Radio controlled model car

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Radio-controlled buggy with combustion engine and independent suspension in the field

A radio-controlled model car or RC car (short for radio controlled car in toy car remote controlled car ) is a model car that via radio remote control is. Common scales are 1: 5, 1: 6, 1: 7, 1: 8, 1:10, 1:12, 1:18, 1:24 and 1:36. In more and more RC cars, only the painted plastic cover has the former model function, while it has receded into the background for drive and chassis components.

Radio-controlled cars are roughly divided into two groups: on the one hand, inexpensive and mostly slow toy cars for children (English term "toy grade"), on the other hand, more expensive model cars in hobby model making ("hobby grade"). This article covers the latter group.

The assembly, operation and maintenance of radio-controlled vehicles require practice and experience, which is why they are not considered to be children's toys. Remote-controlled vehicles are seldom driven alone; many drivers drive round courses in their free time in casual competition. There are also racing events with youth and adult racing series, which are organized by drivers, dealers or manufacturers.

Radio-controlled trucks in 1:87 scale have also been available since the late 1980s, and radio-controlled cars in 1:87 scale since 2003. These models are not called RC cars, they can be found under the micro- models .

Variants of model acquisition

A ready-to-run model car in miniature format Mini-Z , top left the remote control with the "pistol grip" typical of car remote controls

RTR model (Ready to Run)

Ready to Run means a fully assembled model including the complete remote control. The remote control includes the servo , receiver and transmitter, often also the battery pack as an energy source and traction battery for the model. However, this type of radio-controlled car has the disadvantage that many beginners find it difficult to repair their car if it is damaged.

Although the model is already fully assembled, additional accessories such as batteries for the remote control or, for models with a combustion engine, fuel are often required for operation .

ARR model (Almost ready to run)

An ARR model is a completely pre-assembled model that does not contain a remote control, no receiver and usually no battery.

BND (Bind and Drive) model

A BND model is a completely pre-assembled model including a receiver, but without remote control (remote control and receiver still have to be bound).


A kit is a model that has not yet been assembled. The components are put together appropriately. Assembly instructions explain the assembly step by step. In contrast to an RTR model, separately available accessories such as a remote control and servos, in the case of a competition chassis also motor and tires, and with electric models also regulator and pinion are not included. In return, this allows the buyer to put together the desired accessories himself.

Kits are more popular with experienced model builders. The maintenance and repairs required during operation can be made easier thanks to the knowledge acquired when assembling the model yourself. Furthermore, the equipment of a kit is in some cases higher quality than with a comparable RTR model.



Remote-controlled trucks (also known as "model trucks") are most often built in 1:16 ( Wedico ) and 1:14 ( Tamiya ) scales . The larger scales 1:10, 1:12 and 1: 8 are less common. These models are mostly driven by electric motors ; internal combustion engines are also used for larger scales . In order to improve the fidelity to the original, lighting or sound modules are often installed. If additional movement functions are built in (e.g. a crane or a lifting platform), it is referred to as the truck functional model . You can further subdivide into US and Euro trucks, or into semi-trailers, trailer trucks and solo trucks.

Trial & Crawler

Trials and crawling are mainly about driving as precisely as possible through rough terrain. The vehicles have a very slow gear ratio for more sensitive acceleration. The vehicle's center of gravity is kept low, for example by using lead inserts in the wheels, in order to cope with steep slopes without tipping over. As a rule, the differentials are locked, since a lot of drive power is lost with unlocked differentials when z. B. a wheel has no ground contact . The suspension is mainly made with rigid axles due to their simple and stable construction and the competition regulations. A truck driver's cab is usually used as the body, as the original trial vehicles are mostly converted trucks. Four competition series have been held across Germany since 2007: North German Model Truck Trial Championship, East Trial, West Trial, South Trial. Trial models are available in all common scales from 1:16 to 1: 8. As with the other trucks, the real 1: 8 are in the minority, as they become quite unwieldy with a corresponding model. So-called scalers have recently been added to the trailers and crawlers, which, while accepting certain restrictions in cross-country mobility, primarily pursue the goal of high scale accuracy and detail accuracy for frames, axles, bodies, interior fittings and attachments.


