ARRMA 1/8 Typhon 6S BLX buggy – Beast Mode Engaged!

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ARRMA TYPHON 6S

The ARRMA TYPHON 6S Buggy is a 1/8 scale electric buggy built to almost do it all.  Starting with the spec sheet, the immediate sales pitch from ARRMA-RC is the Typhon is built to thrash, but can handle the track too.  Given the 6S build sheet, the claim is 60+mph out of the box.

CHASSIS:
The TYPHON 6S is built around a solid 3mm thick anodised black aluminium Chassis Plate. Tipping the scale at 7lbs, the Typhon is a stout bruiser with some real heft.  This was immediately noticeable when removing it from the box.

The other thing that immediately gets noticed are the massive red anodized aluminium 16mm shocks, mounted to 5mm black anodized aluminum front and rear shock towers.  I didn’t see it at first, but later noticed they are equipped with rubber shock boots for running in mud and dirt.  They are also highly adjustable with threaded shock bodies.  This all works together nicely to equip the Typhon with several tuning options for different driving scenarios.

A nice addition to this RTR are the dBoots tires and black multi-spoke ARRMA Wheels. They should provide a good balance of performance on most surfaces.  Looks are highly subjective, but they look incredible on the Typhon.

As I further dig in and take off the body, it becomes very obvious why this buggy runs a little more than 7lbs.  Everything is engineered to take incredible abuse and the thickness of the components shout out that it will take it just fine. For example, the steering servo includes metal gears and is waterproof. The ADS-15M has 208oz/inch of torque making this a very capable steering servo that should stand up to the abuse.

ELECTRONICS:
The ARRMA BLX180 ESC is fully waterproof and features push-button programming.  Obviously, this is a 6S LiPo battery buggy, but not all 6s batteries are created the same.   The first battery tested in the Typhon was a 3S/11.1V 50 C LiPo with XT90 Connector.  The 180A ESC fan does a great job keeping temps warm to the touch, never getting blistering hot.  I was able to radar the Typhon at 27mph with this pack.

Not satisfied with the limited performance 3S offers, I went to MaxAmps for a little boost in power.  Using the MaxAmps LiPo 5450mAh 6S 22.2v 120c battery wakes up the Typhon and sends it into beast mode.  Having been through more than 2 dozen charges, the MaxAmp battery continues to impress me with it’s consistency, reliability and performance.  In comparison, I had the Onyx swell on me after only 14 charges.  It still charges, but I don’t think it be long before I need to get rid of it.

DRIVETRAIN:
One thing that always annoys me is the time it takes to service front and rear differentials on so many r/c vehicles.  It seems most of the time you have to disassemble half the vehicle to gain access, but ARRMA went another direction.  They put careful thought into this and built the Typhon with easy to service, easy-access front and rear differential cases and what ARRMA calls the middle differential.  Four screws secure each of the three differential covers, with nothing more required to gain access to the steel gears. I love this sort of thoughtful design and will make oil changes a breeze.

 

 

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TRANSMITTER

ATX-100

The ATX-100 Radio Transmitter shown here and ARX-100 receiver are included with the Typhon and is more than adequate.  It’s uses 2.4Ghz technology, has steering and throttle trim and dual rate steering for basic adjustments.

The transmitter is spartan, has an inexpensive feel and I’m not a fan of the cover on top.  If you want to make adjustments, the cover needs to slide then hinge up, which is difficult.  It requires the use of both thumbs and doesn’t give the driver easy access to the adjustments knobs; it’s not a transmitter you can adjust easily on the fly.

The TYPHON 6S 2.4Ghz ARX-100 Radio Receiver is protected from the elements inside a gasket-sealed waterproof Radio Box. Secured with 4 screws and sealed with a gasket, it should do nicely to keep out the dust, dirt, water, mud, snow.  I did notice however that one side is starting to warp, revealing the gasket.  It’s not enough to let in water yet, but it appears ARRMA could do a little more with the cover to prevent this from happening.

Interestingly, the instructions I received with the Typhon show a Tactic TTX300, so I thought perhaps I received the wrong transmitter.  A little digging online revealed that ARRMA made a switch a while back.  They obviously hadn’t updated the instructions.  Perhaps it was simply a cost savings for ARRMA-RC, or something else.  However, I would have appreciated the Tactic TTX300 at the $429.99 price point.

I’ve written in past reviews how highly I think of the TTX300, so I won’t go into here, but I do wish it was the included TX/RC.  Since it’s not and because I have a couple Tactic’s in the rc workshop, I quickly made the switch after a few test drives.

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DRIVING

Spend a couple minutes at ARRMA’s website and you’ll see a list of Hall of Fame pictures and featured videos.  ARRMA is proud to promote the Typhon as a do anything, go anywhere, drive it hard, buggy.

Driving the Typhon with a 3S battery is that it’s underpowered and feels every bit of the advertised 7lbs.  Hitting the ramp requires full throttle to keep the buggy fairly level through the flight, but if you let off even a little, the front drops quickly.  In the back yard, the speed is fine, and the Typhon doesn’t get overwhelmed by the short grass because of ground clearance.

It’s not until you jump up to a 6S battery that you bring the Typhon to life and it shows you its potential.  As you can see in the video it takes a good size field and makes it pretty small due to its speed.  I was able to clock it at 52mph on the pavement using a radar gun, so the claimed 60+mph is definitely within reach with a little adjustment to the gearing.

Moving to a 6S battery is also when you start to notice the true jumping capability.  A burst of throttle makes flying the Typhon over jumps a very easy proposition; it’s no longer required to hold full throttle through a jump like is required with a 3S battery.  Combine that with the responsive steering servo and the Typhon soars very nicely through the air.

When it comes to landing, the 16mm shocks do an incredible job keeping the buggy right-side up and under control.  The Typhon does not have to land perfectly to continue its forward momentum.  This is a bit surprising considering its heft.  With a stab of throttle and touch of the brake or a turn of the wheel, the Typhon helps the driver feel confident and look good.

I consider myself a sport racer and love to run the rc track, but I’m not as interested in building, tuning and maintaining a race vehicle.  This puts the Typhon right in my wheel-house and draws my attention.  Whipping the Typhon around the corners of a track can be done hoonigan style, drifting around.  Or you can manage the steering and throttle inputs and keep it fully under control.  It seems the Typhon is equally comfortable regardless.

Depending on the surface, I noticed the Typhon can be tight coming into the corners at speed, which makes it push wide.  Easing up on the throttle a little gets the front tires to bite and allows you to get back into the throttle to power to exit the corner with some speed.  The dBoots wheel and tire package feels like an upgrade, but it comes standard.

 

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VIDEO

 

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FINAL LAP

I’ve had the Typhon for quite a while now, which includes the winter months and snow, so this could really be considered a long-term review.  My initial impressions have turned to lasting impressions.  It’s a heavy buggy built to endure any terrain and abusive jumps.  It’s a smartly designed platform and looks mean in the red and black color scheme.  The steering servo and suspension have taken some incredibly brutal crashes, and don’t show any signs of abuse.

If ARRMA would switch back to the Tactic TTX300 transmitter and receiver, I would be all in on this buggy.  I absolutely love what this offers me both as a sport racer and basher.  I look forward to seeing how ARRMA improves and advances this buggy in the coming years.

Finally, I’ll leave you with the following.  This chart does a great job explaining what to expect from your ARRMA with different batteries, pinion and spur gears.  Maximum speed is only a piggy bank away.

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