If you’ve noticed that more and more smaller-scale RC vehicles have been popping up lately, you’re not alone. We’ve noticed the trend too and are both intrigued and delighted by it. Up until only recently, the majority of small-scale RC cars and trucks have been relegated to the toy aisle of hobby shops and have been for the most part ignored by RC enthusiasts, most likely due to their lack of performance and upgradability. That is, until now.
Popular RC brands such as Axial have been hard at work at turning small-scale RC vehicles into some of the most fun and performance-packed hobby-grade RCs to date. Don’t mistake this latest generation of small-scale RCs for the toy-grade models that have come before. When we say small-scale, we’re talking vehicles scaled smaller than 1/10, which include 1/18 and 1/24. Axial’s latest pint-sized release is the 1/18 UTB18 Capra 4WD Unlimited Trail Buggy RTR.
Axial and rock crawler fans alike will know the name Capra. As one of Axial’s most popular dedicated rock crawling buggies, the larger 1/10-scale Capra 1.9 4WD is a common sight on the trails and at events such as Axialfest. In fact, we’ve reviewed the Capra a few times in the pages of RCCA and have had plenty of great things to say about it. When we found out that Axial was re-creating its successful crawler in a smaller, 1/18-scale size, we were thrilled. Thinking of crawling smaller rock formations at the park and hand-built obstacle courses in the back yard got us pumped for Axial’s latest release.
A TRUE CRAWLER
Although it’s scaled down, don’t think of the 1/18-scale UTB18 Capra 4WD as anything but a serious crawler. Designed by Axial to make high-end RC crawling easily affordable, the UTB18 Capra is capable of crawling almost anywhere and excels in locations that have limited areas for crawling. Fun for both casual drivers as well as competition enthusiasts, the crawler is made with a highly capable design that takes it just about anywhere you want to drive it.
The Axial UTB18 Capra 4WD is a true RTR (ready-to-run) model that comes fully assembled, equipped and ready-to-run right out of the box. It even includes a rechargeable Dynamite 7.4V 650mAh 2S 20C LiPo battery, Dynamite USB charger, and the transmitter’s required four AA batteries, too. Axial designed the UTB18 as a true RTR. We really like being able to open the box up and go.
The UTB18 Capra not only looks the part, but is similar in functional design to the popular 1/10-scale Capra 1.9 4WD in that it has a scaled-down Capra tube chassis. Like its larger trail buggy brother, the UTB18 Capra also has portal axles. The portal axles give the UTB18 Capra extra ground clearance for better maneuvering over and around obstacles. The amount of flex that the 4-link suspension system is capable of is impressive. In fact, we noticed that each corner is capable of over an inch of flex, and thanks to its oil-filled coilover
shocks, it rides smoothly over bumpy surfaces, even at speed.
Now let’s talk electronics. The UTB18 Capra 4WD comes pre-wired with high-quality electronics including a Spektrum SLT2 2-channel radio, Spektrum SLT 25A Brushed 2-in-1 ESC/RX, and Dynamite Tazer 37T brushed motor. UTB18 Capra also features an over-sized, axle-mounted, low-profile 1/10-scale Spektrum 7kg servo for quick and determined steering. The full-size servo allows the Capra to handle precision turns over rough terrain with ease.
On each of the buggy’s hubs are officially licensed 1.55” Nitto Trail Grappler M/T tires that are mounted to officially licensed Raceline Monster wheels. This wheel and tire setup gives the UTB18 Capra the grip to handily drive over rocky trails, rough dirt tracks, and most other off-road surfaces. The Capra isn’t short on details, either. Its body panels come with licensed livery in your choice of a black-and-green color scheme, or gray and orange as shown here. You’ll also find a helmeted driver and passenger figures in its cockpit. Axial includes bright LED lights as well for realistic scale looks to match its capabilities on the trails.
Axial 1/18 UTB18 Capra 4WD Unlimited Trail Buggy VEHICLE SPECS
Weight as tested: 1 lb., 13.7 oz. (842g)
Shocks: Oil-filled coilover
Differential: Bevel gear, locked (33/13T)
Body: Pre-painted, decorated, pre-cut polycarbonate
Wheels: Raceline Monster
Tires: 1.55” Nitto Trail Grappler M/T
Speed Control/Receiver: Spektrum SLT 25A Brushed 2-in-1 ESC/RX
Motor: Dynamite Tazer 37T Brushed Motor
Steering Servo: Spektrum 7kg Servo
Radio: Spektrum SLT2 2.4GHz 2-Channel Radio
Axial’s 1/18 UTB18 Capra 4WD Unlimited Trail Buggy RTR delivers the high performance standards we expect from Axial in a scaled-down and capable design. The rock crawling trail buggy is perfect for cost- and space-conscious RC enthusiasts, and yet it still offers plenty of performance and scale realism. Being that we love modifying our rigs, we’re excited to see what Axial-branded and aftermarket upgrades surface for this 1/18-scale crawler. We’re sure you’ll see this buggy in the pages of RCCA again—only next time it will be completely customized.
Axial Racing axialracing.com
Horizon Hobby horizonhobby.com
Text and Images by Jerry Tsai