Brutal power for all skill levels!
Words: Mark Ronge
Photos: Walter Sidas
This article was originally published in RC Driver’s April 2015 issue.
It wasn’t too long ago when electric 1/8-scale buggies were almost all homemade creations and the few RTR’s that were out there were super expensive and generally unreliable. The ECX Revenge Type E is a true example of how far technology has advanced in the RC world. This RTR buggy is aimed for the beginning hobbyist, but has enough power and features that anyone will have a blast in almost any condition. The ECX Revenge Type E is equipped with Spectrum electronics for easier management of the brushless power. All the bells and whistles are included, of course, with top notch electronics, waterproof components and a Dynamite brushless system ready to accept upgrades in the future. I’ve been having a blast with the Revenge, read more to see if it is right for you!
AT A GLANCE
WHO MAKES IT: ECX
WHO IT’S FOR: All drivers
PART NUMBER: ECX04000
HOW MUCH: $359.99
BUILD TYPE: RTR
• Low price for 1/8-scale RTR
• Excellent ESC/Motor combo
• Superb durability
• Water-resistant electronics
• Spektrum electronics included
• Can truly take a beginner from backyard bashing to the racetrack with all of the tuning options
• Steering servo a bit on the slow side
The 1/8 ECX Revenge Type E is probably one of the best beginner vehicles on the market. It can handle more terrain than any 1/10-scale and has a price to match higher end 1/10-scales as well.
TOOLS AND ACCESSORIES INCLUDED
• L wrenches
• Turnbuckle tool
• 2S or 3S LiPo battery
• Dynamite Reaction 5700mAh 11.1V 3S 80C LiPoly Hard Case – With 1/8- scale electric vehicles, it is important to provide the necessary juice or you may run the risk of ESC failure. This makes choosing your LiPo pack for the Revenge pretty important. The Reaction 80C pack provides more power than the Dynamite brushless system could ever draw, so you get a pack that will last a very long time with low operating temps and get the fastest acceleration and performance that the ECX Revenge has to offer. The performance of this pack was staggering, you could hand the model to someone else and they would swear it was at least a 4-cell pack!
HOP-UPS WE RECOMMEND
• Front and Rear Sway Bar Sets: Revenge Type E/N, ECX0985 & ECX0986, $10.99 each, If you plan on hitting the track to do some racing, a proper sway bar setup is important as it will keep the vehicle from rolling as much during hard corners.
for in-depth reviews on the latest RC vehicles
The ECX Revenge Type E sits on a typical 1/8-scale thick aluminum chassis in which the components are mounted close to the center line of the model for better handling. I noticed the weight distribution is excellent with a neutral bias of front to rear, mostly due to the ESC and receiver box placement more toward the rear. Even with a huge LiPo pack, there is plenty of room for all of the electronics to make basic repairs quick and painless. For a 1/18-scale electric buggy, the ECX Revenge keeps its weight on the lower end for similar vehicles, which is why it only needs a 3-cell LiPo pack to go fast. The Revenge is built like a nitro buggy, so you know it can take some punishment with an upper front brace made of thick aluminum and bracing where it counts to prevent excess flex. The spur gear and center diff are also securely mounted with an aluminum plate affixed on top.
Even though the ECX is marketed as more of a beginner’s buggy, it has almost all of the adjustments that high end racing buggies have. Normally with these types of models you are locked into a boring setup and to head to the race track one would need to buy turnbuckles and a lot of upgrades. Thankfully, turnbuckles are standard all around, meaning that camber angles are easily adjusted. The shocks need clips to adjust the ride height, but the bodies are fully aluminum oil filled units, so I cannot complain too much. The springs are decently stiff; I think if this buggy is going to be raced at the track it would be wise to swap in a stiffer spring set and possibly some oil as well.
There is a waterproof metal-geared Spectrum S605 servo to handle steering through the dual- bell crank system with an adjustable servo saver. The servo is mounted in the let down position to help keep the center of gravity low. Toe angles can be changed using the included turnbuckles and our model came from the factory with some slight toe-in preset. The steering angle is decent, I would say that racing buggies have a more extreme angle, but this setup lends itself well to the newer driver.
The Revenge has a typical 1/8-scale buggy 4WD system with a three diff setup and a centrally mounted spur gear. This allows for the user to have another level of tuning with different viscosities of differential oil once they are ready to go racing. Thick dogbones connect the center differential to the front and rear and then power the wheel hexes as well. Speaking of power, a Dynamite Fuze brushless power system propels the ECX to amazing speeds. The sensorless brushless motor is a 550-sized, four pole 2500Kv which draws its power from a Dynamite 100 amp ESC. The ESC is capable of handling up to two and three cell LiPos. Dynamite SpeedTreads tires transmit the power to the ground and are a great all-purpose tire that does not wear too quickly like all- out racing tires. You will need to provide your own battery pack; we used a Dynamite Reaction 3S LiPo pack. Look for something capable of at least 130 amps of continuous discharge to keep the ESC happy.
