7 of the Best Nitro RC Cars Available in 2017

What is a Nitro RC car?

First off, an RC car stands for a radio-controlled car. RC cars are powered by either a fuel-powered engine or an electric motor. A Nitro RC car is a type of RC car that is non-electric and uses glow engines powered by a methanol-based fuel that contains nitromethane, hence the term “nitro.”

Nitro RC cars should be taken more seriously than other types of RC cars. They take more time, money, and effort when it comes to their maintenance and upkeep. But these responsibilities are well worth the extra value of Nitro RC cars. They are faster, more durable, and best of all, more energy efficient than other types of RC cars.

So if you are considering buying a top-value brand of Nitro RC car, then here are the top seven Best Nitro RC Cars in 2017 that are currently available.

Reviews of Best Nitro RC Cars ​in 2017

Picture

Product

Rating

Latest Prices

Team Losi KN DBXL best nitro rc cars

Losi K&N DBXL 1:5 4WD RC Gas Buggy - Editorial Choice

Kyosho FW-06 Audi R8 nitro car

Kyosho 33201B FW-06 Audi R8 Nitro RC - Best On-Road Nitro RC Car

RedCat aftershock nitro rc cars

Redcat Racing Aftershock 3.5 RC Desert Truck

Traxxas Jato 3.3

Traxxas Jato 3.3: Nitro-Powered 2WD - Budget Choice

Redcat Avalanche rc car

Redcat Racing Avalanche XTR Monster Truck Nitro - Low Budget Choice

traxxas nitro slash remote control cat

Traxxas Nitro Slash 2WD Short Course Truck

HPI racing rs4 3 Mustang

HPI Racing Nitro RS4 3 Mustang RTR-X RTR

Team Losi KN DBXL best nitro rc cars

The Losi K&N DBXL 1:5 4WD 2.4GHz RTR RC Gas Buggy is one of best Nitro RC cars that stands out from the crowd and pushes the limits of Nitro RC car performance. It is perfect for taking out on harsh terrains such as down mountains or through deserts, while also being totally safe and losing none of its thrills.

Related Article: Best Remote Control Truck 

The Losi K&N DBXL 1:5 4WD 2.4GHz RTR RC Gas Buggy was specially designed to withstand the rigors of intense, off-the-road driving along rough terrains thanks to its terrain-killing 4WD drivetrain, injection molded roll cage, and 4mm aluminum chassis edition of the Losi Buggy Nitro RC car is also specially designed with an officially licensed K&N body on the exterior and a genuine K&N air filter in the interior. Under its hood is a 23cc Nitro gasoline engine that is guaranteed to make its presence known, as well as a gas tank that allows drivers to have up to 40 minutes of relentless action without having to worry about running out of gas.

Things We Liked

  • Good for driving through harsh terrains
  • Safe
  • Fun
  • Reliable gas tank
  • Good Looking

Things We Didn't Like

  • Engine can be loud

Final Thought

The Losi K&N DBXL 1:5 4WD 2.4GHz RTR RC Gas Buggy has many special features that make it one of the Best Nitro RC cars models that are currently available. It is both safe and lots of fun, allowing drivers to cruise along rough terrains for longer periods of time without raising any risks of harming themselves or being stuck without gasoline. 

Kyosho 33201B FW-06 Audi R8 Nitro RC - Best On-Road Nitro RC Car

Kyosho FW-06 Audi R8 nitro car

The Kyosho 33201B FW-06 Audi R8 Nitro RC Car Ready SET – “RTR” (1:10 Scale) is a special evolution of the legendary Kyosho FW car that was built for shaft-driven competition. This Nitro RC-powered model combines the elements of all of the greatest of the Kyosho car models with a ready-to-run package, making the Kyosho 33201B FW-06 Audi R8 Nitro RC Car Ready Set – “RTR” (1:10 Scale) one of the most well-equipped, heavily tested, and best-performing Nitro RC cars that are currently available.

Perfect for racing as well as touring, the Kyosho 33201B FW-06 Audi R8 Nitro RC Car Ready Set – “RTR” (1:10 Scale) features a rugged and low-maintenance shaft-driven 4WD system that was specially developed to endure the rigors, standards, and expectations of World Championship racecar competition. It also comes complete with the latest 2.4GHZ radio technology that doesn’t require or even need to manage radio frequencies, as well as a Nitro-powered engine that is both powerful and reliable as it is easy to start, easy to tune, and provides an excellent and dynamic kind of engine power. It also features a clutch-type automatic shifting mechanism with two-speed transmission, allowing the Kyosho 33201B FW-06 Audi R8 Nitro RC Car Ready Set – “RTR” (1:10 Scale) to deliver frequent shifts that are smooth, reliable, and consistent. This car might be the better option for you if you are more into traditional, racetrack racing rather than racing across harsh terrains, or if you prefer style and brand identity over other factors like durability.

