R/C Cars

Gas vs Electric R/C Cars

Gas and electric powered radio control cars are both fun but are very different. Here are some side by side photos and comparison of on-road touring cars in electric and gas (i.e  nitro) models.

RC Cars - Gas vs Electric

Above: Photo of a Neo Nitro touring car and a Tamiya 416WE on-road racing r/c car. Note the similarities and differences between a gas vs electric model.

Here I am using the term gas and nitro interchangeably as when we talk about gas rc cars we commonly mean kits with nitro powered engines.

Nitro versus electric rc cars

Top view photo of nitro and electric powered rc cars.

Left is the Neo nitro touring car with a .12 cubic inch nitro engine, 2 speed transmission, 4wd transmission and foam tires. Right is the 1/10 Tamiya 416WE electric rc car with a 3,100KV electric motor, LIPO battery pack, 4wd transmission and rubber tires.

Nitro vs electric radio control cars.

Front view shows that a nitro powered radio control car has a higher center of gravity due to the engine heatsink and fuel tank. Suspension geometry design is also different for the on-road type. Probably due to nitro rc cars having more power.

Comparison and Evaluation (Nitro or Electric?)

Below is a summary of the differences between a 1/10 scale on-road gas / nitro and electric rc car. Hope this helps you make an informed decision before choosing a model.

Criteria Gas / Nitro Electric
Playtime X -
Realism X -
Ease of use - X
Ease of maintenance - X
Speed Tie Tie
Cost - X

If you are new to the hobby, highly recommended is to start with an electric kit. These are simpler and easier to run. Plus speeds are more manageable for beginners.

Nitro is loud and fast out of the box. You will need a place that allows the noise and fumes of a gas rc car. Tuning a nitro engine requires advanced hobbyist skills. But if long playtime and realism is what you need, then nothing beats gas / nitro powered remote control cars.

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