RC Car Sizes: Standard, Micro or Mini

Next, now that you know what type of RC you want, you need to decide what scale it will be in. Hobby quality RC cars come in a few different sizes: as small as 1/18 scale and as large as 1/8 scale. Nitro and electric cars are usually made at the industry standard 1/10 scale. This can be confusing for a newcomer, but if you’re in any doubt about the size of the RC you’re interested, just as at a local hobby shop and make sure it’s what you want before you buy.

To give you an idea of the amount of variety available when it comes to scale, this is a brief rundown of the sizes of nitro RC’s on the market today, as given by a prominent web retailer (http://www.shipshewanatoys.com):
• 1/10 scale touring cars:
Engine powered touring cars can be extremely fast, reaching speeds up to 55mph. As with electric touring cars, nitro vehicles feature 4WD and realistic body lines, and are only meant for on-road use.
• 1/10 scale stadium trucks:
Nitro stadium trucks are identical to electric stadium trucks, except for the engine power. They're suitable for racing or recreation, on or off road, averaging a peak speed of about 30mph.
• 1/8 scale monster trucks:
These monsters are equipped with major horsepower. Consequently, they can travel on-road and off-road up to 40 mph, tearing through and over anything in its path!
• 1/8 scale buggies:
Similar to other 1/8 scale vehicles, they have the power to traverse rough terrain on-road and off-road, are very durable, and travel up to 60mph.
• 1/8 scale on-road cars:
The revolution of RC performance, these vehicles reach speeds of close to 80mph, coming standard with shifting 2- or 3-speed transmission. Intended for experienced enthusiasts, their foam tires provide tremendous grip, and they are suitable for smooth on-road courses only.

RC Micro and Mini Cars
The most recent development in RC in the last decade or so has been the introduction of micro and mini-sized RC from Japan and throughout Asia. These tiny but powerful little RC’s offer the same racing excitement as the big boys for only a fraction of the cost.

Only recently introduced to the North American market from Asia by companies like Radio Shack, micro RC’s offer an extremely low price-point for out-of-thebox racing fun. Priced at $50 or less, these are a great choice for a driver not ready for a full-sized RC or a newcomer to RC racing who wants to see what all the fuss is about.

Measuring only 2 ½� inches long, micro RC’s feature the same kind of motor that makes your cell phone vibrate. Best of all, these little engines are interchangeable, so you can tweak you micro RC with a different motor for more speed. Specialty tires and hubcaps can be added to customize the look of your micro RC, as well as enhancements to the torsion and steering controls. Mini and micro RC’s are always ready to run, right out of the box. Your little RC will come with the following:
• rubber non-stick tires
• micro scale working engine
• realistic, running chassis
• receiver and circuit board
• transmitter
• customizable body

The greatest advantage these little cars offer is their versatility. Unlike the noisy, smoky nitro cars, or the load hum of an electric race, micro RC’s are clean and quiet. They can be run indoors or out, even in your garage or basement. This means you don’t have to wait until the next race to run your car—these are small enough you can drive them anywhere.

Mini RC’s, like their standard-sized electric cousins, run on rechargeable battery packs. When your car is out of juice, it usually pops into the controller itself, which is then plugged into the wall. With your transmitter doubling as your charger, your car will be ready to race again in under a minute. If you want to race longer, the fast recharge time for these tiny RC’s is a great selling point. Overall, though they are not as customizable and intricate as the larger 1/10 and 1/8 scale cars and trucks, micro and mini RC’s have the same acceleration, controls and feel. Their tiny size makes it possible to run them anywhere from your garage to the kitchen floor so you can race any time you like—down the hall or up the street!

For about a quarter of the cost of a regular RC, you get a car with responsive controls, tunable suspension and customizable exterior But, like their larger counterparts, you can still get the kind of car you’re after: mini and micro versions of all the most popular vehicles are available. They’re the ideal option if you’re on a limited budget, but are still eager to get to the race.

Next: How Much?