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Product: HPI Racing Savage X 4.6 RTR Monster Truck
Manufacturer: HPI Racing
MSRP: $410 [BizRate]

Introduction
I've owned a couple of RC cars over the years, starting with the Team Associated RC10 1:10 Buggy that was all the rage in the early 90's. After a break of about a decade, I decided to revisit the RC scene, but this time with a vehicle of a distinctly different pedigree. I was looking for something with substantial power and ready to run out of the box. After looking around and comparing prices and features, I decided to purchase the HPI Racing Savage X 4.6 Nitro Monster Truck, which can be had for about $400.



Historical Perspective
Back in the olden days, if you wanted to get the best in RC you'd have to buy a kit and build it part-by-part. Otherwise you could always buy a Tyco, but the distinction between a kit car and an off-the-shelf car was night and day. While the kit building experience is definitely a learning experience and one of my own cherished memories, it undoubtedly relegated performance RC to the enthusiast crowd rather than the masses.

The Savage X 4.6
The late 90's saw the introduction of many pre-built so called “RTR” (ready to run) versions of the popular kit cars, and the Savage X 4.6 falls squarely into this category. All you need is batteries and fuel to get it running, and boy does it haul. I don't have a radar gun to measure the speed, but HPI's site claims that the Savage X 4.6 can achieve a top speed of over 45 mph. The F4.6 Big Block 4.6cc Engine delivers 2.9HP at 32k RPM, enough to propel the Savage at some ungodly and nearly uncontrollable speeds.

The factory build of the Savage X 4.6 is extremely good. All of the components were properly secured and the Twin Vertical Plate Chassis was stiff enough that I couldn't cause a noticeable deflection when trying to bend and twist it. Having a stiff chassis means that the suspension geometry is properly maintained under stress, allowing for better handling.

On the subject of suspension & handling, that is clearly one of the areas where HPI cut costs in order to bring the price down to a more fathomable level. The 8 oil filled coil-over shocks are made from plastic, which is a far worse choice than what you want, which is hard anodized aluminum. HPI supplies a mind-boggling array of hop-up parts that includes aluminum versions of almost all of the plastic parts on the Savage. You could easily spend a couple hundred more on these upgrades.

Usage
The decision to brand the Savage X 4.6 as a RTR vehicle suggests that any RC newbie can buy one and get it running with few hassles. For the most part, the Savage delivers on this criterion, however there were instances where my previous experience in nitro RC got me out of a bind. For instance, there were times when starting the beast required a little manual intervention. The starter system is the easiest I've seen from an external starter, however it did not effectively prime the engine for a first start from empty fuel lines. No matter how many times I applied the starter there was not enough pressure in the fuel line to properly prime the carb. I ended up having to siphon fuel manually in order to fill the fuel line to the carb. It would help to have a primer pump or bulb, which you can pick up aftermarket.



Once the Savage X 4.6 is tuned, it is a beast. The pickup has a little lag which is a characteristic of nitro RC, but once it gets going it wails and generally tears it up. Durability is one aspect of RC cars that can make or break your experience. On that front, the Savage is a clear winner. It took some serious bashing without any apparent damage. You can take jumps with abandon, and even cartwheel the truck wheel over wheel. The body will get dinged up, but the workings of the car are beefy enough that it handled everything I threw at it with aplomb.

Check out the numerous YouTube videos of the Savage X 4.6 to get an idea of how this RC Monster Truck performs. While you're at it, scope out the competition such as the Associated MGT and the Team Losi LST2.

Conclusion
The HPI Savage X 4.6 is an excellent RTR nitro Monster Truck. Careful consideration has obviously been made in the design of the Savage, resulting in a vehicle that can take you from being an RC novice, to spending a couple more bills on the plethora of upgrade parts that are available. You'll have a ton of fun along the way, with minimal downtime due to the nearly bulletproof construction of the Savage.

Included with the Savage X 4.6
R/C Truck
Transmitter
Roto start System
Body Removal

Requires
Glow starter
Nitro Fuel
Fuel Bottle
Charger for Roto Start
Charger Glow Starter
12 AA Batteries
HPI racing Temp Gun (recommended)

Image Gallery


  • Was this useful?
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    SteinyD Ben's cred: 10
    Posted 7:49 pm PDT 04/17/08

    I have an early Savage and always struggled with the battery box. Too tight and hard to get batteries in and out and pin it closed. Have they changed the design?

