Before I begin my review, let me begin by explaining why I feel that I can give an honest review of the rig, even though it’s still unavailable to the public.
Firstly, I had the honor of attending the Montana Scale Nationals this past weekend, where PinchFlat and I judged courses for both Street class and Spec. Being that we were the first to offer our help with Spec, we requested to judge the Wraith course, and couldn’t have been happier when we were told that we would in fact be the judges for that course. As luck would have it, we also had the opportunity to setup the courses that these spec rigs would be running on.
Secondly, I own one!
Let’s get on with the review!
As I mentioned above, PinchFlat and I had the opportunity to build the course that the Wraith would run on. It was here that we decided to test the following basic features;
• Stability at high speed
• Layout and Setup
• WOW factor
The course was a short 3 minute lap that took the driver off several descents, multiple jumps, climbs, rock gardens and a high speed section over logs, rocks and various terrain. The course would challenge 30+ drivers throughout the day and would definitely put the rig though its paces.
Here are the rough statistics that I was able to keep track of;
• Drivers ranged from 6 years old to 45+
• 2000/2Cell Lipo’s where used and charged 14 times
• The radio was dropped 4 times on rock
• Scores on course ranged from 0 points to 80+
• Times ranged from 1:00 minute to 3:00 minutes (Chino63 held the fastest time)
• EVERY competitor bound up the Wraith in the rock garden so hard, that it lost all steering and ESC movement periodically due to amping out. The reason that I mention this, is to help set the tone for how bound up and abused this rig was.
• Not once did the Wraith have to be repaired!!!!
Let’s go over the basic features above in more detail, scoring them from 1-10. 1 being terrible and 10 being a perfect score.
Stability at high speed – 9
The course was timed at 3 minutes, so each competitor had to move fairly quickly through the course, but to make things interesting we added a high speed section that shot the competitor about 50 feet between some small pine trees and back again, before hitting a rock garden. The Wraith ate up the terrain without any problem. Logs, rocks, grass, etc. where no match for this rig. What surprised me most was how well it tracked a straight line. The wheelbase to tire height is spot on, which makes the rig extremely stable and very predictable for such a large rig. Something else that surprised me was the sound of the rig as it ripped up the terrain. It was well worth the day of judging to experience that. With some shock tuning and a little weight in the tires, it would easily hit a 10.
Durability – 10
What can I say? It ran for 8 hours, 30+ drivers, 14 2000Mah battery charges and not a single failure!!!!!
Jumping – 8
The Wraith wasn’t as comfortable in the air as it was on the ground, but overall it did really well. The course that we setup, had 2 rock drop offs, that transitioned downhill and 1 rock ramp that required the driver to launch the Wraith through the finish gate. The rock drop offs where handled with ease by the Wraith, so long as you stayed on the throttle. Letting off the throttle forced the drag brake to engage and pitch the rig nose first into the ground. Stay on the throttle and it was a wicked ride out.
Crawling – 8.5
The Wraith was right at home through the rock garden section, and in fact got better and better as the day went on. The tires needed to be scrubbed in before they began working well, but once this happened, the rig really started to gel. Articulation and ground clearance where spot on, and the entire rig really felt light weight and nimble. With some shock tuning, wheel weight, and perhaps a set of Axials new R35 compound Ripsaws, the rig would be a fierce scale competitor.
Layout and Setup – 10
It doesn’t get much better than the Wraith for layout and setup. Open the box, add 4 double A batteries, install a charged battery into the rig and your off. Binding is setup from the factory and all the wires and electronics are tucked away and out of site.
Layout is what I really dig. The electronics are all tucked up front under the hood and the battery sits in the back, where it’s easy to get too and change. The coolest part is that there are NO BODY CLIPS required, and no body removal is needed to change out the battery. The position of the battery may cause some problems when crawling with a tradition 6 cell battery pack due to a rear weight bias, but if you opted to use a 2 cell lipo, the weight would be negligible and no change at all would be needed. The ESC has a 2 cell lipo cutoff feature, so running this setup would be no problem and the extra voltage makes for a bit more fun.
WOW Factor – 10+
Everyone that came to run the Wraith walked away with a huge grin on their face. The rig simply brings a smile to your face when you run it. It’s light, nimble, fast, has a huge amount of potential and best of all its wicked cool looking. It’s without a doubt one of the coolest rigs, Axial has come out with to date.
Things to note
A few things that I have notice with the rig that may interest some of the custom scale builders out there.
• The dash is separate from the rest of the interior, so making a dash from a parts tree should be no problem.
• The seats are wicked light and scale looking. There also 2 pieces, so you could recline or shorten them to your liking.
• It comes with 3 pairs of working lights
• The drive lines have a metal CVD connection and are fairly small in diameter. A bit more scale and a bit stronger.
• The electronics box is Waterproof
Overall the Wraith is an incredibly fun and potential rig that will once again make a huge change in the scale crawling community. I couldn’t be more stoked to own one and my kids have been having a riot with it. It’s without a doubt a must have for your RC collection!!!
To see the original post of this review, CLICK HERE.