RC car

How Fast Can An RC Car Go? (Hint: You Will Be Surprised!)

I have some time using RC cars already, and if there’s a word to describe them, the word is fast! The buggy that I’m currently using is super quick and nimble, which made me wonder something: How fast can the average RC car go? While I know that my RC car is fast, I don’t know it’s exact top speed. So I decided to check it out and research the top speed of the average model.

And after researching a bit on the internet and with some knowledgeable acquaintances, I have an answer: The average RC car is going to achieve a top speed of about 40 MPH. This is the average top speed for the most common entry and mid-level RC cars, which 99% of enthusiasts own. High-end models are easily going to achieve higher speeds than this, at over 50 MPH. These numbers will obviously vary between models, so take them with a grain of salt.

But it’s amazing how fast they can go. Before I started using RC cars, I thought that they could only achieve like 10 MPH, but it’s so much more than that. Anyways, if you want to know more about RC car speeds, please check below. In the following paragraphs, I talk about the average speeds for truggies, monster trucks, and buggies. I also talk about the fastest RC cars in the world and ways to make your RC car faster. I hope you enjoy this article!

Top Speed Will Depend On The Car’s Size and Type

When it comes to top speed in RC cars, it will depend a lot of the model in question. A 1:5 monster truck will have a different top speed than an on-road car. Also, since entry-level models tend to feature brushed motors and weak batteries, they tend to have lower top speeds than pricier models. Anyways, below is a list of the top speeds the average buggy, truggy, on-road car, and monster truck.

  • Buggy – 45 MPH For Entry-Level Models, 65 MPH For Pricier Models: Because of their low ground clearance and frame, buggies are able to achieve high acceleration and top speeds, making them one of the fastest RC cars available. You could easily find buggies that can achieve over 70 MPH on a straight line.
  • Truggy – 35 MPH For Entry-Level Models, 60 MPH For Pricier Models: Similar to buggies but with higher ground clearance and a bulkier frame, Truggies tend to achieve about 30 MPH in entry-level models, with 60 MPH being the average on more high-end trucks. Truggies tend to be a little bit slower than buggies because they have less stability than them.
  • On-Road Car – 50 MPH For Entry-Level Models, Over 75 MPH For High-End Models: On-Road cars tend to be more expensive and faster than other RC car types. Entry level models will achieve 50 MPH without breaking a sweat, and for high-end models, over 75 MPH Isn’t exactly uncommon. (Note: On-Road cars tend to be modified to achieve speeds much higher than this)
  • Monster Trucks – Varies: I didn’t want to put a concrete answer here because honestly, the top speed will vary a lot between monster truck modes. The entry-level trucks might not even achieve 35 MPH, while the really high-end models have been clocked at over 60 MPH, which is ridiculous to me.

Factors Affecting An RC Car’s Speed

Something that you might be curious about is what actually makes an RC car fast. As obviously, there are several factors in play. Below I talk a little bit more about what really makes an RC car fast.

  • Motor: Obviously, the type of motor inside the RC car is one of the main factors affecting its speed. Brushless motors are going to provide the most power, but they are more expensive than brushed choices though. And aside from using brushless motors, many people like to tune the motors, doing things like shaving metal using a wire brush, among other things. This is one of the most common ways of making an RC car faster.
  • Battery: Another factor that really makes a difference in an RC car speed is the type of battery that the car is using at that moment. As you probably know, there are 2 main battery types being used in RC cars at the moment: LiPo and NiMH. LiPo batteries are the ones you want because a decent one will drastically improve your car’s acceleration and run time, but they can be quite expensive and quite frail too.
  • Weight: The third factor affecting a car’s speed is its weight. Even a few extra ounces of weight can dramatically affect an RC car’s acceleration and top speed, and even it’s handling too. That’s why manufacturers tend to take some measures to make their car as light as possible, removing unnecessary materials and replacing them with lighter materials such as titanium instead of steel, and if the budget allows, even carbon fiber.
  • Tires: One of the most overlooked factors affecting a car’s acceleration is the tires being used. There’s a huge difference between cheap Chinese knock-off tires and a decent Pro-Line tire set. And not only that, many people tend to use the wrong tires for the terrain. RC enthusiast using offroading tires for street riding is a very common sight, and not only does this drastically affect the car’s acceleration rate, but the internals are at an increased risk of suffering damage.

