RC Car Action EXCLUSIVE: Traxxas Announces All-New X-MAXX, and WE DRIVE IT

RC Car Action EXCLUSIVE: Traxxas Announces All-New X-MAXX, and WE DRIVE IT

Traxxas X-Maxx spread

Other than Traxxas insiders, only RC Car Action has driven the X-Maxx! You’ll see it in our January issue.

Traxxas X-Maxx size compared to guy

Yep, it’s big. The X-Maxx is 30 inches long and tips the scales at 21 pounds with batteries.

We did not see this bad boy coming! RC Car Action has the exclusive on Traxxas’ amazing new X-Maxx, and its literally the biggest Traxxas release ever. As you can see, it’s massive, but the X-Maxx isn’t merely a monster truck made super-sized. Traxxas started with a clean sheet of paper (virtual sheet of paper, that is) and built the X-Maxx from the knobs up to deliver all the performance potential its size and modern brushless power have to offer. Lots more details and photos follow below, but one of  the X-Maxx’s biggest innovations can’t be captured in a still image. If you manage to roll the X-Maxx over, it can right itself and get back on its wheels with a command from the transmitter! More on that below, along with everything else you need to know about this incredible machine.

Click here to see the X-Maxx at Traxxas.com


Traxxas X-Maxx chassis

The X-Maxx’s unique design isn’t a scaled-up version of anything else–it’s all-new.

Next-Gen Chassis
The X-Maxx chassis is a completely new, clean-sheet design unlike anything else currently in  Traxxas’ lineup. The modular design fully encloses the drivetrain, so there are no entry points for dirt or debris, and sacrificial skidplates protect structural parts from wear. Once thrashed, the skidplates can be removed and replaced without affecting the rest of the chassis. Layout-wise, the central electronics are flanked by dual battery packs (sold separately), which are secured by heavy-duty locking hold-downs. The hold-downs are hinged and stay attached to the chassis when open, and they’re configured so crash forces can’t pop the trays open. As you can see in the photos, the battery and electronics packaging is very clean—everything has its place.


Traxxas X-Maxx chassis modules

The X-Maxx has a “one-piece” look that appears difficult to disassemble, but it’s actually a modular design that’s easy to wrench on. Detents in the chassis parts allow them to snap together, making it much easier to reassemble—the truck holds itself together as you remove or install the screws.


Super-Duty Drivetrain
The X-Maxx’s shaft-drive system is even more robust than you would expect for a truck this size. Along with the expected use of steel and aluminum parts in suitably substantial sizes, Traxxas has improved durability by using splined interfaces for critical power-transmission points. Final drive to the wheels is achieved with oversized, steel CV-type driveshafts that capture their crosspins within the hub bearings, so there are no setscrews to loosen. The X-Maxx is built to require as little maintenance as possible.


Traxxas X-Maxx cutaway chassis

Shaft drive gets power to the wheels, with a single internally splined aluminum shaft spanning from front differential to rear. To achieve the required gear reduction, Traxxas added a gear between the spur gear and driveshaft rather than mount the spur gear directly to the shaft.


Traxxas X-Maxx spline diff

A typical differential uses an output shaft with a hole in it to secure the drive cup via a crosspin. The hole and crosspin are a weak point, which Traxxas has eliminated with the X-Maxx. An oversized spline interface is used instead, which gives the parts far more mating surface area and doesn’t rely on a fastener to transfer drive loads.


Traxxas X-Maxx slipper clutch

The slipper clutch is a massive unit with a coarse “1-module” (25.4 pitch) spur gear for durability. The back pressure plate is cast with deep vanes to cool the slipper clutch as it spins. The smaller gear on the slipper shaft interfaces with the gear on the main driveshaft. In all, the X-Maxx has just four gear meshes, making for a very efficient drivetrain.


Traxxas X-Maxx differential

Inside the gasket- and X-ring-sealed diffs, four heavy-duty spider gears are supported by thick steel plates that slot into the diff housing to reinforce it and give the gears a smooth, long-wearing surface to turn against.


Traxxas X-Maxx diff compared to Revo

Here’s an X-Maxx differential compared to a Revo diff. (The X-Maxx diff is the bigger one, obviously).


Traxxas X-Maxx motor mesh

The motor cradle installs with four screws, like a nitro engine would, and slotted screw holes allow gear mesh to be set. Movable pins in the chassis interface with the motor mount to set mesh automatically and prevent the motor mount from moving. The 1600Kv motor is supported from both ends, so hard hits won’t disrupt the gear mesh.


Mega-Shock Suspension
The Maxx-series trucks are known for their 8-shock suspensions, but Traxxas went with a 4-shock setup for the X-Maxx. The massive aluminum shocks have threaded bodies and mount to a traditional (but huge) H-arm and hub carrier suspension. The same upper arm is used on all four corners, while the lower arms are “lefts” and “rights” but are identical front and rear. Camber and toe-in are fixed; expect adjustable parts to be offered as options.


Traxxas X-Maxx suspension

Massive shocks and chunky suspension arms give a smooth ride. There are no shock towers in the conventional sense; instead, the chassis walls rise up to form a reinforced supporting structure. Note that all the hingepins are retained by button-head screws. You can’t really see it here, but the inboard hingepins pass through steel reinforcing plates so a crash won’t pull the pins through the arm mounts.  


Traxxas X-Maxx shock comparison

With a bore of 20mm, each shock holds over 25cc of oil and is more substantial than a typical large-scale damper. The spring perches are secured to the rod ends with screws—nice touch. For size comparison, the X-Maxx shock is shown with a Traxxas GTR damper as used on the Revo line (among other models).


