RCU Review: HPI Racing Nitro RS4 3 Evo RTR


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    Contributed by: Eric Hege | Published: December 2005 | Views: 149106 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    HPI Nitro RS4 3 Evo RTR


    HPI Racing

    70 Icon Street
    Foothill Ranch, CA 92610 USA


    Phone: (949) 753-1099
    Fax: (949) 753-1098
    Website: www.hpiracing.com



    See the Nitro 3 Evo in action!
    Resolution:  Low  Medium  High

    Quality
    Performance
    Assembly Ease
    Handling
    Durability
    Speed
    Engine
    Price


    Roto-Start Included
    Two-Speed Transmission
    Excellent Tire Wear
    Impreza Body Detail Rocks!


    Needs Hex Head Fasteners
    Plastic Carb Lever Easily Broken
    "Eat my road grit liver lips!"
    -Clark Griswold (National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation)


    There's no doubt that the four wheel drive touring car market is hot, especially when there's nitro involved. So it's no surprise that HPI revamped its RS4 3 line, and renamed it the RS4 3 Evo. While the car is targeted to the beginner and intermediate driver, that doesn't mean it feels like it's lacking anything when it comes to features.

    So I guess now that I mentioned features, you want to know what some of those are. While I'll give a full rundown of the components of the Evo later on the review, it wouldn't hurt to mention a few now to whet your appetite. How does an included rotary starter, a completely redesigned motor, and a two speed transmission sound? Is your interest peaked yet? I thought it would! If that wasn't enough, they have also went through their lineup of stock bodies and offer some very sharp looking options for you to choose from as well.

    I can't wait to fire the RS4 3 Evo up and take it for a spin. I loved this chassis layout when I reviewed the MT2 18SS several months back, and I am curious to see how well it'll work as a four-wheel drive touring car platform. After pulling it out of the box, I can see that the quality I'd expect from HPI is there, now let's see how the looks translate to performance once I fire the motor up.




    Model Name: HPI Nitro RS4 3 Evo RTR
    Part Number: 10034 (Impreza Body)
    Price: $350.00 (Approx. Street Price-Impreza Body)
    Type: 1/10 Nitro 4WD Touring Car
    Length: 17.25" (430mm)
    Width: 8.0" (203mm)
    Height: 4.8" (124mm)
    Weight: Approx. 3.85 lbs. (1.75 kg)
    Wheelbase: 10.1" (256mm)
    Front Track: 7.25" (184mm)
    Rear Track: 7.75" (197mm)
    Ground Clearance: .25" (7.5mm)
    Drivetrain: Two-Speed Transmission Dogbone-Style Axles and Driveshafts
    Brakes: Vented Composite Disk With Stainless Steel Calipers
    Shocks: Plastic With Clip-on Preload Spaces and Aluminum Caps
    Wheels: Split-6 Chrome-Coated Plastic
    Tires: HPI D Compound "X-Pattern"
    Chassis: 2.5mm Aluminum with Purple Anodizing
    Motor: Nitro Star T15 .15 (2.5cc) Side Exhaust w/Rotary Starter
    Fuel Tank: 75cc
    Radio: HPI TX-2 (Airtronics Blazer)

    Additionally Required Items
    Standard 6-Cell Rechargeable Battery Pack
    Peak Charger Capable of Charging Standard 6-Cell Pack
    8 AA Batteries For Radio
    4 AA Batteries (or Receiver Pack) For Receiver
    Glow Plug Igniter (Long Reach Preferred)
    Nitro
    Fuel Bottle
    After-Run Oil
    Air Filter Oil
    Flathead Screwdriver
    Body
    Documentation
    Accessories

    When I opened the box of the RS4 3 Evo, the included body practically reached up and smacked me in the face. The bright orange Subaru body is extremely detailed, and at first glance you would likely think that it's due to the applied decals. However, upon closer inspection you'll find that would be a wrong conclusion, as nearly everything on the body is part of a screen printed design. This particular body is a replica of the full-size Super Taikyu race car that's trimmed out in HPI regalia. Simply put, with its overall detail and the handsome looking rear spoiler, it's simply one of the best looking bodies I've seen on an RC vehicle to date, and I'm not even a huge fan of the import scene!

