A great choice for those looking to bash and race!
This article was originally published in RC Driver’s August 2015 issue.
Photos by Walter Sidas
It goes without saying that the people over at LRP know a thing or two about designing high quality speed controls, motors, chargers and other electronics. In fact, their electronics have collected about a dozen world titles and have been in vehicles that have cruised to victory way back at the 1995 IFMAR World Championships and most recently, at the 2013 IFMAR World Championship. Looking to expand their repertoire, LRP has more recently started releasing entire vehicles. As you should have already guessed, they come with top- of-the-line motors, speed controls and such, but how will the rest of the vehicle hold up? Well, after getting my hands on their S8 Rebel BXe, a ready-to-run electric 1/8- scale buggy, I can tell you this vehicle is ready for prime time fun!
WHO MAKES IT: LRP
WHO IT’S FOR: Intermediate to advanced drivers
PART NUMBER: 130305
HOW MUCH: $594.99
BUILD TYPE: RTR
•? Outstanding sensored motor and ESC
• ?Aluminum steering knuckles are tough
•? Adjustable battery tray can accommodate various packs
•? Rugged 4mm thick aluminum shock towers
•? Well designed motor mount makes setting gear mesh easy
•? Good balance from left to right
•? Plenty of tuning options
•? I’d rather have seen dish wheels as opposed to the 7-spoke wheels
•? I would like to have seen hex hardware/screws used throughout
I like that LRP made sure that not just the electronics package is top shelf, but the rest of the vehicle, from drivetrain, suspension system, chassis layout and beyond is right there with it. With so few weaknesses and its many strengths, the LRP S8 Rebel BXe might not sound like a deal at just under $600 but with all that is under the hood it certainly is.
• “AA” batteries for the transmitter
• 2, 2S LiPo battery packs
• Compatible charger
HOP-UPS WE RECOMMEND
• Large powerful 1/8-scale vehicles like the S8 Rebel BXe need an aluminum servo arm. The stock arm does work well, but it can flex and an aluminum arm is much less likely to fail. There are many quality aluminum servo arms on the market so be sure the one you pick up has a 25T spline so it will fit the stock servo.
TOOLS & ACCESSORIESINCLUDED
• ? 4-way wrench
• ? L wrenches
• ? Turnbuckle tool
As one might expect the LRP S8 Rebel BXe features a rugged 3mm thick aluminum chassis. The LRP Dynamic 8 2200Kv brushless motor is located toward the right rear of the chassis and is secured to a well-designed two-piece motor mount that makes setting gear mesh simple and prevents the motor from moving even in a hard collision. In front of the motor is a small receiver box with hinged lip next to the steering servo. Toward the left rear of the chassis the iX8 Brushless ESC is secured right behind the battery box area. The box itself is adjustable to accommodate a variety of packs and uses a pair of Velcro straps to keep the batteries from moving around. Extending from both the front and rear clips are composite chassis braces. They flex just enough to help the chassis generate traction without sacrificing performance or durability.
Smooth and tough, that is how LRP designed the suspension system on the LRP S8 Rebel BXe. To start, all four corners utilize threaded big bore LRP Factory Team shocks with thick shafts capable of withstanding much use and abuse. To tune the car to rough and smooth tracks alike there are multiple shock mounting holes on the 4mm thick aluminum shock towers that are anodized in eye-catching blue. Easily accessible droop screws are found in each suspension arm to set ride height. Speaking of the suspension arms, the LRP logo is found on each one as well as many other plastic/composite components. Nice touch, LRP! An aluminum front hinge pin brace adds to the durability factor and like the shock towers, looks good in blue.
To snap the wheels from side to side LRP went with a B-7260, 13kg steering servo. It features all metal gears so it can withstand much abuse and has ball bearings so it is less likely to develop slop. An adjustable turnbuckle connects the plastic servo arm to a fairly standard dual bellcrank that has a built-in spring loaded adjustable servo saver. Each side of the blue aluminum steering plate that connects to each bellcrank has three turnbuckle mounting holes for Ackermann adjustments. Adjustable turnbuckles bridge the steering plate to heavy duty metal steering knuckles, a very nice touch, especially on an RTR. On each of the composite hubs that the knuckles fit into is a pair of camber turnbuckle mounting holes to aid in tuning the S8 Rebel BXe.
A trio of steel gear differentials that feature a four-spider gear design are the heart of the drivetrain on the S8 Rebel BXe. While the front and rear diffs come pre- filled with fluid, the center diff is dry and needs to be filled prior to use, not too big a deal even for newcomers. Speaking of the center diff, if features a plastic spur gear with a top cover to help keep it safe and prevent wires from wandering into the mesh. Dog bones efficiently transfer power from the center diff to the front and back end. Power is sent to the front wheels by way of CVD style driveshafts while the back end uses dog bones.
