Traxxas Launches Licensed Trail Rig With New TRX-4

TRX-4 Scale and Trail Crawler

Mark HoulahanPhotographer, Writer

Building a trail-capable rig is not something all of us can afford to do. Even if you have built one, all it takes to be sidelined is a broken part, and it might be weeks before you can get back out on the trail. It can be frustrating, but one thing we really enjoy between trail runs (or even when our junk is broken and we are sitting around the house dreaming of when we can get back out on the trail) is having fun with a scale trail rig. This especially holds true if your nearest trail is several hours away, or if all your off-road buddies bail on you for various reasons. Don’t sit and be miserable—grab your scale radio control truck and go have fun right in your own back yard. Heck, we know people that have built mini trails right in their yard to have fun with!

The radio control fanatics at Traxxas have been building R/C vehicles for over 30 years now and know how to put a smile on a kid’s face (and on the face of the kid in all of us). Traxxas has put out some great off-road trucks over the years, and one of our favorites was the Traxxas Summit. This behemoth featured a two-speed transmission and locking front and rear diffs, all controllable from the handheld transmitter. This allowed high-speed fun, but at the flick of a switch the Summit could be geared down for crawling and the diffs locked to get up and over those obstacles. It was, and still is, a really fun truck.

Recently we got word that Traxxas was working on something new, a trail rig with incredible scale details that featured a lot of that “first gen” tech of the Summit but wrapped in an all-new chassis that could make it one of the most capable off-road scale machines out there. Our friends at Traxxas let us in on the ground floor to check this new rig out. To say we are impressed would be an understatement. Traxxas knocked it out of the park with the new TRX-4 Scale and Trail vehicle.

The new Traxxas TRX-4 is a clean-sheet design. The engineers looked at everything a real crawling and trail vehicle would need to be the most capable on dirt, rocks, and gravel. This included a low crawler gear, super-sticky tires, front and rear locking differentials, a low center of gravity, tons of articulation, and the biggest “wow” of them all: high center portal axles front and rear for unbeatable ground clearance!

Once the Traxxas team finished designing a real C-channel steel frame and bolted on aluminum shocks, the two-speed transmission, the portal axles, and all the other goodies to make it run, they topped it off with a fully licensed and true-to-scale Land Rover Defender body in red or gray (we scored a red one for our testing). Even the body itself got the full scale treatment, with a functional spare tire, jerry cans, a “high lift” style jack, a roof rack with an exterior cage, and more.

The new TRX-4 is almost too nice to get dirty, but there’d be no fun letting it sit on the shelf. We took it out to a nearby mountain bike trail and took it for a spin. Next time we get the itch to hit the trail and sling a little dirt but our time is limited or our trail rig is down for work, we can do it immediately in our backyard.


Kicking It Old School

While we are talking awesome trucks that love to play in the dirt, we can’t resist a quick look at the new Bigfoot No. 1 truck from Traxxas as well. While monster trucks aren’t something John Q. Public usually has parked in his driveway, there’s no denying that monster trucks are huge with fans of all ages. Like many of you, we can’t wait for the annual Monster Truck Tour to visit at our city so we can cheer on our favorite drivers and catch a little bit of mayhem. Even life-size versions of Traxxas’ Craniac, Skully, and X-Maxx can be seen running at these venues!

Traxxas has been building licensed monster truck replicas for a while now, but the Bigfoot No. 1 that the company released earlier this year holds a special place in our mudslinging hearts. You see, it is arguably the beginning of the monster truck movement right here with this mid-1970s Ford F-series Ranger that Bob Chandler built, and now you can own a scale replica to have your own muddy fun with.

Right down to the Predator carbs sticking through the hood, the licensed Ford truck body, and of course those iconic KC lights on the chrome roll bar, it’s all there, just like we remember as a kid. Pick up two, make a course, and have some monster truck races of your own. You can thank us later!