    If the Subaru body isn't your cup of tea, HPI offers several other nicely detailed bodies as well. So you're sure to find something that fits your frame of mind. HPI has been bringing forth some very nice looking bodies to the market in the past few years, for both their RTR vehicles and as individual offerings that can be used on other trucks as well. Rest assured HPI, that your efforts are certainly noticed by me as well as many others in the hobby. In addition to the detail of the body itself HPI has already cut all the necessary cooling and body post holes, making life very easy in this regard.

    After I forced my eyes away from the Subaru body, I started to pull out other items included with the RTR model. The next thing I pulled out was the included manuals and documentation. As expected, HPI has covered this angle well in case the new owner is unfamiliar with the hobby or nitro in general. You'll get sheets detailing warranty information, as well as a radio that covers information pertaining to the included Airtronics radio.

    My personal favorite documentation item, after having reviewed several HPI vehicles, is the manual that covers the vehicle itself. HPI does an excellent job with this manual, providing both assembly information as well as exploded diagrams. Are you unfamiliar with the fasteners that hold an RC vehicle like the RS4 3 Evo together? Don't worry, you'll find 1:1 pictures of the hardware so you can match the items up to ensure you put things together correctly after a wrenching session. This is a big plus for beginners and even some veterans out there. You'll also find your antenna tube in this bag, as well as some extra decals. I simply couldn't bring myself to apply any of the decals to the already tricked out Subaru body though!

    As you further peruse through the items included with the car, you'll come across a few bags of miscellaneous accessories. These bags include items such as a spare header gasket, e-clips, screws, and washers. You can never have too many items on hand, so a few spare items to tuck away in your pit box are always appreciated.

    Tools/Misc. Accessories
    Left Side
    Right Side

    There's also another bag that contains some accessories that may seem more familiar to those who have some RC experience. Several wrenches, including nut and hex varieties, assist you with general maintenance tasks. Other included items you'll find are a battery holder, radio antenna, and a frequency flag. HPI also throws in some double-sided foam tape should you need it to help hold the receiver in place later on down the road.

    If you read my review of the MT2 18SS several months back, the layout of the RS4 3 Evo may look very familiar. The two vehicles share some similarities to each other in regards to many of the chassis components. The fuel tank sits at the right front of the car's chassis, with the motor positioned behind it. A composite pipe sets off the right-hand side of the chassis, routing the spent gases away from the motor.

    My favorite aspect of this chassis layout has to be the electronics tray. This design works beautifully, as I became very familiar with it when I reviewed the MT2 18SS. The lid is actually a two-piece design, allowing you to remove either the front or back as necessary when the need arises. Should you need to remove all of the electronics for cleaning, simply disconnect the servo linkages and pop off the body clips that hold the electronics tray in place. Then all you need to do is to lift the tray off of the chassis and set it aside.

    Underside
    Front Bumper
    Fuel Tank

    The underside of the RS4 3 Evo showcases as much attention to detail as the rest of the vehicle does. Screws are countersunk, and a slot under the flywheel allows the use of a starter box should you want to go that route at a later point in time. Another large cutout allows the two-speed hub to sit as low on the chassis as it can. I do have one complaint in looking at the bottom of the chassis however, and that's the fact the engine screws are Phillips head instead of the more durable hex head. Even though the motor screws aren't set up for adjustability, I would still rather see hex head hardware used here. In fact, as I tore the car down, the heads of two of these very screws stripped. One of which made it necessary for me to crack out the Dremel and cut a slot in it for a flathead screwdriver. While a complete car-wide set of hex head hardware would be great, I'd settle for these four motor screws to be hex head if nothing else.

    If there's one item that's a necessary evil on a touring car, it's the front bumper. It protects the vehicle from impacts with curbs and helps the front end keep its shape as the speeds of the car increase. For the front bumper of the RS4 Evo, HPI provides you with a nice thick foam bumper housed in a plastic frame. Up top, you'll find a pair of adjustable body posts allowing you to alter the height of the body and ultimately the front downforce.

    The fuel tank of the RS4 Evo holds 75cc of fuel, which is a typical size for this genre of RC vehicle. A stainless steel nipple for the pressure line sits on top of the spring-loaded lid of the fuel tank. The tank uses a spring-loaded primer button to help prime the fuel system for easier starts. I generally prefer to just hold my finger over the tuned pipe's stinger to prime the system, but I can see the appeal in this setup for the beginner. I will mention though, that sometimes primer buttons such as this can become a source for an airleak. So you may want to keep this in the back of your mind for troubleshooting should the need ever arise.

