Traxxas Buying Guide - Best Buy Canada

July 27, 2012

Traxxas Buying Guide

RC cars, trucks, and boats may look like toys, but these aren’t your little brother’s playthings. Traxxas vehicles offer powerful engines, multi-terrain features, and speeds that would make even a roadrunner break into a sweat.

What are RC Cars?

Radio controlled (RC) cars and trucks are self-powered model vehicles that can be controlled using a radio-frequency link and specialized transmitter. Today’s hobby-grade models require little or no assembly, which means they are Ready-to-Run (RTR) right out of the box. You can upgrade most of their parts, so you can customise your car for some fun over the weekend or build a mini road warrior that can blaze down a track and move easily over all terrains – even water!

What are Electric RC Vehicles?

One of the most popular kinds of RC models are the electric RC cars and trucks. These vehicles have a motor that uses electricity to run and all you need are fully charged batteries to provide power to these models.

Electric vehicles are great because they produce minimal noise and fumes, can be operated indoors, and are easy to maintain. Electric models are especially ideal for anyone that is just getting started with hobby-grade RC’s.

Traxxas RC Cars, Trucks, and Boats

Traxxas specializes in hobby-grade RC cars, trucks, and boats that move at lightning fast speeds that can reach over 113kph, are designed with innovative technology, and offer incredibly precise performance. You can upgrade everything from the chassis to the motor and every part is fully repairable as well.

Traxxas electric cars can even be souped up to do stunts like sailing off a ramp and soaring over obstacles with the greatest of ease. So not only will you be impressed with what a Traxxas vehicle or boat can do, but you’ll impress all your friends, too.

Traxxas Features to Consider

Traxxas offers plenty of cool features that will excite both new hobbyists and expert drivers alike. These are just a few of the things that make a Traxxas vehicle stand out:

Waterproof Electronics

Whether you’re driving your Traxxas car through the neighbourhood or on a track, the last thing you want to do is stop because of a giant puddle or unexpected rain. Many Traxxas models are made with waterproof electronics that can easily mow through water, mud, snow, and other wet conditions. Take that Mother Nature!

Upgrade to your Heart’s Content

Getting more speed and power into your Traxxas car is a breeze with tons of upgradable parts and accessories. You can replace virtually anything on your RC model. Add in a souped up suspension to increase support over bumpy roads or change up your tires so you can really grip the asphalt during hairpin turns.

Ready to Race When You Are

Traxxas vehicles come out of the box in Ready-to-Run (RTR) condition. They’re fully assembled with all the parts you’ll need to get racing right away. Simply install the batteries in your model, hit the “ON” button, and you’re ready to conquer the road, perform exciting stunts, and race your friends.

Radio control

It’s much easier to drive your RC car or truck when you have an excellent transmitter in your hands. The Traxxas radio system offers precise and reliable power as well as a full suite of tuning features. You also get a long-range, high output signal that can make your vehicle perform split second actions even when you’re standing far away.

The Traxxas TQi Radio System offers an optional Docking Base for your iPhone or iPod touch so you can use your device to fine tune your RC's performance. Download the Traxxas Link app (available in the Apple App Store) on to your device and you can do things such as set your Drive Effect settings, control your braking strength, view real-time data like speed and RPM, and manage up to 30 Traxxas vehicles.


Worried about the learning curve you might experience when you first drive your RC vehicle? Fret not. Traxxas cars were designed to stand up to the awesome stunts and crashes that new hobbyists won’t be able to resist. And if you’re an experienced driver, then you can go all out with your Traxxas model knowing that it will stand up to the test of time...and gravity...and physics.


Traxxas vehicles come in a variety of different sizes: 1/7, 1/8, 1/10, and 1/16. The 1/7, 1/8, and 1/10 models are larger, but this doesn’t mean the 1/16 models can’t match the speed or quality of their full-size counterparts! With the 1/16 models, you get an RC car that sets the standard for extreme power, performance and fun.

Test your Skills

Even though it’s tempting to get the fastest RC car that Traxxas has in its line-up, you might have a hard time getting the most out of that model, especially if you’re new to hobby cars. This is why Traxxas has developed a skill level guide that will help you determine what models are best for you – whether you’re just starting out or you’re a veteran enthusiast. The more experience you get with your Traxxas car, the faster you can upgrade your skill level and your RC vehicle.

