1/10-SCALE ELECTRIC 2WD SHORT COURSE TRUCK | RTR
PHOTOS BY JOEL NAVARRO
AE's newest RTR puts the Race in Race Spec
Team Associated launched the modern short course scene into the realm of competitive racing with the original SC10 kit, utilizing the then-undefeated ROAR National Champion RC10T4 platform as the basis for what quickly became the winningest truck in its class. By taking the T4 and stretching the chassis, then adorning the kit with scale-specific features like front and rear bumpers, an accurately modeled body, and even a set of mudflaps, the SC10 retained the T4's track prowess injected with a huge dose of scale realism. The platform served equally well in RTR form, fitted with proprietary electronics and topped with one of several officially licensed color schemes, but in typical Team Associated fashion, the engineers couldn't leave well enough alone. The new features and add-ons that had been developed for the kit version by their racing team (which is still undefeated in the modified 2WD short course class at the ROAR Nationals, now going on six years straight) trickled down to the RTR to create the newest version, the SC10RS, which stands for “Race Spec.” And they're not kidding.
Item no.: 7054 (part no. varies by body choice)
Width: 11.54 in. (293mm)
Height: 7.1 in. (180mm)
Ground clearance: 1.2 in. (30mm)
Length: 21.65 in. (550mm)
Wheelbase: 12.87 in. (327mm)
Weight, as tested: 4.59 lb. (2080g)
Chassis: Plastic composite tub
Type: Lower H-arm with upper camber link
Inboard camber link positions (F/R): 2/2
Outboard camber link positions (F/R): 3/3
Shock positions, towers (F/R): 3/3
Shock positions, arms (F/R): 2/2
Shocks: Oil-filled aluminum coilover shocks
Type/ratio: 3-gear transmission/2.6:1
Spur gear/pinion: 87/18
Slipper clutch: Externally adjustable dual-disc
Differential: Oil-filled bevel gear
Driveshafts: Steel dogbones
WHEELS & TIRES
Wheels: Team Associated KMC replicas, black
Tires (F/R): Team Associated Stock SC10/JConcepts Subcultures, Green Compound
Body: Team Associated SC10
Transmitter: Associated XP2G 2.4GHz 2-channel
Receiver: Associated TRS403SSi 2.4GHz 4-channel
Speed control: Associated XP SC700 brushless sensorless
Motor: Reedy 3300rpm/volt brushless sensorless
Steering servo: Associated XP S1903
TEST EQUIPMENT (NOT INCLUDED)
Battery: Reedy WolfPack 6500mAh 7.4V 2S LiPo (#734, $70)
* Varies by dealer
V2-edition shocks mate with tried-and-true T4-style suspension for a ride that can't be beat — literally!
The front and rear suspension for the SC10RS are lifted straight from the T4, with long arms and adjustable links poised to soak up any terrain. The RS retains all of the tuning options of the kit as well, and while it may not have the multitude of adjustments of some kits' Swiss-cheese-looking pieces, all of the available shock and camber link mounting options are strategically placed. Those suspension arms are damped by blue-anodized V2-style shocks that use preload clips for ride-height adjustment. Although these have since been replaced on the latest version of Factory Team kits by new big-bore-style dampers, the SC10RS's V2 units are head-and-shoulders above Team Associated's original shocks, with a much-improved O-ring seal construction that greatly improved durability.
The big news in the RS's transmission department is the V2-style slipper, which simply works better than what it replaced.
The compact 3-gear transmission is fitted with a gear differential, rather than the ball unit found in the Factory Team kit, but external adjustment is an easy sacrifice for bulletproof durability. The gear diff is sealed, offering the opportunity to be tuned with silicone oils of varying viscosity, but the RS's standard setup is versatile enough to work on almost any terrain. The V2 slipper clutch, another upgrade developed on the racetrack, offers a wider range of adjustment and is more consistent than the original unit that it replaced. The RS uses steel dogbones in place of CV-style axles, which are more expensive and require more maintenance, and should offer better handling over rough terrain to boot. Both front and rear axles on the SC10RS are fitted with 12mm drive hexes, which not only open up the available wheel choices to those offered for many different vehicles (even from other manufacturers), but allow the same wheels to be used in the front and rear.
Team Associated calls the receiver box “water resistant,” but short of submerging the vehicle, it should keep the precious electronics safe from the elements.