RC buggy

Buggies are designed for off-road use or off-road use. In contrast to the flat track models, they are equipped with heavily profiled tires and a chassis with a large spring deflection. The gears are often closed and thus protected against the ingress of dirt, but mostly not liquid-tight. The shock absorbers mostly work hydraulically and can be adjusted with oils of different viscosities.

The bodies are tailored to off-road use with wide-cut wheel arches and greater ground clearance. They are often flush with the chassis tray to avoid contamination of the internal mechanics and electronics. Buggies are available in a variety of designs and price ranges. Up to a scale of 1:10 they are now almost exclusively driven by electric motors, but above that they are often equipped with a combustion engine. For example, motors with 3.5 cm³ (approved in competition) up to motors with 5.9 cm³ are used on a scale of 1: 8. On a scale of 1: 6-1: 5, motors with 23 cm³ to 30 cm³ are used. As with all model cars, these engines run at very high speeds of around 2,000 to over 30,000 / min, or up to 20,000 / min for engines that are used in large models. Accessories and Aufrüstteile from carbon fiber , high-strength aluminum or titanium make it possible to equip the vehicles individually and vote.

Comparable to the big racing scene around 1:10 gliders, there are also many racing events and competitions for national, European and world championships for buggies.

Monster trucks

Monster truck

RC monster trucks are characterized by very large tires, complex shock absorber systems and good off-road capabilities. However, the large ground clearance also requires a high center of gravity. Visually, their size makes them stand out from the smaller, more ground-level buggies.

Typical features of higher-priced models are all-wheel drive and twin engines. Replicas of real monster trucks have a prototypical rigid axle suspension, while others have independent suspension.

Racing events for monster trucks are less numerous in Germany; instead, there are competitions to pull weights, climb hills or competitions with artificial jumps.

Stadium trucks and truggies

Stadium trucks (2WD) and truggies (4WD) are a hybrid of buggy and monster truck. These are usually based on a buggy chassis, which is equipped with larger wheels and a pickup truck body. The ground clearance is slightly larger than with regular buggies.

Similar to the buggies, races are held here regularly.

Short course

Short Course (SC) trucks are based on their real role models, the Trophy Trucks . These are tuned pick-ups that compete off-road, for example in the Baja 1000 race . Like other classes, RC Short Course Trucks are available with both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. In contrast to other off-road classes, the wide bodies also cover the wheels and sometimes influence jumping behavior ( parachute effect ).


Miniature RC Cars (Microsizers)

These are very small vehicles (approx. 5 cm long), up to 25 km / h, which you can practically let drive on the table. There are batteries in the transmitter that can be used to charge a small capacitor in the vehicle. The possible travel time is between one and two minutes. In contrast to its "big brothers", the steering and speed are not infinitely variable; a “tip” control allows straight-ahead driving and full steering angles to the right or left.


One of the 1:36 vehicles is the Team Losi Micro-T. They can also be equipped with tuning parts. Outside, due to its size, you can only drive on asphalt. They can get pretty quick too.


1:28 RC cars are, for example, Xmods or Mini-Z , whereby Xmods can not only be upgraded with engines or handling parts, but also body upgrades are possible (e.g. front apron , bonnet , side skirts , rear apron , rear spoiler and rims ), and are therefore particularly popular with tuning freaks. Mini-Z are mainly available with luxurious bodies (e.g. Chrysler 300C , Lamborghini Murciélago , etc.).

Xmods are also something for rc beginners because of their simplicity. There are now also XMods evolutions that are even more simply structured. Mini-Z vehicles are better suited for racing and therefore something for professional RC car users.

1: 18/16

This standard has spread quite widely in recent years. Here you can find vehicles for on-road and off-road use. Recently, internal combustion engine vehicles have even been launched. Vehicles of this scale have the advantage that the proven technology of 1:10 vehicles is used, but the space required for operation and also for storing the vehicles is considerably smaller. Due to the lower weight, serious driving errors lead to less serious damage. The drive (motor, controller, battery) is also cheaper. The maximum achievable speeds for off-road vehicles are up to 120 km / h, and people on the Glattbahn manage to crack the 140 km / h mark in individual cases. These speeds are only possible, however, if you can fall back on a suitable brushless system and have LiPo batteries with three to four cells (11.1-14.8 volts).


