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You know I couldn’t pass on posting something when such a big announcement happens!
I’m sure the “Big Guy” is looking for the edit/delete key already since this isn’t my normal report.
So read fast.. haha

So lets continue shall we?

For those of you that have been living under a rock the last 4 hours, here’s the essential scoop on the new Slash 4×4.

1. 4 wheel drive Short Course truck
2. Comes stock with brushless and 7 Cell Ni-mh battery
3. Comes stock with 2.4 Ghz radio system
4. Revo diffs
5. Licensed BFG Tires
6. Rumored (I repeat- RUMORED) LHS Price is to be $399
7. Release date Rumored to be mid December 2009

Word out of the Traxxas camp before the unveiling was their new truck was going to
be “huge” and “revolutionary”. I must say that Traxxas has become a true leader, not a follower. One look at their incredible T-Maxx, or the original 2 wheel drive Slash proves that. One look at their new Slash 4×4 proves they are leading the field in the 4 wheel drive electric short course field as well. If you need proof of leadership, just start the countdown clock to AE, Losi, and others releasing electric 4×4 versions of their short course trucks.

Here’s a few quotes off random message boards about the new Slash 4×4.
“home run guys, exactly what I was looking for”
“okay yeah i’m drooling”
“It looks cool, but with them forcing the battery pack, brushless and 2.4ghz on you, I’m sure it’ll be $$$”
“The only thing that I can criticize on is the 32 pitch gears”
“I am sooooo glad it’s a whole new chassis layout and not a revo rehash”
“I don’t see why anyone would want this over an e-converted slayer or an sc8e”
“Single battery is a big selling point to me”
“This thing is AWESOME. New suspension geometry and everything”

So here’s my skinny from the Cub view of things-
High’s-
1. Love the licensed BFG tires- the closer to realistic, the better.
2. Good looking truck overall.
3. 4wd makes driving on nearly any surface easier. Easier always equals better.
4. Mostly new design is great to see, glad it’s not Revo/Slayer based.
5. Comes with a slipper clutch, the driveline thanks you Traxxas.
6. Driveline looks very durable- 32 pitch gears and Revo diffs.

Low’s-
1. Price. We Do Not Know exactly what the Slash will be selling for, but if the rumors are right, it’s gonna be a bit high. Is the truck worth $399? Most likely hell ya, but a $399 price point will eliminate it from the majority of bashers budgets. A Slash 4×4 with a non-2.4Ghz radio, no battery pack, and powered by an E-Maxx motor and speedo would have come in at a much more attractive price point, while most likely yielding nearly the same performance.
2. Comes stock with 7 cell Ni-mh battery. Yes, real noobs don’t have any batteries, but most hobbyists already have plenty just sitting around. Why do I want to pay extra for a battery that Traxxas has picked out? No thanks, I’d rather pick out my own.

I’ve got one more bone to pick, but this one doesn’t fall on Traxxas’s shoulders. (So Traxxas, if you are reading this.. I’m not blaming you) Ever notice in a 2wd Slash how pretty much every motor tends to run hot? This isn’t really Traxxas’s fault, as they designed a great, extremely durable truck. A 2wd Slash has a beefy (and heavy) drivetrain, which is required for running huge brushless power. The 2wd Slash also has a lot of air drag due to the large short course type body, also a requirement to achieve the proper look. Unfortunately, the combo of a heavy truck with lots of drag equals pushing every single 10th scale speedo/motor system to the limit.

This will only get worse on the 4wd Slash. The 4wd has another diff to spin, more driveshafts, and simply more weight. Throw in a muddy track on a hot summers day, and I can’t think of any 10th scale power system that will be able to push this beast around (at a fast clip) without running hot. This looks to be the reason why the truck comes stock with a 7 cell Ni-mh pack. To help keep heat down, Traxxas installed a fairly low kv motor which is geared relatively conservatively. To get a reasonable amount of speed, the extra voltage of a 7 cell Ni-mh is simply a requirement.

