Radio controlled car also known as RC car is either powered by an electric motor or a fuel-injected engine. A nitro RC car is non-electric in nature and utilizes glow-engines powered by a methanol based fuel that contains nitromethane. This is why they are also referred to as nitro RC cars.
Nitro RC cars are closer to the real life cars. When it comes to their repairs and maintenance, they require more time, concentration, expertise, money and dedication. However, they also tend to provide that extra degree of entertainment and satisfaction that is sought after by the drone enthusiasts. They are fast, reliable and conserve energy more than their electric counterparts.
If you are planning to purchase a top quality nitro RC car, then this post will provide you detailed information regarding the 7 best nitro RC cars around.
1 – Losi K&N DBXL 1:5 4WD RC Gas Buggy
The Losi K&N DBXL 1:5 4WD RC Gas Buggy is one of the leading cars in this category that is extremely popular among fans and packs a power punch. It is an ideal vehicle for tackling difficult terrains such as rocky areas and sandy deserts because of its stability and top quality performance characteristics.
The Losi K&N DBXL 1:5 4WD RC Gas Buggy is suitable for conquering the turmoil of off-road driving and harsh terrains owing to its 4 wheel drivetrain, injection molded roll cage and 4mm aluminum chassis. The beast of a truck is also designed with a licensed K&N body on the exterior and a genuine K&N air filter in the interior. The car includes a 23cc nitro gasoline engine that is one of the best in the business. The gas tank provides almost 40 minutes of non-stop entertainment to the drivers.
- Suitable for harsh terrains
- Reliable gas tank
- Eye-catching styling
- Engine makes a lot of noise
The Losi K&N DBXL 1:5 4WD RC Gas Buggy is loaded with tons of attractive features that render it one of the best nitro RC cars around. It is safe and provides bundles of entertainment as it enables the drivers to conquer the rigors of rough terrains with seamless ease and without having to worry about running out of gas.
2 – Kyosho 33201B FW-06 Audi R8 Nitro RC Car
The Kyosho 33201B FW-06 Audi R8 Nitro RC Car is a 1/10 scale model that comes in ready to run packaging and does not require any assembly. It was originally built for shaft-driven competition while its nitro RC version merges all the fantastic features of the previous Kyosho models rendering it as a well-endowed, fine-tuned and top quality nitro RC cars to have hits the shelves in a long time.
The Kyosho 33201B FW-06 Audi R8 Nitro RC Car is an ideal choice for racing as well as touring as it comes with a sturdy and low-maintenance shaft-driven 4 wheel drive system that was especially designed to sustain the complexities and demands of World Championship racecar competition. The vehicle includes a 2.4GHz radio controller and nitro-powered engine that is easy to start, turn and furnishes tremendous power. Boasting a clutch-type automatic shifting mechanism along with two-speed transmission, the Kyosho 33201B FW-06 Audi R8 Nitro RC Car lets the driver carry out frequency shifts that are smooth, flawless and reliable. This is a better of option for racers who drive on race courses as opposed to those who race across rough terrains. Moreover, if you are impressed by top brands, then Kyosho is the name to go for!
- Brilliant design
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Top quality features
- Excellent for racing on race tracks
- Not suitable for racing across harsh terrains
The Kyosho 33201B FW-06 Audi R8 Nitro RC Car is not a nitro RC car that is suitable for tackling harsh and rugged terrains. However, it is an ideal vehicle if you want to race on race courses. It is a nice blend of the scintillating features of its predecessors and is a nice car to be a member of your growing fleet of nitro RC cars.
3 – Redcat Racing Aftershock 3.5 RC Desert Truck
The Redcat Racing Aftershock 3.5 RC Desert Truck is a reasonably priced nitro-powered RC truck that provides an exhilarating driving experience through the stunning desert landscapes. This is part of the Redcat’s popular UltraLife series and comes equipped with a 3.5cc, 21 big block engine that furnishes tremendous amount of power for massive acceleration and a beautifully engineered composite disc brake that ensures safe maneuvering of the desert truck.
It is loaded with a couple of enclosed differentials, customizable suspension, oil filled customizable shocks, a super-crazy and environment-friendly nitro powered gas engine, sway bars at the front and the rear and two speed automatic transmission. The two speed automatic transmission feature enables the Redcat Racing Aftershock 3.5 RC Desert Truck to boast low end power for rapid off-the-line acceleration and high speeds.
