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Review: Traxxas 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

Review: Traxxas 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

Replicating a 450HP Monster in 1:10 Scale

My wife and I have this long standing joke about what we would buy should we ever win the lottery. Her list isn’t all that long; a nice house with a large, kick-ass kitchen and a nice car to drive – she really digs the Subaru Outback 3.6R Touring. I’ve got similar tastes; I’d also like a nice house, but I’d rather have a smaller kitchen to allow more room for the 10-12 car garage – I’ve got a few vehicles on my list I’d love to own.

One of those is definitely a Ford Raptor; I love the look and the styling just exudes studliness. Since I haven’t won the lottery yet (still trying though), I wanted to find another option to cure my love for this truck. Enter Traxxas – they’ve just released their version of the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor and it’s stunning. Time to release this beast from the box and see what it’s got going on!

Product: Traxxas 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor
Part #: 58094-1
Price: $249.95
Recommended For: Truck lovers that a good looking truck

Review: Traxxas 2017 Ford F-150 RaptorChassis
If the chassis on the Raptor looks familiar, it’s because it’s based on the Slash platform. That’s a good thing for us as this is a seasoned setup that Traxxas has worked hard to perfect. It’s a modified-tub design which features under bracing to maximize ground clearance – a full 3.5″ of it. Other notable items are the drain holes and channels that allow easy routing of servo and ESC wires. Familiar nerf bars are mounted on each side, however one of the biggest changes is that the chassis is no longer gray; Traxxas molded this one in black to further beef up the brawn with the Raptor. I think it looks fantastic!

While not new, Traxxas also includes optional standoffs mounted into the chassis to mount their Velineon Brushless ESC. This is a cool feature for sure, but something I found even more interesting was the transponder mounting location under the front shock tower. A transponder mount. In a Traxxas Slash. That’s a nice little racing feature.

Review: Traxxas 2017 Ford F-150 RaptorSuspension
The suspension on the Raptor has also been refined over the years. Robust plastic lower suspension arms are coupled with adjustable steel turnbuckles at all four corners.

Oil-filled ‘Ultra Shocks’ are covered with progressive rate springs, giving the Raptor a plush ride on asphalt while working overtime to absorb bigger bumps when the truck hits the dirt.

The shock towers are molded in a soft plastic and have quite a bit of flex; this doesn’t seem to hurt performance but does allow the Raptor to take a bit more of a beating than most vehicles.

The Raptor is loaded with Traxxas’ Magnum 272 transmission. The motor mounts on the left side and transfers power to the transmission via a Revo-Spec Torque-Control slipper system, a clutch that uses semi-metallic friction material and finned aluminum alloy plates to harness the power. This set up works great with the Titan 12T motor but is also suitable to reign in the power of an upgraded brushless system!

Inside, this gearbox has a full set of metal gears and rolls on a complete set of bearings. A steel-composite planetary gear diff is utilized for long life with very little maintenance. Telescoping driveshafts extend out to the wheels where 12mm hexes mount the beadlock-style wheels.

To up the speed a bit, Traxxas has included a 23T pinion gear; a simple 2-3 minute swap with the tools provided.

Review: Traxxas 2017 Ford F-150 RaptorSteering
Controlling the steering duties is a 2075 Traxxas servo, a digital unit that is also waterproof. This servo is rated at 125oz of torque (at 6v) with a speed of .17 seconds, respectable numbers for a RTR servo. A servo-mounted servo saver is connected to the dual-bellcrank system via a threaded rod while another pair of steel turnbuckles attach to the steering arms.

Review: Traxxas 2017 Ford F-150 RaptorElectronics
Traxxas has kept the power manageable by including the XL-5 ESC and a Titan 12T brushed motor. This combo, paired up with the 7-cell NiMh battery, provides plenty of power through the 2WD system. The receiver is tucked away inside a waterproof casket on the left side of the chassis.