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    Chrisman Ben's cred: 371
    Posted 8:36 pm PDT 04/17/08

    very cool

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    heddy_lamar Ben's cred: 67
    Posted 5:03 am PDT 04/18/08

    I just can't beleive that little motor pushes 2.9 hp.

    I want one.

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    iguana Ben's cred: 22
    Posted 5:39 am PDT 04/18/08

    go to hobbytown - talk to them - check their prices - watch their races in the parking lot on saturdays or sundays - they know what they are doing - their prices competitive - they are helpful

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    iguana Ben's cred: 22
    Posted 5:42 am PDT 04/18/08

    bet u wont find this on bacon5 d4e3a2l1s0

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    iguana Ben's cred: 22
    Posted 5:43 am PDT 04/18/08

    kcils slaed

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    reminvestor Ben's cred: 12
    Posted 7:31 am PDT 04/18/08

    I have the Traxxas Revoand its great!

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    Toolman Ben's cred: 1
    Posted 8:28 am PDT 04/18/08

    Things have come a long way from the old Kyosho Grasshopper with the hobaconp kit. That was a great car and I realiy enjoyed building them. When my kids are old enough it'll be great to get back into RC again.

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    envador Ben's cred: 37
    Posted 1:31 pm PDT 04/18/08

    I've never owned a nitro... my past cars have been the (Tamiya?) Hornet, RC10 and Traxxas Rustler. It always ended up that more time would be spent fixing the damn things rather than running them. Loads of fun though.

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    kaluna00 Ben's cred: 33
    Posted 8:41 pm PDT 04/18/08

    been out of this stuff for some years now. but 400 isn't too bad if it comes with all the electronics and starters and everything. I know it would be a really fun toy if you actually used it more then a few times.

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    mhise01 Ben's cred: 2
    Posted 4:08 pm PDT 04/19/08

    Time? Money? Who has enough of either for this? I wish I did.

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    dimeNickel Ben's cred: 2
    Posted 5:37 pm PDT 04/19/08

    too much for too lil satisfaction, not enough to tow you up a hill without running outta power

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    Jefferson1964 Ben's cred: 48
    Posted 5:40 pm PDT 04/19/08

    Revo 3.3 is the best all around truck although the Savage is a good monster truck....the revo handles much better than any monster truck on the market.

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    whatexitvideo Ben's cred: 9
    Posted 9:54 am PDT 04/22/08

    Who doesn't love RC cars.

    I am waiting till the lithium powered Electric cars come down in price. Nitro/Gas is a pain in the arshe and they are loud. Unless you like to draw nerdy attention to yourself.

    Brent
    www.getthebandbacktogether.com

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    unicron500 Ben's cred: 10
    Posted 12:35 pm PDT 04/22/08

    Brakes? Toys are like video games... you don't use the brake button.

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    mmcw Ben's cred: 17
    Posted 7:41 am PDT 04/28/08

    Ben,

    Are you giving this away?

    I'm in

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    eVader Ben's cred: 2
    Posted 11:18 pm PDT 05/5/08

    @jklyank - No a "toy" is found at Toys R Us, WalMart, KB Toys etc and mainly for kids. These are "hobbies" which is basically toys for bigger kids to adults that drain your wallet in no time at all. They are a kick on a track or just backyard bashing. I have a Traxxas Revo, a Losi 8Eight buggy and a few other electrics.

    I second the priming with finger over exhaust. A siphon will flood the engine and besides as long as your glow plug is burning right, your fuel\air mix is dialed in to the instruction manual etc it should start in a few pulls or starter. if it is hard to start, reset settings and tune as recommneded.

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    SuprDave89 Ben's cred: 2
    Posted 11:06 am PDT 05/7/08

    Can we get some RC deals posted on BB???

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    azam91 Ben's cred: 2
    Posted 8:19 pm PDT 05/12/08

    How can a TOY be so expensive. I mean no offense.

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    unlockingsky Ben's cred: 2
    Posted 1:58 pm PDT 10/17/08

    f* this is a overkill if it is a toy. might run this is central park to kill a squirel... the first rc car road kill. haha...

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