One of my beautiful buggies!

Nitro VS Gas Powered Cars – Which Is The Better Choice For You?

Nitro VS Gas-Powered RC Cars

As you probably know, RC cars tend to be powered by nitro fuel, which is a mix of Nitromethane, Methane, and Castor oil. Nitro is the most common fuel used in RC cars, but there is another type of fuel being used in them nowadays: Gasoline! If you didn’t know, there are gas powered RC cars for sale, and they bring their own advantages to the RC car game. 

But the question is: which is better, nitro-powered or gas-powered RC cars? They both have their own pros and cons, so if you already have a nitro powered model and are looking to swap it for a new gas-powered RC car or if you just want to learn a little bit more about gas-powered models, then this is the article for you. 

Nitro Powered RC Cars Are Much More Affordable In The Short Term, But Costlier Long Term

If you haven’t compared prices between nitro and gas-powered cars, then let me tell you that nitro powered cars are much cheaper to initially purchase. An entry level gas RC car is going to start at about 500$ dollars, which can be ridiculous for some. Compare this with the typical entry level nitro car which tends to start at about 150-200 dollars. This is one of the reasons why gas cars aren’t as popular. 

But the fact that nitro cars are cheaper to initially purchase doesn’t mean that they are more affordable in the long run. If you have a nitro powered car, then you probably know that nitro fuel isn’t exactly very cheap. And not only is it costly, but if you use the car often you are going to have to buy fuel quarts pretty much every other week. Do this for 3 months and you have spent over 150 dollars on just fuel. 

Gas powered cars are significantly pricier like we mentioned above, but because of the fact that they use gasoline, they are cheaper to run in the long term. They do not consume anywhere as much gas as a real-life car, plus the prices for a gallon are pretty low in the states nowadays, at 3 dollars for 87 octane. I personally know a few enthusiasts who sold their nitro cars and bought a gas powered model because powering the car is much cheaper.

Gas Powered Cars Tend To Be More Durable 

When it comes to durability and dependability, gas-powered models reign supreme. These are the most expensive type of RC cars available, but they are also the ones with the best internal components. Manufacturers usually like to spend more money on these models, with improved suspension setups, more resistant engine materials, and an overall more sturdy construction. 

Gas powered buggies and truggies tend to feature external protection to shield them from a collision with rocks or concrete. Not that nitro cars don’t have these bumpers, but because gas-powered models tend to be heavier and can achieve higher speeds than nitros, they also require more effective protection in case a crash occurs.

Both Nitro and Gas-Powered Cars Can Be Extensively Modded

When it comes to mods, both RC car types have their similarities and differences. They both can be modded extensively. The most popular mods for both nitro and gas-powered models are motor upgrades and weight savings, which can be easily done in a matter of seconds to improve power. Other very popular mods include suspension work and bearing changes. 

But when it comes to mods, the difference between nitro and gas mods is that you will have to spend more money on the mods of a gas powered car when compared to a nitro car.

Gas-Powered Models Are Faster And Louder

As you probably guessed, gas models are significantly faster than their nitro counterparts. And there are several reasons for this, the first one being that gasoline is much more energy-dense than nitro, which means that it releases much more energy, which makes the car quicker and faster overall. The second reason is that gas-powered cars usually have an engine with more displacement than the ones found in your typical nitro car. 

But they also tend to be louder than nitro cars, which can be annoying if you are trying to keep quiet or are riding in the suburbs. This is especially apparent when hitting the throttle hard. From what I have seen, there’s no way to actually silence a gas car or make it quieter. This is an unfortunate tradeoff of using them. 

Nitro Powered Models Have Dramatically More Aftermarket Support. 

Since nitro cars are more popular, their parts also tend to be much easier to find on hobby shops and online. This is especially true if you are using a model from a well-known brand. Replacing new parts will be really easy if you have a nitro car, while the same might not be true for gas cars.

Thankfully, gas powered cars tend to be very well made, so replacing parts is probably won’t be an issue, but if something breaks, not only are going to have a hard time looking for that part, but it’s also going to be more expensive than a nitro car part.

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