The Deadbolt is the latest addition to the Axial lineup, and is only the second truck to be offered on the latest-gen AX10 platform that debuted with the Ridgecrest. It only takes a quick glance to confirm it looks killer–let’s get closer.
The body looks like a classic Bronco that’s been nipped and tucked for trail duty, and the roll-cage detailing is attached to the shell–that’s not the actual chassis poking through the lexan. The transmitter is 2.4GHz (of course) and features dual-rate steering. The orange color is “off” in this pic, it looks closer to the real thing in the action shots. It’s a slightly metallic “burnt orange” that pops nicely but also looks like something you’d see on a full-size truck.
The molded-in driver figure arrives with a helmeted skull in place, which begs the question: why worry about safety when you’re already dead? Goggles are in place to keep rocks from filling his eye sockets, and the detail decals are applied for you. If you’re not feeling the grim reaper, Axial also supplies an MX-style helmet and a road-style lid that can be swapped for Mr. Bones.
The chassis is straight-up AX10, so you know it’s good stuff. A battery is not included, but otherwise the Deadbolt rolls out of the box just like this.
Wheels off, we can see more detail. The front and rear axles are identical with the exception of the steering parts up front, and use the latest AR60 OCP (Off-Center Pumpkin) design. This configuration gives maximum ground clearance, and it certainly looks tough with its boxed-in support truss. Inside, the diffs are locked for maximum severe-terrain capability. The battery tray and receiver box can swap places to adjust weight distribution, and there are also lower mounting positions available for the battery tray.
A side view shows off the officially licensed Raceline Renegade wheels, which look dead-on, and illustrates the truck’s rock-ready stance.
The steering servo features metal gears and cranks the wheels with 132 oz-in of torque. There’s plenty of steering muscle.
The latest WB8 Wild Boar center driveshafts are standard on the Deadbolt. The design features metal CV-style joints for efficiency and strength, with screw-in crosspins for easy maintenance.
Axial worked with Castle to develop the AE-2 speed control. Out of the box, it’s set with an aggressive drag brake to help the truck hold its position when the trigger is at neutral, but if that doesn’t suit your driving style you can easily change the settings. As a Castle speed control, it’s fully compatible with the Castle Link programmer (not included).
The Maxxis Trepador rubber and Raceline Renegade wheels look terrific and perform very well.
DRIVING THE DEADBOLT
I’ve only had enough wheel time with the Deadbolt to get shots for our action video, but I can confirm the truck is highly capable and a lot of fun straight out of the box. There’s more than enough axle articulation and traction to easily conquer scale-like obstacles, with plenty left over for the really wild stuff. Loose stuff, like the mound of course gravel you’ll see in the video, is better attacked with momentum, but just about anything that’s solid and stuck to the ground can be crawled over with sheer torque and grip. If you want to go nuts with weighted wheels and a specialized setup, you could probably get the Deadbolt to climb the side of a refrigerator. Watch for the full review in the February issue of RC Car Action!