The difference in wheelbase between the T4 and SC10 trucks is all accounted for in the molded tub chassis — as near as makes no difference, an inch and a half. The rest of the platform is similar, with front kick-up to recline the steering bellcranks to match the plane of the caster blocks, various structural ribbing to alter the truck's flex characteristics, and a swing-away battery hold-down strap that's secured by two twisting thumbscrews that need only be flicked 90 degrees in either direction to install or remove the battery. The underside of chassis is smooth and devoid of anything that may snag on the track surface, with raised edges for more cornering clearance, and lightweight nerf bars attach to the sides to provide support for the body should any rough-housing happen amongst competitors.
The XP2G fits well into hands of all sizes, operates seamlessly, and offers big adjustment dials that are easy to see and use at quick glance.
There's ample room for any electronic choices, and the water-resistant receiver box keeps the included XP receiver tucked into its own cozy cocoon.
The SC700 speed control is a smooth operator despite being sensorless.
Perhaps the most striking feature of the SC10RS over its predecessors is what's wrapped around the KMC replica wheels bolted to the rear axles: Team Associated's scale-specific short course tires were eschewed in favor of JConcepts Subcultures in gumball-soft Green Compound. Associated treads are still found up front, and the four are tucked within the fenders of the SC10's now-iconic body shell that closely mimics the trucks that duke it out in the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series — with six officially licensed schemes to choose from. Team Associated fitted their own electronics, with a no-nonsense 2.4GHz radio system, metal gear servo, and XP SC700 brushless speed control accompanied by a Reedy 3300rpm/volt sensorless motor.
CHOOSE YOUR BODY
In addition to the faithful recreation of Carl Renezeder's Lucas Oil-sponsored truck, as well as the fan favorite Rockstar/Makita and Hart & Huntington schemes, the SC10RS is now available with Lucas Oil Slick Mist livery, CJ Greaves' awesome Monster Energy Toyota colors, and Eric Barron's incredible old-school Toyota factory TRD paintjob!
BEHIND THE WHEEL
I felt comfortable pushing the SC10RS almost immediately after walking up to the drivers' stand of SDRC Raceway, and the SC10RS's racing background is apparent from the first lap. The truck dives hard into the corner and rotates through the apex smoothly, without squirming around or getting out of shape. The T4 front suspension and steering setup gives the truck an incredible amount of steering throw in both directions, and it helps the SC10RS carve through tight corners like a samurai sword — perfect for the tight and twisty layout. I don't know if it's simply the shape of the body or the arrangement of the suspension, but the SC10 feels long and narrow behind the wheel — which isn't to say that it's tippy or unstable, but a comment on its composure while still being highly maneuverable when transitioning from one direction to the other. None of the jumps at the indoor track presented even the slightest hiccup, as the truck soaked up the track's bumps and jumps in stride.
The biggest changes from the original SC10 are best felt when bombing through a stretch of native terrain outdoors, when the peppy Reedy brushless motor has room to stretch its legs. This is where the JConcepts tires on the rear shine — at no time did the rear end of the truck step out of line unless commanded. With the balance of traction shifted more toward the rear than the original SC10 RTR, the RS begs to be driven with a heavy throttle finger and a huge smile. The truck tracked true every time I stabbed the throttle, unweighting the front tires and charging ahead with a slight rearward squat. The added rear grip from the soft-compound rubber meant that I could toss the truck harder into a turn, knowing that it would stick well enough to stop yawing when I wanted, and the lugs of the Subcultures dug well into softer dirt to help the truck power around big, rutted berms without incident. Braking stability is increased as well, with the truck only getting out of shape if the brakes were locked up on especially slippery hardpack, but it only served to make sliding the truck around more fun. Bigger jumps outdoors exposed more of a parachute effect from the big body that I found at the track, but it's nothing that a little bit of creative trimming wouldn't fix. Though the on-track performance of the SC10RS is an improvement over its predecessor, its biggest gains are only fully exploited when thrashing around a free-driving site.
Additional rear grip greatly improves the truck's overall performance
Wheel hexes are easier to use and take the guesswork out of maintaining stock of front and rear wheels
Brilliant new body choices
Aggressive handling may be challenging for newer drivers
It's difficult to mess with success, but the RS is an improvement over the original RTR in every way. Its various chassis upgrades, stolen straight from Team Associated's racing garage, add refreshing nuances to its driving demeanor, with added durability to boot, and the addition of some seriously race-ready rubber takes the truck to a whole new level in any situation. My favorite update, however, is the new bodies: I couldn't help but swoon over the new Toyota TRD racing paint scheme, a dutiful homage to the trucks that Ivan “Ironman” Stewart and Rod Millen raced in the original Mickey Thompson Stadium Off-Road Racing Series, the birthplace of short course racing. When it's time to update a winning platform, it can be tough to make improvements across the board — but the SC10RS nailed it.