Also in the press release today, Traxxas states that a Mamba Monster system bolts right in. The Mamba Monster system works great and should easily power a 4×4 Slash, no question about it. But, it costs $100 more than an entire 2wd Slash does, and is going to like some fairly expensive/high cell-count batteries for lots of top speed. This isn’t Castle’s, nor Traxxas’s fault, it’s simply the cost of technology. The real problem here lies in the need for a proper power system. A power system with perhaps slightly larger motors, 10th scale pricing (I repeat, 10th scale pricing!!!), that can propel the new era of heavy driveline/high drag short course trucks to eye opening speeds on only a 2S battery pack- without overheating. Maybe Novak, Tekin, LRP and Castle are already working on this problem, if not, this should be project numero uno on their “to-do” lists this fall.

In closing, everyone and their Uncles dog already owns a 2wd Slash. For Traxxas to continue advancing the short course format, a 4×4 is the natural progression. A 4wd Slash is the next logical purchase for those that love their 2wd Slash, but how many buyers are willing to break out the wallet for close to $400? My guess is a lot of people, a lot of people that will be very happy with the quality and performance of their new Slash 4×4. Traxxas has a well earned reputation for quality engineering, reliability, and value that will help make it easier for those wallets to open.

Thanks for reading, look for the BigSquidRC official test of the Slash 4×4 very soon, support your LHS’s and tracks, and get on that pre-order list for your Slash 4×4 ASAP! Also, if you haven’t seen it, check out the pictures the boss posted earlier.

Your Cub Reporter

Traxxas Slash 4x4

Breaking news! Traxxas has just announced the Traxxas Slash 4×4 Short Course Truck!
Wowza! I have been hearing from Traxxas that this upcoming announcement was going to be big news.. and while we here at the Big Squid office had some guesses, that were close, like an electric Slayer, we didn’t think it would be a re-design like this! Very cool!

Here are some still’s from the video!
Traxxas Slash 4x4 Traxxas Slash 4x4

Traxxas Slash 4x4
A few shots made it look like it had a headlight setup, similar to what we would see in the Sumit.

Details: 4 Wheel Drive, new super efficient shaft drive, new race suspension, licensed BFGoodrich tires, TQ 2.4 Ghz Radio System!! Top speed 40mph with included 3000mah 7-Cell battery pack and Brushless Velineon System! Also of note, the front Revo Sealed Diff!
Traxxas Slash 4x4 Traxxas Slash 4x4
Awesome stuff.. some of these pictures are from the official press release we just received.
It’s truly a whole new platform of vehicle! Good job Traxxas!

I have started a Traxxas 4×4 Thread in the forums. Got questions or comments? Head over there and post em up!

More info coming as soon as we get it! Hopefully some hands on at iHobby Expo in a few weeks!

Long time no see, but welcome back to yet another edition of the industries most litigated opinion column, THE Cub Report.

So what’s the scoop on some of the newest product releases? Well, let’s just dive right in.

RPM is in the Big Squid RC Basher Approved hall of fame. They are one of the few companies that actually have their heads screwed on right, making good looking, good fitting, and no hassle product. Well, they recently shot out pics of their new Slash rear bumper/Mud Flap combos. Awesome, just awesome! I hope they sell a zillion of them. One step closer to realism, with the uber reliability of RPM. If you’ve been watching the 1:1 Torc series races on ESPN, you’d notice the only major cosmetic difference between your Slash and those racing on tv is the lack of mudflaps. The RPM bumper/mupflap combo is just what your Slash needs.

Seen the new Traxxas teaser video? Pretty much any type of “teaser” makes me want to have rabid multi-orfice fun with a porcupine excited now days. With that said, I give the new Traxxas teaser vid a B-. Slick production, but just slightly above average as far as general hype goes. I figured they would have waited to unveil their new beast at iHobby, as you could do one hell of a cool intro in front of the masses, but I hear they’ll be unveiling yet another platform at the show.

