1/5 Scale, The Next Big Thing

Jan 11, 2011 4 Comments by

Large scale vehicles have been around for a long time now. 1/4 scale vehicles were the thing to have but now, thanks to their slightly smaller size and better power to weight ratio 1/5 scale vehicles are here to stay. I’ve always been interested in 1/5 scale but nothing has made me want to go out and actually purchase one like the HPI Baja 5B. I love off-road vehicles because you aren’t limited on where you can run them and the Baja 5B looked like nothing out there. Hands down the most realistic 1/5 scale buggy. Since the release of that buggy we see more and more out there which is something that couldn’t be said before. In all the years that I have been involved in RC I only saw one person with a large scale vehicle bashing and now I see HPI Baja’s a lot. It’s by far one of my favorite 1/5 scale vehicles but I do think that there is room for improvement and I think that we will be seeing some companies coming out with their versions soon. Then, a 1/5 scale explosion will happen. A lot of people will look at the $1,000 price tag and be turned off but when you think about what you’re getting, 1/5 scale vehicles are a pretty good deal. Let’s say that you go and buy an HPI Baja 5T and it costs you $1,300. What is one of the biggest racing classes out there today? 1/8 scale off-road. If you add up the cost of everything that you need for a high end racing buggy you can easily spend just over $2,000. Now with the Baja 5T you have  a truck that comes out of the box ready to hit the dirt (after you charge the receiver pack and install the batteries in the radio) and tuning isn’t an issue. You simply set it and forget it and with some engines you don’t even have to set the carb. With a high end 1/8 scale buggy you still have to assemble it, set it up and have to figure out how to tune a nitro engine so you don’t blow it up and still get the best possible performance. If you ask me, what someone needs to do at this point is design an entirely new engine for these vehicles. The size of the current engines I think limits the design of these vehicles. A smaller or simply reconfigured engine will be the ticket. We also need to look into better starting systems for these gas engines. There’s no reason why we can use a starter box to fire them up or even a shaft start. I see the current setup fail often due to the amount of debris that gets into them from running in the dirt. Do you think that we’re going to see more 1/5 scale vehicles and is someone going to break that mold and come out with something different?

Featured News, Kevin Hetmanski

About the author

Simply put, I’m all about nitro. Well, almost. I’m down with electric for crawlers and some indoor racing, but if you really want to get my attention, it better make some smoke and noise. I’m a regular racer and I usually go with 1/8-scale buggy and truggy. When I’m not racing, I am usually fabricating custom parts and even entire vehicles.

4 Responses to “1/5 Scale, The Next Big Thing”

  1. RICHARD DEFRANG says:

    as for shaft startes theres is one company ,, baja skunkworks- – roto start $$ 159.99 + 13.59 shipping,, i do have 2 1/5th scale trucks here , theres not much difference in size, i,ve had 3 1/4scale before ,, as for that starter all u need is a 18 volt drill too make them work,yea they could make more of those starters if there was a more of a demand, that would bring the price down ,,they could build another motor ,,.hey anybody got any ideas?? happy belated new year

  2. Locoarcers says:

    Kevin, this is indeed a very good article that you wrote here. I personally cannot understand why better starting stystems havent been invented so far. It seems that innovation is going slow here (except for hopup parts) but on the other hand notice that companys bringing electric convertion kits to the 1:5 scale vehicles. My personal view is that this kind of useless as you have enough power to race and bash with the “Zenoahs” plus you can race for 40 minutes with a tank full without speding additional 500 bucks for decent batteries. I believe this business case wont fly but would like to see more technological innovations from the vendors.

  3. john says:

    late responce to this article ,however there are now a few more companies with clone 5b’s . i love the giant scale been wanting one since i was a kid and saw the quarter scale nascar style cars . i have been in the hobby off and on for over 20 yrs and had alot of different cars and finaly got a chance to have a clone baja. i love it ! i have since replaced nearly all the plastics and aluminum pieces with genuine HPI parts .The cost for me was the issue as i live on a fixed income now and didnt have the 1300 to pop on a hpi. i got a clone for 850 delivered andhave found very little differences. it even came with a 100 option the hpi dont have ,2 speed assembly. Since feb i have gotten a few 5sc parts as in the bumpers and hubs. the bumpers for the 5T should be a standered for the rear as first time i jumped mine the body cracked badly in the rear however shoe goo and clear tape have worked magic to repair it. now once the cost for the 5SC body comes down i will be changing that as well ,love the magazine and your article on the trophy truck as i love realisim. current project of mine is still in the drawing board but using baja parts and steel to make a 5th scale legend car but long way off from actualy building it .
    keep up good work guys .

  4. Bill says:

    I am a Traxxas loyal and asked them to enter the 1/5 scale war, and kick HPI clean off their pedestal. if Traxxas does this, every brand out their better look out…

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