Turn your living room into a race track!
This article was originally published in RC Driver’s February 2016 issue.
Photos: Edwin Rodriguez
While the Q32 Baja Buggy has been out for a while, the new Q32 D8T Tessman Edition Truggy looks to increase the performance factor with bigger wheels and a wider stance. These micro machines can be used in any room bigger than a closet, so you never have to be without your RC fun again. Charging is done through the TF-60 transmitter and takes about 30 minutes to give the buggy or truggy 8-10 minutes of runtime with the included 3.7 volt 75mAh battery. Don’t let the small size fool you, these little machines can be upgraded and customized as well and while they are pretty darn fast out of the box, that can be improved on with the speed gear sets that will soon be available.
AT A GLANCE
WHO MAKES IT: HPI
WHO IT’S FOR: Anyone
PART NUMBER: 115124, 114060
HOW MUCH: $59.98 each
BUILD TYPE: RTR
• Small enough to run in any room
• Very fast for micro vehicles
• Charger is built into the transmitter
• Foam tires have great traction on carpet
• No brakes
I’ve always had a thing for smaller RC vehicles. They’re usually just a tune-able as their larger counterparts, they usually cost less and they are much easier to hide from the wife! Seriously though, these little Q32 models from HPI are the perfect machine to have fun with anywhere, any time. Whether you’re waiting between rounds at the local track, horsing around in the garage or running laps in the living room, the Q32 is just what you need. They are fast, durable and tons of fun for any driving skill level.
TOOLS AND ACCESSORIES INCLUDED
• There are no tools included, but HPI does provide a small cardboard ramp and eight track dots with each Q32 model.
• (4) “AA” batteries for the transmitter
HOP-UPS WE RECOMMEND
• HPI Racing High-Speed Gears/ Stability Adjustment Q32 (114265) $10.99 This combo unit includes three different pinion/spur combos to custom tailor your Q32 to your specific driving style, whether it’s more torque or more top end you seek. The stability adjustment parts also greatly enhance the performance of the Q32s. By using “Tweak Screws” (basically grub screws), you can adjust how sharply the Q32 will turn left or right. The kit also includes optional toe links for either one or two degrees of toe out.
• D8T and Baja Clear Body Sets (116026, 114283) $8.99-$9.69 HPI offers up clear bodies for both the truggy and buggy Q32, so you can customize yours with whatever paint job you see fit. Just don’t go crazy with the fine details as these things are tiny compared to even 1/18 scale bodies.
• HPI Racing USB Charging Cable Q32 (114259) $5.99 The batteries for each of the Q32s can easily be charged using the lead on the top of the TF-60 transmitter, but to prolong the life of the “AA” batteries in the radio, we recommend getting this USB charger. It’ll plug into any PC with a USB port or an AC adapter for a cell phone
FEATURE BREAKDOWN The Q32 models are perfectly suited for low pile, indoor carpet. The foam tires give them great traction and HPI offers a few optional sets of tires for more or less grip. Use the included track dots and cardboard jumps to set up your own micro race course on those rainy days.
The included TF-60 transmitter is smaller in size, making it easy to grip and hold in the hands of a younger driver. The radio also doubles as the charger for the LiPo in each Q32 and it has trims for both steering and throttle.
The simplicity of the Q32 layout is really what makes them so much fun while remaining very durable. There aren’t any shocks up front, but the flexible plastic provides just enough “bend” to allow the arms to absorb any bumps or ruts. The layout also makes the buggy and truggy easy to wrench on for repairs or upgrades.
ON THE TRACK
The steering rack in the front of the Q32’s is driven by a motor rather than a servo. While this is much better than a “light switch” style magnetic actuator found on many micro and sub-micro machines, it still leaves a little to be desired in the proportional feel of the steering. At high speeds, it was tough to make minor adjustments without either one of our test rides darting one way or the other. Conversely, the high speed cornering on low carpet is amazing. At full speed, we could yank the wheel and both the truggy and buggy would carve a hard 90-degree turn … without slowing down or traction rolling!
The little brushed motors in the Q32s are quite peppy and can turn even the largest room into a small one real quick like. The stock gearing won’t allow for wheelies on command, but the top speed is far more than will be needed for your average living room. Braking on the little micro machines isn’t all that great because there really aren’t any brakes. The motor goes straight from forward to reverse when applying the brakes, though the brushed power plant does produce some drag, so simply letting off the throttle will slow the buggy or truggy.
designed these vehicles for smooth indoor surfaces. Cement floors in the pits at your club track, tile in the kitchen of your house or even low pile carpet are perfect venues for the Q32s. However, the rear spring is mighty stiff considering the light weight of the models, so pretty much anything the size of a toothpick or bigger will result in the buggy or truggy going airborne. It is imperative to hit such “jumps” as squarely as possible to not upset the little rigs. They do handle the cardboard jumps very well and excel at high speed cornering on carpet where they are stuck to the surface. Only a handful of times did we manage to traction roll the Q32s and that was usually do to hitting a raised tile edge from the side. The majority of the time, the micro machines stay planted firmly on the ground.
You wouldn’t expect a necessarily robust package for such a modest price, right? Wrong. The Q32s are very, very durable. Navigating the long hallways of the RC Driver office at high speeds often resulted in a few brushes with the walls and even a few head-on collisions with filing cabinets. Each and every time, the little models just bounced back and were ready for the gas again. Given the fact that there are so few parts and that there is essentially no transmission, there is very little that actually can get broken on these vehicles. We also managed to get the truggy and buggy tangled a few times, sending one or both cart-wheeling across and office. Even with some nasty “Mary-Lou Retton” style acrobatics, these little HPIs never so much as shrugged. Beware of hair getting wound up in the axles as they are meant for indoor action.
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SPECS AND TUNING OPTIONS
LENGTH: Truggy – 4.9 in. (125mm), Buggy – 4.3 in. (109mm)
WIDTH: Truggy – 2.9 in. (76mm), Buggy – Front 2.8 in. (71mm), Rear 2.9 in. (76mm)
WHEELBASE: 3.2 in. (82mm)
WEIGHT: Buggy – 1.5 oz. (43g), Truggy – 1.7 oz. (50g)
BODY, WHEELS AND TIRES
BODY: Baja Buggy Body, Ty Tessman Truggy Body
WHEELS: Truggy – White Dish, Buggy – White Spokes
WHEEL ADAPTER TYPE: Press fit
TIRES: Pre-mounted High Traction Foam
TYPE: Independent front, solid axle rear
TYPE: Gear driven
TOE: Fixed (option parts available)
TRANSMISSION: Direct drive
BEARINGS: Bronze bushings
Performance – Acceleration: 8
Performance – Steering: 6
Performance – Handling: 7
Performance – Durability: 9
Feature Breakdown: 7
Overall Value: 8
As of the time of this writing, the fervor involved with the 2015 holiday shopping season was just ramping up. I can think of no better stocking stuffer than a new HPI Q32 Baja or D8T Tessmann Truggy … except maybe one of each! For the price of a decent 2S LiPo, you can get both Q32s to keep the action rolling when you can’t always make it to the track. They’re small in size, very fast right out of the box and are imminently more durable than anything that’s any larger in scale. HPI even includes everything you need to make your own impromptu race course, so what are you waiting for? Get yourself a couple Q32s and claim the living room as your new race facility!