It’s not often that Redcat releases a new crawler, so when they do, it’s worth paying attention. The company’s latest scale trail crawler wears a licensed International Harvester Scout 800A body on top of the brand-new Gen9 chassis. We’re excited to take a look at this new machine and see what it brings to the already-crowded RC crawler table.
As evidenced by its massively popular RC lowrider line, Redcat has made a concerted effort the past few years to design and engineer innovative new vehicles from the ground up, and this latest crawler is no exception. The Gen9 showcases Redcat’s ingenuity and obsession with detail by including features such as a two-speed transmission, newly designed portal axles, precision suspension geometry with zero bump steer, new high-grip tires, high-torque steering servo, adjustable wheelbase, and a highly detailed body with a rear pivot mounting design—to name just a few of the new truck’s more notable attributes.
As you can already tell, Gen9 is made to crawl and be competitive while doing so. It’s an RTR (ready-to-run) model, which means it comes already assembled with a transmitter and only needs a rechargeable 2S, 3S or 5-9 Cell NimH battery, charger, and four AA batteries for the transmitter, to be fully trail-ready.
Gen9’s 1.5mm steel C-channel chassis is designed specifically for trail crawling and has an adjustable wheelbase. The chassis’ wheelbase can be configured from 12.3 to 13.2 inches (312 to 336mm) and comes in the shorter 312mm length to match the Scout’s stout stature. If you want to swap the Scout for a longer body, the chassis can easily be lengthened to accommodate it. The Gen9 is also designed with aggressive approach and departure angles in mind, so crawling into and out of challenging areas isn’t a problem.
Gen9 is fitted with a two-speed transmission that motivates the crawler over a wide variety of terrain. First gear gives the driver precise and powerful control over difficult obstacles, while second gear allows the driver to speed things up and blast through trails at speed. Shifting gears is as easy as pressing a button on the radio controller.
The truck’s heavy duty transmission uses a 32P spur gear and a lockable adjustable slipper clutch. The gearing is enclosed and protected from rocks and debris. The transmission, transfer case and portal axles all have Redcat’s MOD1 internal gears for superior strength and durability. Gen9 is motivated by a front-mounted Redcat 550-size brushed motor and a divorced transfer case that puts the powerplant’s weight where it’s needed.
A new Hexfly Torque-Spec coreless digital servo provides the truck plenty of steering power. Using the stock ESC, the servo provides an authoritative 25kg of steering might right out the box. If upgraded to an 8.4V BEC power system, the included Hexfly servo is capable of an amazing 42kg of steering torque. That certainly is a lot of steering power. We’d like to point out that unlike many RTR trail trucks on the market, there is little to no need to upgrade this steering servo if you plan on replacing its power system in the future.
Allowing the driver to take more precise lines and ultimately have more vehicle control, the Gen9 Scout uses newly designed portal axles along with a specially designed panhard bar that helps eliminate bump steer and axle sway. What’s more, these new portal axles provide over two inches of ground clearance without needing bigger tires and also act as gear reducers so that Gen9 experiences less chassis torque twist than traditional axle-shaft-driven trail trucks. The portals also include metal gear covers, metal wheel hexes, CNC-machined spools and captured shock mounts. Redcat also included new universal-style axles that have a one-piece front housing, which provides plenty of steering and increased durability. It’s claimed they are the company’s strongest axles yet.
Body and Interior
We’re huge fans of Redcat’s immaculate-looking lowrider bodies, so when it comes the Gen9 Scout, we don’t expect anything less than scale perfection. Looking closely at the officially licensed International Scout 800A body, we noticed that it is molded in three separate pieces, which allows for a more realistic full-depth interior. The body is internally braced and uses a rear locking pivot mechanism with dual quarter turn fasteners up front. This system reliably secures the body in place and provides easy removal when needed, all without unsightly body pins or other body-securing apparatus. The sides of the body tuck neatly into the injection-molded plastic rock sliders for minimal hang-ups over jagged rocks. Redcat also includes many injection-molded plastic details that really make this body look realistic.
