Vaterra Debuts New “Ascender” Trail Chassis With K5 Blazer Body–And It’s A KIT!

Aug 07, 2014 No Comments by

Big news here, as Vaterra has just announced its first scale/trail platform. Dubbed the Ascender, the new model is making its debut as a clear-body kit with a very nicely executed Chevrolet K5 Blazer shell. Frame rails are steel and configured to offer four wheelbase options, and the solid-axle suspension features a 4-link rear end with a 3-link/panhard bar combo up front. Licensed Interco Super Swamper rubber completes the scale look. It’s clearly a good-looking truck (just look at the photos), and it’s telling that Vaterra has gone with a full assembly kit to launch the new model–if there’s any group that prefers to build their own, it’s trail guys. The Ascender is an obvious competitor for Axial’s SCX10 series, and we’re keen to see where Vaterra takes the line. More licensed bodies? RTR versions? We’ll see. In the meantime, count on a full review as soon as we can get our hands on an Ascender.

Click the pics to enlarge


Nice stance. The body arrives clear, since the Ascender is a full kit.



The “crawler style” bumpers include tow hooks, and a single-speed transmission is standard. Vaterra offers a servo-shifted high-low gearbox as an option.



Look closely, and you can see the panhard bar that centers the front axle.



If it’s steering throw you want, the Ascender has it in spades.



The solid axles features extremely compact pumpkins. Plated diff covers are a nice touch.



8-7-2014 8-38-42 AM

j1-ascender-03 (1)


Vehicle Type: Scale 4×4 Crawler
Drivetrain: 4WD
Size/Scale: 01-Oct
Completion Level: Kit
Length: 540mm (21.25 in)
Width: 229mm (9.00 in)
Height: 241mm (9.50 in)
Ground Clearance: 37mm (1.06 in) at Differentials
Wheelbase: 314mm (12.36in)/302mm (11.9in)/290mm
(11.4 in)/278mm (10.95 in)
Front Track: 220mm (8.66 in)
Rear Track: 220mm (8.66 in)
Suspension:  Multi-Link Solid Axle
Shock Type: Oil-Filled Threaded Injection Molded
Wheel Diameter: 48.3mm (1.9 in)
Wheel Width: 115mm (1.1 in)
Tyre Tread: Interco Super Swamper TSL SX
Motor Size: 540 Required
Pinion: 14T
Spur Gear: 86T
Gear Pitch: 48P
Internal Gear Ratio: 4.05:1
Final Drive Ratio: 7.86:1
Speed Control: Not Included
Radio: 2-Channel (3-channel for Optional 2-Speed Transmission), Not Included
Batteries: Not included
Charger: Not included
Body: Unpainted
Ball Bearings: Throughout



Axial, Electric, Featured News, Off-road, Product News, Vaterra

About the author

I've been involved in RC for over 25 years, and first joined Air Age Media in 1997. I served as Executive Editor until 2008, when I went to work on the manufacturing side of the RC biz. Now back at RC Car Action, I'm thrilled to be doing what I love most--not just enjoying RC, but sharing it with all of you. In addition to RC, I enjoy spending time with my beautiful wife Kathleen and our wonderful daughter Audrey.
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