Unlike the vast majority of electric 1/8- scale ready-to-run vehicles on the market the S8 Rebel BXe comes with a smooth and powerful sensored brushless power system. To start, an LRP Dynamic 8, 2200Kv brushless motor is used. As you already should’ve guessed, it is sensored, and so no matter how fast or slow you go the throttle response is super smooth. The can/housing is machined from a 7075 T6 aluminum and is ridged to increase surface area to help it run cool. The combination of the sintered 4-pole balanced magnet rotor and 12 slots generates brutal torque to spin the tires and get the S8 Reben BX8 up to speed in the blink of an eye. For longevity a pair of oversized bearings is used. Even though the LRP S8 Rebel BXe is only intented to be run on 4S LiPo, the iX8 speed control is rated up to 6S (22.2V) LiPo. And a 600A burst! The included fan will ensure it runs cool even under harsh conditions and the 6.0A BEC ensures the steering servo will always have ample power. Additionally, it is programmable and updatable and has all 4mm pluggable bullet style connections so you don’t need to reach for a soldering iron when disconnecting the motor.
ON THE TRACK
It took me several laps to get used to the steer- ing on the LRP S8 Rebel as there was a decent push when cornering on power. This was most likely caused by the VTEC Kamikaze not being the best choice for this track but I decided to try and make it work. As a result, taking corners tight and fast was not in the cards. The solution was to do more of a power slide on the approach and have the car pointed in the right direction as I arrived at the corner. On my last run of the day I did put a set of AKA Impact tires all the way around on the S8 Rebel BXe and this made the buggy more able to take corners tighter and quicker.
The S8 Rebel BXe accelerates like no other RTR. When I finally pulled the throttle all the way back after a few slow test laps around the large outdoor track at R/C Madness in Enfield, Connecticut, it took off like a guided missile and was quickly at the end of the 180-foot straight- away. While top end speed was beyond impressive thanks to the 2200Kv Dynamic 8 motor and 4S of LiPo power, low end power and response was equally impressive due to the sensored motor and ESC. Through the infield there was an extremely smooth feel that allowed me to give just the right amount of throttle where I wanted it, making it take tight corners and approaches to jumps nearly per- fectly. Braking was also outstanding as it was fully proportional like the throttle and did not fade throughout the run.
The big track at R/C Madness had some rather rough sections in need of TLC on the Monday I went to test as it was right after a big race week- end. For the S8 Rebel BXe this was not much of a challenge as it seemed to be eating up ruts, bumps and even a mogul type section. On my first few runs through the infield I took it slowly over a set of double-doubles, and just singled each. When I began to open it up I was easily able to clear each set individually. With a turn immediately following the second set I used some air steering to get aligned to enter the cor- ner upon landing. After a few more laps I decid- ed to see if I could clear the double-double as if it were one large quad jump. Without hesitation I ripped back on the throttle and the S8 Rebel BXe sailed through the air and just made the landing, albeit a hard landing. While the hard landing, due in part to shock oil that I think was a tad too light, caused the car to hop just a touch it quickly regained composure so I could get back on the throttle and make the corner.
This is one tough buggy! Because the plastic/ composite components have a small amount of flex they are very forgiving. There were a few occasions where I misjudged a jump or corner and the S8 Rebel BXe took a tough tumble. Still, other than needing a good cleaning this big and powerful buggy showed no ill effects.
SPECS & TUNING OPTIONS
BODY, WHEELS AND TIRES
BODY: Pre-painted and cut cab forward style
WHEEL adapter type: 17mm hex
TIRES: VTEC Kamikaze racing
TYPE: 4-wheel independent
SHOCK POSITIONS: (F) 3-tower, 2-arm,
(R) 4-tower, 2-arm
CAMBER: Adjustable turnbuckles and various mounting holes
ROLL: Various turnbuckle mounting positions on the front shock tower
WHEELBASE: Adjustable shims at the rear hubs
RIDE HEIGHT: Droop screws and threaded shocks
MISC: 3 Ackermann mounting holes on the steering plate
TYPE: Dual bellcrank
TOE: Adjustable turnbuckles
DIFFERENTIAL: Front, center and rear gear differentials
CLUTCH TYPE: N/A
GEAR RATIO: Optional pinion gears
BEARINGS: Full set of shielded
Well equipped with features like electronics package, fully sponsored drivers run, and a plethora of tuning options, the S8 Rebel BXe from LRP is a hit. While the RTR market for electric 1/8 off-road vehicles is rather full, the release of the S8 Rebel BXe should be in the conversation as one of the top choices for those looking to bash and race. I love that it is durable, tunable, fast and even better; it has the LRP name behind it.