Desert racing has always been popular for as long as I could remember. And scaled-down short course trucks became phenomenal when Traxxas introduced the 2WD Slash. Traxxas never stopped its pursuit for perfection. In 2018, Traxxas surprised us with the Unlimited Desert Racer (UDR). This is not a truck based on the original slash, but a completely newly designed product. And a new scale. When Traxxas first announced its existence, it set off a bomb in the RC universe. For months the UDR was the only thing everyone was talking about, especially in the RC short course circle. At 1:7, this is what Traxxas claims a pro-scale truck. And it certainly requires some pro-techniques to bash it beautifully. So the UDR is not a best RC truck beginners. With a possible price tag of US$ 799, this is not a cheap Traxxas RC cars sale. But you will think it’s one of the best buys as well as one of the top-rated RC trucks after reading this review.
I have my hands on the truck for 1 month now, and I could still remember the first moment I took in the RC short circuit truck. The unboxing was so exciting, and I haven’t had this excitement for very long time. It’s so far the second largest vehicle in all the Traxxas’s product line-it’s only slightly smaller than the king-sized E-MAXX. I am so impressed with the details on this truck. The orange-white paint job of the UDR makes it highly noticeable in desert. In reality, the desert truck is built with HC700 steel, titanium and carbon fiber. These materials make desert trucks 700 more rigid than average vehicles. And the body is protected by delicately designed protective structure. UDR also adopted this design loyally.
Rugged Tube Cage
Underneath UDR’s body is the rugged tube cage. The tube looks almost exactly the same as the scaled-up version. And please tell me I’m not the only person to run the truck without the body. I just like the look of the raw, rugged structure. The body is fixed in place by 12 screws. Once I unscrewed I had no intention to screw the body back in. Though not molded with metal, the plastic parts look more convincing and realistic. The steel gray paint job of the tube cage is quite impressive. That’s what top rated RC trucks should have.
I never saw an RC truck with more details than the UDR. Actually this truck is easily qualified as static model vehicle. With UDR, Traxxas was almost obsessive with the details. On the back are two spare tires, by the way, they are fully functional. Once the spare tires are removed, underneath are more details. You can see fire extinguishers, radiators (decoration), and even a spare driveshaft. The driveshaft is also fully functional and you can use it as a spare part. You can even find a jack hidden behind the bumper. The Lexan cockpit also mirrors what you can find inside a real thing. Decals are everywhere, even in places unnoticeable with the body on. I can’t think of any more detailing that can be added to the truck. Detailing wise, this could be a big RC trucks sale.
You don’t have to remove the body to change the battery. The battery can be removed through a slide lock cover underneath the chassis. The battery compartment offers enough room for one big-block battery or two smaller ones. The battery is secured in place by X-Maxx style mechanism.
Each wheel is supported by a pair of shock. One with spring, the other a damper. These are based on Traxxas’s GTR shocks, with much longer travels of 3.5”! The shocks are linked to the cage cube, just like the real deal. The shocks were excellent in action. The long travel made it such a breeze to jump the truck off the ramp or bash it over tough terrains. The extreme long travel also gave the truck a realistic look during bashing. The GTR shocks have a tradition of durability and almost no leaking. But many fans reported leakage on the modified GTR shocks of the UDR. It seems that the leaking was caused by the long travel and mismatched O-rings. The solution is to use a gasket to secure the O-ring in place. You can either use 5*7*0.1 or 5*7*0.2 sized gaskets for that matter.
About shock oil: the stock shock oils were 30 wt in the front and 60 wt in the rear. The front oil was too thin and shocks ate up the travel easily during some steep jumps. So I changed the front oil to 45 wt. The thicker oil dampened the impact far more effectively. So change the shock oil when adding the gaskets.
Traxxas is known for speed. The UDR is built for speed. With 6s cells, the UDR can bash to a top speed of 50 mph. But I don’t recommend to bash this truck at high speed constantly with 6s. The heat builds up too quickly for the motor. I have figured out a solution as well and please read on.
Like I said in the previous paragraph, the heat builds up in the compartment. Even with the 4s setting, the heat was still worrisome. Then I noticed the detail-rich fan box on the back. Why not turn it into a fully functional one? So I went to the PC store and found case fans for the purpose. Part of the body has to be clipped to let in air. It helped lower the interior temperature noticeably, without compromising the realism.
This truck is all about scale. Traxxas scaled-down everything of the real deal, not just the stationary parts. The UDR comes with a solid, 4-point link rear axle, just like its scaled-up counterpart. With 4s I constantly worried about traction roll at corners, with 6s? Well, just go easy on the throttle while cornering. It behaves like the real thing, and well, takes similar skills to maneuver. It’s not beginner friendly, but once again, it’s what Traxxas claims a pro-scale. For those who want to improve maneuverability and sacrifice realism, they can always turn the solid axle into the differential. Just purchase 8581, 8583 and 8584 and the truck will turn like a breeze. But I still suggest keeping the stock solid axle. Because there’s no other truck that drives with greater realism. That’s the beauty of the truck.
At low speed, the acceleration was rather linear and rather easy to handle. Even with 4s the acceleration was quite impressive, and the truck was most realistic in action. 6s was a bit too brutal for this truck, even though it is 6s ready. Even with a 4s, the UDR is a fast RC trucks sale.