Things We Liked

  • Sleek
  • Stylish
  • High-end
  • Fun
  • Good for both racing and touring
  • Easy to Drive

Things We Didn't Like

  • Not for those who prefer rougher racing or taking out on harsh terrains

Final Thought

Although the Kyosho 33201B FW-06 Audi R8 Nitro RC Car Ready Set – “RTR” (1:10 Scale) is not built for rugged terrains like some of the other Nitro RC car models on this list for best nitro RC cars, it is still a sleek and stylish pedigree model of Nitro RC car that is perfectly built for less rugged but more refined types of car racing competitions. It combines all the safe and thrilling features of its legendary Kyosho predecessors, making it one of the highest quality and wonderful types of Nitro RC cars that are currently available.

RedCat aftershock nitro rc cars

The Redcat Racing Aftershock 3.5 1:8 Nitro RTR RC Desert Truck is an affordable Nitro-powered desert truck that is as thrilling to ride through the desert landscapes as it is safe. Another addition to Redcat’s UltraLife series, the Redcat Racing Aftershock 3.5 1:8 Nitro RTR RC Desert Truck has a 3.5cc, .21 big block engine that provides plenty of power for lightning-fast acceleration and a specially-designed composite disc brake that stops the Aftershock for the safe and easy handling of the vehicle.

It also comes with two sealed differentials, adjustable suspension, oil-filled adjustable shocks, a powerful and environmentally friendly Nitro powered gas engine, front and rear sway bars, and two speed automatic transmissions. It is because of these two speed automatic transmissions that the Redcat Racing Aftershock 3.5 1:8 Nitro RTR RC Desert Truck has low end power for quick and easy off-the-line acceleration and high speeds.

The automatic transmissions are even adjustable so the driver can adjust the tune shifting in any way that they prefer or desire. Finally, the 2.4GHZ radio and brakes provide solid control and safety for the driver when operating the vehicle.

Things We Liked

  • Well-built for driving through desert
  • Safe
  • Fun
  • Adjustable automatic transmissions
  • Good control

Things We Didn't Like

  • Not adaptable or suitable for taking on other terrains besides desert

Final Thought

The Redcat Racing Aftershock 3.5 1:8 Nitro RTR RC Desert Truck is another fantastic Nitro RC car model that doesn’t sacrifice safety for excitement, providing drivers with great speeds across a harsh terrain such as the desert as well as control over the vehicle.

Traxxas Jato 3.3

The Traxxas Jato 3:3: 1/10 Scale Nitro-Powered 2WD Stadium Truck with TQi 2.4GHz Radio and TSM is another great Nitro RC car model that comes from Traxxas. Combining the intense power of a TRX 3.3 Racing Engine with the incredible model of the Traxxas Jato vehicle, the Traxxas Jato 3:3: 1/10 Scale Nitro-Powered 2WD Stadium Truck with TQi 2.4GHz Radio and TSM is brutally fast with results that will leave its drivers both exhilarated and speechless. It provides stunning and jaw-dropping acceleration with top speed propel Jato performance, which is altogether a power-packed combination for irresistible excitement whether out on the road or for conquering rough terrains.

Related Topics: Best Traxxas RC Car

Many of its features include a TQi 2.4ghz radio system with a set of factory-installed telemetry sensors, a powerful and Nitro gas-fueled TRX 3.3 racing engine, a blue-anodized and aluminum-tuned resonator pipe, front and rear sway bars for increased driver stability, asphalt-hugging performance tires, a mandatory wheelie bar, aggressive but authentic body decal and graphics, 2-amp DC peak detecting fast chargers, 0-60mph in less than 4.2 seconds, and a 65 plus mph top speed limit.

Things We Liked

  • Fun
  • Powerful
  • Good for taking out on harsh terrains

Things We Didn't Like

  • Not as safe
  • Low level of control and stability

Final Thought

Although it is not as built for safety or security like the other Nitro RC car models on this list, The Traxxas Jato 3:3: 1/10 Scale Nitro-Powered 2WD Stadium Truck with TQi 2.4GHz Radio and TSM is still an amazing Nitro RC car model that comes with all the thrills and perks of driving a Nitro RC car.

