This blog was updated in February of 2023
There’s an old saying that “All marketers are liars.”
And, while we don’t believe that to be true, we all know that there is a tendency for marketers to exaggerate.
This begs the question then, is the Traxxas XO-1 really the fastest radio control car in the world?
That’s the bold claim on their website:
The World’s Fastest RC Car
0-100mph in under 5 seconds!
They go on to describe its many high-speed features and point out its capabilities,
“0-60 in 2.3 seconds. 0-100 in 4.92 seconds. Top speed over 100mph! Simply put, the XO-1 is the most extreme Ready-To-Race® radio-controlled supercar in the world.”
That sounds hyper-impressive and the fact that this speed monster is ready to go right out of the box is impressive as well. But has anyone tested the Traxxas claim that the XO-1 truly is the “World’s Fastest RC Car?”
Turns out that the venerable automotive magazine icon, Car and Driver, took the XO-1 out for a spin!
High Speeds and a Scaled-Down Platform Means “Hang On!”
After comparing the opportunity to test drive the XO-1 to being the next-best-thing to testing out a Bugatti Veyron, the authors state,
“Traxxas claims its all-wheel-drive XO-1 is the world’s fastest ready-to-run, electric RC supercar. It says the XO-1 can hit 60 mph in 2.3 seconds and exceed 100 mph. We figured we should see about that.”
At more than two feet long and nearly a foot wide, the 1/7-scale XO-1 weighs in at a hefty 13 pounds. But, while this might seem like a substantially sized RC vehicle to manage at speeds approaching triple digits, it can be challenging.
In fact, the Car and Driver authors point out that,
“The car needs fully charged batteries and most of its 1376-foot radio range to reach triple digits, at which point it’s a mere speck hurtling toward the horizon.”
Their final verdict concerning the “fastest RC car in the world” claim? Their Car and Driver test result came in at zero to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds with a top speed (redline limited) of 101 mph!
True to form, the Traxxas XO-1 established additional “street cred” with an impressive showing for Car and Driver magazine.
And they are not a lone voice when it comes to proving out the Traxxas fastest car claim.
The staff at RC Driver ran an exhaustive review and testing of the XO-1 a while back and were more than impressed by its quality, handling, and – or course – its out-and-out speed,
“Even with the standard gearing set installed, the car has such brutal acceleration I half expected to see the tires burning after each pass. While it is no secret that the XO-1 is in fact capable of 100 mph (check YouTube if you still don’t believe it), I wanted to find out more about how the TSM system helps me handle the power on less than ideal conditions (something I would expect most users will end up running their XO-1 on as well). It is important to note that although you may not have a full-fledged on-road course to use, a large area like an empty parking lot is necessary because you will run out of real estate really quickly.”
Keep Your Eyes on the Road, Your Hands Upon the 2-Channel Transmitter
With apologies to the Doors, the speed that can be achieved with the XO-1 almost requires the addition of the Traxxas Stability Management® (TSM) system. At extreme speeds, even the smoothest road surface can be somewhat treacherous for this speed demon!
The TSM system makes it much easier to control the XO-1 on typical slippery surfaces such as dusty asphalt, smooth concrete, and even ice and snow. According to Traxxas, the TSM system senses the vehicle’s direction and makes steering corrections to help you maintain “straight-ahead full-throttle acceleration without fishtailing, spinouts, and loss of control.”
The system also helps while cornering by making intuitive corrections and then allowing full-throttle earlier in the turn for much faster exit speeds. In addition, the trademarked stability management system improves braking by helping to keep the car straight through to a complete stop.
While this particular RC car has been modified by individuals who have allegedly achieved speeds even beyond 101mph, suffice it to say that the Traxxas XO-1 is indeed, “The Fastest RC Car in the World!”
In the World of Radio Control Cars, Speed is Relative
While the Traxxas XO-1 may, in fact, be the fastest radio control car available to consumers today, it is by no means the only “fast” RC vehicle out there.
Also, there is something known as “scale speed.”
Scale speed is calculated based on the speed at which a particular RC car can travel in relation to the actual size car it represents. In other words, if your RC car is a 1:10 scale model – a car that is only one-tenth the size of the real thing – its scale speed will be 1/10th of the speed of the full-size version.
A common example of this phenomenon is a 1:8 scale RC car or truck that boasts an impressive scale speed of 110 mph. The actual, or “real”, speed will be around 13 to 14 mph. While that may not seem particularly fast, keep in mind that the average 12-year-old can only run about 7 miles an hour at full speed.
Smaller scale RC vehicles, such as the 1/10 scale ARRMA® GRANITE™ 4X4 MEGA 550 RTR monster truck, with a scale speed of 30 mph, has an actual speed of about 9 mph. There’s a bit of difference between “30” mph and a real speed of just 8 or 9 mph, even though that’s still faster than most kids can run!
Actual size often makes a difference in actual speed, as well.