Even the automatic transmission is configurable so that the drive can tailor the tune shifting as and when required. Moreover, the 2.4GHz radio controller and brakes provide additional control and safety to the vehicle. [Currently this product is out of stock]
- Suitable for driving through the desert
- Customizable automatic transmissions
- Easy maneuvering
- Not suitable to terrains other than desert
The Redcat Racing Aftershock 3.5 RC Desert Truck is another phenomenal nitro RC car that prioritizes safety without compromising on speed and the fun element associated with RC cars. It is a great vehicle for a drive through the deserts.
4 – Traxxas Jato 3.3: Nitro-Powered 2WD Stadium Truck
The Traxxas Jato 3.3: Nitro-Powered 2WD Stadium Truck is equipped with 2.4GHz TQi Radio and Traxxas Stability Management System. This is a fabulous blend of the high powered TRX 3.3 Racing Engine and the stunning Traxxas Jato, a 1/10 scale model vehicle. It is a super-fast machine that is a sure head-turner. Boasting mind-blowing acceleration with top speed propel Jato performance which is an astounding power-packed blend of mind-numbing exhilaration whether off-road or on-road.
The Traxxas Jato 3.3: Nitro-Powered 2WD Stadium Truck comes with TQi 2.3GHz radio system that is integrated with a stock telemetry sensor, a powerful nitro-gas fueled TRX 3.3 racing engine, a blue anodized and aluminum-tuned resonator pipe, front and rear sway bars for enhanced drive steadiness, asphalt-hugging performance tires, a compulsory wheelie bar, belligerent body decals and styling and a 2 ampere DC peak detecting charger. The Traxxas Jato 3.3: Nitro-Powered 2WD Stadium Truck reaches 0 to 60 mph in less than 4.2 seconds and boasts an optimum speed limit of 65 miles per hour.
- Suitable for harsh terrains
- Not particularly safe
- Low control and stability
Despite the fact that the Traxxas Jato 3.3: Nitro-Powered 2WD Stadium Truck does not invoke a lot of safety and security mechanisms but still it is loaded with TQi 2.4GHz radio system and TRX 3.3 racing engine which render this device an astonishing vehicle that promises to provide a lot of thrill and excitement in addition to speed.
5 – Redcat Racing Avalanche XTR Monster Truck Nitro
The Redcat Racing Avalanche XTR Monster Truck Nitro is another marvelous nitro-powered monster truck by Redcat that is an excellent option if you want to conquer rough, harsh and snow-clad terrains with minimum possible fuss. Equipped with 2.4GHz radio system and a 4.5cc, .28 SH big block engine, it is a perfect recipe for incredible speed and acceleration as you cruise through seemingly insurmountable terrains and landscapes.
Loaded with an especially engineered composite dual disc brake, the Redcat Racing Avalanche XTR Monster Truck Nitro provides the drivers absolute control over their vehicle. Ensuring power and reliability, the Redcat Racing Avalanche XTR Monster Truck Nitro is fitted with three enclosed differentials, customizable suspension, aluminum body oil-filled customizable shocks, stunning nitro-fuelled engine and sway bars at the front and the rear. The subtly tread designed tires provide fantastic grip on dirt, grass, pavements and even other monster trucks. These features make it a must-have device if you are yearning to participate in competitions and trample your opponents with sheer power and speed.
- Suitable for rocky and mountainous terrains
- Low speed
- Not suitable for terrains other than mountainous ones
The Redcat Racing Avalanche XTR Monster Truck Nitro is a perfect vehicle for off-road driving on the mountainside and even RC monster truck racing. If is packed with safety features that ensure that the driver is able to exercise optimum control over the vehicle. It might not boast a lot of speed, but it is reliable and durable and is likely to withstand quite a few dents.
6 – Traxxas Nitro Slash 2WD Short Course Truck
If you are looking to purchase a car that is safe to operate and fun to drive, then look no farther than Traxxas Nitro Slash 2WD Short Course Truck. It is an award-winning RC car that is equipped with Traxxas Stability Management System that allows drivers to exercise absolute control over their vehicle. Moreover, you get a professional 2WD action in a nitro-powered short course race truck that attains speeds in excess of 50mph. It is loaded with TQi 2.4GHz radio system and TRX 3.3 racing engine.
