For the officially licensed SCX10 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited to get its Trail Rated badge it had to complete the Rubicon Trail.
Not all R/C vehicles are toys. Well, they are but they’re not. And these days, thanks to Covid-19 lockdowns there’s been a surge in popularity especially for scale replica 4x4s and rock crawlers.
Some are officially endorsed by car makers and some aren’t. Axial Racing’s SCX10 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited was officially licensed by Jeep back in 2012. But, there was a catch. If the brand wanted to feature a Trail Rated badge on the side of the R/C version, it needed to drive the Rubicon Trail.
For those who don’t know, the Rubicon Trail is a 15-mile long rock strewn trail that’s been chosen to torture and trip-up 4x4s. It’s been made famous for Jeep as a ‘final test’ for its products but despite what marketers say, the Trail Rated badge doesn’t rest on a Jeep being able to complete the Rubicon. More on that in another story.
Look, R/C cars doing what full-size cars do is nothing new. Myself, I put an R/C car up against a Toyota Corolla S2000 rally car almost a decade ago while working at Top Gear Australia. And there have been plenty of others.
But to drive an R/C 4×4 across the Rubicon Trail is a hell of an endeavour. But that’s exactly what Axial Racing did back in 2012. You can watch the full story behind the adventure in the videos hereabouts but the back story has a bit of a Tiger King vibe, so be warned. And the full cut 55-minute drive across the Rubicon is only for the hardest of hardcore R/C fans.
Still, it’s an unbelievable feat. The drive took three days and the R/C Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited took exactly the same route as full-size vehicles (it started at Loon Lake and finished at the Homewood Staging Area). Just think…someone had to hike the entire Rubicon Trail over three days following an R/C vehicle. And to keep everything honest, the R/C crawler was followed by a full-size Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited.
So, what are the specs on this thing? The crew of four had six Li-Po battery packs to ensure there was minimal downtime and that there were always batteries charged for swapping. The tyres on the thing are officially licenced Maxxis Trepador Tyres made from the brand’s own R35 compound. And the wheels are copies of Walker Evans Racing Two-Tone alloys. In fact, as far as being officially licenced goes, this Axial Wrangler Rubicon carries endorsements from brands like TJM, Rebel Off Road, Spicer and more. The front and rear bumpers are modeled off and licenced by Poison Spyder with the rear bumper holding a swing out wheel carrier, for instance.
In terms of technical specs, the Axial Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited gets oil-filled adjustable coil over suspension and an adjustable transmission that can be tweaked for a 15:1 ratio for high speed running and 74:1 for super low-speed crawling. And the vehicle’s frame is steel with all gear sets, etc protected to keep out dirt and debris.
Stay tuned because MotoFomo will be bringing you a review of the all-new Axial Racing SCX10 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon in the next few weeks…and we’ve got something special planned for that test.
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