The second oldest class in RC car sport is the 1:12 electric smooth track class. Due to the regulations, the models may not have an independent wheel suspension on the rear axle. The drive takes place directly from the engine to the rear axle (traditionally via a ball differential, but now more and more often via a cone differential or a rigid axle). Thanks to this “direct drive” drive, the small vehicles reach very high speeds. The so-called “Pan-Cars” usually have a pendulum axle on the rear axle, which springs and dampens the axle in the longitudinal and transverse directions. This was previously adopted by so-called "T-bars", T-shaped fiberglass or carbon tongues. For some time now, however, most pan cars have been designed with "link" axles. Here the “power pod”, i.e. the entire rear axle unit including the engine and differential, is fastened in the middle of the chassis with the help of a ball. The power pod is laterally guided on the chassis with links, i.e. tie rods or plastic parts. Link chassis require significantly less maintenance and are usually easier to set up than T-bar vehicles. The front axle may be damped via an independent wheel suspension, whereby a maximum spring travel of 15 mm measured in the center of the wheel must be observed. The first European championship 1:12 took place in 1981 and was won by the Briton Neil Francis, the first world championship followed a year later in 1982. Here the two-class system that is still valid today was introduced, according to which the field of drivers is divided into the Spec and Modified classes . In so-called spec or stock racing, certain performance-relevant components, such as motors or speed controllers, are regulated. The Spec and Stock classes were originally intended as entry-level classes. In the Modified, however, all components homologated by the umbrella organizations IFMAR , EFRA as well as the US umbrella organization ROAR (Remotely Operated Auto Racers) and the Asian FEMCA (Far East Model Car Association) may be used without engine limit or limited controller technology. German drivers were able to win many championship titles at European level, but we are still waiting for a 1:12 RC car world champion from Germany. For a long time there were almost exclusively competitor models in the 1:12 scale on the market. For some time now, some companies have been offering fun vehicles on this scale again. Above all, Tamiya and XciteRC now have even full suspension models on offer. The main advantage of these models is that they take up less space than z. B. need a 1:10 RC car to operate.


In the 1:10 class, just like in the 1: 8 class, there are all kinds of cars, buggies, flat trackers, etc.

The 1:10 class is available in two different drive types, namely with a combustion engine or an electric drive. A European Championship and World Championship take place every year. For electric cars there was an off-road European championship and a world championship in 2000; in 2006 a European and World On-Road Championship. In the same year, the 1:10 buggy off-road European championship took place on the grounds of the RMC Vienna. In 2007, the 1:10 European championship took place in Vaasa . The electric on-road European championship was held in France.

1:10 combustion engine Glattbahner

There are 3 different types of 1:10 burners. One is simply called “1:10” or “1:10 wide” and the other is called “1:10 Scale”. These models have been very popular in recent years. The competition models have all-wheel drive and a two-speed transmission. This switches depending on the speed and ensures good acceleration and a high top speed. The competition engines have a displacement of 2.11 cm³ with an output of around 1.1 kW and speeds of over 40,000 rpm. With good models, top speeds of up to 125 km / h can be achieved. In this area there are of course many fun models that are not designed for competition use. Other motors of up to 3 cm³ can also be used here. There are large quantities of bodies for this scale, but mainly touring car replicas are used.

1: 8

The models of this class are usually operated from 3.5 cm³ two-stroke engines to 4.6 cm³ engines, and four-stroke engines that were originally intended for use in model aircraft are rarely installed. The motors have up to 1.5 kW. Recently, however, models with powerful electric drives have also been used increasingly. The models are approximately 50 centimeters long. A distinction is made between on-road and off-road models.

With the right tuning parts, a smooth track (on-road) driver can achieve speeds of up to 120 km / h when racing, 100 km / h can be reached after around two seconds from a standstill. Competitive models have, for example, fully adjustable independent wheel suspension, centrifugal clutch, two-speed gearbox, disc brake with effect on the rear axle and all-wheel (belt) drive. Although a differential is permitted on the rear axle, the rear axle is driven “rigidly” in order to prevent the rear wheel on the inside of the bend from spinning due to the enormous centrifugal forces of up to 7 g.

The 1/8 on-road class is also known as the premier class of RC car sport, which is due to the technology used and the speeds that can be achieved.

