Crank Up the Volume!
2Wd Off-Road Short Course Truck
Words: Tony Phalen
Photos: Walter Sidas
From RC Driver Issue: 134
Traxxas spawned the short course craze in 2009 with the introduction of the 2WD Slash. Since that time, every vehicle manufacturer worth its salt has jumped on the SC bandwagon, creating what can arguably be one of the most popular classes in RC. Later that year, Traxxas one-upped its 2WD truck with the release of a 4WD version, boosting the performance and drivability of an already awesome platform. Both of these trucks come completely ready to rip right out of the box, including a battery, charger and even tools, so what more could the end user want? How about a small control box and a pair of body-mounted speakers to release the roar of a 900+hp Pro4 Short Course truck? Let’s plug it up, turn it on and see what all this noise is about!
WHO MAKES IT: Traxxas
WHO IT’S FOR: Everyone
PART NUMBER: 58034-2
HOW MUCH: $299.95
BUILD TYPE: RTR
• Same awesome Slash platform that we’ve all come to love
• Comes with everything you need to pull it out of the box and go
• Onboard audio system can be turned up, turned down or turned off right on the control box
• Speakers mounted up inside the body not only produce sound, they also vibrate the body for even more realism
• Equipped with Traxxas’ Titan 12-turn 550 motor and XL-5 waterproof ESC
• Packed with an all-metal gear Magnum 272 transmission and Revo-Spec Torque-Control slipper clutch
• Plenty of tuning adjustments for those who like to tinker
• Tons, and I do mean tons, of aftermarket support
• Traction is a bit low with the hard tires, but this also means they won’t wear out fast
• A little top-heavy and prone to rolling over quite easily on asphalt/concrete
Adding realistic audio to an already ‘sound’ platform is one of coolest things Traxxas could do. (See what I did there?) The throaty notes of a Pro4 truck will attract a lot of people to the sport, especially those that love and attend Traxxas-sponsored TORC events. Outside of the audio, the Slash is a beginner’s best friend. It’s not overpowered or difficult to drive and comes complete and ready to rock right out of the box. For those track owners looking for the next big thing, a Spec class of these might be the hot ticket!
TOOLS AND ACCESSORIES INCLUDED
• 4-way wrench
• L wrenches
• Turnbuckle wrench
• Slipper wrench
• Additional spur gear
• Additional pinion gear
• Everything is included
• Hitec X4 AC Charger
• For now the only chassis Traxxas has dropped the audio system into is the high-CG 2WD Slash. This means that you’ll have plenty of ground clearance when jumping in the dirt or off the curbs. The water- sealed receiver box is mounted on the left side of the chassis; the onboard audio on the right. The ESC sits on a tray right behind the battery box and is firmly screwed to the chassis. There is plenty of room on the chassis deck for future electronic upgrades and the centrally mounted battery tray will hold a 6- or 7-cell NiMh (7-cell is included) or LiPo pack. If you do upgrade to a LiPo, you’ll need to get a foam block (or something similar) to take up the extra space in the battery tray.
• The Slash features a four-wheel, independent suspension that is damped at all four corners by long, oil-filled shocks. While the audio Slash does not come with threaded shocks, you can still alter ride height by inserting or removing the preload spacers. Progressive springs are included to help soften the ride, and there are multiple mounting locations to further tune performance. The suspension arms are thick and have webbing everywhere; you’ll be hard pressed to break one of these parts! The steel turnbuckles thread into captured rod ends to help keep them from popping off when you’re in the middle of ‘fun’ time.
• Handling the steering duties on this Slash is a Traxxas 2075 digital servo. This waterproof unit has a large servo saver attached to it and connects to a dual bellcrank steering system. Steel turnbuckles reach out to the steering arms to positively point the Slash in the direction it needs to go. The servo did a great job of keeping up with my inputs as I powered the Slash around the field, even during some pretty constant power-sliding maneuvers.
• The audio Slash features Traxxas’ brutally-strong Magnum 272 transmission. This transmission is equipped with a full set of metal gears that ride on precision bearings. A planetary, fluid-filled gear diff controls traction and a Revo-Spec Torque-Control slipper clutch system helps protect the rest of the drivetrain. Heavy duty slider driveshafts feed the power to the rear tires and use through-screw pins to keep everything together. This is the same gearbox used in the brushless versions of the same truck, so rest assured you’ll have no issues with the drivetrain!
