Since its release about five years ago, the RC18T has been popular with racers and bashers. For around $175, you could get your hands on a ready-to-run truck complete with a transmitter, battery and charger. In stock form, it was fast and durable, and it was at home on dirt and asphalt tracks. It was a fantastic first-generation vehicle that set the benchmark for future versions. And one “future version” is now here. Team Associated has updated the very popular RC18T and made it a true world-class performer—the SC18.
MANUFACTURER: Team Associated
PRODUCT: SC18 RTR
PRICE: To be announced
WHAT WE LIKED
• Completely sealed, 2-belt drivetrain
• Upgraded dual-bellcrank steering system with integrated servosaver
• Full set of ball-bearings
• Awesome handling
• Killer looks!
Having driven every conceivable version of the 18T (on-road, off-road, drift, rock crawler, etc.) and having set a speed-run record of over 76mph with a basically bone-stock 18T, I was very excited to drive the new SC18. Grabbing the car, transmitter and battery, I headed to AE’s fantastic test facility behind their building. Installing a battery in the SC18 couldn’t be any easier! Flip the lever to the unlock position, rotate the strap, and drop the battery in. To secure it, rotate the strap back, flip the lever into the locked position, and plug the battery in—no clips or screws to mess with. After installing the battery, I set the SC18 down and slowly drove a couple of warm-up laps. AE’s technical track has many jumps, bumps, uphill sections, drop-offs and berms. After about 10 laps, I had the hang of it and thought “Hey! It’s not mine. Let’s air this baby out!” I grabbed handfuls of throttle, and the multi-terrain tires had a ton of grip on the dirt as they clawed their way around the track. Through the berms and rough sections, the new steering system was quick and precise. The SC18 went where I aimed it, and I now chose different lines around the track on purpose and drove them precisely. For now, that’s all you get. You’ll have to check back in a future issue of RCD for the
full review and test.
In The End
The 18T was a hit when it debuted in 2004. The 18B and 18MT were solid in their 2005 debuts, and the 18R continued the series’ success when it arrived in 2006. With a new look, a new design and some pretty welcome features, will the SC18 keep 1/18-scale fans happy? My Magic-8-ball says yes … over and over and over. And if you’re wondering how much power this truck can handle, the AE boys told me they’ve already tested it with some serious brushless/LiPo power, and it was stupid fast. That’s good to hear because I already have my electronics. I hope Santa comes to my house first this year!
Team Associated, www.TeamAssociated.com