Buggies (off-road) are a little slower compared to the smooth trackers. However, depending on the equipment, off-road models also have independent suspension, centrifugal clutch, up to three lockable differentials, all-wheel brake and all-wheel (cardan) drive. A two-speed transmission is usually not used. Motors up to 3.5 cm³ are approved for use in competitions. The engines produce around 1.93 kW (approx. 2.62 hp) at around 40,000 rpm. The 1: 8 scale buggy models are still very popular, so there are a lot of manufacturers and many different models.

The two racing classes are still very popular as they are two of the oldest classes on the competitive scene. The so-called rally models represent a mixture of on-road and off-road models. These are models on a scale of 1: 8, which have greater ground clearance than pure on-road riders, but not for pure off-road use are suitable. Rally models are not very widespread in Germany.

1: 6

FG Marten

Vehicles of this size can drive over larger bumps with relative ease. The rear axle is driven, but there are also some manufacturers who offer all-wheel drive models. These are also approved for racing. 23, 24, 26, 27 or 30 cm³ gasoline engines are used in the buggies. These provide around 2.2 kW (or more, depending on the engine) at a maximum speed of around 19,500 rpm.

The full tank is enough for about 45 minutes of driving time. The tank size is 700 ml. A mixture of premium gasoline and fully synthetic two-stroke oil in a ratio of 25: 1 is used for the most part.

1: 5

These vehicles are the largest remote-controlled cars. They are up to one and a half meters long and weigh 10 to 15 kg. They are powered by gasoline engines. The engines have a displacement of 23 to 30.5 cm³, with an output of 2.2 to around 4.7 hp. The tank volume is 700 ml, which is enough for a driving time of up to 30 minutes. The running of the engines is quite problem-free.

Petrol is filled with a little oil (1: 25–1: 50). Speeds of more than 120 km / h are possible depending on the model. The brakes of the models are operated with cable or hydraulics. The wheels are either braked centrally via the drive train or individually with one brake disc per wheel. The popularity of these models has increased steadily in recent years, and the size has a very positive effect on races of these models. The materials used are aluminum, CFRP and titanium, the brake systems (with hydraulics) or differentials, which can be adjusted or are self-locking, as well as the brake balance, which is set by the RC system, or the tires that have to be warmed up and with a Emergency brakes squeal, appear very real to the audience and are very popular with model makers. The only disadvantage of large models is the much higher cost (369-5000 euros).


Remote-controlled model cars are controlled via proportional , continuously variable two-channel remote controls (one channel for steering, one each for gas and brake), or with additional functions such as reverse gear for combustion engines, switchable lighting, etc. also with three or more channels.

The radio frequency used for transmission is initially determined by the transmission range (27 or 40 MHz, 2.4 GHz) and, within this range, by the "quartz", more precisely the matching pairing of a quartz on the transmitter and a quartz on the receiver to determine the exact channel. This quartz can be exchanged without any problems, which is especially important at events with several vehicles, so that two cars are never moved on the same frequency. The consequence of such overlaps is that the signals overlap and the vehicles become uncontrollable. Frequency modulation (FM) or amplitude modulation (AM) is used to modulate the 27, 35 and 40 MHz frequencies (35 MHz is reserved for model aircraft).

This now outdated MHz technology is only used sporadically in remote-controlled toy vehicles in the lowest price categories.

In the hobby sector, systems based on 2.4 GHz have been established since the 2010s (e.g. DSM, DSM II, FASST), and even inexpensive entry-level transmitters are usually equipped with this technology. The 2.4 GHz technology offers a number of advantages:

  • High freedom from interference.
  • Selects a free channel yourself. There are 79 channels available on this tape.
  • Long antennas are no longer required.
  • The radio range increases depending on the class.

A disadvantage to be mentioned is that the compatibility of the receiver with the transmitter has clearly decreased. Even receivers from one manufacturer are often only compatible with certain transmitters from the same manufacturer, but not with all transmitters from this manufacturer. Cross-manufacturer compatibility only exists in rare cases.

The counterpart to the remote control, which is available in two versions (pistol and stick remote control), is the battery-operated receiver on the car. It receives the signal and converts it for the servos and the speed controller (for electric chassis). The necessary electrical energy in the transmitter mostly comes from 4 to 8 individual, serially connected nickel-metal hydride batteries in standardized AA Mignon size, in the model mostly from special battery packs (increasingly from lithium-ion batteries ), which is also used in electric models serve as a traction battery .