Built with the latest TRX technology, the TRX 3.3 racing engine is extremely powerful while the Stability Management System lets the drivers concentrate on driving the vehicle without having to worry about handling and turning around the corners. The Traxxas Nitro Slash 2WD Short
Course Truck is integrated with the world’s most advanced and ready to run radio system and a special Traxxas wireless link module that is supported by the vehicle.
Other special features include a high torque steering and throttle servos, a replica SCT set of wheels with color-coordinated centers and a beadlock rim, a stunning Pro 2WD body design. A TRX 3.3 racing engine with EZ-start electric starting, a tuned exhaust system with blue-anodized aluminum heading, a compact sealed receiver box, a high-flow dual stage air filter, a large capacity 150cc fuel tank, a top quality drivetrain with rubber-enclosed ball bearings, decaled body and a 2 ampere DC peak detecting fast charger.
- Awesome control and speed
- Nice handling
- Less reliable
- Not much secure
The Traxxas Nitro Slash 2WD Short Course Truck is equipped with a wide variety of features that render this device as one of the best in the business. It provides nice handling capabilities and is a secure car to have in your repertoire.
7 – HPI Racing Nitro RS4 3 Mustang RTR X-RTR
This might be the last nitro RC car on the list but it does not mean that the HPI Racing Nitro RS4 3 Mustang RTR X-RTR is anything lesser than the other nitro cars out there. It is equipped with multitude of stunning features such as 1/10 scale model which is glow-powered and radio controlled machine. It is integrated with a ready to run nitro-powered engine that boasts the classic 1969 Ford Mustang body. The vintage car also boasts a Chassis 0.098 (2.5mm) 6061 aluminum and gray-colored drive, four wheel shaft driven engine, a Nitro Star T3.0 3cc 2.2hp with pull, and HPI RS4 3 Evo+ oil-filled shocks, a tuned pipe, painted polycarbonate body design, high-quality tires, foam-inserts, wheels, decals, and 2.4GHz radio.
- Low speed
- Poor handling
The HPI Racing Nitro RS4 3 Mustang RTR X-RTR is a great car with regard to maneuvering and stability but the manufacturers still need to do some work on the speed aspect. On the whole, it is a neat little thing that is packed with tons of attractive features and boasts pretty nifty specifications.
How do electric and nitro RC cars match up against each other?
The discourse about electric and nitro RC cars is not new. While some may consider it a never-ending feud, it is mandatory that you are familiarized with the major differences between the two and what their principles of operation are. Both perform in a different manner, offer different degree of power and power and tend to come with a varying degree of maintenance required and accessories needed.
Since the radio controlled vehicles come in both electric as well as nitro forms, so it is important that you know what the differences are. This article will help you figure out the differences and the components that get changed for each type of vehicle because of the change in the motor.
The main similarity between the two types of vehicles is that they both are able to do their job pretty well when it comes to providing power and propulsion to a radio controlled vehicle. Both are able to get the vehicle from one place to another at a decent speed. However, these are the only similarities out there and the differences emerge in terms of power, usage, maintenance, driver’s skill level, noise etc.
How an electrical motor works?
The main aspect of an electrical motor is whether it is brushed or brushless. Both of them use magnetism which implies that in magnets, opposite poles attract each other and this tends to give rise to weight and rotation and hence the process begins. The magnetic rotation is created which continues on until it is stopped.
Electrical motors have battery packs serving as their fuel. So, there are two types of electrical engines: brushless and brushed. Each one of them has its own advantages and disadvantages but their principle of working is pretty much the same. Electricity is generated owing to magnets and this powers the RC cars.
Since electric RC cars have lesser amount of components and are compact in size as opposed to nitro RC cars, they are easier to mount. So, RC engineers prefer to use a plastic body rather than a metal one and so these types of vehicles tend to be lighter in weight.
Electrical motors work in tandem with the drivetrains. Both the electrical and nitro engines transfer power to the drivetrain to create motion. Most RC cars come with plastic set of gears more often than not, but can always be upgraded to metallic components to enhance their durability and reliability.
