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Traxxas 1:16 Slash VXL 4WD RTR

By Hal Miller
Published: May 14, 2010
Traxxas 1:16 Slash VXL 4WD
Product: Traxxas capitalizes on the popularity of its 1/10 Slash truck with the 1/16 Slash VXL. Externally, it looks much the same as the larger version. Inside, it’s a different beast entirely, providing all the fun of its larger brother in a smaller package.

Packed under the body are waterproof electronics, rubber-sealed ball bearings, a digital high-torque steering servo and the powerful Velineon 380 brushless motor and VXL-3m ESC. The suspension setup is similar to the Slayer and Revo, with inboard oil-filled shocks connected to the four corners via cantilever rocker arms and pushrods.

As is the case with almost all its vehicles, Traxxas provides a completely ready-to-run package with the Slash VXL. In the attractive box is the vehicle, a TQ 2-channel AM transmitter, one Power Cell 1200mAh 6-cell NiMH battery pack with high-current connector, a wall charger, allen wrenches and other tools, plus an extra pinion for running the truck with LiPo power.

Performance: It’s nearly a goof-proof experience right out of the box. All the customer has to do to get going is thread the antenna wire through the provided tube and charge and install the battery. With the Traxxas connectors, the batteries can only mate one way. The customer only gets one battery, but there are boxes and connections for two. More on that later. Batteries come installed in the transmitter.

My 9-year-old son and I couldn’t wait to run the Slash, so we took it out on the sidewalk in front of the house for a test spin. We discovered the suspension was a tad too soft after the skid plate caught a joint in the concrete and endoed into the grass. Shock adjustments are quick with the threaded adjusters and within a few minutes we were running again.

The Slash VXL takes jumps with ease and is even more fun once it gets into the dirt. We took it to a local baseball diamond and within minutes had drawn a crowd of kids who found it very cool. Even with NiMH power, the Slash VXL kicks up big rooster tails of dirt. I think Traxxas’ claim of 30 mph out of the box is pretty accurate. With LiPo power this truck should be able to hit 50 mph with no problem.

One cool feature built into the ESC is a learning mode that cuts down the power for beginning drivers. Punch a button and full power is restored as the user learns more control.

Marketing: The easy way to sell this truck is just to demonstrate it for a customer. If you have a dirt track, great! If not, a small area of your parking lot with a few jumps will do. Potential buyers will be impressed with the Slash VXL’s quickness and toughness. But with such a complete package, there’s nothing for the dealer to do but sell the truck, right?

Actually, there’s a lot of marketing potential. First, this truck is now available with three other bodies: Rick Huseman, Douglas/Oberg, or Jerry Whelchel editions, with different radio channels.

Remember how I said there are spots and connections for two batteries? While the truck comes with one pack, your customer will at least want one more. The Power Cell packs (No. 2925) are pretty reasonably priced and come with the right connector, so they’re handy to have in stock.

The customer might want to go full bore right out of the gate. In that case, there are plenty of LiPo batteries on the market that will fit the bill.

Finally, you’ll want to sell them a charger, because while the provided one is adequate, your customer will want something that can charge NiMH or LiPo, and do it in minutes rather than hours. Traxxas has a couple of models available for conventional packs; obviously there are numerous other brands for charging LiPo.

With another brand charger, your customer will probably need a Molex-Traxxas adapter (No. 3062, $5.50).

Product: Slash VXL 4WD
Maker: Traxxas
Scale: 1:16
Stock No.: 7008
MSRP: $249.99
Availability: Various distributors

Complete, goof-proof package
Small size, easy to demo
Fun for all skill levels
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