Servos are there to transform the signals from the receiver into mechanical movements and to operate the steering, the carburetor slide of the combustion engine or the brake .

In electric RC cars, a stepless electronic speed controller is usually used, which is connected directly to the receiver and receives its energy from the battery pack.


Basically, a distinction is made between combustion and electric drive and between two- and four-wheel drive.

Internal combustion engine

A two-stroke glow igniter engine for car models, displacement 2.5 cm³, output 0.9 kW at 19,000 rpm. Maximum speed 34,000 / min., Height including heat sink 85 mm, total length including crankshaft end and reversing starter housing 110 mm

Combustion engines ("combustion engines") are all engines that burn a potential energy source such as gasoline (or similar) to generate the kinetic energy of the crankshaft. So-called self-igniting glow - igniter engines are mostly used up to a displacement of about 10 cm³ . For large models (1: 6, 1: 5), spark ignition engines with a displacement of 23 to 30.5 cm³ are used. The majority of model cars have cubic capacities in the range of around 2.11 to 6 cm³ for 1:10 and 1: 8 scales or 23 to 29 cm³ for 1: 6 and 1: 5 models.

These engines are manufactured as two- and four-stroke engines , whereby the four-stroke engines are mostly not used for RC cars, but only for flight and boat models. The fuel for the glow igniter engines is methanol with a variable addition of nitromethane (up to about 35%), which increases the engine's power output. However, the higher the nitromethane content, the shorter the service life of the engine, because nitromethane is the oxygen carrier in the fuel and the higher the content, the more oxygen enters the engine for combustion and the engine overheats faster and the piston jams. It is therefore very important to find the correct setting for the carburetor. If the setting is too lean, the lubrication of the engine is not guaranteed or is poorly guaranteed and sooner or later the engine breaks down. The lubrication is carried out by adding special oils. Either castor oil or synthetic oil is used here. The oil content is usually at least eight percent. A higher nitro content also has some advantages. The engine starts better and is easier to adjust. The engine also needs the nitromethane for cooling.

The so-called two-stroke mixture serves as fuel for the spark ignition engines. This consists of petrol with a high knock resistance (95–100 octane) and a special oil that mixes well with the petrol. The standard mixture is 1:25, i.e. 25 parts gasoline (4% oil) are used for one part of oil. To increase performance, the amount of oil used is reduced (1: 33–1: 50), but this reduces the service life of the engines. Model making engines (23–29 cm³) in this displacement class are originally chain saw engines, whereby these engines are converted to increase performance for model making cars and in extreme cases can reach speeds of up to 20,000 / min.

The “ready-mix” at the filling stations does not contain any oil that is designed for these speeds, so the fuel is mixed itself.

The engine is started using a cable, external or built-in electric starter, i.e. with a starter. Larger models (over 10 cm³ displacement) can be built as regular two-stroke or four-stroke petrol engines with high-voltage ignition.

The smoothness and stability of running increase with increasing displacement. Adjusting the carburetor is also less of a problem in engines with a larger displacement.

In the meantime, research into the brushless drive in electric vehicles means that the difference in performance is no longer that great. With both drive concepts, speeds of more than 100 km / h can be achieved. A lot of patience is required when adjusting the carburetor and sometimes also when starting. An internal combustion engine also requires careful maintenance and regular cleaning. Depending on the model and setting, one full tank is enough for a driving time of five minutes for a 1: 8 scale model with a 125 cm³ tank, and up to 45 minutes for a 700 ml tank with a 1: 5 tank .

Electric drive

Engine technology

Electrically powered RC cars are powered by an electric motor. The most powerful electric motors are the brushless motors ("brushless"). They make it possible to bring more power to the wheels than conventional motors. Brushless motors reach idle speeds of over 100,000 revolutions per minute.

The motor is usually controlled by an electronic speed controller. Depending on the quality and performance of the controller and the motor, continuous currents of up to 100 amperes and significantly higher short-term loads occur when accelerating and when blocking due to "accidents". Better speed controllers have, among other things, BEC (Battery Elimination Circuit; a circuit that makes a second battery pack superfluous for the receiver), EMF brakes (braking effect via the electric motor), ABS (stuttering brake similar to ABS in the "real" car) or finely adjustable Control ranges for the engine power (for example, to adapt the vehicle to a more curvy and therefore slower route).

