ARRMA Fazon Voltage Mega RTR Review
New to the ARRMA line-up is the Fazon Voltage Mega Speed Truck. The Fazon Voltage is an affordably priced 2wd RTR that makes it easy for new people to get into the hobby, or it can be used by more seasoned hobbyists to have fun while bashing. Also of note, the Fazon Voltage comes with Lithium Ion batteries, something that is new to the hobby. How fast is the Fazon? Does it handle well? How does it behave while jumping? Does it make an awesome first truck? Scroll on down to find out the scoop…
Review By: Cubby
Pics By: Tim Mohr
RTR or Kit: RTR
2wd or 4wd: 2wd
Electric or Gas: Electric
Motor: Brushed 540, 20 turns
Speed Controller: ARRMA 3-in-1 SRS
Low Voltage Cut-off: Yes
Radio: ARRMA ATX101 2.4GHz
Differential: Gear type
Driveshafts: Metal bones
Internal Gear Ratio: 2.6
Shocks: Plastic, oil filled
Servo Saver: Yes, on servo
Spur/Pinion Pitch: 48 pitch
Tires: dBoots Dirtrunner ST
Battery: 2 ARRMA 18650 Lithium-Ion 1500mAh
Part Number: #AR102664
Warranty: 2 year limited
Front wheel travel: 1.75″
Rear wheel travel: 2″
Wheelie on demand: No
Backflip off ramps: No
Stability Control: No
Sound Module: No
Top Speed (measured by BSRC): 22 mph
Runtime (measured by BSRC on stock 2S 1500): 6 minutes
Street Price: $139
Primary Competition: For review purposes, we are going to put the Fazon Voltage down as an entry level stadium truck. In that category you’ll find trucks like the ECX Circuit.
What’s Needed To Complete: The Fazon comes with a pair of Lithium batteries to power the truck, all you need is four AA cells for the transmitter.
Build Quality: Nope, we didn’t find any faults with the build quality of our test unit. The shocks were properly filled, the gear mesh was spot on, and we didn’t find any stripped or loose screws.
Test Drivers: Hawaiian Chris, Don The Legend, T-$$$, and yours truly.
Test Venues: For testing we used a local city park in St. Louis, plus we did some driving on the St. Louis Dirtburners 8th scale off-road track.
Set-up Notes: Yes indeed, we left everything bone stock for testing. The ride height, along with all suspension settings, were left stock. We popped four Duratrax AA cells into the transmitter, then used the stock Lithium Ion batteries to power the truck. All charging was done with the included charger. Sometimes we used 2 cells in the truck, at others we used 6.
Turning: The Voltage series is super affordable. At the lower price points, tires tend to get harder and that was the case with the Fazon. The stock tires are quite hard. That is great for wear, but not so good for trying to find mechanical grip on hard surfaces. With that said, the Fazon did a decent job of corning. You won’t find loads of corner speed on the Fazon because of the hard tires, but when you hit a corner with it, at least it is easy to drive. Both the front and rear tend to lose grip at about the same time. So while the truck might slide some in corners, at least you don’t have to worry about some sort of crazy over or understeer.
Jumping: The Fazon is quite light, that helped it a lot when landing from big jumps. The stock shocks work fairly well, although we though they were slightly over damped. For the most part, the Fazon jumped straight with a slightly nose high orientation. Landings are soaked up fairly well by the suspension, but because of the brushed power system, hitting the throttle or brake didn’t make the drastic effect that you would find on a brushless powered truck like the Granite BLX.
Bumps/Whoops: Combine a lightweight chassis with decent suspenders and you have a truck that does a mighty fine job in the rough. The Fazon is mid-motored, so you don’t have to worry about landing on the motor, or it rubbing on sharp decent angles.
On-Road: The Fazon handles a bit like a drift car when driven on-road. Those hard tires are easy to turn over, thus allowing us to drift quite easily with the ARRMA. We didn’t have to worry about it traction rolling and the Fazon was generally a lot of fun to bash on-road.