Big Props go out to Traxxas and RC Pro Series for their support of Rick “Too Hip” Johnsons Torc series. Awesome tracks, all the big name players, decent tv package, and Traxxas is plastered everywhere. Most media exposure ever for our industry. Even if you aren’t into short course racing, try to catch one of the 1:1 Torc races on the tube.

Horizon released info on a left hand thread kit for their 8 and 8T series of 8th scalers. What this boils down to is a few left hand screws for 5 bucks that should have been a running change on the new kits, but are being sold as a hop up. The HPI/Hot Bodies 8 series buggies and truggy come standard with these, cost far less, and won the worlds last year. Hummmm… wonder what the better value is.

Speaking of HPI/Hot Bodies- their Blitz’s are almost here! Get on the pre-order list at your LHS ASAP.

RC Pro Products released info on their uber new 8th scale wheel wrench. Nice to see a product designed by actual common sense racers, built to last, works correctly, that doesn’t empty the bank account. Quality tools are worth their weight in gold, thankfully, the RC Pro Products have all the quality but not the insane price tag.

Every JConcepts body I’ve ever seen looked uber trick. All their bodies for “race” type vehicles are really cool. Sadly, JConcepts has released pics of their new Slash body called the BAJR. Lets say you took the top off a VW body, the rear off a quad racer body, and the front off a Herbst truggy body, then molded them all into one- then you’d have the JConcepts BAJR. Wow. Like, you gotta be kidding me kinda fugly. If you want to turn your good looking Slash in a sort of Martian Turd looking machine, the BAJR is the body for you. Excuse me while I wash my eyes out with battery acid.

Well folks, you made it to the end of yet another Cub Report. Thanks for reading, and please get out and support your LHS’s and local tracks.

Your Cub Reporter

RPM slash mud flaps RPM slash mud flaps
With the new rage being more ‘scale looking’ RC’s, it seems only fitting that somone would be doing mud flaps for the slash. Well RPM RC has stepped up to the plate and created some! The new RPM Traxxas Slash Mud Flaps work with the new RPM Rear Bumper only. They do not work with the stock or other aftermarket rear bumpers.. so keep that in mind.

Check out the RPM RC site for details.

RPM slash rear bumper RPM slash rear bumper
Recently there was a news post abut the the new Traxxas Slash Bumpers from RPM RC, and I’m sure there was a ton of people asking, why only the front? Well..today that answer has been given.. in the form of a new product! The RPM Traxxas Slash Rear Bumper! It’s 18% lighter than the stock one, probably stronger, and looks like they provide a TON of coverage! That will come in handy during those demo derby times! Available in black, chrome and blue.

Check out the RPM RC site for details.

So Yamaha finally showed their all new 2010 YZ450F yesterday. New from the ground up, it features a radically different airbox/cylinder/carb setup than any previous production motocross bike. The amount of “pre-hype” for the bike was huge, as it should have been on such an innovative design. And while bike sales spiraled downward during the poor economy, the Yamaha 2010 450F is going to be a monster seller.

Speaking of 2010, I’ve always wondered why the rc world has never adopted the “model year” type of product release schedule. What I mean by that is- releasing revised or new models once a year like the motorcycle and full size car industries do, instead of just all over the place. For instance, if you are Traxxas, you’d show the “new” 2010 Traxxas Slash at I-Hobby in October, making the “2009″ model obsolete, even if there were only minor changes. If you are a consumer, would you rather keep driving your old beat 09′ Slash, or sell off your 09′ so you could have a nice new 2010 Slash? Maybe you’ve been racing a 1996 Horizon/Losi XXX for years now, wouldn’t you rather get the hot new 2010 model? Ok, maybe I’m just dreaming here.

