Front motor masterpiece!
Words: Matt Maziarz
Photos: Walter Sidas
From RC Driver Issue: 134
In a class as storied and historic as 2WD buggy, it’s been both refreshing and amazing to see so many changes in chassis and transmission developments. Mid motor machines are increasingly popular and the current trend has brought us back to days gone by with most every manufacturer enlisting an alloy chassis as the backbone. The Team C TM2 V2 is a new design that not only talks the talk, but it walks the walk. Just before its initial release, the TM2 had already racked up a number of regional podiums and took home the gold in a number of different classes at the German Championships. The V2 is essentially the same as the V1 except the new car uses the TM4 rear diff for improved results. The front motor layout looks like a 4WD buggy with all the front drivetrain parts removed which may serve as a distraction … until you notice all the super clean carbon fiber. I hope this build goes quickly because I can’t wait to wring this thing out!
AT A GLANCE
WHO MAKES IT: Team C
WHO IT’S FOR: Racers
PART NUMBER: TM2
HOW MUCH: $153.99
BUILD TYPE: Kit
• Extremely quick and easy build
• Carbon fiber and shiny alloy as far as the eye can see
• 12mm big bore shocks
• Front mounted motor for superior weight balance
• Motor screws are tough to get to
“Something a little different” has always been my thing at the track. 2WD buggy has also always been my thing, so it’s only natural that I wrestled the TM2 V2 from the grips of all the other throttle jockeys when this little pearl came in for review. The buggy itself features a revolutionary design in as far as the drivetrain goes. It employs a vertically opposed motor, which essentially looks like a 1/10-scale 4WD buggy with the front drive shafts and differential removed. The base for the build is a beautifully crafted carbon fiber main chassis that is flanked by eye-catching, orange anodized braces. For high bite tracks, this design is a sure bet and it already has the report card to prove it, winning multiple championships on the European circuits. The TM2 goes together quickly, it performs flawlessly and it looks like a piece of art that should be vacuum sealed in an alarm enabled case.
• 2-channel transmitter and receiver
• 2S short pack LiPo
• Compatible charger
• Steering servo
• Lexan paint
• Building tools
• Futaba 4PKS-R Transmitter (FUTK4903) $499.99
• Futaba R614FS 4-Channel 2.4GHz FASST Receiver (FUTL7635) $119.97
• The XeRun 120 includes Hobbywing’s most advanced software functions; it comes with 10 Pre-set profiles for easy plug in and play use. Its built-in electronic switch saves chassis space and new innovative heat dissipation structure aluminum bottom case improves the heat dissipation for a more reliable ESC. The 120 comes pre- soldered with high grade gauge wires making this speed control a popular unit to run in the racing community.
• Savox 8.5T brushless motor (SAVBLH365085) $89.99
• Savox SC-1267SG Super Speed Steel Gear Servo (SAVSC1267SG) $92.99
ADDITIONAL ITEMS USED
• LRP Quadra Competition AC/DC Charger V1 QC-V1 (41420US) $164.99
The latest in a long line of competent chargers, the LRP Quadra offers a solid 80 watts of power for charging all your hottest packs. The short pack requirements of the TM2 mean we’ll be using LiPo cells only, but the Quadra is fully capable of charging and maintaining pretty much any type of battery at up to 10 amps.
• LRP LiPo 2S 7.4V 4700mAh Comp Shorty Hardcase 110C/55C (430214) $89.99
Because the TM2 requires a shorty pack LiPo, our choices were limited. We chose to go with the LRP 4700mAh as it packs a huge run time into a small pack and the 55C constant discharge rating is sure to keep the power flowing. The bullet plug adapter makes for a nice clean installation and eliminates the need for a true plug.
• AKA Racing 1/10 Buggy Rebar Rear Super Soft (2) (13108V) $11.99,
The M2 is purpose built and designed for high bite tracks. With that in mind, we opted to go with AKA’s Rebar tire on all four corners. We intended to test the buggy on both carpet and hard packed clay, so the super soft compound should fit the bill for both surfaces. The wide center lugs will ensure straight tracking and great forward bite while the side bars will keep the push to a minimum while cornering.
• Hobby Wing Xerun 120 amp ESC (81020350) $192.99
HOP-UPS WE RECOMMEND
• Robinson Racing Pinion Gear 6-Pack Even 16-26T (1050) $12.69)
Changing the spur gear on the TM2 V2 is a bit more involved than on more traditional 2WD buggies. To keep it turning TQ pace laps, grab up one of these pinion assortments from RRP so that your gear ratio is always spot-on.
• JConcepts Clear Chassis Protective Sheet (1155) $6.99
If you plan on running your TM2 on anything other than carpet, these chassis protectors will keep the carbon fiber main frame looking great. They can be custom trimmed to fit your vehicle of choice.
• Muchmore Racing Motor/ESC Ultra-High rpm Fan 25x25mm (MRU25FAN) $10.99
Without reaming the body of the TM2 into Swiss cheese, there is little in the way of cooling airflow over the motor. To keep the temps down and the podium finishes up, strap on one of these LRP cooling fans.
• The artistically woven carbon fiber main chassis is tied together with front and rear upper decks. Couple that with the rigid alloy side plates and what you’re left with is a stout platform that is primed to take on any and all comers. Rounding out the bling factor on the TM2 is the center diff and motor mount, also anodized in orange just like the side plates. Once I had the main components of the chassis together, I wasn’t sure if I should run the buggy or put it on a shelf for display.
• Following the latest industry trend, Team C felt it was imperative to equip this latest machine with 12mm big bore shocks. The extra volume in oil combined with the larger diameter springs provide supreme dampening abilities while the titanium nitride coated shafts and hard anodized bodies provide strength and resilience. The tops feature bleeder screws for painless assembly as well as quick and easy fluid changes.