Redcat Avalanche rc car

Another great Nitro RC car model from Redcat, the Redcat Racing Avalanche XTR Monster Truck Nitro with 2.4GHz Radio is an awesome Nitro-powered monster truck better suited for cruising along rugged, rocky, and snow-covered mountainsides than the desert. Another addition to Redcat’s Professional Series, the Redcat Racing Avalanche XTR Monster Truck Nitro with 2.4GHZ Radio comes with a 4.57cc, .28 SH big block engine that provides tons of power for huge acceleration as well as car-crushing action to smother out the competition and make the mountains rumble!

It also comes with a specially designed composite dual disc brake that gives drivers control over the vehicle, making it another great Nitro RC car that is both safe and fun to use. Combining great Nitro power and durability, the Redcat Racing Avalanche XTR Monster Truck Nitro with 2.4GHz Radio includes up to three sealed differentials, adjustable suspension, aluminum-bodied oil-filled adjustable shocks, a powerful Nitro-fueled engine, and front and rear away bars. Its tires are also specially fitted with a tread design that is capable of throwing the power down for insane monster truck action, offering a high grip on dirt, grass, pavement, and even other monster trucks, making it perfect for both monster truck races and competitions or for taking along the rocky mountainside.

Things We Liked

  • High durability
  • Built for driving on mountainous terrain

Things We Didn't Like

  • Low speed
  • Not adaptable or suitable for driving on terrain other than mountains

Final Thought

The Redcat Racing Avalanche XTR Monster Truck Nitro with 2.4GHz Radio is as perfectly built for mountain and monster truck racing as the Redcat Racing Aftershock 3.5 1:8 Nitro RTR RC Desert Truck is for deserts. Its many features allow the driver to take on intense routes or races without sacrificing any of its brake controls or other driver safety features. While it is not built much for speed, it is built for durability, which still makes it a fun Nitro RC car to handle and enjoy.

traxxas nitro slash remote control cat

The Traxxas Nitro Slash 2WD Short Course Truck is another great Nitro RC car to consider if you are thinking of buying a Nitro RC car that is both safe and fun to use. The Traxxas Nitro Slash 2WD Short Course Truck is an award-winning vehicle with a new special feature called Traxxas Stability Management, which allows drivers better control over their vehicle when they are handling it, as well as an authentic Pro 2WD action in a Nitro powered short course race truck, an officially licensed racing replica body and tires, over 50 plus mph, a TRX 3.3 racing engine, and TQI 2.4GHz radio system.

Review Topic: Traxxas XO-1

The Traxxas Nitro Slash 2WD Short Course Truck has an extremely powerful and Nitro gas-fueled engine built for racing, built with the latest TRX technology. The new and special Traxxas Stability Management feature also allows drivers of the Traxxas Nitro Slash 2WD Short Course Truck to accelerate and turn corners faster while also allowing the driver to brake harder and stay in control of the vehicle. It also comes with the world’s most advanced and ready-to-race radio system and a special Traxxas link wireless module that is compatible with the vehicle.

Many of its other special features include a high-torque steering and throttle servos, a race replica SCT set of wheels with color-coordinated centers and a beadlock trim, an aggressive but authentic Pro 2WD body design, a TRX 3.3 engine with EZ-Start electric starting, a tuned exhaust system with blue-anodized aluminum heading, a compact enclosed receiver box, a high-flow dual-stage air filter, a large capacity 150cc fuel tank, a heavy-duty drivetrain with rubber-sealed ball bearings, a race replica body that is decaled and factory finished, and finally a 2amp DC peak detecting fast charger.

Things We Liked

  • Good control and stability
  • High maneuverability

Things We Didn't Like

  • Low durability
  • More flashy than safe

Final Thought

The Traxxas Nitro Slash 2WD Short Course Truck comes with a multitude of great and up-to-date features, making it a truly fun Nitro RC car to handle. While it tends to put spectacle over safety, that doesn’t mean it’s a dangerous car to handle. It’s still very exciting and controllable as far as Nitro RC cars go.

