RC Cars and Trucks

1/10 On-Road HPI Hot Bodies TCX R/C Car

Electric on-road touring car racing is probably the most competitive class to join in. It takes a combination of both driving and technical car setup skill in order to win races.

RC Car - HPI TCX Touring On-Road

Photo: Above is the 1/10 HPI HB TCX electric touring car ready to hit the local indoor race track.

Recently I decided to buy the newest radio control touring car from HPI Racing / Hot Bodies, the TCX. It is a 4wd belt driven chassis with weight balance designed for LIPO batteries. This kit I would say is for the experienced hobbyist looking for a high level racing machine.

RC Cars - HPI TCX Kit Parts

Photo: Above shows the contents of the box. No electronics, bodies, batteries or tires. This is a racing kit and comes with aluminum bulkheads and graphite chassis.

RC Car - TCX Parts

Above: Before building, a tip is to organize the parts into a container. This will help ensure you build it correctly and not lose any parts or screws.

Preparing graphite rc car parts.

Above: Build tip, sandpaper and coat the edges of all graphite parts with superglue (left part). This will make the graphite part more durable and resistant to splitting.

What I Liked

 - slightly cheaper than Tamiya 416, Yokomo BD5 or Xray T3
 - purple anodizing
 - plastic material seems tough, like plastic/graphite
 - large droop screws
 - symmetrical chassis, arms, some parts

Needs Improvement

 - screws seem cheap unlike the ones from Tamiya TRF
 - shock collar adjuster does not have the rubber to grip the shock body
 - removal of shocks seems a pain. I prefer the Tamiya style pop off ball ends.
 - slop (side to side play) on spool, ball diff area and ballcups
 - currently no available metal 46mm driveshaft 

Overall from a build perspective, it is a good, symmetrically balanced car. However poor quality screws and use of plastic instead of aluminum was a minor letdown. But of course you can buy hop up titanium and aluminum parts to give the kit a high end finish.

From a performance perspective, the HPI HB-TCX has already won numerous big international races in the hands of Atsushi Hara and Andy Moore, so this rc car is more than capable of winning on the track.

In my first track test, I put in about 2 hours of driving time between 11am - 8pm to learn how the kit handles. Trying the standard setup, I found it easy to drive with lots of body roll. Slowly I made one change at a time to learn how the kit reacts with hopes of sharpening the handling and improving lap times.

For now this will be my main touring car for the 2010 - 2011 racing season.

Update: I won my first 3 races with this car and won a free trip and hotel accomodation to Thailand to race in the 2010 HPI Asia Cup. My feedback so far is the car feels easy to drive but reacts lazy. Maybe because of the central weight balance and relatively soft graphite chassis. On-power steering type of driving seems to suit this chassis. But no worries, it is still fast.

Buy the HPI HB-TCX

The hobby shop owner was really surprised I bought the HB TCX as he knew I always buy Tamiya rc cars. Anyways I just felt like buying a different brand. And in the past I did have lots of fun with my HPI RS4 mini.

Overall, I would recommend this car because it is cheaper than other touring cars. And its design is well tuned for the average club racer, easy to drive, easy to setup.

You can buy it from your local hobby shop like what I did, or from popular online stores.

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