No More Body Clips!
Body clips. They’ve been a necessary evil for too long. Now they’re gone, at least in the case of the X-Maxx. Instead of four body posts and clips and the problems they bring (bent/broken/ground-down posts, lost clips, slow body access…), the X-Maxx has a broad hook under its hood that fits into the front shock tower. In the rear, another hook fits the rear tower. To remove the body, a latch in the bed area releases the rear hook. It takes one second to operate the latch and remove or install the body. Once installed, the body is rock-solid and the twist-lock design can’t come undone while you drive. It’s also worth noting the body is molded from extra-thick polycarbonate, and the cab area is reinforced by a molded interior cage—this big body is built to take big hits.


Traxxas X-Maxx body release

A ruggedly-built mechanical latch holds the body tightly in place. The handle on top rotates to lock the latch.


Custom Electronics
The unique power demands of the X-Maxx required an all-new electronics package, which Traxxas developed in-house. Naturally, all the gear is waterproof. In a welcome departure from the Castle-based power systems used in the “Brushless Edition” E-Maxx and E-Revo, the X-Maxx’s brushless power system programs just like Traxxas’ other speed controls, so it’s exceptionally easy to match up a new transmitter or change modes.


Traxxas X-Maxx motor size comparison

The Velineon VXL-6s speed control programs and operates like Traxxas’ other VXL and XL speed controls, with Sport (throttle/brake/reverse), Race (throttle/brake), and Training modes (50 percent throttle, brake, 50 percent reverse). The 1600Kv 4-pole motor it powers is massive— here, it’s shown with the standard-size Velineon 3500 motor found in Traxxas’ VXL models.


Traxxas X-Maxx servo

The X-Maxx gets a unique Traxxas servo with a serious heatsink and 365 oz.-in. of torque to turn its huge tires. The servo integrates with the chassis rather than relying on the usual four screws to hold it in place.


Traxxas X-Maxx TQi transmitter

The latest TQi transmitter can accept the accessory Traxxas Bluetooth module, enabling you to use your Android or iOS device as a display for easy transmitter tuning and telemetry capability. Traxxas Stability Management is built in, and the electronic assist can be dialed up or down (or turned off) right from the radio.


X-Maxx size comparison E-Maxx studio

No one would call an E-Maxx small— unless it’s next to an X-Maxx.


It Flips Itself Back Over!
Have you ever noticed that your truck never flips over within a few steps away? It’s always way across your driving spot, helpless like a tipped turtle until you hike out there to rescue it. The X-Maxx abolishes that walk of shame with its self-righting technology, which flips the truck over using the inertia of its wheels. If you flip the X-Maxx, the Traxxas Stability Management system will understand that the truck is upside-down and enable the self-righting system. To activate it, hold the transmitter’s SET button. The X-Maxx will automatically alternate between forward and reverse throttle to rock the truck back and forth until it flips back over—three or four cycles usually does the trick.


Traxxas X-Maxx size comparison

The X-Maxx delivers the fun and performance the Maxx family is known for, but on a much larger scale.


We Drive It!
Our drive time with the X-Maxx wasn’t enough for a full review, but it was more than sufficient to get a clear picture of what the X-Maxx delivers. Here’s a pro tip to get you started: Don’t stand directly behind the X-Maxx, unless you like getting blasted with roost. Despite its massive size, the X-Maxx has plenty of power to light up its tires, and with nearly 21 pounds pushing the aggressive tires into the dirt, the truck excavates soil like you’re dumping the clutch on a 450 MX bike. Acceleration on the way to the X-Maxx’s 40mph top speed is very quick, like a smaller truck, and the suspension is mind-bogglingly effective. The soak-it-all-up action is a flashback to the first time we saw the T-Maxx in action, but on a whole ’nother level of size and capability. Blasting through a freshly churned farm field full of softball-sized dirt clods did little to move the truck off line, and it took a substantial hit to put any daylight between the tires and the ground— the suspension just takes it all. As for handling, the X-Maxx has the body roll and animated action that’s a hallmark of the Maxx series, and it’s a ton of fun to watch it heel over in the corners. You can really see physics at work with every steering input. Drifts are exciting and long, and easily modulated with Traxxas Stability Management (TSM) providing electronic assistance. Even with TSM dialed down, the X-Maxx is highly stable and predictable—with its huge footprint and traction-boosting weight, it can’t help but feel locked-in. It’s an impressive machine that’s easy to drive and offers large-scale fun with convenience you don’t get in gas-burning models. The X-Maxx doesn’t have to live in your garage, there’s no fuel to premix (or fumes to breathe), and while it’s definitely huge, it’s still easily car-trunkable for transportation. And it sure seems tough—we can’t wait to get a production model for a full review and a thorough thrashing.


Length: 29.9 in. (758mm)
Width: 21.3 in. (540mm)
Height: 14 in. (355mm)
Wheelbase: 19 in. (480mm)
Wheel diameter: 4.3 in. x 5.7 in. (110mm x 145mm)
Weight (with batteries): 20 lb., 11.7 oz.
Top speed: 40+mph
Requires: Two 2-cell or 3-cell LiPo batteries (LiPo required, Traxxas Power Cell recommended) and charger
Price: $799


See the X-Maxx in our January issue, on sale soon!

X-Maxx RC Car Action cover


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Updated: November 2, 2015 — 1:02 PM
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