    Front Suspension
    Differential
    Inside the Differential

    The front suspension of the RS4 Evo can be removed as an entire assembly for easy maintenance and cleaning. Purple anodized ball studs provide a mounting point for the car's shocks on the shock tower and the suspension arm. The shock tower provides three locations for the balls, while the suspension arm provides two. Altogether, this provides a wide range of adjustments. At the front of the suspension arms, a 3mm aluminum tie bar reinforces the front of the car in a frontal collision.

    There's quite a lot of ground to cover in regards to the suspension of the RS4 Evo, but I first wanted to examine the differentials you'll find at either end of the chassis. This type of drivetrain is usually found with shaft-driven touring cars, and is also a very familiar sight to the off-road crowd. The differential assembly itself is housed in a plastic bulkhead that splits into front and rear halves. Stainless-steel output yokes connect the differential to the driveshafts and axles, while o-rings pressed into the yokes help eliminate any excessive chatter.

    Once you pull the differential out, and disassemble it, you can get a good look inside it. HPI fills it with grease, to provide a limited-slip effect. While the differential itself is not fully sealed, due to the lack of a rubber seal between the differential cup and the ring gear, I did have good success with using silicone differential oil with the MT2 I reviewed. While there may be a small amount of oil seepage with light oils, since the differential isn't fully sealed, it should easily seal well enough for a weekend of racing. Parking lot weekend warriors may find that continuing to use grease suits their longer maintenance intervals better however.

    Steering Hub
    Suspension Components
    Axle Components

    After seeing what resides between the suspension arms, it's time to focus on the suspension arms and axles themselves. The front suspension arms use a c-hub approach when it comes to the steering hub assemblies. HPI includes two sets of hubs with the RS4 Evo, giving you the option of 8 or 10 ° of caster for the front end of the car. A fixed camber link ties the upper end of the c-hub to the shock tower. The suspension arm itself is 7mm thick, while the c-hub comes in with a thickness of 6mm. A pair of 3mm suspension pins connects the suspension arms to the chassis. These pins use a single e-clip at their forward end, while the back end is designed with a wider head to eliminate the need for an e-clip.

    HPI uses hex head screws to connect the steering hub to the c-hub, and they provide metal inserts for the screws to pass through. These inserts help to provide smooth operation of the steering hubs as they swing in either direction. Inside the steering hubs, you'll find a 10x15x4mm bearing on their inner face and a 5x11x4mm bearing on their outer face. The axle stub itself has a diameter of 5mm as it passes through the outer bearing, where a 2mm pin and a 12mm hex adapter attach the drivetrain to the wheels and tires. The dogbone connecting the differential to the axle stub has a diameter of 3mm, making it more than capable of handling its task.

    Starter Backplate
    Rotary Starter
    Wheels and Tires

    One of more notable changes made to the RS4 platform when HPI revamped it, was the inclusion of the HPI rotary starter. This method of starting a nitro powerplant first found itself a home on the Savage, and has worked its way through to other vehicles in the HPI stable. The rotary starter utilizes a special backplate mounted on the vehicle's motor, which is made to accept the starter's wand.

    The rotary starter is easy to hold and use, thanks to an integrated handle. A standard 6-cell battery slides in the lower compartment, and the plug on the underside of the handle awaits the Tamiya plug from the battery. The rotary starter uses an included wand that fits into the front of the starter with a hex-shaped end, and uses a silicone o-ring to help it fit firmly in place. The other end of the wand looks like a dogbone-style axle, and mates with the output cup on the backplate of the motor.

    The tires included with the RS4 3 Evo are pre-glued on a set of white split-spoke wheels. A 7mm nut holds the wheels in place on the car's axle. The tire itself is what HPI calls their "D Compound", and appears to be a medium compound tire which gives a balance of both grip and a good lifespan. The tires use an x-patterned tread design, and are filled with medium-density foam inserts.

    Shocks
    Rear Suspension
    Two-Speed Assembly

    As you'd expect, oil-filled coilover shocks are positioned at each corner of the RS4 Evo. The shocks feature aluminum outer caps, with a plastic center piece that snaps over the ball stub on the shock tower. This provides strength, but also allows for cheap replacement parts if the cap's ball cup end becomes worn or damaged. The shock bodies themselves are made of plastic, and use clip-on preload spacers to adjust the vehicle's ride height. The spring used with the shock is a dual-rate spring, which should offer a good balance of handling at both low and high speeds due to its varying characteristics as it's compressed. The shock's stainless steel shaft has a diameter of 3mm, providing smooth dampening operation.