• The sound system is pretty trick. Speakers are mounted in framework that is attached to the inside of the body. An audio box that is screwed to the chassis controls the sound and volume to the speakers. At low volume there is a slight rumble with very little vibration. Turn up the volume and the roar of 900+hp emanates from the truck like a pack of wild animals. In addition to the thunderous sound, the speakers have a double-sided sticky ring that pins them to the body and, at high volume, the whole truck shakes like the real thing. Pull the throttle and the revs hit the limiter; let the truck sit there for a few seconds and the audio programming boosts the revs twice before shutting down the truck (in actuality, just the sound). It really is a cool feature, one that Traxxas put some thought into and did the right way.
ON THE TRACK
Since we’ve tested the 2WD Slash before I’m not going to go into a full, detailed review on its handling. Instead, I’m going to focus on the truck as a whole and the highlight of the kit, the audio.
Of course, the first thing we wanted to do when the truck entered the office is pull it out, throw a pack in and test out the sound. Since we knew when the truck was coming in and didn’t want to wait to charge the included 7-cell pack, we pre-charged a 7-cell earlier in the day so we could get right to it! The Slash was yanked from the box, the body was removed and a fresh 7-cell installed. Body on, radio on, truck on … all in about 20 seconds. The audio box was not set too high so we were a little bummed at the start, but Greg stuck his fingers up inside and kicked up the volume … NOW we’re talking. The sound at full volume is pretty incredible, and we had a few fellow employees come stick their heads in to see what all the racket was about. Our initial test was complete; it sounded very cool and it did draw quite a bit of attention!
Our next step was to get it outside, spool it up and see what it could do. We did a few passes on our concrete patio area and found that, while it was spunky and handled pretty well, the added weight of the speakers up top resulted in a lot of body roll. To give the Slash’s audio a low, meaty roar, speakers with larger (and heavier) magnets must be used. When the Slash started to lean, the increased weight (high up in the body) caused the truck to continue rolling until it flipped over. This happened in almost every high-speed turn. We found the same thing happened farther out on the asphalt parking area.
Moving to the dirt, however, was quite a different experience. We took the truck to RCHR in Waterbury Connecticut for a little indoor running. The dirt surface was way more forgiving than the asphalt/concrete and we found the Slash actually handled quite well. The lean was still there, but the tires would slide across the dirt instead of grabbing and flipping. We powered around the track to get used to the layout and then brought it back in for a quick battery change. At this time, we also plugged the audio box in, cranked the sound level to full and set the truck down on the track. We wanted the full attention of everyone there so we waited until it was quiet and then let the Slash loose! Immediately the truck bellowed forth its raspy roar as it started making its way around the track. The sound echoed throughout the small building and about the time I completed one lap, the crowds were forming around the perimeter of the track. I didn’t get to experience the questions first hand, but Greg said everyone was loving how realistic the truck looked as it leaned through the corners and how awesome it sounded. Mind you, these are racer folk that take their track vehicles seriously, not the intended audience for this product! It was good to see them enjoying something that was a little more basher friendly, than track tested
SPECS AND TUNING OPTIONS
LENGTH: 22.36 in. (568mm)
WIDTH: 11.65 in. (296mm)
WHEELBASE: 13.2 in. (335mm)
WEIGHT: 76.2oz. (2.16kg)
BODY, WHEELS AND TIRES
BODY: Pre-painted short course body
WHEELS: 2.2 in. multi-spoke racing wheels
WHEEL ADAPTER TYPE: 12mm hex
TIRES: SCT 2.2 in. racing tires
TYPE: 4-wheel independent
SHOCK POSITIONS: (F) 7-tower, 2-arm, (R) 1-tower, 5-arm
CAMBER: Adjustable turnbuckles ROLL: Fixed
RIDE HEIGHT: Pre-load spacers
TYPE: Dual bellcrank TOE: Turnbuckles
MATERIAL: Composite nylon THICKNESS: N/A
TRANSMISSION: All metal 3-gear
DIFFERENTIAL: Gear differential
GEAR RATIO: Optional pinion gears
BEARINGS: Full shielded
CLUTCH TYPE: External slipper
Performance – Acceleration: 6
Performance – Steering: 6 Performance – Handling: 5
Performance – Durability: 10
Feature Breakdown: 7
Overall Value: 7
While the Slash is a very competent truck, the big draw is, of course, the audio. The sound that this system creates is amazing, and when you turn it up it’s downright awesome. You might think that having one (or two, or even three) of these running around at full song would get annoying after a while, but the best part is you can turn it down (or off) and still enjoy a great 2WD truck. Well done Traxxas. You’ve put yourself on top of the SC heap once again
Traxxas traxxas.com (888) TRAXXAS