Level 1 No previous experience with RC cars is required. Level 1 models are ready-to-race and require minimum setup, maintenance, and support equipment.
Level 2 Level 2 models require a higher level of setup, maintenance, and support equipment, so some previous experience with RC cars is recommended.
Level 3 These models are capable of higher speeds and need more detailed setup and maintenance with required support equipment, which makes previous driving experience and control mandatory for these RC vehicles.
Level 4 Higher levels of skilled driving control are mandatory in order to properly operate these models, which can go up to very high speeds. These RC cars also need more detailed setup and maintenance with required support equipment.
Level 5+ These models are only for expert drivers as these vehicles are capable of extreme speeds and acceleration.

Upgrades to Consider

When it comes time to upgrade your hobby-grade RC, you’ll need the right parts to give you the big boost in performance, power, speed, and precision you’re looking for. These are some of the upgrades you might want to perform on your Traxxas car when you start to jump up in skill levels:


To truly satisfy your need for speed, Traxxas motors are designed for incredible power output without sacrificing run times (i.e. how long your car can run on a single battery charge). It’s also important to look at how much torque the motor can deliver, since torque determines how fast your car can accelerate. If you want to go fast in 6 seconds or less, then look for a motor with strong and consistent torque outputs.

R/C motors come in two types:

  • Brushed motors are relatively inexpensive, perform well in extreme environments, and don’t require an electronic speed controller (ESC) to maintain fixed speeds.
  • Brushless motors require little maintenance and have a high voltage supply that enables it to push cars to blistering speeds. To really burn rubber on the track, upgrade to a Velineon Brushless Power motor, which delivers a mega boost in horsepower and speeds that can reach over 113kph.

Electronic Speed Controller

An electronic speed controller (ESC) varies your motor’s speed so you get smoother and more precise performance. Choosing the right ESC for your RC vehicle is based on whether you have a brushed or brushless motor, how much power your motor can bust out at full throttle, and your battery’s voltage.


If you turn the wheel on your radio control, the transmitter sends a signal to the receiver inside your RC car. Once the receiver catches that signal, it translates it into actions that the servo interprets, so your vehicle will turn according to the direction of your radio control wheel.

A servo controls the direction of your vehicle based on signals from the receiver. It has motors, gears and circuits that connect to other parts of your RC in order to control it. If you notice that your Traxxas car isn’t turning as quickly or smoothly, a slow servo may be the culprit. Upgrade to a servo with more firepower and you should find that your vehicle will perform at tip-top condition once again.


Slick tires have virtually no tread on them and are made with specially formulated rubber to provide the right slip and grip for exciting drifts. But if you’re a fan of off-roading, then you’ll want tires with multi-terrain tread. These tires can easily ride over grass, roots, and rocks, so your fun doesn’t have to be limited to the road.


Batteries are responsible for delivering speed and power to your RC vehicle. To get the maximum output from your Traxxas model, there are two things to keep in mind:

  • Capacity refers to the amount of energy your battery can store. The greater the capacity, which is referred to as milliamp-hours (mah), the longer your model can run on a single charge. A higher capacity also increases the feeling of power you get when you accelerate from a fully stopped position. Look for a high mah so you can spend more hours driving your Traxxas car instead of sitting around waiting for its battery to charge.
  • Voltage determines how fast your car will go. If you have a high voltage battery, it can pump out more energy and push your car to blindingly fast speeds.

Traxxas offers two different kinds of batteries: NiMH and LiPO. NiMH batteries are included with all Traxxas electric models and are the standard battery pack for radio control. You can expect amazing run time and power delivery with a NiMH battery so it’s a good idea to keep a few of these handy if you plan to be driving your model around all day.

If you’re really looking for power, then a LiPO battery pack will deliver. It gives you a lot of “punch” when you accelerate your car from standstill and offers the highest possible capacity and voltage.


Not all chargers are built the same so it’s important that you use the right charger for your battery type to avoid damaging your battery pack. There are certain models that can only charge NiHM batteries while others were meant to juice up LiPO batteries.

Traxxas chargers are designed to power your batteries at high speeds, and there are even peak chargers that shut themselves down the moment your battery pack is fully charged to keep from overcharging it (which can damage the battery cells). The Traxxas charger that comes with your model has a charge time of about 8 hours, but if you need to get back on the road faster than that, Traxxas also offers multiple high speed charging options. With the ultra high performance chargers, you can expect to have a recharged battery in 50 minutes or less!

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Take the Next Step

Whether you’re looking for your first hobby-grade RC car, are an experienced enthusiast or simply want to upgrade your model, Best Buy has an awesome selection of Traxxas cars, RC vehicles, and RC parts and accessories to satisfy every need for speed.

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