RC Drifting! It’s about style, technique, drift trains and having the best chassis money can buy right? NO! it’s about having fun and enjoying yourself. Now I am not saying that style, technique, drift trains are not fun because they are, but before all those things come you need a chassis and you need to try the hobby out. So, what if you don’t have enough money to buy the latest space age carbon fibre masterpiece created in a wind tunnel by a drift Jedi then what do you do.
Well many moons ago before RC drifting became a viable money-making scheme you grabbed something with four-wheel drive and headed to your local car park. This was the early stomping ground for drifting. Was it less fun? Hell No it was a blast groups of friends going flat out and having a laugh. At MERC we like to throw in a curve ball every now and again, so how do you get back to basics and begin the journey again.
Well the Maverick Strada DC 1/10 Brushless RTR Electric Drift Car is a great place to start, it’s not going to break the bank and you’rre not going to take top spot at the world championships with one. What you will have is a ton of fun and taste of whether this hobby is for you.
So, what do you get for your money?
you get a brushless powered 4WD shaft driven touring car chassis, locked rear diff, pre-built oil-filled shocks and dual-wishbone independent suspension to the front and rear. The Strada’s drivetrain uses efficient ball bearings throughout and is powered by a 3215KV brushless motor and the waterproof MSC-30BL-WP brushless ESC.
The Strada offers a fair amount of adjustment for an entry level model up front you can adjust camber and toe, at the back you can adjust the rear camber and there are several options front and back for adjusting shock positions. Everything except for 4 x AA batteries for the handset is included in the box.
The big question I guess is does it drift, well yeah it does! The Strada was totally at home in the car-park crazy fast angles and loads of aggression as you would expect. That isn’t really a benchmark though because most touring cars with some drift tyres will do that. So, what we did was take it to MDS (Midlands Drift Society) and put it round an out an out drift track. Its worth mentioning for this test we had to use the control tyres that the track requires.
The out the box settings were okay you could get around the track, but it was tough, that’s not to say it wasn’t fun. That however is where the Maverick has your back, this is where you can start to tweak all those little set-up options and that’s what we did.
Despite being four-wheel drive we found the Strada had far more rear end grip due to its layout, so it was pushing on in the corners. You can go down two methods of tuning here in our opinion and the choice will be governed by the surface you are running on. MDS runs on Prima GT carpet so it was a pretty slick surface, so your two choices are as follows.
- Reduce some of the grip from the rear end to bring the front end in to play, you can do this by stiffening up your suspension or adding some more rear camber to limit the contact patch the rear wheels have with the surface.
- Adjust the front end, this will take away none of the aggression the chassis has. To do this you can soften the suspension set-up at the front to try and get a little more traction up front. You can also experiment with toe out, by adding toe out to the front wheels the set-up becomes a little snappier. You do sacrifice a little straight-line stability, but you can initiate with a little bit more control.
As we were on a relatively tight track we decided to take some of the aggression out of the set up so we went for a little of 1 and 2. The Strada didn’t look out of place and handled the track very well we are going to continue playing with the set up and come up with some simple set up guides for HPI to display on there website to help out beginners.
To sum things up
We are not saying sell everything you own and go for a Mav because the likelihood is if you are reading this blog you probably already own a top-level chassis, in fact you probably haven’t even read this review. So, we are talking to you, yes you! The person that has stumbled upon this blog because you are interested in drifting and are wondering how you can get started. Well you can do far worse than starting out with a Maverick Strada, it is a ton of fun in a car park and can handle itself well on a track with the right amount of care and attention. Bit of advice if you are thinking of buying this for young children it may be worth considering the brushed version as this model can be a bit of an animal. The brushed set-up has all the same set-up options but is a little slower. Older kids and adults however spend the extra and get the brushless version ITS FUN!!!
Settings we found worked for us
After the first few laps we started to adjust simple settings till we had something we could really control, the following setup was all done track side but don’t make these settings all at once because what works for us may not work for you!. Start off small change things one degree at a time to find your sweet spot get used to what each aspect does and adapt to the surface you are drifting on.
Front camber -3° we wanted to dial as much of the natural touring car grip out as possible
Front toe out – 3° Made the car easier to initiate the drift (Will sacrifice some stability in a straight line)
Rear camber – 5° reduced the grip levels at the rear
Front shock position top mount position middle hole, bottom holes as supplied standard
Rear shock position top mount position furthest outer hole, bottom holes as supplied standard
We will continue to push this chassis at the next event we attend and also take it out to a car park and let it loose! we will report back soon….