Fastest RC Car On The World

The fastest mass-produced RC car on the world is the Traxxas XO-1, with a top speed of over 100 MPH, which is amazing if you ask me. One of the things that I have always wondered is how the heck does the car actually stay planted on the ground at that speed.

I mean just think about it: The car itself weighs about 13 pounds which is heavier than the average RC car but it’s still rather light considering the speeds that this bad boy can achieve. I think the fact that this car is wider than normal and the already talked about weight helps it out and makes sure it doesn’t lose stability at high speeds.

But the XO-1 is the fastest stock RC car, but it’s not the fastest RC car ever though. Car modifications remain very popular in the RC car world, and many tuners have tinkered with their cars to achieve speeds well beyond what anybody could have thought before.

The absolute fastest RC car model is called the “Radio Controlled Bullet”. I found this on the Guinness World Records website: The fastest battery-powered remote-controlled model car is the “Radio Controlled Bullet” at a speed of 325.12 km/h (202.02 mph), built by Nic Case (USA) and achieved in Saint George, Utah, USA, on 25 October 2014.

As you can see, the RC car above is custom-made, and most of the fastest RC cars in the world are too. There are many RC enthusiasts that will buy a stock buggy, replace the brushed motor for a brushless one with more power, and buy a new battery, dramatically improving the car’s speed.

But anyways, if you are interested in making your RC car faster, check below for a few tips!

How To Make Your RC Car Faster

After reading this article, chances are that you want to make your car ride as fast as possible, and thankfully, doing so is actually a very easy task. Below I provide several tips on how to improve your car’s speed so that you can have the fastest ride in the neighborhood!

The first thing that I personally do to make my car faster is checking my whole car from top to bottom, looking for unnecessary plastics the manufacturer might have attached to the car’s frame. I would only recommend doing this if you really know what you are doing, I don’t want you to destroy your car’s chassis by mistake!

One of the most common ways of doing this is drilling some small holes on the car’s main chassis. If you are going to do this, make sure you avoid drilling too many holes. Overdoing it might affect your car’s stability at higher speeds and especially when cornering.

Another way of improving your car’s performance is by reducing weight by replacing iron parts for lighter metals. I would recommend that you start with the screws because they are the easiest to change. If you have the money, replacing most of your car’s screws to aluminum might save a considerable amount of weight, making your car faster.

Actually finding the correct screws for your cars might prove to be a hassle, but depending on which RC car you have, there’s a chance that the manufacturer might provide some assistance at their website. If you can’t find any help there, I would advise that you go to your nearest hobby shop and ask for help there.

As I mentioned above, one of the most common and most effective ways of making an RC car faster is by upgrading the motor. If you have a brushed motor, then switching to brushless is the most recommended thing you could do if you want speed and want it fast.

If you upgrade to a brushless motor, expect to improve your car’s acceleration and top speed by 25% immediately. And this isn’t the only benefit of using a brushless motor. They also last much longer than brushed motors, plus they tend to be more compact than brushed motors, perfect for people who have a smaller car.

However, upgrading is not for everybody though. There’s 1 main problem about brushless motors: they are quite expensive, at least in my opinion, and if you are on a budget, I would just advise that you save your money for something that will actually make a difference in your car instead of spending some money on a cheap brushless motor that won’t do much and will probably start smoking after a few weeks. Just my 2 cents.

Another overlooked way of making your RC car faster is by actually using a decent set of tires that are made for specific terrain. People tend to use incorrect tires for their cars. As I said above, it’s pretty common to see buggies being used with crawling tires on even ground. This is something that will definitely slow your car down (Aside from destroying the tires) and so if you are the kind of guy who tends to use RC cars on the streets or on even ground, I would advise that you change your tires to something that will actually give you more traction. Your RC car and your wallet will thank you.

NOTE: For a more comprehensive guide on how to make your RC car as fast as possible, please click here!

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