There are electric regulators with and without a reverse function. On narrow stretches you need to drive backwards more often, controllers without this function can be uncompromisingly optimized for driving forwards. The use of reverse gear is not permitted in competitions.

One advantage of this drive system is that the electric motor always works without problems and does not have to be started or adjusted. In addition, most of these vehicles can be used in residential areas on weekends without any problems. The maintenance costs are also considerably lower than with internal combustion engines. Depending on the engine, controller, transmission and chassis, very high speeds can be achieved that are in no way inferior to combustion vehicles.

Under favorable circumstances, the vehicles can reach speeds of up to 120 km / h (the world record with a 1:10 is currently 260 km / h), their engines reach speeds of up to 100,000 / min and have an output of up to 5000 watts ( brushless motors). The motors are differentiated based on their number of windings, these range from 2.5 to 55 windings (turns). With a lower number of windings, higher motor speeds are achieved with a very strong increase in current consumption and decreasing torque; with a higher number of windings, the torque increases, the speed, the current consumption and thus the achievable speed decrease.

Energy storage

The motor receives its electricity from a battery pack , which usually consists of two to six cells, each with a nominal voltage of 3.7 volts. The cells are called S, so batteries with the designation 1S etc. are sold. LiPo batteries as an energy source are currently the most widespread and reach capacities of up to 8000 mAh for lipos with two cells. Previously used NiCd batteries are no longer sold due to insufficient capacity and hazardous substance regulations . Some Li-ion cells are unsuitable for RC model making because they do not deliver sufficient currents and are too sensitive to use compared to LiPo and NiMH batteries.

As the successor to NiMH technology, lithium polymer batteries ( Lipos ) are now available which (with the right motorization) allow longer driving times than NiMH. In addition, the weight is significantly lower. LiPo batteries do not have to be fully discharged before recharging and have a lower self-discharge than NiMH and NiCd batteries. In addition, a lithium-polymer accumulator can deliver constant continuous currents without a drop in performance. The disadvantage is the high price for suitable LiPo chargers and the additional protective measures (fire-proof charging bag) that are necessary when charging. Vehicles with LiPo batteries need a circuit that protects against total discharge (LiPo cutoff), as total discharge irreparably damages this type of battery.

Despite a somewhat lower energy density compared to lipos , lithium iron phosphate batteries are also increasingly being used in the RC area. The main advantage is the better durability (cycle stability), which increases the profitability significantly. The mechanical robustness and thermal insensitivity often outweigh the somewhat higher weight and size. In addition, these can usually be charged with a higher current and are therefore ready for use again more quickly.

Depending on the power of the motor and the battery pack, running times of 5 to 20 minutes are possible, with less motorized vehicles and brushless motors, significantly more than 20 minutes. The limited runtime as the main weak point of electric vehicles up to now is put into perspective by the high-capacity NiMH and LiPo batteries available today.

Two-wheel drive (2WD)

RC cars with 2WD (2 Wheel Drive) usually have rear-wheel drive . Front-wheel drive vehicles tend to understeer when cornering (pushing over the front wheels) and are therefore hardly common. The advantages of the 2WD drive system are the lower purchase price for corresponding vehicles and the lower susceptibility to technical problems. On the other hand, the vehicles are much more difficult to control than all-wheel drive vehicles at high speeds or off-road, especially in curves or in wet conditions. For the beginner who wants to start the hobby with a simple model, they are a very practical alternative. A disadvantage of two-wheel drive is that the wheels of the drive axle can wear out quickly when using more powerful engines.

All-wheel drive (4WD)

The all-wheel drive offers the best possible propulsion even for on-road vehicles and is indispensable off-road. Vehicles with 4WD not only have a more good-natured driving behavior, but are also much more controllable in extreme situations than 2WD cars. On the other hand, they are noticeably more expensive and require more maintenance and repairs.

There are several ways to distribute the drive energy between four wheels. In the RC car sector, the cardan drive (via a rigid shaft) and the belt drive (via a rubber toothed belt) are common. Usually a mid-engine concept (engine in front of the rear axle) is used to achieve optimal weight distribution. However, front-end engines can also be found in electric vehicles. This is mostly only the case with front-wheel drive vehicles, such as the Tamiya FF01 (engine in front of the front axle) or FF02 (engine behind the front axle).

