Author: Craig Perronne Photos: Craig Perronne
A few months back, Axial sent us their Exo Terra Buggy to check out. We quickly unboxed it, sourced a battery and began to terrorize the expansive cubicle farms of the Dirt Sports World Super Headquarters in beautiful downtown Irvine, California, with it. It allowed us to live out our dream of having a four-seat prerunner without having to sell an organ or go into debt to the local mob. For those whose dream involves rocks as well as speed, Axial recently unveiled the uber-cool Jeep Wrangler Wraith Poison Spyder Rock Racer. A ready-to-run 4WD RC in 1:10 scale, it features the same Poison Spyder livery as found on the company’s famous Ultra4 King of the Hammers racer. Just like the full-size version, the Axial racer uses solid axles front and rear with each having their own locker to help with traction. Removing the Wraith from its box produced a chorus of “ohhhhs” among our staffers as it is amazingly detailed. The BFGoodrich Krawler T/A KX tires look exactly like miniaturized Krawlers and not just a near resemblance with a logo slapped on them. They are even available in an optional super-sticky R35 compound just like the actual competition version of the Krawler!
The Axial Wraith Poison Spyder is extremely detailed right down to the officially licensed BFG tires, Jeep body and Trail Ready wheels. Just like the tires, the wheels are officially licensed versions of their full-size brethren in the form of Trail Ready HD series beadlocks. An actual beadlock, the Wraith’s wheels can also be adjusted to select one, two or three breather holes to allow for different tire characteristics in varying terrain. Even the suspension links have dimple die holes in them and the graphics match the full-size racer as well. It would be fair to say we geeked out over Axial’s Jeep Wrangler Poison Spyder Wraith and even shook the box to see if a miniaturized Larry McRae was still hidden in it. Beyond the realistic details are components and features that those looking to do more than just drool over the Wraith will appreciate. The 20T electric motor allows for easy operation, whether flat out in the desert or at crawling speeds on the rocks. Optional 550 size motors will fit in the Wraith as well. Another nicety is the AE-2 ESC with a drag brake. Developed in conjunction with Castle Creations it features a LiPo cutoff and a drag brake to aid in slow-speed crawling. Both realistic and functional are the Axial AR60 OCP axles found front and rear. Using an offset design for better driveshaft angles, the rear axle has even been shaved for maximum ground clearance. They are manufactured from a special high-strength composite that has a low flex rate but is not as brittle as standard glass-filled nylon. The tubes are even trussed to distribute stress, and the covers are also removable to access the locked differentials. Bashing on the Wraith is loads of fun. While its gives up some speed in the desert compared to the fully independent Evo buggy we tested earlier, it can go places that the Evo can’t with its big tires and crawling ability. Just like an Ultra4, the Wraith is a versatile machine with the solid axles and four-link suspension allowing it crawl its way over technical terrain before blasting into the faster sections. Axial sourced a spring rate that was said to be a balance of both high-speed and harsh terrain handling, and we found that to be accurate as the Wraith could tackle both. One of coolest things about the Wraith is that, like most of Axial’s creations, a host of optional parts are available for it. Different wheels can be sourced along with more powerful engines and springs with different rates. What caught our attention most though, are the wide assortment of cool machined metal pieces to replace the suspension links, differential covers and other parts. Once we stop driving ours, we can’t wait to pimp it out!
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Axial Racing (877) 64-AXIAL www.axialracing.com