CEN Racing has been an OEM manufacturer for over fifteen years, and seasoned RC enthusiasts will recall the lineup of models CEN offered under its own name. Now CEN Racing is back and under new ownership, with team devoted to improved design, quality, and innovation. CEN’s comeback machine is the Colossus XTa 6S-rated monster truck that’s nearly 30 inches long, built for high-voltage abuse, and arrivers RTR with Hobbywing and Savox electronics. RC Car Action is the first to get a truck for review, so let’s take a look at what you get and our impressions so far:
Yep, it’s big. The Colossus rolls out on an 18.7″ wheelbase and is just shy of 30″ from bumper to bumper. Weight is 15.5 pounds, fairly light for a truck so large.
The chassis plates are 3mm thick, and as you can see, the narrow design is very space-efficient. Thanks to the truck’s large size, the battery packs (not included) can be tucked between the chassis plates rather than having to hang off the sides in pods.
Fans of CEN’s Genesis monster truck will recognize the Colossus’ super-sized wheels and tires. The chevron-style tread has a lot more tread bars than this design typically offers, and foam inserts support the soft rubber. Hex size is unique to CEN–23mm!
CEN keeps it simple with a 4-shock suspension setup, but retains the oil capacity of 8 shocks by spec’ing massive 25mm dampers. The aluminum shocks are bladderless, and use screw-capped bleeder holes to make it easy to get the oil fill just right. The factory build job was well done on our test truck.
CEN keeps it simple in the suspension department, with a tried-and-true C-hub and steering knuckle arrangement. All four corners get the same parts, which means rear toe is set by adjustable links–the right rear corner is pictured here. CEN chose relatively flexible plastics to ward off crash damage, and the parts are thickly molded for strength.
CEN’s not looking to reinvent the wheel in the drivetrain department either, where you’ll find front, center and rear differentials joined by dogbones. The differential housings are metal and sealed to hold oil. The center diff is enclosed by a sealed housing accessed from the bottom of the chassis, as shown here. Steel spur gear, of course.
Hobbywing supplies the fan-equipped, 150 amp speed control, which feeds volts to a 1450Kv sensorless brushless motor and plugs into your packs via high-capacity XT90 connectors. The aluminum motor mount helps draw off heat, and is drilled and tapped for a cooling fan if you decide to add one.
The speed control arrives set for zero drag brake, 3.2v/cell low-voltage protection, “Level 1” punch, and 50% maximum brake. Each parameter can be programmed to suit your preference.
Basic RTR stuff in the transmitter department, but unlike most other budget radios, all of the radio’s adjustments are made via digital switches instead of analog dials.
Driving the CEN Colossus
Any new vehicle review starts with a photo session, which calls for relatively gentle driving–we don’t want to thrash the tires or body until we get the shots in the can. So, I first ran the Colossus on 4S, and even without a full 6S battery-blast, the Colossus has plenty of power. The factory punch setting is “Level 1,” which feels soft on 4S, but will make 6S running more controllable. If you plan to run on 4S, you can bump up the punch setting as high as Level 9. Traction is excellent, with very high side-bite–enough to traction-roll the truck in conditions that other monster I’ve driven feel pretty loose in. A powerful steering servo helps, and the installed Savox metal-gear unit is up to the job with 185 oz.-in. of torque. The suspension is highly active, with plenty of pitch and roll under acceleration and while cornering that makes for a very animated ride as the big rig easily soaks up bumps and jumps. Now that I’m back at my desk and see that I’ve got the shots I need for the mag, I can roll back out for some 6S running–stay tuned. But so far, so good. I’m liking the new CEN. The gimmick-free design is ruggedly built, it’s huge, and it’s got high-quality electronic gear.