The front ends were also hit or miss depending on which car you had. The Tamiya front end was pretty durable, and fairly adjustable if you threw the Exotek parts on it. It still had limitations. Speedpassion had some good ideas, but it was hard to set with the shims and graphite plate..maybe a bit complicated for what it did. Some others like CRC and VBC tried to be a little more straightforward yet functional.
So now there has been a sudden swarm of cars based on the "Xray layout" - transverse battery, graphite plate front end parts, and often, a bellcrank steering system.
Xray X1 2016
Bringing back the old front end, but with the
bellcrank instead of direct steering
Still retaining the Exotek IFS front end
No bellcranks. adjustable servo angle
US Indoor Champs winner,
note machined bulkhead for upper link
So in the last six months, there seems to have been a consensus built on the success of the Xray X1. Only Tamiya carries on with an inline chassis configuration. Ironically, a Tamiya car has taken second place at the most recent ETS race in the Czech Republic. It's hard to know if Tamiya will introduce a car along these lines, knowing their desire to produce scale appearing race cars. The TRF102 was only introduced last summer, but the TRF line would be the only way that made sense for a pure race car to make its appearance.
In my own experience, the Xray cars have easily had .2 seconds per lap on a carpet track over a typical Tamiya car right out of the box. They did not seem to diff as badly, and overall had much more stability. On top of everything else, the front end adjusts easily, with all the aspects you'd like to control (camber , caster . roll center, camber gain, etc.).
Perhaps this is a sign F1 is gaining traction as a class worldwide and can finally have some staying power.
Many pictures stolen from REDRC