Thanks to its multi-part body, the Scout features a deeper, highly realized interior, one that is more detailed than any RTR crawler that we’ve encountered so far. Incredibly, the Scout features an injection-molded dash, seats, pedals, shifters, door levers, window cranks, removable steering wheel and even a turn signal lever on the steering column. That’s not all; the exterior is further detailed with an injection-molded roll cage, rock sliders, bumpers, side-view mirrors, door handles, windshield wipers, front grille, headlight buckets and taillight buckets. This is seriously one highly detailed body, especially for an RTR.
If you’re looking for the ultimate in scale looks, may we suggest outfitting the Scout with LED lighting? While the lights are sold separately, Gen9 has been designed to accept 14 LED lights in different positions all over the truck. There’s a spot for two dash lights, four headlights, two taillights, two reverse lights, and four rock lights located inside the fender wells. Best of all, the LED mounting hardware is included, so fitting the optional lights would be quick and straightforward to do.
There are two things that an RTR crawler generally has replaced soon after its first few times of wheeling. One is the steering servo, and the other are the tires. As mentioned earlier, Redcat includes a powerful Hexfly servo with the Gen9, so that isn’t an issue. To push the point that they are here to compete at the highest levels, Redcat also took care of the RTR tire issue, too.
The Gen9 comes with true-to-scale, licensed Interco SS M-16 tires and functional beadlock wheels that are made to pull the Gen9 through the most challenging terrain. These ultra-grippy tires have an aggressive tread pattern and are formed in a high-grip compound. We found that they perform exceptionally well on any terrain we tried, including slippery rocks and loose dirt trails. We can’t say enough about these tires. They seem to have the grip and squish that’s perfect for most crawling applications, and are also stable enough for fast-paced trail driving.
The tires are mounted to beadlock rims which utilize inner and outer aluminum beadlock rings for maximum strength and tire-holding capability. The beadlocks have the addition of an interchangeable decorative plastic ring that fits over the functional metal beadlock ring, which provides customization options while maintaining maximum performance. We look forward to seeing Redcat’s future beadlock ring design offerings, as well as what innovative 3D printers will come up with.
IN THE WILD
We first took the Gen9 to a well-known spot by the beach that’s known to be pretty aggressive, and it handled the deep and loose sand extremely well. We also took it out to a few rock formations and it really felt at home on the trails and on the jagged rocks. The Gen9 is surprisingly performance-oriented for its size, being a box-stock RTR rig that’s also budget-friendly. We are looking forward to adding some of the Treal aftermarket goodies that are available now and testing it even more to see how extreme we can get with it.
Redcat Gen9 Scale Trail Truck 1/10 International Harvester Scout 800A VEHICLE SPECS
Height: 9.8 in. (250mm)
Length: 20.6 in. (523mm)
Width: 9.8 in. (249mm)
Wheelbase: 12.3 in. (312mm)
Ground Clearance: 3.1 in. (80mm)
Weight as Tested: 8 lbs. (3.682 kg)
Chassis: 1.5mm C-channel frame rails
Shocks: Aluminum body oil-filled
Suspension: 4-link rear and 3-link front with panhard bar
Body: Pre-painted, decorated, pre-cut polycarbonate
Wheels: 1.9 true beadlock
Tires: Interco SS M16
Speed Control: Redcat 40A brushed
Motor: Redcat 550 brushed
Steering Servo: Hexfly Torque-Spec coreless digital
Radio: Redcat 4-channel 2.4GHz radio system
With its many features and an incredible attention to detail, it’s easy to see that Redcat has put plenty of work into the all-new Gen9. It’s more than a great basher out of the box for sure, and we’ll be interested to see how it fares through its first year of scale competitions. The bottom line is that Redcat’s Gen9 International Scout 800A is a great choice for anyone looking for a good-looking, high-performance trail truck with limitless crawling and scale detailing potential straight out of the box.
Redcat Racing : redcatracing.com
Text by Jerry Tsai and Michael Wiene
Images by Michael Wiene