Many a week goes by where the rc world is slow on news, but not this one….
Horizon finally introduced a replacement for the decade old Losi XXX buggy, it’s called the Team Losi Racing 22. Whoaaaa, did the 22 arrive right on time, or way too late?
The uber racing crowd has been proclaiming the TLR 22 to be a “game changer”. The 22 comes with a metal chassis, big bore shocks, and it can utilize either a rear or mid mounted motor. It’s quite obvious the TLR 22 designers (Dan Hissam, Todd Hodge, Jukka Steenari and Brent Redlin) have developed a buggy with all of today’s best technology, a design that finally brings 2wd electric racing up to modern times. While the older designs (like the Losi XXX and AE B4) were set-up for 6 cell Ni-mh’s and brushed motors, the TLR 22 is optimized for Lipo and brushless. Overall, the 22 is quite stunning, and I for one can’t wait to wheel one around a high bite indoor track.
The internet pundits have taken a harsher look at the new TLR design. The 22 still has e-clips on it, and as we all know, e-clips are the devil and there is no excuse for them being on a new car. The 22 also uses a rather suspicious looking steering rack, one that looks prone to jamming due to dirt, rocks and debris. The pundits also disapprove of the 22′s ability to be run either as a rear motor or mid motor car. One of the two motor mounting positions has to be superior to the other, I mean, you don’t see F1 cars or TORC series trucks moving their motors around for different tracks.
But perhaps the biggest problem the 22 has is its release date. The 22 is “roughly” scheduled to hit hobby shops in late February 2011. If the 22 would have been sitting on hobby shelves in October 2010, the entire winter would have been a TLR 22 sales bonanza. Instead, most racer types are putting together 8th scale buggies for the summer season during Feb/March, not buying new 2wd 10th scales. To top that off, when racers do start buying their gear for the winter 2011/12 season next fall, Associated, TQ, Schu, Kyosho, or Durango might very well have a new release to take all the wind out of the 22 sails (and sales). In short, very poor timing that might very well cost Horizon big figures in potential sales.
Of course with all the buzz on the new 22, the rumor mill gets kicked into overdrive. The biggest rumor being that Thunder Tiger/Associated is just months away from releasing an all new RC10B5. Perhaps the tastier rumor is that the big AE is working on a “scale looking” buggy that will change the 2wd buggy class like the Traxxas Slash changed the truck class. Also, the TLR 22 debuted this weekend at the Spektrum race in Wisconsin, and what was the biggest rumor circulating around the pits? It was about how has the 22 got its name- with the rumor being that it cost Horizon 22 million dollars to buy out Losi back in 2001. Gotta love that rumor mill, it just keeps on giving and giving…
No doubt it’s awesome seeing a ground up new design coming with a Losi badge on it. The 22 incites great memories of the glory years of rc racing, back to a time when 2wd mod was the elite class, and Losi vs Associated was an all out war of technology. But, and there is always a “but”, while I’d love to test drive one, I’m not going to buy a 22. In fact, most of the people I talked to over the weekend thought the 22 was an exciting new race weapon, but they weren’t going to buy one either. Many of todays uber race guys are all about 8th scale and scoff at anything smaller, and honestly you don’t want to show up at a local bash spot with a spindly lil’ 2wd buggy (unless you want your new 22 going home smashed to bits by some Revo or Savage). Personally, I think 2wd buggies are too fragile and hard to drive, and I just simply have much more fun wheel’n an 8th scale. We’ll see if the hardcore racer and nostalgia types will buy enough of the 22′s to make it worth Horizons research and development expenses.
That’s it for this week BigSquid readers. Until next week, support your local hobby shops, tracks and bash spots!
YOUR Cub Reporter