A cool feature of the XL-5 ESC are it’s three programmable drive profiles; Training, Sport and Race. In Training mode, the ESC has forward/brake/reverse operation and cuts the overall power to 50%, allowing new users the ability to drive at ‘full-speed’ without it being too fast. Sport mode rolls with the forward/brake/reverse operation as well but ups the power back to 100% – great for those that don’t want any limits. Finally, Race mode has 100% power but only uses forward and brakes; this is designed for racing where reverse is not allowed.

All of the electronics are securely attached to the chassis, including the ESC. The battery sits in a channel that runs down the center of the chassis and uses an easy-access battery strap for removal. In stock form it can accept a 6-cell NiMh, 7-cell NiMh or a 2S LiPo.

Review: Traxxas 2017 Ford F-150 RaptorBody and Bumpers
What can I say about this killer body set. Traxxas hit it out of the park with the body styling, bumpers and wheel/tire combo. The body lines are beautiful and I love the addition of the bolt-on mirrors, grille and hood louvers. Those parts just can’t be replicated in Lexan and adding them adds so much ‘look’ to the truck. The front bumper is also a great addition; I’m glad Traxxas revised this and didn’t just bolt on one of their generic bumpers. Finishing off the package is a great looking set of beadlock wheels and all-terrain tires.

Review: Traxxas 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

Ford built the Raptor to be a beast on pretty much any surface; asphalt, dirt, sand, mud and water. Traxxas did the same, but because it’s only 2WD, severe offroading is limited. That, of course, doesn’t mean that I let it off easy when it came to play time. I did, however, do my best to keep it on all 4 wheels so I wouldn’t damage that pretty body. The first go-around was on the included 7-cell NiMh pack followed shortly after by a fun-filled 15 minutes on a 2S 5800mAh Traxxas LiPo Battery.

Review: Traxxas 2017 Ford F-150 RaptorSpeed and Braking
Even though the Raptor is 2WD and powered by a brushed motor, it still zips around with some authority, especially when you drop in the 2S LiPo. On the asphalt, it gets up to speed quick and zooms around like you’d expect from a high-CG truck. Braking gets a little sketchy, though, since only the rear tires are slowing the car down. With no TSM (Traxxas Stability Management) included, you have to be a little easy on the brakes to keep the Raptor in a straight line.

On the dirt, the Raptor has no problem spinning the tires. That doesn’t mean it’s hard to drive, it just requires a bit of throttle control to get it up to speed. Once moving, it becomes much easier to handle.

For funsies, I installed the optional 23T pinion gear that Traxxas provides. This actually helped mellow out the initial acceleration while giving the Raptor a better top speed. If you’re going to drive this truck flat out on the dirt (and who isn’t), I suggest the bigger pinion from the beginning.

Review: Traxxas 2017 Ford F-150 RaptorSteering and Handling
The Slash has a proven history of performance, so it was no surprise that both the steering and handling on this truck were quite good. The 2075 servo has plenty of speed and torque and handled the steering duties without any issues. On the asphalt, the Raptor had good low and mid steering feel with a bit of a push at higher speeds. I can only attribute that to the harder-compound all-terrains that Traxxas has wrapped around the beadlock-style wheels.

I was a bit concerned that the harder compound tires would result in poor handling in the rough but was actually surprised at their performance. On surfaces that were a bit more slippery (dirt, rocks etc), I was able to break traction quite easily if I just pinned the throttle. After a short mental recalibration, I was able to modulate the throttle to keep the Raptor going straight. That, coupled with lots of counter-steering, provided some extremely fun slippy-sideways action. Overall, the entire setup is definitely offroad-worthy as long as you don’t overdrive it.

Review: Traxxas 2017 Ford F-150 RaptorDurability and Maintenance
This category is where almost every Traxxas vehicle shines! The durability is next level and Traxxas has done a great job at making their vehicles as maintenance-free as possible.

While I did take a little extra care with the Raptor, I by no means babied it. Jumping ravines and plowing through dirt mounds provided plenty of opportunities for the Raptor to fail, but time and time again it came out unscathed. Suspension parts looked great, shocks weren’t leaking and even the new bumpers completed their job at keeping the body damage-free.

