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Losi 8IGHT-T 2.0 RTR Review

9/15/2009 by Gary Katzer

Copyright:© 2009 Horizon Hobby, Inc.

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What started out as a modified monster truck class has truly evolved to be a pure-bred race class. I’m speaking of the highly competitive truggy class of course. There have been a number of different philosophies on how to build the best truck out there. Some trucks work really well on hard-packed, smooth surfaces. Still others work really well on rough and bumpy tracks. But the question is how do you find a truck that works well on many different surfaces yet compromises nothing? Look no further than the latest truggy from Losi, the 8IGHT-T 2.0 RTR.

The trickle-down theory works well in many applications, and this is a perfect example. As their latest flagship truck, the 8IGHT-T 2.0 performs straight from the box. For those looking for a complete ready-to-run package, Losi has taken what they’ve learned on their all-out race truck and updated their RTR truggy and brought it to 2.0-spec. The result is the truck you see here, the Losi 8IGHT-T 2.0 RTR. Complete with a starter box, JR servos, a Losi 454 engine and Spektrum DX3S transmitter—this is one capable RTR.

Speed Specs

Speed Specs
Vehicle: 8IGHT-T 2.0 RTR
Manufacturer: Losi
Part Number: LOSB0085
Vehicle Class/Type: 1/8 Scale Truggy
Target Audience: Backyard basher to intermediate-level casual racer
Kit/RTR/BND/Race Roller: RTR (as tested)

Test Items Used:
Losi 30% Nitrotane Race Blend (LOSB0430)
Losi Performance Battery Pack (LOSB9900)
Losi Aluminum Glow Driver (LOSB5221)
Losi 500cc Fuel Bottle (LOSB5201)

Final Thoughts:
Having used the Losi 454-engine previously in the LST XXL, I knew that the break-in period would be a relatively painless endeavor, but having the telemetry equipped DX3S transmitter made the break-in procedure even easier. Thanks to the pre-installed temperature sensor and on-radio temperature alerts, I was able to monitor the engine’s status from the first pull of the trigger. The engine ran perfectly from the first tank of 30% Race Blend Nitrotane through the last tank while I was breaking the engine in, something crucial for any engine.

From the first pull of the trigger the 8IGHT-T 2.0 RTR instills confidence. This is a truck that loves to be jumped and doesn’t punish you if your technique isn’t “Drake-worthy.” If your approach is a little off or you hold too much throttle over a jump, this truck is forgiving enough that you can recover rather easily. The suspension felt really good, absorbing the imperfections on the track’s surface effortlessly. Much of the credit to the positive feel of the 8IGHT-T 2.0 RTR has to go to the tires. I became a fan of the XTTs when they were introduced on the original 8IGHT Race Roller almost 3 years ago and I am still a fan of them now.

Top Speed/Acceleration
The engineers at Losi are some pretty smart people. It is pretty easy to transfer a buggy drivetrain straight over to a truggy and call it a day. What this “lazy engineering” doesn’t take into account is that a buggy has smaller wheels and tires than a truggy, and the larger wheels are equivalent to running a clutch bell that is 2–3 teeth larger. Losi has reconfigured the driveline in the 8IGHT-T 2.0 RTR, specifically gearing it for the needs of the truggy user. This gearing change yields positive results on all fronts, balancing both bottom-end torque and straight-line speed.

Along with the changes to the drivetrain, the Losi 454 engine has to be given credit for having excellent performance out-of-the-box. The 454 is a terrific engine with a broad power band. The carb is easy to tune and doesn’t waiver from run to run, providing you with headache-free performance each and every time you go to run. You won’t be looking to upgrade your engine anytime soon with this truck.

Jumping
There’s something indescribably cool about hitting the face of a jump with a 10-pound truck traveling over 40 mph and sending it skying over anything in its path. The 8IGHT-T 2.0 RTR is both a forgiving and graceful flyer once it takes off. If you’re jumping technique is good then you’re going to like this truck. If your jumping technique leaves something to be desired, then you’re going to love this truck. Here’s why.

The 8IGHT-T 2.0 RTR isn’t a truck that needs to be driven perfectly to perform. Jumping is one of those areas where some drivers, at times myself included, can struggle. The 8IGHT-T 2.0 RTR’s suspension is set up so that it absorbs less-than-perfect landings without rebounding wildly. I can’t explain how it does it but, more than a few times, I had the truck twisted all out-of-sorts upon takeoff and the truck righted itself and leveled out before it returned to earth. This is a lot of fun and a cool thing to see when it happens.