Usually at least two differentials are used. A center differential is usually used on a scale of 1: 8 and allows, for example, different tires at the front and rear or helps to reduce the tendency to pitch up when accelerating or braking. Freewheeling, which, for example, can decouple the front wheels from the engine brake (electric motor), is even rarer.

The twin-engine cars still common in the 1980s can be found here and there. At that time, an electric motor was simply installed per axle for all-wheel drive. These vehicles had enormous propulsion, but due to the (inevitable) differences between the two engines, they were sometimes very difficult to control. In addition, this type of car is very heavy and has significantly less driving time due to the higher energy consumption. Even today there are still models with double motor drives such as e-Maxx, Wild Dagger, Double Blaze, Tamiya Super Clodbuster or E-Savage. The technology of the double motor drive is also often used in crawlers.

Chassis and wheels

The larger models (from scale 1:12) usually have independent wheel suspensions with double wishbones with struts and oil pressure shock absorbers on all wheels . Gas pressure shock absorbers can also be found in high-quality vehicles. The tires are usually made of rubber or foam rubber and are mounted on plastic rims or metal rims.

There are various tuning options for the suspension: the use of harder or softer springs, stabilizers, shock absorber oil with different viscosity, limitation of the spring travel, adjustment of toe and camber. Everything that is possible in the area of ​​large cars can, if desired, be varied with an appropriately equipped RC car.

Tires come in different hard rubber compounds, with or without a profile. The tire hardness can be varied using foam rubber inserts. For the best possible traction and high speeds, tires and rims are glued together so that there is no slippage. There are different types of tires, such as hollow chamber tires, foam rubber tires and tires with foam rubber inserts, which ensure the best grip depending on the road surface. Foam rubber tires, however, offer little grip on dusty and damp surfaces, especially when wet, the foam rubber absorbs completely. For vehicles on a scale of 1: 8, however, there are also foam rubber tires that only offer grip when they are soaked. These are therefore good to use in the rain.

Cardan and belt drive

A further distinction is made between belt and cardan drive. The cardan drive is inferior to the belt drive in terms of efficiency, but nowadays you can almost only find cardan drive vehicles because they are easier to maintain. The 1:10 class electric dragsters, which are particularly popular in America, are belt drives for competitions on the road. A belt drive is rather unsuitable for hobby and fun drivers, as it tends to be damaged by tearing. A cardan drive causes fewer problems here. In competition vehicles of the 1:10 electric touring cars, belt drives are used almost exclusively.


Modern 1:10 electric or combustion cars in the competitive segment in particular offer a wide range of setting options. The so-called set-ups can also be taken from set-up sheets that have been worked out by professional drivers for a specific vehicle and a specific route, mostly team drivers.

Set-up options:

The steering angle difference of the front wheels.
Anti-Drive (or Kickup)
The angle of the front wishbones to the chassis.
The angle of the rear wishbones to the chassis.
Shock tower
If there are different mounting holes, you can adjust the angle of the damper here and thus determine its progressivity.
Damper oil and springs
The damping characteristics of the vehicle can be changed with oil of different viscosities and with springs of different hardness.
Differential oil
The locking effect of the differential can be adjusted with differential oils of different viscosities.
The downstop limitation. The droop screws can be used to set how far the car should rebound.
Vehicle height
This parameter is set on the dampers. The optimal height of an on-road R / C car is around five millimeters above the ground, on routes with little grip you can possibly set a little more ground clearance at the rear, as this creates a suction under the car that it is practically on the corners Floor "sticks".
Spring preload
Is also adjusted on the dampers. Depending on the version, this is adjusted using clips that are attached between the spring and damper housing or using a knurled nut. This affects the ground clearance and the damper characteristics.
Describes the angle of the steering arm bracket to the roadway.
Roll center
This term describes the roll center, which is adjustable in height.
Describes the angle of the wheels to one another as seen from above. This is set via the steering linkage, various track blocks or inserts for the same.
Reduces the side inclination in the curves, through different thicknesses of wires or different attachment points.
When viewed from the front, denotes the angle between the wheels. This is adjusted via the upper wishbones.


Web links

Commons : Radio-controlled model cars  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files