As far as maintenance, there’s not much here I can suggest. Maybe make sure the wheels nuts are tight, body clips are on … battery strapped down? Just drive it. Over and over and over again. It’ll hold up.

Review: Traxxas 2017 Ford F-150 RaptorTuning
This is one area of the Raptor (Slash) I wish I could highlight more. The Slash is an extremely popular truck with lots of people throwing them into the race arena. After years of this platform being available, there’s still only a limited amount of tuning available – however the most important stuff is there. You can tweak the shocks and their mounting positions, adjust camber, toe and ride height. You can even mount a set of race-level tires – but that’s about it.

Now, mind you, Traxxas does offer a LCG (Low Center of Gravity) Slash chassis that is a little racier, but the Raptor isn’t supposed to be a race truck – so I’m not really going to ding it because of that. There are some tuning options on this truck to adjust performance; good enough for me.

After all the pictures and testing were done, my wife wanted to give it a try; very odd since she usually doesn’t care much about driving them. She’s about as newbie as it gets so I was curious to see how it handled in the hands of a true beginner. As I expected, the power-to-tire-grip-level is a bit jaded towards wheelspin and was taking her a while to manage, so we brought it back to base camp, put in a new pack and set the XL-5 to Training mode. Boom. Done. She was loving it and having way too much fun; I was slowing envisioning the 1:10 scale version of my dream truck being painted in lime green with flowers and puppy dog faces.


Items Needed
• Nothing – Traxxas includes it all!
Items Used
• n/a

Spec Data

Scale: 1:10
Power Source: Electric
Length: 22.4″ (568mm)
Width: 11.7″ (296mm)
Height: 8.4″ (214mm)
Wheelbase: 13.2″ (335mm)
Weight: 4.8lbs (2.17kg)

Type: Modified tub
Thickness: n/a
Material: Composite nylon

Type: 4-wheel independent
Camber: Adjustable turnbuckles
Roll: (F) Fixed, (R) Optional holes in tower
Wheelbase: Fixed
Shocks: Coilover with pre-load clips
Steering: Dual bellcrank
Turnbuckles: Adjustable turnbuckles
Type: 2WD
Transmission: Metal-gear Magnum 272
Clutch: Revo-Spec Torque-Control slipper
Differentials: Steel composite planetary
Bearings: Precision sealed
Gearing: 48P, optional pinion gears
Body, Wheels, Tires
Body: Pre-painted 2017 Ford Raptor
Wing: None
Wheels: 2.2″ split-spoke wheels
Wheel hex: 12mm hex
Tires: 2.2″ all-terrain
• Beautiful Ford Raptor replica body
• Newly designed scale bumpers look fantastic
• Based on the proven Slash platform
• Everything is included to pull the truck from the box and go
• Able to hit 30+mph with the optional (included) pinion
• Waterproof electronics
• 2.4GHz radio system is standard
• 3-profile XL-5 ESC; Sport, Race and Training
• Lots of aftermarket support
• Brushless and LiPo ready!
• Should be 4WD like the real Raptor
• TSM option would be cool
• Tires seem a bit hard

The Ford F-150 Raptor is as fun to drive as it is fantastic to look at. Traxxas did a great job at replicating the look and stature of this brutish truck while setting it atop a tried-and-true platform. Having everything included allows you to go from box to bashing in really no time at all. Like it as is or deck it out with option parts, this is a as great a truck for a beginner as it is for a seasoned driver.

Features – 9
Appearance – 10
Performance – Speed & Braking – 8
Performance – Steering & Handling – 9
Performance – Durability & Maintenance – 10
Performance – Tuning – 8
Overall Value – 9



About Tony Phalen

Tony Phalen - As an avid RC enthusiast, Tony has been building, bashing and racing RC Cars for over 25 years. He has raced everything from 1:18th scale trucks to 1:5 scale motorcycles and everything in-between. He's also worked on both sides of the industry fence; working at and with many major manufacturers (as well as being a sponsored driver) to working for a high-profile industry magazine. During this time he has learned many tricks, tips and techniques and has transferred that knowledge to CompetitionX - the most informative RC website on the internet! More articles by Tony Phalen

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