From a looks standpoint, the Revenge body shell looks sleek and the color scheme matches the black rims perfectly. It has the look of much higher end buggies, something the user would be proud to sport when they head to the track!
ON THE TRACK
For the most part, the ECX suffers from on-power understeer until you let off the throttle to let the weight transfer forward to give the front tires some bite. If you grabbed too much throttle mid-turn, the Revenge will be more than happy to spin around on you, so a careful trigger finger is key. The Spektrum servo was powerful and had no problems turning the wheels even when stuck between obstacles. If there is anything I could change in this model, it would be a faster steering servo because I felt that changing directions quickly was a little sluggish.
The ECX Revenge is powered by a Dynamite 4-pole 2500Kv motor which matches up well with Reaction 3-cell pack we used. I am used to driving 1/8-scale vehicles with four and six cell LiPos, so I expected a tame experience but was delighted when I pulled the trigger. This buggy on a 3-cell pack feels closer to my other buggies on four cells, meaning tons of torque and insane acceleration (it makes sense since a 2500Kv motor is a bit on the higher side for this scale vehicle). If you pull the throttle trigger fully, the tires will struggle to find grip but good luck exhibiting self control (I couldn’t!). The ESC had no problem bringing the ECX to a halt from top speed.
Immediately I went for the gold and set up some massive jumps to see how the Revenge would fly. Thanks to the awesome acceleration this vehicle provides, I hardly needed any run-up to the jumps to get maximum airtime. The ECX has a nice neutral suspension setup, but you need to keep on the throttle lightly to keep a nice level flight. If you are on a track where you have down slopes you would not have to worry about this as much, but in a bashing situation it’s something to keep in mind. Changing the nose up and down while the buggy is in the air is no problem whatsoever; it was very responsive to my throttle inputs.
The Revenge is built like most 1/8-scale race vehicles which are designed to take a beating all weekend long and last through races where a failure may cost you a race. Throughout my testing I did not get any signs of wear or any issues, even when being rougher than I normally would with a test vehicle. I took the ECX buggy off of massive ramps and while I was getting the hang of the flight characteristics, botched a large number of landings. All I have to show for it are a few scuffs on the chassis. I also may or may not have hit a tree head-on when I didn’t line up my jump correctly and cringed as the force was intense. I walked over the buggy and found it just as good as new with no bent components or cracked pieces.
The ECX Revenge Type E contains everything you need to get going (below) except for a 2 or 3 cell LiPo pack. Everything is mounted in a way to keep the chassis balnced lengthwise and left to right for great handling.
SPECS AND TUNING OPTIONS
LENGTH: 19.1 in. (485mm)
WIDTH: 12.1 in. (309mm)
WHEELBASE: 12.7 in. (323mm)
WEIGHT: 6.7lbs. (3.0 kg)
BODY, WHEELS AND TIRES
BODY: Pre-painted and cut buggy
WHEELS: Black dish
WHEEL ADAPTER TYPE: 17mm hex
TIRES: Dynamite SpeedTreads
TYPE: 4-wheel independent
SHOCK POSITIONS: (F) 6-tower, 2-arm, (R) 6-tower, 2-arm
CAMBER: Adjustable turnbuckles
RIDE HEIGHT: Pre-load clips on the shocks
TYPE: Dual bellcrank
TOE: Adjustable turnbuckles
TYPE: Flat MATERIAL: Aluminum
TRANSMISSION: Shaft drive
DIFFERENTIAL: Gear diffs
GEAR RATIO: Adjustable via option gears
BEARINGS: Full set of shielded
CLUTCH TYPE: N/A
Performance – Acceleration: 8
Performance – Steering: 7
Performance – Handling: 7
Performance – Durability: 10
Feature Breakdown: 9
Overall Value: 9
The newest ECX Revenge Type E really opened my eyes to how far technology has advanced in our hobby. It used to be that 1/8-scale electric buggies were only for experts and even they had issues with reliability and had to drop more than double what the Revenge costs to get something halfway decent. Better yet, the buggy does not need any upgrades for beginning level racing and has all of the same tuning options a full-fledged race buggy would have. The performance is staggering, brutal acceleration and torque from just a 3-cell LiPo pack and it is built as tough as a tank. I have to give ECX credit for bringing us one of the most versatile buggies on the market, we have a winner!
ECX, ecxrc.com, (217) 352-1913