    The rear suspension of the RS4 Evo is very similar to the front, with the biggest difference being that it utilizes bearing carriers instead of steering hubs. The carriers house a pair of 5x11x4mm bearings which, in turn, house the 5mm axle stubs. The installed carriers offer 2° of toe-in, while HPI offers replacements in sets that contain both 1 and 2° of toe-in. Like the front, dogbone axle shafts connect the axle stubs to the differential. Also like the front, a non-adjustable camber link is used to connect the carrier to the shock tower. If you want to fine tune the camber setting at some point in the future, the fixed links could easily be swapped for some adjustable turnbuckles.

    The two speed assembly is another item that is making its first appearance on the RS4 chassis platform. The shift point is adjustable via a set screw on the hub itself and controls when the change between the 47-tooth and 43-tooth spur occurs. Output yokes reside on both sides of the assembly, which connect the center gearset to the differentials via dogbone-style driveshafts. The whole two-speed gearset rotates on a pair of 10x15x4 bearings, which provides smooth movement while it's engaged. At the rear of the assembly, a nylon brake disk is squeezed by two stainless steel calipers to provide braking action when it becomes necessary.

    Throttle Servo
    Receiver Box
    Inside the Receiver Box

    As I mentioned earlier, the radio and electronics tray takes up the entire left-hand side of the car's chassis. The configuration of this tray facilitates easy removal and cleaning of the chassis, and uses a very well thought out design. At the rear of the tray, you'll find the throttle servo positioned right alongside the T-15 motor. A dual bellcrank assembly handles the throttle and braking duties, with the braking linkage offering a thumbwheel-style adjustment on it should you need to increase or decrease the braking strength.

    Closer to the outer edge of the chassis, you'll see the opening that's to be used for the battery holder or a receiver pack. Right alongside this area, you'll find the integrated on/off switch which allows you to enable or disable the vehicles onboard power source while you are at the track or just playing around. Then, closer to the front of the chassis, you'll find the receiver tucked under a lid which protects it from debris and flying tire rubber particles. Underneath the receiver box is the steering servo, which drives a cam-style bellcrank to control the steering operation of the RS4 3 Evo.

    Motor on Chassis
    .15 Motor
    Motor Components

    The motor of the RS4 3 Evo is another of the big changes HPI made to the RS4 platform. Before, the Nitro Star 15FE motor provided the power for the touring car. Now it's been replaced with the Nitro Star T15. The T15 offers several improvements over the previous powerplant of the car, including a larger head, aluminum tube header, and a dual needle carburetor. These changes showcase the continual refinement HPI undertakes to constantly improve their product lines.

    The Nitro Star T15 is a side exhaust motor, boasting a .15 cubic inch (2.5cc) displacement. A two-shoe composite clutch resides on the flywheel to engage the clutch bell as the RPM's increase, causing the RS4 Evo to accelerate forward. The clutch bell rides on the crankshaft, and is supported by a pair of 5x10x4mm bearings. Incoming air is filtered by a reusable foam filter element, before it is taken down the carburetor and into the motor. A cast aluminum head with replaceable glow plug button sits on top of the motor, while a composite pipe routes the spent gases away as its running. A purple silicone exhaust coupler connects the composite pipe to the aluminum tube header.

    Motor Block
    Carburetor
    Radio

    The piston and sleeve of the Nitro Star T-15 features true ABC construction, and are housed in a cast motor block that's finished in a dark gray color. As mentioned earlier, a rotary starter backplate mounts to the rear of the motor block, allowing the owner to start the motor with minimal effort using the supplied Roto-Start system. The block itself mounts straight to the car's chassis with the Phillips head screws I mentioned earlier. If for some reason you'd need to alter the gap between the clutch bell and spur gears, you'll need to install a true motor mount.

    The carburetor for the RS4 Evo uses a dual o-ring setup to seal its neck and avoid airleaks. This approach works well, with the exception of when the carburetor is removed. The cinch nut on the motor block tends to catch the lower o-ring with a setup like this, and will cut it upon removal. so you'll want to have some spares on hand for when you perform routine maintenance. The carburetor's idle screw is easily reached, and uses a spring to help it maintain its setting. The main (or high speed) needle is housed in the brass riser alongside the carburetor's throat. At first glance, you may wonder exactly where the low speed needle resides, as it doesn't appear to be anywhere near the operating lever of the carburetor. It is actually located opposite of the rotary carburetor lever, a location more commonly associated with a mixture adjustment on a three-needle carburetor.

