Product News

E-mail Article to a FriendPrint ArticleBookmark and Share

Kalahari 4WD Desert Raider RTR from Vaterra

By Jim Haught
Published: June 17, 2013
Vaterra Kalahari1
The Vaterra Kalahari 4WD Desert Raider comes ready to run.
Photo by Model Retailer
Vaterra Kalahari2
The Vaterra Kalahari is designed to handle the terrain of its full-sized counterpart.
Photo by Horizon Hobby
Vaterra Kalahari3
The Kalahari's water-resistant electronics allow it to handle “puddles, creeks, wet grass, snow, and even rain.”
Photo by Horizon Hobby
Product: The Vaterra Kalahari is a Ready-To-Run (RTR) desert truck that is equipped with a brushless Dynamite Fuze 280 4,500-Kv brushless motor, sensorless brushless ESC, and a VTR11000 mini waterproof servo. A Dynamite 7.2-volt, 1,200-mAh, six-cell NiMH battery is included. The radio system is a Spektrum DX2L 2.4-GHz DSM. Four AA dry-cell batteries are supplied for the transmitter, along with three hex wrenches, a four-way wrench and a slipper adjustment tool. A 10-watt NiMH AC peak charger is also included.

Performance: The Vaterra Kalahari is designed with a combination of waterproof and water-resistant materials that allow for operation in wet conditions — “puddles, creeks, wet grass, snow, and even rain,” according to the owner’s manual. There’s even a vacformed dust cover that protects the radio system and includes a partial driver figure. The Kalahari is vented in several places to allow airflow for cooling, though its design makes removal or charging of the battery a bit more fussy and time consuming than I would have liked.

The suspension is soft and a bit springy, with adjustable oil-filled coil-over shocks. As befitting an all-terrain vehicle, the tire tread is designed for use on dirt.

Marketing: With its low center of gravity and four-wheel independent suspension, this is a fun car to drive, and I suggest emphasizing that fact to customers. The scale (1:14) is a bit unusual, so it’s not the best match for the more-typical 1:10-scale cars and trucks. But it is quick and agile, and I had great fun racing against its brother, the Kemorra (see First Look, May 2013), on an impromptu indoor course set up at work. Both cars were driven hard, with heavy use of throttle and brake, and they survived more than a few bumps and rollovers with no damage.

Is it a vehicle for serious racing? Probably not. But in the right environment, such as father-son or friend-friend racing, it’s a lot of fun. The owner’s manual states that “most of all, it is about gathering friends, grabbing a vehicle, and having the time of your life.”

Product: Kalahari 4WD Desert
Raider RTR
Maker: Vaterra
Scale: 1:14
Stock number: VTR010011
MSRP: $334.99
Availability: Horizon Hobby

• Quick and agile
• Fun to drive
• Durable design