Grass: We didn’t get in a lot of grass driving with the Fazon, but from what little that we did, it drove much like you’d expect a 2wd stadium style truck. Short grass was no problem for the Fazon, but when the grass got taller the lack of 4wd and a brushless power system held the truck back.
Tires: Yes, we’ve already written several times about them. No, they aren’t terrible, but they are somewhat harder than what we’ve seen on other lines of ARRMA vehicles. Up front is a set of ribs, which might not look super cool, but they have proven themselves over the decades. The rear tires are covered with small knobbies. We found that the tires worked best in light loamy conditions.
Power: The Fazon sports a fairly typical RTR brushed motor. Coming in at 20 turns, it had some bark right off the bottom which lead to a slight rush in the mid-range. Up top the Fazon rolled off at 22 mph, a speed that is right in the ball park for first time drivers. The truck had enough speed/power to make some good sized jumps, but no so much as to be dangerous for first time drivers. Lastly, yes, there is more than enough power on tap to easily do burn outs and to throw some fairly good sized rooster tails.
Radio: An all new radio comes with the Fazon so we were stoked to check it out. The unit is quite small, but worked fine for us. Even though the radio has a small form factor, most of our guys were just fine with its ergonomics. It has all the adjustments that you really need and lasts forever on a set of batteries.
Broken Parts: ARRMA has developed a pretty legendary reputation in the rc biz for durability. Our test truck ended up breaking when we cased a jump. One of the rear outdrives (not the plastic outer cup, but the metal piece that comes out of the diff) snapped off.
Batteries! That is the perhaps the biggest story on the Fazon Voltage. Instead of coming with a “standard” NiMH pack, the ARRMA comes with a pair of 18650 Lithium-Ion cells (with a charger). The cells are 1500mAh each. Stock, you insert the two Lithium cells into the truck. At that port you are running 2S. You can also buy more cells, in fact you can run up to 6 of the Lithium cells at once. As you add more cells, no, you don’t get any more voltage as they are wired in parallel, but you do increase run-time. We measured run-time at right at 6 minuts on just 2 of the Lithium cells.
What if you don’t feel like using the supplied batteries? That’s right, you can also use “normal” packs in the Fazon if you want to. A Deans connector (Heck YES!) comes stock.
Mid-motored? Yet another HECK YES!!! Do you guys have any idea how many motors we have destroyed on 2wd bash vehicles simply from heavy rear landings? Probably about as many as you guys! While putting a motor in the middle of a truck/buggy does have handling benefits, we are freak’n stoked that the motor on the Fazon is tucked safely out of harms way for durability reasons.
The stock steering servo did a decent job. No, it isn’t some high-end race unit, but it did have enough power and speed to keep our test drivers from complaining too much. Note the servo is a 5 wire unit but the stock 3-N-1 ESC/receiver/servo-brain can handle a standard 3-wire servo in a different slot, so you should have no problem upgrading if you want.
Best Mod: A set of Pro-Line stadium truck tires front and rear. The stock tires last forever with their hard compound, but much more traction is to be found with stickier Pro-Line tires.
A = Outstanding/Best in Class, B = Above Average, C = Average, D = Below Average, F = Horrific
Time To Bash: B After charging up some of the Fazon’s Lithium Ion cells, we popped some double As into the transmitter and got our bash on. We had no issues getting the truck up and running.
Workability: B While we aren’t big fans of Phillips hardware, we found the Fazon quite easy to spin wrenches on.
Car Show Rating: B The graphics really pop on the Fazon’s body and its wheel/tire combo looked sharp.
Bash-A-Bility: C ARRMA has a great reputation for durability, our test truck ended up breaking an out-drive in the rear end.
Fun Factor: B What is there not to like about bashing a stadium truck? From on-road to the local beach, the Fazon is great fun.
Handling: C The chassis and suspension worked well, but its long life tires were a bit low on grip.
Value: A At just $139 the Fazon is extra friendly on the wallet.
Parts Availability: C While we didn’t find any parts in local hobby shops, we did find that they are easily available on-line.
BigSquid Rating: B- Great for entry level drivers, we found the Fazon to be loads of bashing fun.