• The front mounted motor might look a little weird at first, but once you’ve driven the TM2, you’ll be a believer, too. The idea is that the bulk of the weight is placed directly on the CG of the chassis. The result is a perfectly balanced machine that transfers weight effortlessly for superior handling. This design is right at home on high bite surfaces such as carpet and turf, but can also be tweaked for dusty conditions. An added benefit to the centrally located mass of electronics is that the TM2 flies perfectly.
• The rear end of the TM2 utilizes a fluid tuned bevel gear diff to transfer the power to the wheels. Every single gear is hardened steel, right down to the ring and pinion in the diff. The use of this type of drivetrain results in a lower CG and a quicker assembly process. The rear diff has effectively become the transmission and all of it is contained in the case below the rear upper deck. We opted to use the 1000 weight oil included with the kit as the TM2 would be tested on a couple of different high bite tracks.
ON THE TRACK
On the right surfaces, the TM2 has almost too much steering. On carpet and other high bite tracks, a good deal of exponential and dual rates should be all you need to keep the front end in check. The dual bell crank system transfers energy efficiently to the draglink, making steering inputs deliberate, yet precise. The draglink also features two different options for mounting the toe links, giving the TM2 Ackermann adjustments to further fine tune the steering. Even when the traction was at its highest, the Savox 1267SG servo keeps the wheels locked where you point them.
The TM2 is off like a rocket when the throttle is mashed. The combination of the Savox motor being pushed by the LRP LiPo offers a potent combo that’s sure to satisfy all but the most insatiable speed freaks. When the buggy is run on carpet, the slipper clutch takes on more of a passive roll than on dirt. Some might think that a locked slipper is needed for high bite tracks, but a few cranks to loosen it will ensure your drivetrain stays in one piece. Hole shot ability is almost unlimited, while the weight distribution of the TM2 helps keep the ponies on the ground when entering or exiting corners.
Perhaps the best part about the TM2 is how it handles the jumps and other track obstacles. The electronics layout with the motor up front provides superior balance, giving the buggy awesome in-flight handling. Even if a jump is approached at a less than favorable angle, the TM2 squares up nicely once off the ground. The same great balance translates into superior cornering with the TM2 whereas the lateral shift when negotiating complex corners keeps the CG centered on the chassis. The smooth-as-silk 12mm shocks top off a great package to keep those lap times down when the competition is hot.
I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting the TM2 to be a tough nut to crack when dealing with some serious abuse. The carbon fiber looks killer and provides a rigid platform to keep the handling consistent, but that usually doesn’t prove to hold up to rough and tumble crashes. Nothing could be further from the truth with this buggy. We experienced plenty of brushes with the pipe while testing on a carpet track, courtesy of some novices practicing with their SCTs and the TM2 soaked it all up in stride. When we were testing the platform on a dirt track, we were constantly chasing the setup trying to get the buggy planted. This meant we didn’t exactly have the tuning perfected so the TM2 was sent into a number of cartwheels at all different speeds and aside from popping a ball cup or two, we experienced no parts failures or breakage.
SPECS AND TUNING OPTIONS
LENGTH: 14.96 in. (380mm)
WIDTH: 9.84 in. (250)
WHEELBASE: 11.4 in. (290mm)
WEIGHT: Varies with electronics used
BODY, WHEELS AND TIRES
BODY: Clear Lexan buggy body and wing
WHEELS: White dish
WHEEL ADAPTER TYPE: 12mm front, 14mm rear
TIRES: Not included
TYPE: 4-wheel independent
SHOCK POSITIONS: (F) 3-tower, 2-arm, (R) 3-tower, 2-arm
CAMBER: Fully adjustable links
ROLL: Adjustable with spacers
WHEELBASE: Adjustable with spacers
RIDE HEIGHT: Rear droop screws and threaded pre-load spacers
TYPE: Bellcrank with drag link
TOE: Fully adjustable links
TYPE: Flat double deck
MATERIAL: Carbon Fiber
TRANSMISSION: Center spur, ring and pinion diff
DIFFERENTIAL: Bevel gear diff
GEAR RATIO: 2.5
BEARINGS: Full set of shielded
CLUTCH TYPE: Slipper clutch
Performance – Acceleration: 8
Performance – Steering: 8
Performance – Handling: 8
Performance – Durability: 8
Feature Breakdown: 8
Overall Value: 9
While the front motor design of the TM2 might look like an oddity at first, this type of chassis layout is all the rage on the European circuit these days. The high bite carpet and turf tracks provide gobs of traction, so a perfectly balanced machine like this is right at home when grip is high. The car is a pleasure to drive on carpet and handles like a dream. Dirt track drivers might have to work a little harder to get the TM2 to perform how they’d like, but it is possible with the right tweaks. The carbon fiber chassis looks plain awesome and provides a rugged platform to keep the TM2 well balanced no matter where it’s running. The price of this latest version, at well under 200 bucks, is a steal when compared to most other purpose-built race machines. Anyone that knows me also knows that I like to be a little different when I’m taking down podiums at my local track and this new machine fits that mission perfectly.
AKA raceaka.com, (951) 677-2500
Futaba futabarc.com, (217) 398-8970
Hobbywing N.A. hobbywing.com
Jconcepts jconcepts.net, (352) 241-4976
LRP lrp-americastore.com, (949) 276-6060
Muchmore Racing muchmoreusa.com, (217) 398-8970
RRP robinsonracing.com, (559) 692-2465
Savox savoxusa.com, (855) 76S-2869
Team C teamcracing.net