HPI racing rs4 3 Mustang

Being the last Nitro RC car model on this list doesn’t mean that the HPI Racing 112619 Nitro RS4 3 Mustang RTR-X RTR is a bad Nitro RC car at all. The HPI Racing 112619 Nitro RS4 3 Mustang RTR-X RTR is an amazing Nitro RC car model that comes with many great features, such as a 1/10 scale glow-powered and radio-controlled, ready-to-run Nitro-powered engine and a classic, authentic 1969 Ford Mustang body. It also comes with a Chassis 0.098 (2.5mm) 6061 aluminum and gray-colored Drive, four wheel shaft-drive engine, a Nitro Star T3.0 3.0cc (.18cu) 2.2hp with pull, as well as a HPI RS4 3 Evo+ oil-filled set of shocks, a tuned pipe, a 3.0cc engine, trimmed and painted polycarbonate body design, high-quality tires, foam-inserts, wheels, decals, and 2.4G.

Things We Liked

  • Safe
  • Fun
  • Durable
  • Stability

Things We Didn't Like

  • Low speed
  • Low maneuverability

Final Thought

Although it could be better built for speed, the HPI Racing 112619 Nitro RS4 3 Mustang RTR-X RTR is still a totally safe and enjoyable Nitro RC car model that comes with many of the best and up-to-date technologies and other features for Nitro RC cars.

​Electrical vs Nitro Motors

There has long been a debate between electrical vs nitro motors. Some would even classify it as a battle. But to understand the battle, you have to understand first why that the differences are between electrical vs nitro, and how each one operates and works. Both will perform differently, offer different aspects of power and control, and will also change extra maintenance or accessories that are required as part of ownership.

There has long been a debate between electrical vs nitro motors. Some would even classify it as a battle. But to understand the battle, you have to understand first why that the differences are between electrical vs nitro, and how each one operates and works. Both will perform differently, offer different aspects of power and control, and will also change extra maintenance or accessories that are required as part of ownership.

Knowing the difference between the two motors is imperative because remote controlled vehicles come in both electrical and nitro motors. This article will help list why knowing the difference is important, and what parts are altered for each type of vehicle because of the motor you select.

The Similarities Between Electrical vs Nitro

There is one obvious similarity between electrical vs nitro motors. The obvious similarity being that they both get the job done in terms of providing power and propulsion to an RC vehicle. Both doing a decent job of getting from one place to the other. The similarities, however, stop there, as they begin to differentiate themselves from one another quite rapidly in terms of power, usage, maintenance, previous skills required, sound, etc.

How an Electrical Motor Works

The key driver between all electrical motors is whether they are brushed or brushless, they both us magnetism. What this means, is that magnets tend to attract opposites, and when doing so will create weight and rotation that then will come back around and begin the process. This creates a magnetic motion which then continues forever until stopped.

electrical motor

Essentially electrical motors work through the use of electricity, as stated by their name, and battery packs as their fuel. Electrical Engins then break down into two separate categories of brushed vs brushless. Each one has its own unique engineering capabilities and features, but the idea is still the same. Electricity is still generated through the use of magnetism and provides the power for RCs to use when moving.

Because electrical motors tend to also have less equipment and come in a more compact version than nitro motors, they can be mounted easier. This means that RC engineers typically favor using a plastic chassis instead of a metal chassis. This means that electrical motor RCs typically have much less weight.

Electrical motors tend to go hand in hand with plastic drivetrains. Drivetrains are what the motors for both electrical and nitro engines give the power to create motion. What this means, is that most RC cars will generally have a mostly-plastic set of gears for electrical motors, but can be upgraded to some more metal pieces to have a boost in strength and duration.

The next point between how an electrical motor differentiates itself from nitro motors is that they both have different effects on the center of gravity for an RC vehicle. The center of gravity is what stabilizes a remote controlled vehicle at high speeds and how it negotiates turns. Electrical motors tend to have a more stable center of gravity since they do not have to worry about fuel bouncing around the fuel tank, and have more stable mounts from a more compact engine.

Electrical motors tend to weigh a lot less because they have fewer components that are required to work. Motor efficiency comes into play as the next category, which is that electric motors tend to have slightly fewer run times, and extra battery packs cost more than fuel for nitro motors. In terms of run-time efficiency and economic comparisons, the nitro motor wins.

Electrical RC car

The sound is also a large factor between the two, as electrical motors are extremely quiet when compared to nitro motors.

The last difference between the two motors is what kind of maintenance is required for both engines. Electrical engines have a lot less maintenance that is required. For instance with electrical motors, all you have to do is charge the battery pack, start the engine with a switch, replace worn brushes or motors completely after thousands of uses, adjust the throttle on the speed controller, and washing every now and then.

