With the popularity of no-prep drag racing soaring like never before, we’re glad that companies such as Traxxas have embraced the lightning-quick racing scene and supported it with RTR (ready to run) drag-specific releases of their own. Converted Traxxas 2WD Slash short-course chassis have always been popular with drag racers, and it was only a matter of time that Traxxas would release a dedicated dragster themselves.
Aptly named the Drag Slash, the drag-ready RTR racer has been a smashing success since its release. The Drag Slash is available in the form of a classic Chevrolet C10 pickup truck. Its drag-race-specific bodylines give the truck a tough yet slick look, and its wide rear end easily accommodates the extra space that robust rear drag tires require. Yes, the C10 is the only kit you can buy right out of the box. So why is it that we’re showing you a Ford 5.0 Mustang? That’s because the drag car that you see here started out as a C10 pickup but has since undergone a drastic transformation into a Fox body Mustang. We’ll dive deep into the transformation later, but first let’s take a look at what’s under the body of the Drag Slash.
A SERIOUS DRAGSTER
The Drag Slash comes as a ready to run kit that only requires batteries and a charger to race. Talk about getting down to business quickly. The Drag Slash is outfitted with a low center of gravity (LCG) chassis, which helps improve its stability and handling, which is especially important when you are maintaining straight-line performance.
Thanks to the factory-installed Velineon VXL-3s speed control and 3500kV brushless motor, the dragster comes out of the box ready to rocket down the drag strip. Drivers control the Drag Slash using an included Traxxas TQi 3-channel 2.4GHz radio system that comes with a Trans Brake feature. Trans Brake allows you to launch off the line quickly and consistently. To use it, simply hold the TQi transmitter’s Trans Brake switch and set the throttle at the starting line. When the flag drops, release the switch for the quickest launch every time.
Keeping a drag car running straight and stable after the start is a big part of winning, losing or even crashing. The Drag Slash is specifically developed for drag racing and part of its long list of drag-specific features includes Traxxas Stability Management (TSM) with Drag Race Mode. Forget runs where your vehicle torque steers to one side or the other. TSM’s Drag Race Mode makes your car easier to control by combining the fastest possible straight-line acceleration with incredible stability and precise control. TSM also improves braking performance and helps prevent dreaded spinouts.
The brushless Velineon motor gives the dragster plenty of power, but without a competent driveline all the power would be wasted. Recognizing this, the developers at Traxxas equipped the Drag Slash with their Magnum 272R transmission. The upgraded transmission is built to handle monster torque and features a blue-anodized aluminum motor plate, all-metal gears, and a sealed silicone-filled 4-gear differential tuned for drag racing with 500K heavy-weight diff fluid.
Where the rubber meets the strip is also essential to getting a drag car to run right. The Drag Slash boasts ultra-wide licensed Mickey Thompson ET drag slicks mounted to replica Weld racing wheels. The slicks feature an innovative carcass design and molded high-density foam inserts for big-time traction off the line and all the way down the track.
Five Point OOOH
So now back to the matter at hand. Yes, we swapped out the Chevy C10 body for a Ford 5.0. We’re not taking sides in the Ford vs. Chevy debate; we’re simply showing you the versatility of the Drag Slash platform. Traxxas’ latest optional Drag Slash-specific bodies come in two vehicle types: the C10 pickup, which is offered in a whopping seven color choices including clear, and the new Mustang body, available in five colors including clear. We chose the clear Mustang body so we could apply a sick custom paint job to it.
Because we’d rather leave the painting to the experts, we sent our body off to Matt Brase over at MR Custom Painting. As you can see, the result is amazing. He painted the Mustang in black with a beautiful metallic purple flame job that looks oh so right on a drag car. If you’re not looking to paint it yourself either, Matt’s open to taking your custom paint as well. We’ll drop his contact info down below.
Traxxas offers a very large collection of upgrade parts for most of their vehicles. We hit their Accessory Finder that’s located on the traxxas.com homepage and dove right into all the goodies we could load up on the Drag Slash. We easily found every sort of Drag Slash upgrade though the webpage, including categories for aluminum upgrades, arms and suspension parts, driveline and gearing, body and chassis, tires, wheels, and even LED lighting options, electronics and batteries as well as tools.
We ordered up a bevy of upgrades including steering blocks, axle carriers, bell cranks, a motor plate, camber links, shock caps, wheel nuts and wheelie bar parts, all in pink anodized aluminum. If pink isn’t your color, there are plenty more hues to choose from. The aluminum parts not only look really cool, but they are more rigid than the plastic parts they replace. This results in increased strength, and in many cases a more responsively handling car.
Further performance upgrades were made in the form of a big-bore shock kit, steel CV driveshafts and a high-torque servo. The Traxxas High-Torque 400 Red servo provides maximum steering strength thanks to a cutting-edge brushless motor that provides 400 ounce-inches of torque. It also utilizes full metal gears, dual ball bearings and an aluminum center section for added heat dissipation.
