Sunday, December 13, 2015

What just happened??

Xray introduced the X1 a while ago, and proceeded to issue a bunch of beatdowns at the ETS races in Europe, among other places. Until this point, there were several ideas on how to build an F1 chassis, but most involved an inline battery.

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

VBC LightningFX
Bringing back the old front end, but with the
 bellcrank instead of direct steering

Roche Rapide

Still retaining the Exotek IFS front end
TOP Racing
No bellcranks. adjustable servo angle 

Serpent F110SF2

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


  1. Rob, what would you attribute that 0.2 sec/lap advantage to?

  2. The Xray car has more steering, you can hear the tires screech on a Tamiya car's front end. They seem to have the geometry figured out a little better. It also puts the power down better and is REALLY good on the brakes into a corner if you need it.

  3. Thanks! I've been eyeing an Xray but then what do I do with my 2 Tamiyas and 2 Exoteks? lol. But I am getting tired of getting beaten by X1's lately. Seems like you just throw 'em down on the carpet and they're fast.

  4. The thing that has struck me about the X1 (mine is a 2015) is how accurately it drives. There are times that the Tamiya-based cars simply don't do what I want them to or they will do things that I don't tell them to. I have yet to move from the kit setup. All that I have changed is the tire compound and saucing routine.