The Traxxas TRX-4 was our Truck of the Year choice when it debuted as a Land Rover Defender last year, and the SWAT-tastic Tactical and best-selling Bronco appeared soon after. All three are top-notch trail machines thanks to portal axles, remote-locking differentials, and radio-operated High / Low transmission, but those innovations add cost and a TRX-4 will set you back $420 – $450. “Worth it,” and the price hasn’t seemed to slow down sales, but Traxxas gets it–not everyone has that much extra cash for an RC truck. And, there are plenty of trail-truckers who are happy to leave their TRX-4s in Low and keep the diffs locked because they’re all-trail, all the time. Either way, the new TRX-4 Sport is probably just the truck a lot of current and wannabe trail guys are looking for. With a suggested selling price of $360, the Sport squares off with the Vaterra Ascender, Axial SCX10 II, and HPI Venture (among other models) at the most popular price point for 1/10 scale trail rigs. To get the price down, Traxxas kept the essentials (the chassis, suspension, portal axles, and power system are unchanged) and moved the T-lock differentials and High / Low transmission to the “options” list instead of standard equipment. Plus a few other tweaks–let’s take a closer look…
Here’s what the TRX-4 Sport will look like on the shelf at your favorite hobby store. You can get the truck in red or blue, as the box shows.
The pickup body isn’t a model of any particular full-size truck, which helps keep the TRX-4 Sport’s price low–no need to cut a check to Chevy, Ford, Toyota, etc. Officially-licensed bodies are great, but they do add cost.
The Sport gets a unique front bumper. The non-functional winch can be removed if you want to install an operable version.
Yep, that’s a TRX-4. Unlike the Tactical, Defender, and Bronco models, the Sport does not get fender wells on the chassis or the body. Chassis rails, bulkheads, battery tray, transmission cases, axles housings, gears, etc. are all the same parts (and part numbers) as the other TRX-4 models. The Sport also get the same 2075-X metal-gear, 125 oz.-in. servo.
Viewed from above, the Sport’s chassis looks extra roomy since the three servos normally used to operate the High/Low transmission and T-Lock diffs aren’t required. The servos, and the extra parts for the transmission and differentials, will be offered as upgrade kits.
Naturally, there’s a sealed receiver box. A rubber plug makes it easy to get to the link button if needed. The rock sliders can be extended or retracted 5mm per side to suit aftermarket bodies.
It wouldn’t be a TRX-4 without portal axles. With the exception of the differential (which isn’t a diff at all, it’s a locked spool), the axles are identical to those used in the other TRX-4 models. Even the ring gear is the same.
Rear-view, showing off the way the portal axle design lifts the diff housing.
Like the other TRX-4s, the Sport gets a reverse-rotation Titan 21T brushed motor.
Traxxas saves a few more bucks by spec’ing the TQ transmitter instead of the TQi, which means there’s no Cruise Control capability for the Sport (unless you upgrade to the TQi transmitter, which you can do with the Traxxas Power-Up program). The XL-5 HV 3S speed control is shared with the other TRX-4s, so you get Sport, Race, Training, Trail and Crawl modes. Sport mode has no extra drag brake, you just get the natural drag of the motor. Trail mode increases drag brake, and Crawl mode sets drag brake to 100%–any time you let off the gas, the brakes go to 100% for “hill hold.”
No change to the Canyon Trail 1.9″ tires used on all the TRX-4 models, but the Sport does get its own 5-spoke wheel design.
Traxxas’ scale-diameter, threaded-aluminum shocks are in full effect on the TRX-4 Sport.
Traxxas applies all the decals for you, with the exception of the fender flares. They’re a little finicky to stick on, but the black flares do look better than body-color. Painting the flares black is another option. There are extra logos and details on the sheet too.
The Sport has a 12.3″ / 312mm wheelbase like the Bronco, which makes it 12mm shorter than the Tactical and Defender TRX-4s.
Cool. How Does It Drive?
Well, like a TRX-4, of course! For a full review with weight distrbution, RTI score, and lots of wheel time, pick up the next issue of RC Car Action–or just sign up for our RC Car Action Premium, where you can read the full review before the issue is on newsstands, and watch our video review too. CLICK HERE to become a member!
RC Car Action Premium offers members exclusive content and the first look at the latest projects, shoot-outs, how-to’s and more!
Membership includes exclusive access to…
• 8+ years of digital editions of RC Car Action.
• Digital editions of special issues, previously only available on newsstands
• Free access to our magazine app through the iTunes Store – get RC Car Action on your mobile or tablet device
• 5% off ALL Air Age Store purchases every time you shop
• Contests & giveaways only for members
• 30 years of RC Car Action archives
• Exclusive photos and videos
• Unique posts and columns just for Premium members