Traxxas steel CV shafts add the ultimate in torque handling and efficient power transfer to the Drag Slash. The outer U-joints are lubricated and sealed by a rubber boot for maximum protection against the elements. A full set of long big-bore shocks were added to provide the ultimate damping control for less-than-smooth, no-prep drag strips. They’re made of hard-anodized, PTFE-coated aluminum with titanium nitride (TiN) coated shafts for smooth, long-wearing performance. We finished them off with a set of pink springs, also available from Traxxas.
On the electronics front, we also installed the Traxxas TQi Telemetry Expander 2.0 and GPS Module 2.0. Traxxas telemetry allows us to monitor and record real-time data from the Drag Slash while we drive. The expander and GPS module allow for the most accurate speed-reading possible and accept up to six additional auto-detectable sensors.
We also opted for the sticky variation of Traxxas’ licensed Mickey Thompson drag tires. These sticky compound Mickey Thompson ET drag slicks provide even better traction for more grip off the line. The tires come pre-glued and mounted to Weld black chrome wheels with foam inserts.
The parts were a breeze to install and directly replaced the stock parts. Due to the number of parts we changed out, it seemed as if we disassembled and then reassembled the entire car. We used a couple of Traxxas’ handy tool sets to easily get the job done. There was one point of contention, however. We realized that, with the upgraded servo installed, a portion of the chassis ended up with some slight clearance issues. This was resolved by us trimming a bit of the chassis to make room for the movement of the steering parts. So little material was removed from the chassis that we’re sure it wouldn’t cause a future problem. With that, we were ready to make a few runs at the strip.
We were excited to take the newly converted Drag Slash 5.0 Mustang out on to a non-prepped parking lot to see what it could do. With batteries charged up, we hit the pavement and got to it. As expected, the Mustang was blindingly quick. With the help of its electronic TSM Drag Race Mode driving aid as well as Trans Brake, we were able to make competition launches consistently without issue.
The Drag Slash was a blast to run, but it did demand attention to get the most out of it. That’s really the case with all RC drag cars; they’re so quick off the line that not paying attention for even a split second will get you into trouble. That’s also what makes drag racing so addictive, too. The Drag Slash is already a competitive dragster right out of the box, and adding the extra upgrades like we did makes it that much more competitive and quite the looker at the drag strip.
Custom Traxxas Drag Slash Ford Mustang 5.0 VEHICLE SPECS
Height: 7.7 in. (196mm)
Length: 29.7 in. (755mm)
Width: 9.3 in. (236mm)
Wheelbase: 12.9 in. (328mm)
Weight: 5 lbs. 3.7 oz.
Price: $349.95 (stock)
Chassis: Low center of gravity
Bearings: Full set, rubber-sealed
Body: Chevrolet C10, painted, decaled, trimmed
Wheels: Replica Weld
Tires: Replica Mickey Thompson ET drag slicks
ESC: Velineon VXL-3s
Motor: Velineon 3500kV brushless
Traxxas 5.0 Mustang clear body
Traxxas aluminum steering blocks
Traxxas aluminum axle carriers
Traxxas aluminum bell cranks
Traxxas aluminum wheel nuts
Traxxas aluminum shock caps
Traxxas aluminum wheelie bar side plates
Traxxas aluminum wheelie bar axle
Traxxas aluminum wheelie bar wheels
Traxxas aluminum camber links
Traxxas aluminum motor plate
Traxxas high-torque 400 red servo
Traxxas black HD arms
Traxxas big-bore shocks
Traxxas steel CV driveshafts
Traxxas sticky compound tires and black chrome wheels
Traxxas Velineon VXL-3s ESC cooling fan
Custom paintwork by MR Custom Painting
Test Gear (Not Included)
Traxxas iD Power Cell 5000mAh 11.1V 3-Cell 25C LiPo Battery
Traxxas EZ-Peak Live Charger
Drag Slash Accessories
We found two accessories indispensable for our Drag Slash. Traxxas’ Drag Slash Display Stand allows us to not only proudly display our Drag Slash when it’s not on the track, but it also helps prevent flat-spotted tires by raising it up off the surface. It’s contoured to fit the drag tire setup perfectly. We also depended on the Traxxas Drag Race Start Light to set the race started. The compact Drag Race Start Light randomly selects a two- to six-second delay between the countdown light signaling the drivers to get ready and the bright white light starting the race. There’s no way for a driver to anticipate when the start light will come on, so every race starts fair and square. It’s also a great tool to test and practice our reaction times when running solo.
We’re glad that Traxxas came out with a proper RTR drag racer. With many drag-specific aids and modifications, this Slash is purpose-built to take on the drag strip. Upgrading the Drag Slash with Traxxas’ many available upgrades was a fun endeavor for sure. The upgraded parts and snazzy new 5.0 Mustang body really make us beam with pride when we bring it out to the strip. If you’re looking to up the performance and looks of your Drag Slash, we highly recommend taking a look at all the upgrades that Traxxas offers.
MR Custom Painting
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Text and Images by Jerry Tsai