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Traxxas Summit RC Truck - Reaching the Summit

Posted in Project Vehicles on February 1, 2011
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In our April 2011 issue we took a look at the world of hobby grade R/C trucks. From monster trucks to short course racers and even crawlers our overview hopefully gave readers a glimpse at the capabilities and features these little (and not so little) screamers can do on the rocks and in the dirt. While we covered a lot of ground in just three pages (you can see the complete story on our website HERE ) we simply didn’t have the room in our story for an in-depth look at an R/C truck by getting one out on the trail ourselves. So, we gave the fine folks at Traxxas R/C a shout and asked them what they’d recommend for a capable all-round trail truck that has plenty of power and is tough enough to take our abuse. Their answer—the Traxxas Summit 4WD Extreme Terrain Monster Truck.

When our Summit arrived a few days later saying it was like Christmas morning would be a bit of an understatement. Waiting for the included 8.4-volt batteries to charge probably took 30 minutes each but it felt like an eternity. But that’s OK, because it actually gave us time to read the owner’s manual. Yes, we read the manual first! Once all charged up and ready to roll we headed out for our closest trail.

Fresh out of the box we laid the Summit out to examine just what we got. Besides the Summit rolling chassis with motor and electronics pre mounted, there’s the rugged Summit body with ExoCage (we chose red, but you can get yellow, blue, or white), two 8.4-volt 7-cell battery packs (pre-installed in the chassis), 2.4 GHz radio controller, manuals, and a decal sheet to personalize your Summit.

The Summit is a beast, not just in size, but in weight too. The included batteries give the Titan 775 motor 16.8-volts of power and the power is just right for a truck of this size. While the combination gives it great top speed the Summit is not all about speed. No, the Summit is a capable jumper, trail rider, and even a rock crawler. How so? Because Traxxas fitted the Summit with locking differentials and a selectable hi/low range transmission. Best of all, you can lock the diffs and change the transmission range all right from the controller! When the trail gets rough or there’s an obstacle, simply move the T-Lock switch down one notch to lock the front diff, or a second notch to lock the rear as well. The transmission’s high range of 25:1 is what helps in the speed department, but when the trail gets tough or you want to hit the rocks then a quick change to the 70:1 low range is easy as flipping another switch. All of this can be done on the fly without touching the truck itself.

The lay down shock arrangement is derived from Traxxas’ tough as nails Revo truck, so you know it’ll work great in the Summit. The coilover shocks are hard anodized and Traxxas offers different rate springs to suit your driving surface and adjust vehicle handling.

The Summit is no slouch in the looks department either. The 7-inch tall Canyon tires and full CV-joint axles give the Summit great trail manners as well. The chrome Geode wheels, painted body (available in four colors), and realistic ExoCage give the Summit its realistic looks while offering functional roll over protection. Ten LED lights in the front and rear bumpers give the Summit more realism and allow crawling and trail riding into the evening. Don’t think they are a gimmick either, as we tried the Summit at night and the front LEDs easily lit up the trail for us to see while the red “taillights” helped us to keep track of the Summit’s direction.

On board the Summit is an F1 inspired rocker arm suspension with lay down shocks. This allows for a lower center of gravity and a more compact setup. Sealed pivot ball type suspension at all four corners allows the Summit to glide over obstacles. On the futuristic chassis you’ll also find not just one or two servos, but five waterproof servos. Two full size servos act in tandem for steering while the three smaller servos handle the engagement of the front and rear differentials and the transmission range selection. The electronic speed controller is water proof as well, making the Summit a year round trail solution for dirt, wet grass, snow or anything else you can think of driving it through. We gave the Summit a full weekend of bashing through rocks, trails, and even some big air jumps at the local R/C track and it never even broke a sweat (or any parts for that matter). We can honestly say that our time with the Summit is something we’ll be looking forward to come our next visit to the trails and after a long day of running your “1:1 scale” rig it’ll be relaxing to have a go at it with the Summit, trust us.

Besides different spring rates Traxxas offers upgrades such as aluminum suspension and steering linkages too like these red aluminum toe links. They’re lighter, stronger, and add that little touch of bling we’re all after.

Traxxas Summit 4WD Extreme Terrain Monster Truck
PN 5607
Suggested Retail $599.99
(be sure to check out the video link there!)

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