A Li-Polymer battery with a hard case is most popular for RC cars, with the most common voltages being 7.4 V or 11.1 V. For nitro-powered vehicles, a glow plug heater and fuel are needed to start the engine, as well as 4 AA size batteries, or a rechargeable 6-volt 5-cell battery pack to power the onboard electronics.
It’s much easier than you think to find yourself involved in the radio control car hobby! Many people have R/C cars as children but give up the hobby as they get older. Now’s the time to remember how much fun it all was!
Probably the most popular Radio Control models are radio control cars, also known as R/C cars or RC cars. These range from the types of cars you see in toy and electronics stores to the types of cars that companies like HPI Racing offers. R/C cars can be off-road buggies, trucks, monster trucks, cars, street trucks and much more.
Radio control cars come in two basic forms: “toy” style cars or trucks that are advertised during cartoon shows on television and sold at electronics and toy stores, and the “kit” type cars or trucks that are sold only at specialized hobby shops or mail-order companies and are available as a build-it-yourself kit or “Ready To Run”. Toy-style cars are often advertised as “remote control”, while hobbyists refer to kit-style cars as “radio control”.
HPI specializes in the kit-type R/C car or truck, which can come assembled or in kit form, meaning you build it yourself or with a friend. While the kit R/C cars and trucks cost more at first, they are more durable and faster than toy R/C cars. You can also repair this type of R/C car or truck, which is usually impossible or very difficult to do with toy R/C cars. The cost to repair a car or truck is only a fraction of the cost it would take to send a toy-style kit to its manufacturer (if that is even possible). You can also upgrade an R/C car or truck to make it faster, stronger, more durable, more adjustable or just make it look nicer. All HPI R/C car and truck kits have optional bodies that you can replace whenever you want, meaning while you may have a street car today, you can have a street truck tomorrow, or a sedan, racing coupe, sports car, or nearly any other type of car you desire!
*One of our most popular types of kits are the truck kits, which can run just about anywhere, taking jumps, dips, bumps and more! Because of large rubber tires and long shock absorbers, these trucks can run on dirt, grass, the street and almost any type of surface. These kits are equipped with ‘Nitro’ engines, which use real fuel, make lots of noise and put out real exhaust smoke! HPI also offers all of our Nitro-powered trucks in RTR versions, which means you don’t have to build anything at all. We have nimble and fast electric 2WD trucks, 4WD trucks and massive monster trucks in both electric and Nitro versions! The Savage line of trucks has been hugely popular since its introduction several years ago, and are worth looking at for their legendary toughness and tremendous speeds!
Also very popular are the HPI Nitro series of cars, which feature similar engines as our trucks, real rubber street tires, four-wheel drive for stability and real working shock absorbers! These are just a few features of these exciting cars and only part of what make these kits extremely popular. These kits are perfect for teaching children about real cars, as well as other R/C hobby techniques like teamwork, communication and more. The “RTR” version of our famous Nitro RS4 is built out of the box, while the extra-powerful Nitro RS4 3 18SS+ arrives in kit form so you can have the fun of building the car yourself.
The electric-powered versions of our “on-road” cars run on batteries and electric motors, and are slightly easier to build and maintain than the Nitro versions. Quiet and easy to maintain, electric cars are very popular where hobbyists can only drive indoors.
This is one of the first questions that R/C newcomers ask anyone in a hobby shop or internet forum. There are many things to consider, such as what areas you can run the car or truck in, how much time you can spend working on the car or truck, etc. You will have lots of fun looking at all the different kits HPI has to offer, though!
We’ve split up the decision-making process with these three questions: Should I get an on-road or off-road kit, Should I get a Nitro or electric kit, and Should I get an RTR kit or a kit I have to build? Read our responses to these questions and see what type of kit suits you best.
Should I get an on-road or off-road kit?
On-road kits can hit high speeds and they look like the cars you see on racetracks and streets around the world. With four-wheel drive (4WD), they are easy to drive and you can get realistic treaded tires and bodies for scale realism. However, driving off your curb or over holes in the road is not what these are designed to do. HPI offers on-road kits in both electric and Nitro versions, in various sizes, so it’s easy to find something that fits your situation.
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