The RedCat Racing Tornado EPX is a 1/10th scale RC 4WD Buggy. In “Pro” guise it comes standard with a 2.4GHz radio system and 35A brushless ESC with a 3300KV 540 sized Leopard brushless motor. The EZ10 ESC is rated for 2S Lipo use ( 8.4V ) and is a sensor-less system HobbyWing type unit. In addition, the Pro edition also includes front and rear aluminum oil filled shocks with threaded bodies with knurled adjusters for ride height and spring tension. Full ball bearings round out the package.
One might recognize the chassis. It is the same as used in the Lightning series touring cars, Volcano Monster trucks, and Vortex desert trucks. The original equipment manufacturer is Himoto. Similar vehicles are sold by NitroRCX.com under their Exceed brand.
|Still in the box|
|Body off - Himoto OEM chassis as used in Volcano, Lightning and Vortex|
|3300KV 540 sized brushless motor and 35A ESC|
So there are four models based on one chassis? That is wrong! Or is it? By changing suspension arms, wheels and tires, body mounts, and shocks we get four distinct models with different RC life missions and a common set of parts readily available from RedCat Racing. Most RC manufacturers do the same thing. Based on my experience with this chassis before, it is a durable and efficient design. The main chassis plate is a plastic composite with an aluminum upper plate that locates the front and rear diffs and gearboxes. Connecting the two gearboxes is an aluminum drive shaft.
The suspension is four wheel independent and has adjustable upper links and various shock mounting points. For a ready to run vehicle there are many possibilities with suspension adjustments. The buggy tires do not have any foam inserts, but have sufficient sidewall strength that balances with decent tread design for multi - surface running.
|Rear End view of wing mount and rear suspension|
|This buggy really looks good. Notice the front shock tower with multiple mounting points|
|Ready for action! It has the speed to back up those looks!|
|flat bottom chassis|
I forgot to mention this buggy from RedCat does come with a 2000mah NiMh 6 cell stick pack and an AC slow charger. The battery failed miserably. I fast charged it, and thinking it took a real charge, started to run - and the buggy just stuttered after about 2 minutes. At first I thought something wrong with the ESC, but what was happening, the low voltage cutoff was being tripped. Basically the battery could not deliver the necessary current to the motor. I did the following test drives with a 2S Lipo pack and had no issues. Actually the buggy was wicked fast with the lipo. Ditch the battery that comes with the Tornado and equip yourself with a 2S Lipo. I used a 35C 4000mah which is plenty for this car. The battery holder will accommodate various styles of Lipo hardcase included the rectangular box style as well as the “stick pack” style.
Anyway, for my first run I have to say all was very good. Ample acceleration, great handling, and solid radio signal. The steering servo was, adequate; if planning to race on a track, a faster servo might be a future upgrade. If I was going to run on a track, I would change the rear shock oil to a thicker variety as I did notice a little bounce from being under dampened. Nothing broke despite a few cart wheels and hits while trying to video and drive at the same time.
I like this buggy. For $189 street / internet price one gets a lot for their money. The brushless system alone is worth $50 - $65. The chassis is capable and there are many parts available online. As for hobby shops having parts....maybe not. My closest hobby shop is over 20 miles away. I would rather order online from a reputable dealer.
The Tornado EPX Pro easily compares favorably to other entry level RTR kits....and in respect to speed and handling....blows them away. While Himoto has been building this chassis in various guises for a few years, I can’t but hope they have refined it by now?! Aside from the included battery that seemed defective, I had no other issues with this buggy. Please check out our two videos. First is our initial thoughts and second is our running video. Enjoy!