BEING a Jeep owner I was pretty excited to discover Axial was coming out with a new RC Jeep, the JL Wrangler.
This is the first RTR model on Axial’s all-new SCX 10 III platform, and it’s a big step up from the old SCX 10 II. You now get portal axles, DIG transmission function, licensed parts from Method, Nitto and CRC, plus a beautifully designed Jeep Wrangler JL body (available in orange or grey) and a chassis that features inner fenders and a detailed motor cover for an ultra-scale appearance.
OFF-ROAD: JL Wrangler on the Rubicon Trail
A Spektrum DX3 2.4GHz transmitter, Spektrum Firma Smart ESC/radio receiver and a metal-gear steering servo are also included with this model.
So what is it like out on the tracks? Well, the first thing I noticed was how good the new Spektrum DX3 radio is to use. It features a thumb toggle so you can drive it one-handed, which is great for filming or holding that double-shot latte.
The locked diffs allow it to climb up some crazy angles and the excellent wheel articulation keeps the tyres in contact with the ground. It has good low-down punch, but I recommend using a 3S LiPo battery to make the most out of its motor and generate maximum power.
The best new feature is the DIG Function. Having that ability to lock up the rear axle and let the front axle do all the work for those tight turns is a huge advantage. This allows the Jeep to turn like no other stock RC crawler. Another great new feature is the hidden body clips and stealth body mounting system. No more ugly body posts sticking out from the bonnet– well done Axial.
This JL has a whole new feel in comparison to the previous SCX10. The portal axles play a big part, as the added clearance allows you to drive over bigger obstacles. Axial designed a brand-new tyre for the SCX10 III, and the R35 compound Nitto Trail Grapplers are wider and a little taller (4.7 x 1.7-inch) than the tyres on the old SCX10 II. The larger footprint improves grip and the extra height also helps.
There’s also a second gear built into the gearbox, but unless you add another micro servo you can only use the DIG function or two-speed gearbox one at a time. I prefer the DIG function.
So the SCX10 III drives really well but, let’s be honest, the main reason we buy an RC crawler is for the way it looks, and this Wrangler looks awesome. The scale detail is amazing. Moulded plastic guards and working LED lights, as well as mirrors, door handles, wipers and inner fender flares – this truck is so well detailed. The interior is just as good. It has seats, a dash, roll cage and a driver figure with a cowboy hat. What more could you want?
It would be nice to have the DIG function and two-speed gearbox able to work together out of the box. To make this happen you would need another servo and a four-channel radio.
I was really impressed with the SCX10 III. The performance, scale details and next-gen electronics make the SCX10 III a great choice for a first RC 4x4, or for someone adding to their 1/10th fleet.
AVAILABLE FROM: www.modelflight.com.au
WE SAY: Impressive performance, scale details and new electronics.