    The radio for the RS4 3 Evo is branded with HPI TX-2, but that probably won't fool too many people out there. The radio is actually an Airtronics radio, a Blazer to be exact. It provides AM operation and operates in the 27MHz frequency range. This gives you a total of six channels on which to operate, utilizing additional radio crystals which are sold separately. The radio offers all a beginner would probably need with features such as steering and throttle trim, steering dual rate, adjustable throttle trigger, and battery level indicators. If you prefer to use a transmitter pack or rechargeable batteries, you can also pick a charger separately to use with the built-in charging jack.


    Antenna
    Receiver Pack
    Box Cover

    Since the RS4 Evo is a RTR model, there isn't a lot of preparation necessary when readying it for some action. The first task you'll need to perform is to install the receiver's antenna into the supplied antenna tube. However, the HPI receiver box is setup so that you need to push the antenna wire through the lid before you slide it through the tube. I did find that some material flashing had clogged the hole in the lid, and quickly cleaned it up with my body hole reamer. A hobby knife will work just as well should you encounter this problem. Once the hole was cleared, the wire slid in easily without any effort or difficulty. However, if you should find this step tough, a little baby powder sprinkled on the wire will help you get it through.

    For the receiver pack, I opted to skip the use of AA alkaline batteries and went straight for a receiver pack. I chose to use a hump-style pack I constructed from some Venom 2/3A NiMH cells. The pack dropped right in place of the stock battery holder, making it a direct fit. However, since I had installed a standard battery plug on the receiver pack I had built, it didn't mate with the servo-style plug on the HPI harness. I pulled a homemade adapter out of my pitbox to address this, and stuffed all of the wiring and plug into the battery box as it was plenty roomy enough for all of this.

    Once the receiver pack and antenna was installed, it was time to place the lid on the box. The back of the lid's tab slides into an opening on the back of the battery box, while closer to the front it's held in place by a body clip. Make sure the switch on the receiver box is set to the off position, until you are ready to run the car.

    Fuel Filter
    Dubro Klip Retainers
    Body Installed

    Since the RS4 Evo doesn't come with a fuel filter, I opted to install one as another form of protection for the motor. The car doesn't come with an in-tank fuel filter, so the in-line filter will add some protection from any dirt and debris that may find its way into the fuel. The filter I chose was a basic Dubro inline fuel filter, as it will do the job just fine.

    While I was digging through the box looking for a fuel filter, I also grabbed a set of Dubro Body Klip Retainers. I really like the Dubro retainers, as they keep the body clips with the body when it's off of the chassis. In an on-road environment there's little chance of losing the clips like you would when running off-road, but the benefit of keeping the clips with the body is simply worth it in my opinion.

    The body for the RS4 Evo comes completely decked out and needs no preparation at all. So there's no need to cut cooling or antenna holes. HPI even provides an opening for the glow igniter, so you don't have to remove the body to light the glow plug. All you need to do is to drop the body onto the chassis and put the body clips in the posts to secure it.

    Starter Shaft
    Starter Batteries
    Radio Batteries

    After the car itself is readied, you need to address the rotary starting unit. First you'll want to find the starter wand in the bag of accessories that's included with the RS4 Evo, and then slide it into the front of the starter. After that, charge up a standard 6-cell flat pack and slide it into the bottom of the unit. Once it's in place, plug the battery's Tamiya connector into the starter and replace the lid on the battery compartment.

    The last item you'll need to prepare is the car's radio. The antenna is separate from the radio, so you'll want to find it in the group of accessories included in the box. Insert it into the top of the radio, and twist it clockwise to tighten it into place. Then place a set of AA batteries, or a transmitter pack, into the base of the radio. If you go with standard alkalines, make sure you use good quality AA batteries. Not only will they last longer, but they will help you maximize your range and signal strength.


    I simply love it when the fall weather cooperates because, when it does, it can produce some of the best days of the year to get outside and run an RC vehicle such as the HPI RS4 3 Evo. Sunny and clear skies, with temperatures in the 70's, are simply perfect for being outside without being too hot or too cold. Such was the case a day before Halloween, when I took the RS4 Evo out for a spin to write this review.

