10 Best RC Cars | December 2016

10 Best RC Cars
Best Mid-Range
★★★★
Best High-End
★★★
Best Inexpensive
★★★
We spent 29 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. It's hard to categorize these remote control cars as toys when they can fly at over 40 miles per hour (which is faster than your granddad ever goes in his full-size vehicle). So if you're looking for some high-speed fun, check out these RC models that allow you to drift as if you are most definitely too fast and too furious. Skip to the best rc car on Amazon.
10
The Holy Stone Lamborghini Veneno is controlled via a gravity sensor joystick that is easy for kids to control, yet it is still incredibly responsive. It also makes cool engine sounds, but the control range is limited, at just 30 meters.
  • has working gullwing doors
  • 25 minutes continuous driving time
  • comes with an extra battery
Brand Holy Stone
Model pending
Weight 3.9 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
9
The Midea Tech Lamborghini Sesto Elemento boasts a fully-independent spring suspension system, adjustable front-wheel alignment, and incredibly detailed interior. It also features working headlights and taillights, and has a Lamborghini logo on the controller.
  • glossy exterior paint job
  • sleek and stylish design
  • body isn't very durable
Brand Midea Tech
Model 49200GREY
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
8
The SXJJX RC Rock has an independent suspension system that gives it more flexibility to adapt to rough terrain. The rubber tires have a high degree of traction on all types of surfaces, and it features four-wheel drive to tackle loose dirt and inclines.
  • easy to keep it under control
  • fully charges in just two hours
  • too low for serious rock climbing
Brand JJX-TECH
Model JJXTECH10000010-2
Weight 6 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
7
The HOSIM Foxx S911 Monster Truck has a wide stance, giving it a lower center of gravity. This allows it to tightly hug the terrain as you crawl over rocks and other obstacles, reducing the chance of it flipping over. It also features tires with a deep tread.
  • 100 meter remote control distance
  • ideal for offroad racing
  • battery doesn't last very long
Brand Hosim
Model pending
Weight 4.1 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0
6
The Redcat Racing EPX is designed for drifting around turns, allowing you to ride the line between control and chaos. It features a 27T 540 brushed motor and special RC drift tires, making it capable of sliding around turns without losing forward momentum.
  • cool redcat racing logo and stickers
  • vivid polycarbonate body
  • fragile rims may break in a crash
Brand Redcat Racing
Model LIGHTNINGEP-DRIFT-BL103
Weight 6.6 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
5
The Vaterra Ford Mustang V100-S comes to you completely assembled and ready to run with its officially licensed body already in place. Its strong Dynamite power system and 4WD deliver an elegant balance of speed, control, and traction on almost all types of terrain.
  • low-profile tires on 54 mm wheels
  • car has sealed differentials
  • looks exactly like the real thing
Brand VATERRA
Model VTR03054
Weight 8.7 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
4
The TOZO C5032 Warhammer has a cool, aggressive look and two realistic figures in the cab; a race car driver and navigator. It uses anti-interference technology, so it can be used with several other RC cars without the worry of losing control.
  • three stage differential gears
  • independent shockproof system
  • available in black or grey
Brand TOZO
Model pending
Weight 6 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
3
The Traxxas Rustler has racing tires in the front, for fast and smooth rides, and knobbly tires on the back, to improve its traction. Its Titan 12 turn 550 motor is capable of reaching speeds over 35 MPH, and it features heavy duty suspension.
  • eye-catching 6-color prographix body
  • torque-control slipper clutch
  • hardened steel gears
Brand Traxxas
Model 37051-1
Weight 7.6 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0
2
The Babrit Rock Crawler is a 1/12 scale dune buggy that can reach speeds of up to 15 MPH, even on rocky terrain. Its quality suspension keeps it stable on the ground, and the thick treads on the tires reduce skidding and slippage during high speed turns.
  • trigger remote control
  • very responsive steering
  • quick acceleration
Brand Babrit
Model pending
Weight 3.6 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0
1
The Redcat Racing Lightning EPX Pro has been constructed with soft compound racing tires, a high-speed electric brushless motor, and a brightly-colored polycarbonate body to provide style, precision steering and excitement on the racetrack.
  • suspension is easy to adjust
  • lightweight plastic chassis
  • aluminum capped oil filled shocks
Brand Redcat Racing
Model LIGHTNINGEPPRO-94103PRO
Weight 7.1 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

