Having fun in the mud and on the rocks is no doubt a way of life around here, but sometimes you have downtime or you want to get those who are not quite of driving age involved in the sport, too. One of the best ways to entertain yourself around the pits or in the backyard is with a 4WD radio-controlled truck. They’re a blast to run around with and fun for all ages. Just like a real trail rig, the hobby-grade machines are infinitely upgradeable with tires, shocks, suspension links, motors, gears, lockers, winches, and other gear. Once you grab some throttle trigger on one of these you’ll be amazed you hadn’t picked one up sooner.
We first took the Traxxas TRX-4 trail truck for a ride last year when it was first released with a cool-looking Land Rover Defender body. You can catch our full review of that rig on our website (bit.ly/2spk6bT). The big news for 2018 was first spied at the annual SEMA show back in November 2017. There it was, in the Traxxas booth in the main hall, and when we say “it” we are referring to the unreal visual you see before you here: the TRX-4 with a preproduction 1979 Ford Bronco body on it.
A quick chat with the Traxxas folks at the booth informed us that it was one of two upcoming releases based on the hot TRX-4 trail truck. The first would be a custom designed “tactical” body, something akin to an urban assault or SWAT-themed armored vehicle. Pretty cool, but something most of us will never own. Back to the Bronco though; modeled after the 1979 body, the Bronco would have many scale features to it, just like the Land Rover had, and be fully licensed by Ford (nothing better than getting official blessing from the Blue Oval if you ask us).
So here it is about four months later and the Bronco is available and flying off the shelves at hobby stores and online retailers everywhere. Traxxas shipped us one to check out in person. To say it has quickly become our go-to trail truck is an understatement. Check it out!
We noticed right out of the box the great simulated 3-D detail of the Bronco’s grille. The body also wears wiper arms, side-view mirrors, chrome body trim “spears,” and chrome front and rear bumpers. All of the lighting, even the side markers, fully support LED lighting, and we’re sure that Traxxas will come out with a Bronco-specific lighting kit soon.
As you can see by this photo inside the body of the rear side markers and tail/backup light, the light housings feature retaining clips for LED lights. So the LEDs will simply snap into place. Wire guides (seen to the left of the taillight) on the body and on the chassis help to keep aftermarket lighting or other wiring in place.
The chassis on the Bronco-based TRX-4 is very similar to the Land Rover, but it does have a few nuances and exclusives. For one, the inner fenders are mounted to the chassis, allowing the body to be removed a bit more easily (in our opinion). Second, exclusive to the Bronco version of the TRX-4 is this small battery tray right over the front axle, which helps with weight distribution when rockcrawling.
Just like all the other TRX-4 models the Bronco features these awesome, fully functioning portal axles for the most ground clearance possible. While the Land Rover comes with gray diff covers the Bronco goes retro with these chrome units.
The Bronco uses the same TQi four-channel radio as other TRX-4 models, with exclusive cruise control for trail running. One feature we really like is the optional Traxxas Link Bluetooth module. With the module you can control many of the radio’s functions from your smartphone via the Traxxas app.
The Bronco edition of the TRX-4 uses the same compound Canyon Trail 1.9 tires and foam inserts, but they are instead glued to these Ford-esque chrome wheels with simulated hub lock decals.
The Traxxas TRX-4 chassis features such innovations as multilink suspension, two-speed transmission, front and rear differential lockers, quick-release battery tray, waterproof electronics, and more.
None of the TRX-4 models come with a battery or charger. If you’re in the hobby already like we are, this no doubt saves you money because you already own a charger and have multiple batteries on your bench. However, if you’re new to the hobby Traxxas makes it easy with its Battery and Charger Completer Pack (PN 2992). Included in the pack is an EZ-Peak fast charger and a 5,800-mAh, 7.4-volt, two-cell Lithium-Polymer (LiPo) battery for plenty of run time on the rocks with your new Bronco.