    My oldest son, Zac, had been begging to go along with me for this review, as he really liked the look of the body HPI had packaged with the RS4 Evo. Since I couldn't drive and handle the cameras bringing him along made even more sense. As they day would run it's course, we both would spend time behind the camera as well as the wheel. When the time to pack up arrived as the light began to fade, we both would be able to say that we had thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

    To test the RS4 Evo, I chose a local elementary school parking lot. The school was fairly new, and the pavement in decent condition. So I felt it would work well for this particular vehicle, giving us plenty of room with which to work. More importantly would be the fact there would be no chance of cars bothering us. This is because the driveway to the school is closed during the off hours, making vehicular access to the inner parking lot impossible.

    I decided to stray from the recommended break-in procedure in the manual, and instead heat cycled the motor to break it in. Since the manual from HPI uses a break-in procedure that relies strongly on idling the motor, I chose to go another route. I think running the motor at varying RPM levels does a much better job of fitting the piston and sleeve together than simply idling through several tanks does. Obviously if you're new to nitro, or need some tuning practice, you should stick with HPI's recommendations.

    The initial startup went very smooth, thanks to the tank's primer and the HPI Roto-Start. The RS4 Evo fired up quickly, and I immediately realized that I needed to lean the high speed needle as the mixture was way to rich for my break-in method. I adjusted the needles to get the temperatures around the 200° range as I ran the first stage of the break-in procedure. Then, after about three minutes, I shut the car down and allowed the motor to cool back down. I stepped through the rest of the break-in procedure after that, and soon I was finished and ready for some real action!

    As I laid out some cones to test the cornering ability of the RS4 Evo, I reflected back upon the break-in process, and what I knew about the car up to this point. The one thing that stuck out most was how quiet the car was. The composite pipe does an excellent job of keeping the noise level down if that's something that's important to you. However, I also imagine replacing it for a good aftermarket pipe would open the motor up a little more as well. That is, if noise is not a concern.

    Another thing that sprang quickly to mind was the fact that you'll probably want to pick up a long-reach glow igniter. HPI has conveniently provided a hole in the body, that's positioned over the motor's head to make starting the car easy when it's installed. However, a standard glow igniter's reach just barely makes it to the glow plug after pressing down on the body a little. A long-reach igniter will help make things much easier in regards to starting the car.

    Once we had the cones set up, in one of the larger areas of the parking lot, Zac jumped behind the camera as I jumped behind the wheel. I was anxious to see how well the HPI RS4 3 Evo would handle in this environment, as this is typical of where a large portion of its fan base would be using it at. Once the car was fired up, I immediately began making some laps and weaving in and out of the cones.

    I was immediately surprised at how stable the car felt overall, as I felt like was in excellent control of it as I cornered around the cones. The car was extremely controlled entering the turn, and exhibited a slight understeer condition as it exited the corner. However, for many people, this would be a preferred handling characteristic due to the fact a loose oversteer condition often calls for the driver to be much more precise in the way they drive the car.

    The brakes worked well bringing the car's speed down quickly, corner after corner, with no noticeable brake fade. The RS4 Evo was also set up to provide a small amount of drag brake as well, helping to keep the car composed while it cruised through a corner at idle.

    As I pushed the car a little harder as I continued to make my laps, it continued to stick very well up until a point where I needed to raise the ride height slightly to accommodate the various inconsistencies in the pavement. The chassis would slap the pavement every once in a while, which would make the rear end of the car twitch at times. So I added a set of 4mm spacers all the way around the car to raise the chassis level up slightly.

    After the ride height adjustment, the car continued to stick very well to the pavement, as I continued to try and push it harder around our makeshift course. In fact, I could push it harder since the chassis no longer bottomed out as it made its way around the cones. At times, I could even hear the lexan body rubbing the ground as the RS4 Evo fought its way through a turn. I was very impressed with how well the tires were holding to the pavement.

    Out of the box the car's setup worked very well and, even though setup factory options are minimal. I didn't feel as if I needed to alter anything while running in this environment. I imagine this will suit many owners, as a great deal of them will just simply want to race with friends without getting overly competitive in regards to suspension alterations. However, a few adjustable turnbuckles and ball cups will facilitate adjustments if the need arises to take the RS4 Evo to the next level.

    The RS4 Evo was run hard as the afternoon wore on, and it gave it's all without a single complaint. Even after up brushing the curb a few times misjudging my corners, as I pushed the cornering speeds up, the car still stood strong with no broken parts at all. This was a great testament to its overall durability.

