This probably isn’t the first time you are seeing the Mercedes Benz G500, whether it was in person mobbing down suburban streets, or maybe in some high-budget spy movie. Regardless where you first crossed paths with this iconic vehicle, it is hard not to want one.
Since the real G500 has a high six-figure price tag, we can thankfully rely on another well-known name to bring our dreams to a 1/10-scale reality, but with a way more realistic (for the 99-percent of us) price tag. Traxxas’ faithful replica of the G500 is here to give us a taste of what it’s like to own the real thing, luxurious looks and tremendous off road capability included.
Traxxas has been dropping bombs on the industry for almost 35 years and has a laundry list of “firsts” that we will take a look at later on in this article. But first, cough cough, let’s take a look at this beautiful Blue Traxxas Mercedes-Benz G 500 4×42 and a few of the option parts we chose for round one of this vehicle.
All in the details
The first thing about the kit that caught our eyes is its beautifully appointed blue body. Looking at Mercedes-Benz’s current color offerings, we’d say that the color closely resembles the Brilliant Blue metallic paint that is offered on the current generation G550. It wouldn’t surprise us if Traxxas color matched their paint for accuracy. The highly detailed scale replica G500 body also accurately features Mercedes-Benz G500’s famous three-pointed star-grille, skid plate, intricate chrome accents, realistic lights and even side exhaust tips.
In keeping with the super scale licensed look of the G500, its wheels also are also designed to scale and perform flawlessly. We tried on the Traxxas Mercedes-Benz G 63 6×6 wheel and tire combo for fun and loved the look, the red pinstripe on the rim popped against the blue and also helped give the truck a bit more attitude. The Mercedes center caps are a nice touch-keeping brand accurate.
Since the TRX-4 G500 has been around for a while now, we are taking a different approach for this review. We will list the specs and features and its undeniable capability as well as some of the extra optional add-ons you may be looking for, but where we are going to focus is on how although this is a replica of a luxury vehicle, it really gives us the most for our money.
BANG FOR YOUR BUCK
Value is the worth of something compared to the price paid, and in the case of the G500, the value is significant in itself. For a retail price of $450 bucks you get the proven off-road capable ready-to-run (RTR) TRX-4 vehicle with 2.4GHz radio system and as of the time of this article’s writing, Traxxas is also offering a complementary LED light kit
The fully waterproof LED light kit is designed specifically for the G500 and covers headlights, taillights, roof lights, and side markers. The kit is usually a $75 add-on option that adds even more scale detail to the vehicle, but for now, Traxxas is including it for free. In terms of fun and value, the LED kit and the bonus offer are overwhelmingly winners in our book.
The optional kit takes the already super detailed licensed Mercedes body to the next level. Some highlights on the light kit include both high and low beam settings for the headlights, clear headlight lenses, red tail lights, roof lights, and amber side markers and a sealed waterproof design.
The lights are easy to install thanks to its precision-engineered direct fitment and fool proof plug and play modular connectors. Regulating the lights is a Traxxas LED lighting module that helps to provide consistent and reliable power output whether you use batteries ranging from NiMH through 3S LiPo. The advantage it gives you is that it eliminates overheating, glitching, and other electronics issues common with unmatched aftermarket systems.
Traxxas is big on engineering and it shows. The company was the first in the industry to offer an RTR Scale & Trail crawler with cruise control, portal axles, remote shifting 2-speed hi-low transmission, and remote locking differentials, which are all features that come standard on the G500. Traxxas was also the first to offer a safer and easier charging system with iD Auto Battery Identification, which is also comes standard with the G500.
A few other firsts that the innovative Traxxas team holds the claim to include the first Ready-to-Run RC kits, a driver-actuated forward/reverse transmission, auto-shifting 2-speed transmission, waterproof electronics, and 2.4GHz transmitter with Apple iOS interface.
The G500 is an RTR and right out of the box it comes with a metal gear servo that can handle whatever terrain you attack. We know that we want to eventually take it to the next level and install the new Traxxas Traxx on it along with a High-Torque 400 waterproof Traxxas servo and Traxxas High-Voltage BEC. We learned from experience that manufacturers know their vehicles the best, so when it comes to choosing upgrades, sticking with the same brand of upgrades that made your kit usually gives the best results.
As seasoned enthusiasts, we take a lot of the basics for granted like the designs of a battery hold down or motor mount plate. This includes details such as having servos and end points set correctly at the factory so they don’t burn out and delay the fun. Its been our experience that with many off-brand RTRs, you can easily get caught up in having to spend a ton of time and money fixing and adjusting things that didn’t come or wasn’t designed right from the factory. This clearly isn’t so with the TRX-4-based G500.
The G500 allowed us to get outside, drive and push ourselves to conquer new obstacles within minutes of unboxing it. Nothing got loose, nothing broke and nothing was glitchy or leaking for that matter. The suspension’s articulation is beyond what we expected and limits the pucker factor when you think it might tip but doesn’t. We can say the G500 made us a better driver but also let us learn how to use the locking diffs and 2-speed without it being overly complicated. When we were done, we hosed it off, stared at that beautiful scale body and acknowledged how much fun it was.
Simply put, Traxxas gets you there faster and makes the entire enthusiast experience better. We are really looking forward to having some fun when we get the Traxx installed and the long arm kit maybe some aluminum goodies. Stay tuned to see what we do with it in a future issue. In the meantime, to learn more about the TRX-4 and its options and capabilities, we suggest checking out some of the great tutorials and product videos available on Traxxas.com
Text and Images by
Leigh Guarnieri and Jerry Tsai