Both of the different types of motors tend to have different effects on the centers of gravity of RC vehicles. The center of gravity is responsible for keeping the vehicle steady at high speeds and while taking turns. The electrical motors have a steadier center of gravity since they are not concerned about the fuel bouncing around in the fuel tank and come with stable mounts for the engine.
Since electrical engines require lesser number of components, so they weigh lesser. When it comes to motor efficiency, electrical motors have lesser run times and require more battery packs as opposed to the fuel needed for nitro motors. This is where nitro motors are out and out winners.
The noise is another differentiating factor between the two types of motors since the electrical motors are quieter and do not produce a lot of noise.
Finally, electrical engines require lesser amount of maintenance since you just have to charge the battery, start the engine with a switch, replace the worn out brushes or motors after a long time, calibrate the throttle on the speed controller and wash the machine as and when required.
How a nitro motor works?
Nitro motors utilize the radio controlled parallel of gasoline that is generally used in real life cars. Some nitro motors use a particular nitro fuel while others use other types of gasoline. Instead of batteries, these engines rely on fuel since they come with carburetors, clutches, pistons, air filters, plugs, crankshafts and a fuel system that provides fuel to a fuel tank and an exhaust.
The heat sink prevents the engine from heating up and helps to keep the temperature of the engine at the optimum level. Nitro motors, owing to their complexity, have different requirements for mounting to the frame. So, generally a metal chassis such as a lightweight aluminum one is used.
Since a lot of heat is produced by the nitro engines, so there is a high probability of the plastic chassis getting melted which leads to the need of a metallic chassis for appropriate mounting and heat dissipation. Similarly, metallic drivetrain is required by nitro motors and gears are also metallic to control the high torque that comes with the nitro motors.
Since unbearable stress is put on the drivetrain, so in case of nitro motors, metallic drivetrains are required. If you come across a nitro RC car with some plastic parts, beware since it will only be a matter of time before you have to get rid of the plastic parts and get them replaced with the metallic ones.
Owing to the fact that the nitro motors have a larger number of components in motion and have fuel jumping around in the tank, they have less stable center of gravity. Moreover, as they consist of metallic parts predominantly, so they weigh a lot more than electrical RC cars.
Nitro motors offer greater drive time and hence more savings in terms of costs and fuel. The fuel or gasoline that you use is a lot cheaper than the battery packs required for electric RC cars.
Besides, nitro motors are actually compact sized engines and so they produce a lot of noise as they burn the fuel. Some RC car junkies take a fancy to their engine roaring as their car glides through the streets while there are others who might not like too much noise.
Nitro motors require a lot of repairs and maintenance and prior engine knowledge. For example, nitro engines go through break-in periods, require extra add-ons to start, need fuel system to be monitored regularly, require braking power to be changed manually, need the fuel tank to be drained, air filter to be changed, gasoline and oil to be added and other greasing mechanisms and cleaning steps to be performed frequently.
Pros and Cons of Electric Vs Nitro Motors
Here are the pros and cons of electric motors:
- Suitable for rookies
- Low maintenance needed
- Systems are reliable
- As speed increases, so does the cost
- Faster than nitro RC cars
- Light in weight
- Weatherproof components
- Batteries need to be charged
- Additional batteries can be expensive
- Problems are not easy to detect
- As speed increases, so does the cost
Here are the pros and cons of nitro motors:
- Need tweaking
- It is possible to fine tune them
- Low cost in terms of fuel efficiency and run time
- More tools needed
- Need tweaking
- Need tuning
- Make a lot of noise
- Meant for professionals
- Prior engine knowledge a plus
- Not weatherproof
- Slow speed
Which is better?
It all boils down to personal preferences and requirements. While some are interested in tweaking around and tuning their vehicles, there are drivers who just like to get the batteries charged and start driving. Both have their own benefits and disadvantages.
It is important when you are about to purchase a RC car to be familiar with its working and the features it comes with. We believe that now you must have gotten a fair idea of the differences between an electric motor and nitro motor and you will be better able to make an informed choice.
The Bottom Line
All the above cars were listed based on their reliability, speed, handling, stability and safety. The Losi K&N DBXL 1:5 4WD RC Gas Buggy is the clear winner since it was able to score quite highly on all the above mentioned fronts.