    As the afternoon wore on, I knew our time would soon come to an end. However, before that happened, there was still one question that I knew anyone reading the review would want to know for a touring car such as this. That would be, "what kind of speeds can I expect?" In anticipation of this very question, I had brought along my radar gun. Soon, I had an answer, with a respectable top radar reading of 39 miles an hour.





















    The top speed of the RS4 Evo matched the rest of the way the T-15 powerplant had performed. Shifting from first to second gear occurred easily and without a single issue. The car had a good balance of low-end punch off the line, but yet wasn't so overpowered that it would simply spin unnecessarily. This made getting back in the throttle after cornering, an easy task to perform. In essence, the car and the motor were very well matched, making it an extremely easy platform to drive for the beginner or intermediate driver.

    As the day drew to a close, and we packed all the gear back up, I was curious about the overall tire wear during the testing. A quick inspection indicated that tire wear was minimal, which is excellent news for the average parking lot racer. Tire life is generally harder to come by than traction in this sort of scenario, and it seems as if HPI has struck a very good balance between the two. While the ideal tire is never the same in all situations, the stock rubber should be more than enough for many of the RS4 3 Evo owners out there. This is just one last piece of the puzzle that HPI has managed to put together, which has resulted in one very good touring car platform!



    See the Nitro 3 Evo in action!
    Resolution:  Low  Medium  High


    HPI has certainly done their homework when it comes to the improvements over the original Nitro RS4 3. Instead of focusing on a few minor improvements, they opted to take the platform to the next level with several improvements that directly affect the vehicle's performance and ease of use.

    I would like to see some hex head hardware trickle it's way down to the RS4 Evo, especially where the motor is concerned. In addition, while I was tearing the vehicle down for some detailed pictures of the chassis, I did manage to break the rotary carburetor's linkage arm. So seeing this part made out of aluminum would be preferable to me. However, other than that, I can't see where HPI has faltered, making this a really good platform for both beginners and intermediate hobbyists.

    HPI has a reason to be proud with this revision of their Nitro RS4 platform. It's a very good vehicle with which to learn the ropes, or simply gain some practice time. From there it has the capability of growing, along with its owner, making it a natural consideration for anyone looking for their thrills on pavement!


    HPI Racing
    70 Icon Street
    Foothill Ranch, CA 92610 USA
    Phone: (949) 753-1099
    Fax: (949) 753-1098
    Website: www.hpiracing.com

    Associated
    3585 Cadillac Avenue
    Costa Mesa, CA 92626
    Phone: (714) 850-9342
    Website: www.teamassociated.com
    Products used: Air Filter Oil

    Dubro, Inc.
    480 Bonner Road
    Wauconda, IL 60084 USA
    Phone: (732) 635-1600
    Website: www.dubro.com
    Products used: Glow Igniter, Fuel Bottle, Fuel Filter, Klip Retainers

    Duratrax
    Distributed Exclusively By
    Great Planes Model Distributors
    P.O. Box 9021
    Champaign, IL 61826-9021 USA
    Phone: (800) 637-7660
    Website: www.duratrax.com
    Products used: Intellipeak Ice Charger

    Dynamite RC Products
    Distributed Exclusively By
    Horizon Hobby, Inc.
    4105 Fieldstone Road
    Champaign, IL 61822 USA
    Phone: (877) 504-0233
    Fax: (217) 352-6799
    Website: www.horizonhobby.com
    Products used: 6-Cell Battery Pack

    Traxxas
    1100 Klein Road
    Plano, Texas 75074 USA
    Phone: (888) 872-9927
    Website: www.traxxas.com
    Products used: NiMH Receiver Pack Charger

    Trinity Products, Inc.
    36 Meridian Road
    Edison, NJ 08820 USA
    Phone: (800) 848-9411
    Fax: (732) 635-1640
    Website: www.teamtrinity.com
    Products used: Monster Horsepower Fuel (20%), After Run Oil

    Venom Racing
    10312 N. Taryne St.
    Hayden, ID 83835 USA
    Phone: (800) 705-0620
    Fax: (800) 705-6021
    Website: www.venom-racing.com
    Products used: 5-Cell Receiver Pack (Built From 2/3A 1200 Mah NiMH Cells)

    Comments on RCU Review: HPI Racing Nitro RS4 3 Evo RTR

    There are no comments

    The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.

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