Rocky Mountain Hobby Expo. There we used it in 3 different demonstrations for the crowd in attendance. You need to keep in mind that our demos normally entail doing a backflip, then hitting the ceiling, then landing from 15 feet high to unforgiving concrete. After all that torture the buggy is still going. Yes, we fubared a few parts, but we can say that the Typhon is seriously tough. We did break the front chassis brace at the top deck and strip one of the pillow balls. Otherwise, while a bit tweaked and making some noises here and there, it still rock and rolls!
We really liked the new shock cap protectors. We didn’t spend a lot of time upside down on pavement to really test them out, but from what we saw they worked well.
The Typhon comes with a metal servo arm. That is pretty awesome, plastic arms always strip sooner or later, coming with a metal arm simply saves you money.
Oh yes, the Typhon also comes with what just might be the best RTR servo ever. It isn’t blazing fast, nor does it have crazy torque, but what it does have is decent speed and power, so much so that our test drivers didn’t even complain about it (which is extremely rare!). Oh and, it took some serious beatings without stripping or burning up. Props to ARRMA big-time on the servo they selected for their 8th scalers.
We didn’t experience any motor temp issues when running on 4S. Using 6S on a hot day, we were seeing temps around 165 during fairly short runs.
Our Bash Crew were not fans of the stock connectors. Sure they work just fine, it’s just that most people won’t have a bunch of packs laying around with that connector on them.
On the inside of the body you’ll see a slogan that says “Don’t Just Bash. Blast.”. We think that goes to show you, the end consumer, that ARRMA is 100% on your side as a basher. They didn’t have to put a little motto inside the body, but they did anyway as sort of a “Heck ya we love bashing, check out how gnarly this thing is!!!”.
We are fans of the new battery box. It fits a wide variety of battery packs and did a good job of holding the packs in place.
Best Mod: With the basic platform pretty much dialed, our first hop-up was Pro-Line tires. We mounted up some Badlands and instantly saw a substantial increase in traction on the loose surfaces that we normally drive on.
A = Outstanding/Best in Class, B = Above Average, C = Average, D = Below Average, F = Horrific
Time To Bash: B It didn’t take us long to get the Typhon up and bashing. We charged up some batteries and the Typhon was ready to jam.
Workability: B The Typhon was quite easy to work on. It uses an open 1/8th scale layout and sports decent quality metric hardware.
Car Show Rating: B We really liked the aggressive look of the new wing, but would liked to have seen more of a visual update to the Typhon.
Bash-A-Bility: A The latest version of the Typhon is a beast. We treated it worse than pretty much any test vehicle to date and it held up incredibly well.
Fun Factor: A Oh ya, if you are looking for fun, you are looking at the right place with the Typhon. Giant power, along with an easy to drive chassis, make the Typhon a real smile inducer.
Handling: B While arguably not the best handling 1/8th scale buggy on the market, the Typhon is still a great handling machine. Its handling can best be described as “easy to drive fast” because it rarely does anything strange and it tends to be easier to drive than some of the other buggies on the market.
Value: A What is that price point again? Oh ya, $429 smackers is a steal for the quality and raw performance that you’ll find with the Typhon.
Parts Availability: C The Typhon has been out for a few years now and more parts are popping up on hobby shop shelves. While we didn’t find a lot of parts locally for the Typhon at hobby shops, parts supply looks good for you on-line shoppers.
BigSquid Rating: B+ We are not even going to beat around the bush here, the 2018 edition of the ARRMA Typhon is an awesome buggy. A buggy so good that it just might be the best buggy ever made for bashing. That is impossible to tell without a shootout of course, but we know first hand that if you are into extreme bashing, that the Typhon is a fantastic machine for you to own.