Speaking of some large chassis manufacture based in Texas, they have really tight lips there, nothing good ever leaks early from them. But- the quiet rumblings out of the Lone Star state is that their dedicated Crawler is going to turn the crawling world on it’s head, and take that genre to an entirely different level. But you didn’t hear that here, because I was sworn to secrecy. :)

Horizon put out huge hype on their latest release, the Losi 10th scale “Night Crawler RTR“. Unfortunately, it’s not particularly innovative, nor trick, nor earth shattering, seemingly just another case of crying wolf. Sure, it’s a good looking crawler, the type of “truck” that would easily flow off the shelves of your local Wally World if the price point was under $50, but to a true hobbyist, it’s nearly an insult. Big hype should mean big innovation and/or performance, not just run of the mill. True hobbyists are just tired of being burned by blowing up big ad campaigns that yield ho-hum product releases. People are still ticked off by Trinity’s big ads blowing up how their new “P-94″ brushed motors that were “supposed” to be better and longer lasting than those pesky new at the time brushless motors.

There was one pretty trick product released last week, and it was not over hyped. Pro-Line showed their under tray for the Traxxas Slash, and it looks awesome. The under tray protects the underside of the truck, helps keep dirt, water and debris from getting up on your chassis, and even helps to add a bit of scale realism. It might not sell a ton, but it’s trick and innovative, something the sport needs more of.

That’s it for this week. Get out and support your sport, hit your LHS and local track.

Your Cub Reporter

RC4WD Traxxas Slash Chassis The Traxxas Slash has made a huge impact on our hobby. Even though it may look scale on the outside, the internals of the chassis hardly resemble the full size CORR trucks it takes after. RC4WD and a member of the scale RC community, Katan, are collaborating to change all that. Their creation is the Hardcore Chassis for Slash. Made entirely of aluminum, this chassis conversion is designed to have the Slash front-end bolt on. Not much else of the original truck is retained. The rear axle duty will be handled by a modified Wheelie King unit. The conversion kit is still in development, but it’s cool to see the scale segment of our hobby continue to grow.

The TORC RC Tour returns to Bark River International Raceway August 8th weekend! The Nitro Revo class has been added to the list of classes for ALL the remaining events!! Check the Traxxas TORC site for all the details!

Coming up Labor Day weekend at Crandon International is their 40th anniversary event. 40,000 spectators are expected and RC Pro will be there to run the TORC RC event. Come out and race or just come to watch the action!

Traxxas Revo 3.3

Traxxas Revo 3.3 Just when you think the Traxxas Revo 3.3 couldn’t get any better, there is new version of the Traxxas Revo 3.3 coming! The new truck is going to be PACKED with some awesome upgraded features! A 4-Channel micro receiver with dual channel-1 inputs! (think dual steering servo’s).

Traxxas Revo 3.3 Traxxas Revo 3.3

A Heavy Duty constant-engagement reversing transmission, OptiDrive Electronic Transmission Control for smooth shifting, 17mm hex Geode mirror-chrome wheels, 6.3″ Maxx sized tires, new wide-track body with custom graphics, and dual 2075 digital high-torque ball bearing servos.

Traxxas Revo 3.3 Traxxas Revo 3.3
The vehicle comes Ready To Drive with receiver pack, EZ-Start pack, fuel bottle, spare glow plug, and a spare air filter.

Don’t forget all the great standards on the 3.3 like the EZ-Start, tuned pipe, hex hardware throughout, and the TRX 3.3 Racing Engine! We will be looking forward to the release of this monster for sure!

Remember when we broke the news story, and had the first pictures of the Traxxas 2.4 Ghz radio? Well now the Revo 3.3 comes with the TQ 2.4Ghz! Our pictures of the original prototype are a little different but it looks darn close!

Make sure to hit the Traxxas site for all the details.

RPM slash Looks like RPM RC has another MUST OWN product coming out! The Traxxas Slash Front Bumper and Skid Plate. It’s a two piece design that eliminates a bunch of screws, drops some weight, and I’m sure it’s like everything else RPM – Strong and Durable! The sets come in black, blue, or Chrome/Gray. They start shipping soon, so start looking for them at your local hobby shop next week.

We recently mentioned the Traxxas Mini Revo that was in the office, now it’s time for the Traxxas’ 1/16 Mini Slash VXL pictures! It looks and feels different enough to where it actually seems like a different vehicle. We were thinking the two trucks would be very similar, but apparently not. The local hobby shop had a bunch of the Mini Slash’s in stock, but only 1 mini revo left!