How a Nitro Motor Works

Nitro motors use a remote controlled (RC) equivalent of gasoline that you would normally use in your own vehicle in the real world. Some forms of Nitro motors use specific nitro fuel, while others use various types of gasoline. Nitro engines rely on fuel instead of batteries. What this means, is that these are real miniaturized engines that have carburetors, clutches, pistons, air filters, plugs, crankshafts and a fuel system that feeds a fuel tank and an exhaust.

nitro motor

In addition to all of those components, there is also a heat sink that prevents the engine from overheating and helps to dissipate temperatures evenly. Because nitro motors are so complex, they require additional mounting requirements to the frame of the RC vehicle. This means that engineers have to use a metal chassis, usually a lightweight aluminum.

Nitro motors generate a lot of heat, which would melt a plastic chassis that is commonly used for electric motors, so an aluminum metal chassis is required to ensure proper mounting and heat dispersion. When compared to electrical motors, nitro motors have to have an all metal drivetrain. Drivetrains, as mentioned earlier, are what gives an RC vehicle motion when power is applied. Metal gears within the drivetrain are required to control the high torque that is usually associated with nitro motors.

Metal drivetrains are required because nitro motors will typically damage or put too much stress on plastic parts that might often be found in electrical motor RCs. If you are interested in a nitro motor RC and the manufacturer mentions that there are some plastic parts, you need to take this into consideration because it is only a matter of when you will have to replace parts due to them being damaged, not if.

The next consideration between the two different types of motors is their center of gravity. As mentioned earlier with the electrical motor, nitro motors tend to have a less stable center of gravity, due to the fact that there are more working parts and fuel that bounces around. Nitro motors also tend to weigh more when compared to electrical motors, because they are mainly constructed with metal parts, in comparison to plastic parts for electrical motors.

In terms of run-time efficiency and economic comparisons, nitro motors tend to have longer run times and offer greater savings. Even though you have to purchase nitro fuel or gasoline depending on the engine you are running, the fuel by the gallon is cheaper than battery packs purchased for an electrical motor.

Because nitro motors are miniaturized engines, they do produce a great deal of sound through their exhaust as they burn fuel. Some RC hobbyists love to hear the roar of the engine as it is zipping around, but others might not like this trait.

Nitro RC car

The last comparison between the two motors is how much maintenance is required for each. Nitro motors tend to involve a lot more maintenance and previous engine knowledge than electrical motors. For instance, nitro engines have to go through break-in periods, additional accessories to start, check the fuel system periodically, change braking power manually, draining the fuel tank, cleaning the air filter, adding additional gasoline and oil, greasing mechanisms, and additional cleaning steps.

Advantages vs Disadvantages For Electrical vs Nitro Motors

So now that we have broken down exactly how they are different from one another, and what those differences mean to operate a remote controlled vehicle, let’s showcase a chart of the advantages vs disadvantages for each motor.

Electrical Motors

Advantages

  • Great For Beginners
  • Minimal Repairs Required
  • Systems Don’t Fail Often
  • Speed Increase As Cost Increase
  • Faster Than Nitro Cars
  • Lightweight
  • Weatherproof Capabilities
  • Quait

Disadvantages

  • Batteries Require Charging
  • Extra Batteries Are Expensive
  • Problems Are More Difficult To Diagnose
  • Speed Increases As Cost Increases

Nitro Motors

Advantages

  • Requires Tinkering
  • Can Tune Exactly How You Want
  • Cheaper In Terms of Eco and Run time Efficiency

Disadvantages

  • Requires Greater Number of Tools When Operating
  • Requires Tinkering
  • Requires Tuning
  • Loud Sound
  • Heavier
  • Difficult To Master For Beginners
  • Previous Engine Knowledge Is Required To Effectively Tune and Maintain RC Vehicles
  • Not Weatherproof
  • Slower Speed

Which Is Better: Electrical vs Nitro Motors

The answer to this question is up to personal preference. Both are widely separate from the other and offer different opportunities for the usage that you will put the RC vehicle through. Some people prefer tinkering and fine-tuning their vehicles, while others would simply charge and drive.

It is important to go through and understand the RC vehicles you purchase, and how they are manufactured so you can accurately understand what it is you are getting, and how your purchase will be affected by its components. Now that you understand the differences between electrical and nitro motors, you can make a more informed decision and enjoy the more driving time that correlates with your personal preference.

Conclusion

All of these Best Nitro RC Cars were rated based on their safety, durability, maneuverability, suitability for driving on harsh terrains or racing, speed, stability, and how fun they are to drive. Out of all of these factors, the Losi K&N DBXL 1:5 4WD RC Gas Buggy is the winner because it scored well in all of these factors whereas the other cars were stronger in some areas but weaker in others.

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