Sweaty Spice, the other Spice Girl

I have become a rather avid driver of remote control cars, and have built a modest fleet, and they all are special for different reasons. But there is a “go-to” car, one that gets the nod when you head out for a day of driving. And for me, that is my Traxxas Slash Ultimate 4x4. A 4 wheel drive 1/10th short-course truck, with all the cool upgrades by default, it is a solid performer, good handling, tons of adjustability, and a quite capable vehicle.

The back story

The Traxxas Slash was originally introduced in 2008, and it has begat several variants, from 2 while drive, 4 wheel drive, brushed, brushless, high center of gravity, low center of gravity, as well as combinations of different “upgrades” or trim packages.

It has also spawned the phenomena of short course racing, and slash “spec” class racing where all drivers must keep their vehicles in stock condition (you can change geometries of suspension, dampener fluids, and springs) that has led to an explosion of racers entering the sport.

In the aftermarket, Traxxas themselves market a broad pallet of goodies to customize and upgrade the Slash to meet any fancy that you might have. Don’t like the 14mm wheel hexes because that limits your wheel/tire option? You can grab 17mm hexes as an upgrade.

Want to ditch the slipper clutch, and add a true center differential? No problem, and in fact the racers recommend it.

The Slash is an outstanding platform if you want to build a drag racer, or an oval dirt track racer, or “Monster” it with some bigger Pro-Line wheels and tires. Or make a Baja Bug. Or build a speed demon. All of these are possible and easy to build. Hell, Traxxas even has tutorials on their website to help jog the creative juices.

And the aftermarket is enormous. 13 years of it being at or near the top of the sales numbers, there are a lot of Slash’s in circulation.

Why I like it

Under the covers

It is just a solid platform. It is well built. It is tough. I have hit curbs at near full speed without any bad effects. On 3S, with the stock gearing, I get a solid 55 MPH out of it, plenty of go.

It handles well, and with the TSM, it performs well in many conditions, from loose gravel, to asphalt, to powdery dirt, it just goes.

It isn’t too big, it isn’t too small. The batteries are inexpensive-ish, and I am using some Banggood specials. On a 6000mAh battery, I get a solid 25 minutes of heavy trigger driving. Plenty of run time.

It jumps well, is very neutral in the air, and the Ultimate comes with some great upgrades that range from outstanding, to nice, to superfluous. Outstanding is the GTR shocks. A huge upgrade over the ultras. Additionally it comes with the optional low center of gravity chassis that greatly helps the handling.

The nice is the aluminum wheel carriers, and drive shaft. Not essential, but I probably would have sported for them.

Blue GTR shocks and wheel carrier goodness

The superfluous is the telemetry package with the bluetooth link. Fun, and it is kinda cool to monitor speeds, voltages, and temperatures. I wouldn’t have spent this money, but because it is there, I use it.

Maintenance wise, it is very modular, and while some people complain about the plastic components, I prefer them. They are flexible, and the nylon reinforced polypropylene is quite tough. When/if I break the A arms, I will upgrade to the RPM aftermarket items. But in 4 months, and a few dozen hard driving sessions they have yet to give up the ghost.

Final Thoughts

I have several RC cars, from the mighty X-Maxx, to the Losi Super Baja Rey, and my first, a Losi 8ight 8th scale buggy. All of them are great in their own way, but when I have an hour to spare, the Slash is what I grab. It is fast enough, sturdy, good handling, and a sure bet to give me an ear-to-ear grin.

One day, I will buy a Fox painted body for it to sport while on the shelf. The only cosmetic upgrade I am considering.

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