Enjoy the un-boxing pictures, we’ll get some video of it in action soon!

More soon! Any questions? Post em up in the forums and we will try to get you some answers.

The Traxxas Mini-Revo and Mini-Slash are hitting hobby shop shelves as we speak. This is a bit historic, as it’s Traxxas first entry into the sub-10th scale category. After a quick check of LHS’s and on-line retailers, it sounds like the Mini-Revo is outselling the Mini-Slash four to one. After seeing the 10th scale Slash become such a mega-hit, you’d think it would be the other way around. Perhaps consumers don’t know the Mini-Slash is also 4wd?

Traxxas certainly are the darlings of the industry right now, and have been since the release of the T-Maxx. This release of the 16th scale trucks have nearly everyone else in the industry keeping a close eye on units sold. Are consumers willing to pay nearly $300 for a 16th scale truck? Others in the industry believe sales will be weak on the new Traxxas mini’s due solely to price point. Some believe 80% of the reason the 10th scale Slash took off like it did was it’s sub $200 price point (which has now jumped above 200). Time will tell if it’s the Traxxas name moving trucks, simply price point, or a combo of both.

BigSquidRC started testing the new Traxxas Mini-Revo over the weekend. We are one of the first to post video of a production unit in consumer hands, and it sounds like the truck is a winner on the street. Not only will it pull nearly 50 mph on a 4S Lithium battery, but it has yet to break a part. Traxxas once again has hit the nail on the head with a bashers dream- gnarly power, and doesn’t break. Only one ingredient missing for a run away hit- a low price point.

In new product news, there is lots more boring crap on the way, with one exception. Amidst endless press releases of “X-Ray Team Sweaters” (LOL), Losi Fuel Gun Rebuild Kit, and Team Epic Pit Pads, MaxAmps released information on their new Life batteries. Essentially, these are the next-gen Lithium Iron Phosphate cells that are said to be much safer than normal Li-po packs. Lithium Iron cells have been seen before in rc from A123, but the A123′s didn’t catch on due to form factor and capacity issues. Big props to MaxAmps for advancing this safer technology in our industry.

Some people have balls, some don’t. I have previously mentioned that BigSquidRC is holding a Li-po battery shootout. BigSquidRC has balls, and isn’t scared of holding a true objective shootout where there will only be one winner. A couple weeks ago, we shot out emails to over 25 different Li-po battery companies. A few companies (with balls) could not wait to be included. Thunder Power, CORE, Speed Passion, True RC, and Scooter Motor Works have enough faith in their product to put them up against the best that the rest of the industry has to offer. If you are a consumer and want to see your favorite brand of Li-po included in the shootout, or if you are in the industry and have not received an email invite yet, email brian at Bigsquidrc.com for more information. All packs need to be received by the end of the month as we start testing first of July, with results and a huge writeup being posted mid July.

Another thing to look forward to here is a no holds barred Cubby interview with RC Pro Series Carlton Eppes. It’s in the can, we are just doing final revisions, and should be posted any day now. Carlton has some very interesting things to say about other sanctioning bodies, and his own.

That’s it for this week rc fans. Till next week, support your local tracks and hobby shops.

Your Cub Reporter

We had the new Traxxas 1/16 E-Revo out for some testing, and had a great time with the vehicle! So far it’s been pretty durable, and it’s darn fast out of the box!
Stock Battery – 30mph
2S Lipo – 34mph
4S Lipo – 49mph!

Remember the standing backflip video from the HPI Savage Flux? The E-Revo can also do it pretty easily, forward and reverse! Enjoy the video! There is also a HD version over on youtube.


Hope ya like it! Here’s the link to the YouTube version in HD if you want to check it out.


Added The youtube directly, since iphones and other none-flash based systems couldn’t see the above video directly. Don’t forget to go check it out in HD! Looks pretty good.