Off To The Races

We satisfy our need for speed in a number of ways. Running satisfies it to some extent, but it requires a transcendence above the limited means of the human body and an exploitation of our mind's ability to use tools and create machines to give us the rush we've come to desire. From the bicycle at is simplest to the 2,193.2 mph-record-holding SR-71 Blackbird, humans search high and low for our fast fix.

One of the great things about the experience of speed is that we can empathize with it. How does that work? Well, if a chef were to pick up a pepper, her brain would, among many other things, emit specific mu waves associated with voluntary motion. The sous chef sees her action, and he, too, emits the same pattern of mu waves, even though his hands are empty.

This is a measurable human sympathetic response, and the same thing occurs when we see a NASCAR race or watch a NASA rocket launch. In the case of these RC cars, our pleasure is only exacerbated by our control over their speed and their handling. Our brains actually experience the cars as though we're driving them.

On a technical level, these cars operate with an array of potential power systems. The cars on this list all run on different rechargeable batteries, while other RC vehicles run on oil mixtures not unlike what you might find in a lawnmower.

The RC itself stands for Radio Controlled, and each of these vehicles comes with a unique radio controller that emits a 2.4 GHz frequency signal across which you convey your intentions to a receiver in the car that's connected both to the engine and the steering system.

Form And Function Both Go Fast

At first glance, even if they are a little bigger than the RC units you might find for a handful of dollars at a toy store, there isn't much about these RC cars that screams their superiority. The price tags on some of them will certainly do that for you, but there are some incredibly good cars on this list for a fraction of the cost of our top-rated RC vehicles.

The range in price is so broad in this category, that it's liable to be the first thing that places you in a certain bracket. What I'd like to do, however, is to talk about these cars as though money were no object, which will give you the most honest appraisal of each racer's appeal.

Disregarding cost for a moment, you can ask yourself what it is you'd really like to do with your RC car. If you're looking to race competitively, even in a friendly fashion, you'll want to figure out the balance between speed and handling that suits your racing style the best.

I remember, playing racing video games growing up in the arcade, I could always beat a kid who raced with the fastest car on the selection screen if I chose a slightly slower model that had much better handling. Even with a straightaway at the end of the course, I'd have gained enough ground on him to box him out completely in the final leg.

There's the potential to treat these cars as collectables, as well, especially the models that are scale replicas of cars you'd see out in the real world. They're often well-equipped for racing on track and terrain, but their manufacturers derive some of their pricing policy from the potential for resale down the line, should you keep it in mint condition.

Ask yourself if you actually want to take this thing out of the box and use it, and, if you do, over what kind of terrain you want to take it. Are you track racing? Are you running a miniature version of a rally race? Once you get a handle on your intention, you can look back over the price options among what's left to you, and make an informed and exciting decision.

A Race Against Time

Although RC boats and other vehicles have been around since Nikola Tesla first demonstrated radio control in 1898, it wasn't until the 1960s that the nuances of radio control would be articulate enough to control an RC car. The problem was that radio signals before then were more or less binary, limiting operators to forward, reverse, left, right, stop, and go, with no touch between anything.

The development of what's called proportional radio control gave manufacturers the last tool they needed to create an RC car that could actually provide its user with a driving experience.

With this new technology in hand, the earliest RC cars on the market came from an Italian company back in 1966. They were 1:12 scale replicas of the Ferrari 250LM, and by December of that year, they were available as far off as the UK. The company followed the success of their first Ferrari replica with a 1:10 scale version of Ferrari's P4.

The 1970s saw an enormous growth in RC car associations, both for the purposes of racing the cars and of building them from scratch or modifying existing models. Those organizations persist today, even if the popularity of the cars hasn't been able to regain the heights it once reached.



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Last updated on December 15, 2016 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.


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