TLR Chassis Guide: 1/10 Scale and 1/8 Scale RC Racing

In this RC racing chassis guide from TLR, explore the differences between 1/10 scale and 1/8 scale RC racing chassis.

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A 1/8 scale RC chassis is, naturally, somewhat larger than 1/10 scale — about one-eighth the size of a full-size vehicle. Most RC drivers preferred nitro-powered 1/8 scale vehicles over electrics until brushless motors and LiPo batteries arrived on the scene. Then, the popularity of 1/8 scale RC electrics soon matched that of nitro. Though more expensive than 1/10 scale, 1/8 scale RC vehicles are also faster and more forgiving to drive. They’re engineered with extra durability to handle the demands of their greater size and weight. And the realism of 1/8 scale RC racing, especially nitro, is as good as it gets. Most racing is done at outdoor dirt tracks, filled with the sounds, smells, and excitement of a full scale event.

The focus is less on being faster than other drivers and more on beating the challenges of the track itself.

There are two classes — buggy and truggy — with electric and nitro power about equally popular. At most 1/8 scale nitro RC races, the drivers are supported by a pit crew. The “team” feel appeals strongly to many racers. ROAR holds national championships for nitro and electric 1/8 scale RC buggies, and for 1/8 scale RC truggies. The only 1/8 scale competition from IFMAR is for nitro buggies.

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The ratio that describes chassis size compares the RC car to a full-size vehicle — 1/10 scale RC chassis means it’s about one-tenth the size that a 1:1 version would be. There are more RC cars with 1/10 scale chassis than any other size, due in part to the platform’s versatility. It’s small enough to transport easily. You can race indoors or outdoors, on dirt or carpet/astroturf tracks, with the emphasis on speed and precision since your goal is to have the fastest lap time on the track.

Lower cost is a factor, too. You can own three 1/10 scale RC vehicles for about what you’d spend on two 1/8 scale RC cars. The most popular 1/10 scale RC racing chassis are electric-powered, although some nitro 1/10 scale chassis are also available. RC vehicle choices in 1/10 scale include 2WD buggy, 4WD buggy, stadium truck, and short course truck.

ROAR holds national championship events for all of these. On the world stage, IFMAR has international competitions for 1/10 scale electric RC 2WD and 4WD classes.