Generally, larger RC cars (and trucks) tend to accelerate a bit slower and often do not attain as high of real, or actual, speed as the more nimble and lightweight RC vehicles. And keep in mind that scale can create an illusion of speed, as well. Smaller cars can seem to be moving faster than those that are perhaps twice as large.
So, how fast is “fast”?
Aside from the Traxxas XO-1 showcased in this article, many hobby RC cars can be clocked at real speeds of up to 70 mph on a police radar gun, according to some sources. And there are even modified RC dragsters, for example, that can easily top 100 miles per hour.
However, cars that can attain speeds well above, say 50 or 60 mph, are not usually capable of doing so right out of the box and must be manually modified in order to achieve lighting speeds.
But are there other really fast RC cars that come that way right from the store?
Fast, Faster, and Super-Fast: RC Cars Built for Speed
As we’ve noted earlier, when it comes to RC cars speed is relative. And in more than one way.
What some may consider fast others may regard as merely average. So, what is the average speed of most RC cars right out of the box?
According to one article,
“The ‘average’ speed of an RC car is determined entirely by its components. Most of the fast cars we tested have an average speed around 50 MPH. Ultimately, an RC car with no modifications will have a different (and probably lower) speed than an RC car that is heavily modified.”
The same article, however, points out that most unmodified RC cars – those that have not been altered or upgraded – are not particularly fast. In fact, depending on the size, most standard RC cars off the shelf can only reach speeds of between 5 to 30 mph. This is for real, or actual, speed.
But there are standard cars designed for serious RC enthusiasts that can reach speeds of between 50 to 70 mph. And many of these cars are often modified and upgraded by their owners to make them even faster.
Interestingly, while most people may think of race cars and dragsters when talking about speed, in the RC world even monster trucks can reach screaming speeds – both real and scale!
Here’s a few “runner ups” in the race for the fastest RC cars.
Some Top Contenders for the Fastest RC Cars in the World
The Traxxas X-Maxx 8S 4WD Brushless Monster Truck
This beast of a truck can reach 50+ mph when equipped with two 4s LiPo batteries and optional gearing. At almost 30 inches long and with a 4 inch clearance, this 4X4 monster can tackle just about any terrain – and with impressive speed.
The Traxxas Rustler® 4X4 VXL 1/10th Scale Stadium Truck
Probably the best-selling Rustler in the Traxxas line of RC trucks, this rugged 4-wheel drive stadium truck offers a wide range of options for “upscaling” its performance and capabilities. In fact, according to the manufacturer, the available selection of batteries and pinion/spur gear for the Rustler® 4X4 VXL can allow for speeds from just over 30 mph to more than 65 mph for the experienced hobbyists.
The KRATON™ 4X4 4WD 6S BLX Brushless 1/8th Scale Speed Monster Truck
Not only is this speed monster truck almost two feet long and over a foot and half wide, it can reach mind-numbing speeds of over 60 miles per hour right out of the box! Driving the KRATON™ Speed Monster Truck means blasting over asphalt, dirt, and grass – and at incredible speeds.
And, just for fun, there are some other “not-so-fast” RC vehicles that might surprise you…
The 1967 Chevrolet C10 1/24th Scale 4WD Brushed Rock Crawler
At just over four inches high and almost eight and half inches long, this 1/24th scale rock crawler is incredibly detailed and fun to drive. Equipped with an AX-4 transmitter that features a throttle trim knob for low, medium, and high speed settings. While not incredibly fast, it is still a cool looking truck and a great performer even on a much smaller scale. The Axial 1967 Chevrolet C10 Truck won’t break the bank and it won’t get away from you but will provide hours of all-terrain fun!
The U.S M26 Pershing STD 1/30th Scale RC Tank V6.0
At just 9.25” long, by 4.7” wide and only 3.7” tall, this mighty-mini 1/30th scale M26 Pershing RC tank is a bundle of crawling fun. It features simulated motor start-up sound, engine and cannon sounds, and even recoil action when you fire its infrared shooting system for tank fighting without air soft projectiles. Is it fast? Not so much. But it’s a ton of fun!
Fast or Slow, and All Speeds in Between: Find an RC Toy for Your Budget and Style!
Whether you want blazing fast or slow but unstoppable, at Fundemonium we’re sure to have an RC car or truck to fit your style and your budget.
We love to provide fun: whether that’s through building things, playing games, or racing model cars, fun comes in a variety of flavors! And, at Fundemonium, we’re much more than just a toy, hobby, and game store. Fundemonium is a “family fun experience”. We are a place where families and hobby enthusiasts of all ages can meet and play.
Fundemonium offers a safe and friendly space where adults and children of all ages can experience creative fun. People can shop for a great selection of toys, games, and hobbies for the entire family. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff is committed to helping you have fun.
We do our best to quickly respond to inquiries about remote control cars (and trucks and planes!) through our website.
You can also find an answer to your question by calling us, as well.
If you’d like to speak directly with one of our Fundemoniacs during our business hours, you can call us at (707) 540-0701.