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Cen Racing RC 8th M-Sport Ford Puma Rally RTR Review

THE Cen Racing 1/8 M-Sport Ford Puma Rally RTR Review

Here ya go rally race fans, CEN Racing has dropped their new 1/8 2023 M-Sport Ford Puma Rally RTR. With incredible scale looks and a beefy 4wd drivetrain, the new CEN is posed to be a genuine winner in the marketplace. Even better, with me supporting Red Bull before the product even came to America, the CEN is one of the few cars on the market where you can get genuine Red Bull livery. We’ve been driving the CEN like we stole it for a few weeks now. Read below to find out our thoughts on the mighty CEN Ford M-Sport Rally Car.

From: Cen Racing
Direct Link: 1/8 M-Sport Ford Puma Rally RTR

Review & Pics By: Cubby & T-$$$


RTR or Kit: RTR
Age: 14+
2wd or 4wd: 4wd
Shaft or Belt: Shaft
Electric or Gas: Electric
Waterproof: Yes
Scale: 1/8
Width (measured by BSRC): 9.25″
Wheelbase (measured by BSRC): 11.7″
Motor: 3,000kV brushless
Speed Controller: Hobbywing, 100 amp, 3S max
Low Voltage Cut-off: Yes
Radio: AMP 30 2.4GHz
Differential: Front and rear gear diffs
Driveshafts: Steel dogbones
Shocks: Oil filled, plastic bodies
Screws: Metric, hex
Tires: Scale looking, medium soft rubber, made by CEN
Battery: Not included
Part Number: #8999
Top Speed (measured by BSRC on 3S): 45 mph
Street Price: $459

What’s Needed To Complete: To get the CEN up and running you’ll need four AAs for the transmitter, a 2S or 3S LiPo for the car, and a battery charger. The car comes 100% assembled and ready to jam out of the box.

Build Quality: While we didn’t find any issues on the car itself, the power button on the transmitter worked, but didn’t work well. Sometimes we had to slide the power button around a bit to get it to turn on.

Set-up Notes: We ran the CEN box stock with zero upgrades. All we did was add some MaxAmps AAs to the radio and we used both a 2S and 3S MaxAmps LiPo for testing.

Turning: Set-up out of the box for rally work, the CEN is a tale of two worlds when cornering. If you are on pavement, the tallish and softish suspension can lead to traction rolling. Off-road on dirt or small gravel is where the CEN really shines in the turning department. Also of note, with fairly strong brushless power under the hood, we found it fairly easy to drift the car when driving on slicker surfaces.

Jumping: For an on-road car, the CEN actually jumped really well. The suspension has a good amount of overall travel for an on-roader, and the suspension is definitely set-up for some light off-road use. When jumping, there isn’t a lot of rotating mass in the tires to make huge mid-air corrections, but there is enough mass and RPM to typically land nice and flat. Now, the suspension is quite soft so it blows through the travel easily upon landing, but still, this is probably the best jumping rally or on-roader that we’ve tested.

Bumps/Whoops: For a rally car, the CEN loves bumps and whoop-de-doos. No, it won’t keep up with a 100% off-roader in the rough, but it will eat other on-road/rally cars for breakfast. The CEN comes with it’s suspension fairly tall, and fairly soft, thus giving it great chops when the going gets bumpy.

On-Road: We loved the CEN on-road because of its big power, incredible scale look, and how easy it was to drift on slicker surfaces. Yes, it will traction roll if you aren’t paying attention or are on higher bite surfaces, but that also gives it more of a lifelike feel while driving.

Grass: Yes we tried the CEN in grass, and no it didn’t end well. The car itself isn’t the issue as much as the stock tires. The stock kicks are plenty soft, but are treaded for street use. Thusly, our CEN had a hard time getting around in grass. If you do drive in grass, the good news is that a more aggressive set of rally tires will make the CEN much more capable in grass, as well as for off-road in general.

Tires: Yes, what about those tires? Well, first off, they look gorgeous! The licensed Pirelli P-Zeros simply look incredible. The rubber compound is what I would call “medium”, which is about perfect for daily bashing duties. They aren’t so soft as to wear out every other run, yet they are much softer than el’ cheapo RTR tires.

Power: There is plenty on tap right out of the box. The brushless motor does have legit power and the car is geared fairly tall right out of the box. This results in decent speeds and lots of fun, even on 2S. When driving on 3S, the soft suspension and grippy tires make for one wild ride.

Radio: While the radio never failed to work for us, it did have a pesky power switch. We did like it’s rubber covered wheel.

The Upsides:

The CEN is simply gorgeous! We loved the Red Bull livery, we loved the plastic scale parts, and we loved the looks of the stock wheel/tire combo.

Right out of the box the CEN has lots of power, even on 2S.

We loved how the stock suspension is set-up in a realistic manner. Yes, this gives the car a lot of lean on high-grip surfaces, but this is a rally car that is set-up for jumping too. When driving on high-grip surfaces the car looked very realistic with all the body movement.

Just how big is the CEN? It’s about 1.5″ wider, and has roughly 1.5″ longer wheelbase, than a standard 1/10 touring car. As the CEN is a small Ford Puma, the scaling is right in the ballpark for 1/8th.

The Downsides:

When going full speed and applying full brake, the rear of the body would get sucked into the rear tires. A couple snips with the hobby scissors fixed this on the cheap/free.

There was a bit of cogging from a dead stop from the brushless system. While the cooling system did a great job of keeping the motor cool, stock gearing is definitely on the tall side.

We would loved to have seen hidden body mounts on this stunner.


Not only does the CEN have loads of performance, but it also has massive scale appeal. The Red Bull livery is straight up LIT and CEN did a fantastic job on the body. We drove our test unit hard and had minimal issues, therfore we can very highly recommend the CEN M-Sport rally car to you!

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Posted by in Car & Truck Reviews, Featured Posts on Thursday, August 17th, 2023 at 10:35 am