Handling
The one thing I noticed instantly about the 8IGHT-T 2.0 RTR is that it has some killer brakes. Upon closer inspection I noticed that the brake discs feature a vented design to help prevent the brakes from fading as you drive. I honestly could have used a little bit of brake fade as initially I kept locking up the brakes and sliding past the apex of turns. Eventually I pulled off the line and made some adjustments to the brake throw in my DX3S transmitter. With the throws backed off slightly the truck didn’t lock up the wheels nearly as much, helping me carve a tighter line around the track.

I spent a good amount of time racing an original 8IGHT-T Race Roller, getting the setup more and more refined. After the transmitter adjustment mentioned above the 8IGHT-T 2.0 RTR felt better to me than my old truggy. I’m talking about a truggy with “RTR” tires, “RTR” springs, “RTR” shock and diff oil feeling as good as or better than my “Race” truggy. That’s pretty impressive. The one thing I did notice about this new truck was that, out of the box, it felt like it had a low-speed push, particularly when changing directions in a hurry. I think if I go up one spring rate up front or take some droop out of the truck, I’ll be able to dial it in better to my liking.

Off-Power
With the brake issue addressed the 8IGHT-T 2.0 RTR has a very good feeling off-power. The truck is confidence-inspiring thanks to its planted nature. I felt like I could take this truck as it is out of the box and be competitive with it on our local club scene fairly easily. When entering a turn it does have a slight understeer if you charge the corner too hard, however, if you back your entry point up a few feet you will be rewarded with a nice, tight line around the corner. Passes are made going into corners, off-power more times than not and I anticipate passing quite a few people with the 8IGHT-T 2.0 RTR.

On-Power
One of the reasons why I really like the XTT tires that are included with the truck is that they hook up so well on so many surfaces. I never felt like I was struggling for forward bite or side bite when exiting a corner. I also never heisted to peg the gas when the time was right. The 8IGHT-T 2.0 RTR just squats and goes when you get on the gas happily, lap after lap after lap. With some trucks this positive rear bite on-power also translates into an on-power push, but that’s not the case here. The rear traction doesn’t overpower that of the front, instead each end of the truck works in harmony with the other to ensure that you have the best of both worlds.

Out-Of-The-Box Setup
Sometimes the stock setup on an RTR is really a compromise. By that I mean that the setup works ok for bashing, it works ok if you’re racing, but it doesn’t do either particularly well. While there are sure to be more than a few 8IGHT-T 2.0 RTRs bashed around in open lots and backyards, the setup on the truck has an emphasis on the racing arena and it shows. This is one truck that is designed for the casual racer first, but it is still beefy and durable enough to take the punishment of backyard bashing.

The 8IGHT-T 2.0 RTR has a strong legacy to live up to and it does so very well. I felt like I could be instantly competitive in our local club scene with this truck, and we have some very good truggy racers around here. The stock ride height and suspension setting were pretty spot-on for the RJD Hobbies and Raceway track, even though it wasn’t prepped for racing before I ran. The truck transferred weight to the nose effectively to provide good off-power steering while providing the positive traction needed on corner-exit. The only criticism I have for the way the truck ran out of the box has to be that the brakes were a bit firm and locked up easily initially, however, some simple adjustments made it easy to get dialed-in in a snap.

I was impressed with the Losi 454 engine when I tested the LST XXL but was a bit concerned that it might not have the high-speed potency needed in a direct-drive truggy. Well, I’m pleased to say that concern was not warranted as the 454 ran just as well in this application as it had in the XXL. It pulls hard out of the corner and has great top speed capabilities, all while not being overly thirsty for fuel. The dual-needle carb was a pleasure to tune, but I’ll admit, after my break-in period, I didn’t really need to play with the carb again.

The truggy classes have become extremely competitive in recent years, with each truck trying to out-do the one that came before it. The 8IGHT-T 2.0 RTR has the right goods to be competitive straight from the box. Just take a look at how it’s equipped and it’s easy to see how and why it’s successful. From its plush suspension setup, dialed DX3S radio, included starter box, powerful 454 engine and championship lineage the 8IGHT-T 2.0 RTR is a great truck. It’s easy to see how and why the changes were made over the previous generation and how all those subtle refinements pay some pretty serious dividends on-track. If you’re looking for an RTR truggy to help improve your performance at the track, the Losi 8IGHT-T 2.0 RTR might be just the right stimulus package to grow your trophy collection.