Have you ever seen something mild mannered and easy to control, and still have the potential to change into a blood stirring 4 wheel drive bullet? For some weeks now I have been test driving, or shall we say, remote controlling, a HSP 4 wheel drive buggy that has it all. It’s a 2010 model brushless Pro version with a huge 7.2v 3300 kv motor with an ESC rated for 12 volts, with grippy tyres and a 27 mhz transmitter, 7.2 NH MH 2000 mAh battery.
It’s all good to go, even the charger is included and the whole lot has been supplied to us for review by www.rchobbyestore.com.au - a local Australian store.
The buggy’s recommended purchasing price is listed at $699 AUD, however the sale price is significantly less than that at RC Hobby Estore. We are aware of this as we purchased this one tenth scale buggy prior to the company providing us with one to see how it lasted under severe treatment. We are pleased to state that whilst we have driven into all sorts of obstacles ranging from flower pots to walls, we have usually been able to simply re-straighten the bent shock absorber, shock mount or axles etc to make it driveable once again.
We have found this to be excellent which just as well because we have treated it rather harshly.
This little 1/10 scale electric buggy has it all:
• Adjustable shocks
• Upgradeable parts
• Good gearing (Seems about 70 kms)
• Good strong chassis
• 4 wheel drive
• Independent suspension system
• Absolutely staggering brakes capability
• Unbelievable 4 wheel spinning pick up
• Impact absorbing bumper to reduce damage
• Exemplary build quality, good enough to withstand huge power upgrades
Upgrades & Parts
All sorts of replacement parts are available and we actually tested the site to see how we were received. Incidentally, we went through a set of 4 tyres in four weeks and if we had been on bitumen all the time we could have worn them out a lot earlier. Oh, but what fun it was!
We looked in the supplied parts book for the part numbers and decided to get some new boots. We then went on line to order a replacement body shell (just ‘coz we could) and a set of 4 wheels and tyres – no problems whatsoever on either and they are on their way.
Whilst all ordering is done on line, we were absolutely rapt that a help phone number was provided (not many companies do that). Instant answering by a squad of extremely helpful ladies, for whom nothing is too much trouble. Thus we have ranked the after sale service as one of the highest we had ever dealt with.
A well made and normal configured transmitter unit, set up for easy operation with many trim adjustments. We did experience some minor problems with the 27 mgz Tx system when we raced with friends, but this is normal for this band width and is no reflection upon the product. We overcame it by changing the crystals which were readily available from their store.
The control of the electric buggy by the TX could not be faulted and also the way and ease in which the buggy stops is little short of “jaw dropping”.
The staggering 4 wheel spinning acceleration rate is all dependent upon motor, Esc and battery. If these are all maximised, you will get mind blowing performance. The standard HSP electric buggy comes with a top of the line 2010 model 7.2v brushless motor and 12 volt rated ESC with the battery (NiMH 2000 Mhr) being the weakest link in the chain. This is impressive as the battery is the easiest item to upgrade. Now, whilst the performance capability is excellent even on the NiMh batteries, these buggies are ONLY hampered by the lower amp discharge burst of this type of battery. But guess what! These electric buggies are LiPo battery ready which means everything. A normal NiMh battery will put out a reasonable amount of power but their drop-off rate is very fast and charging rate is slow. The LiPo battery, on the other hand, has far higher burst or continuous discharge performance and yet it can also be recharged quickly.
As an exercise, after much research we found a battery supplier that had an extremely high capacity battery with a very high burst rate and yet fitted into the battery cradle with the wires coming out in the right direction and still only required a minimum of filing of the battery retainer pegs as the modification. To save you lengthy and costly research, the product description is as follows:
These batteries are the manufactured by Intellect, distributed by HEI International Pty Ltd and are available at most local hobby stores. They are a LiPo HEI 5600 mAh, with a continuous discharge capability of 50C. Product no. INTL 5600-2s-W5 (side outlet wires) and readily available from most local hobby shops for approximately $180 AUD.
This battery will provide mind blowing pick up run after run and unlike the NiMH, which steeply drops off with each subsequent long run, this LiPo will continue to give the same acceleration run times until it will suddenly drop off when it is approx 70% flattened (25 - 30 min at heavy accelerations). The battery can then be charged at a rate of 5.6 amps/hr until recharged (approx 42 minutes). Such is the power with this battery that the buggy simply “goes mental” - spinning all four wheels on ANY surface for a considerable distance, which can make it unmanageable if you don’t back the power off.
We attached a small GPS logger to the Buggy and have given you the readings after downloading to the Laptop. These are the readings over three 32 metre length passes on each of the full batteries. We had 10 metres of concrete first which then went to grass for another 22 metres. Best speed was attained at 46 km/hour (at the 32m mark) with the Li Po, (34 kph with NIMH) given that the LiPo resulted in a tremendous amount of wheel spin (as we did not have traction control) etc, we felt that this was a good effort. See the pictures above to show the wheel spin differences on wet beach sand.
It is commendable that this HSP electric buggy, at an approximate retail cost of $187 AUD, didn’t seem to want to die. The fact that it has remained reliable with neither mechanical nor electrical failures whilst pouring in this amount of an awesome powered upgrade, is simply amazing. We believe anyone who purchased these electric buggies would be enormously impressed with the “value for money” and warn the kids that they may find Dad itching to have a turn.