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Losi XXX-SCT Review

1/14/2011 by Gary Katzer

Copyright:© 2011 Horizon Hobby, Inc.

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I’ve been very lucky in my career in that I have been able to see new products before they’re actually announced to the general public. One of the products that was the hardest to not spill the beans on was the Losi XXX-SCT. I had an opportunity to see most of the early CAD drawings in March of 2010 and was thrilled with all the extra details that were going into this project. This wasn’t just a stretched XXX-T, quite the contrary. I knew from what I had seen the XXX-SCT was going to be a very special truck and had the potential to be the best-handling Short Course Truck out-of-the-box.

After months of pestering Losi’s Keith Whisler, asking him when it would be here, when I could drive one, when I could have one of my very own, I now have one sitting proudly on my workbench. Having seen this truck from the planning stages, the pre-production version and now the production truck, I am totally amped up to be able to hit the track with an XXX-SCT of my very own. Will it live up to my expectations? There’s only one way to find out.


Speed Specs
XXX-SCT
Part Number(s): LOSB0106; LOSB0106BD
Vehicle Class/Type: 1/10-scale Short Course Truck
Target Audience: Beginner-to-advanced short course racer
Completion Level: RTR and BND



Notes:
When I received the XXX-SCT, I was impressed with how solid the truck felt out-of-the box. I’m not talking about the performance but about the build quality. Often with an RTR you may notice a little slop in the suspension, the shocks may have some air in them and there may be other minor things that, while it won’t make or break the vehicle, can be minor annoyances. None of these occurred with the XXX-SCT. The shocks were silky smooth, the suspension was relatively slop-free and the truck was built quite well.

I was lucky to receive the XXX-SCT just weeks before the Spektrum Electric Indoor Off Road Championships at S&N’s Trackside Hobbies. Knowing that I was planning on running that event I was looking forward to getting some laps with the XXX-SCT before things really counted. I was really glad that the XXX-SCT came out of the box as well put together as it did as it reduced my prep time to almost nil. With a number of charged LiPo packs, the SR300 receiver bound to my DX3R and the body secured, it was time to see if the XXX-SCT would be everything I had hoped for.

Top Speed/Acceleration:
I’ve long been a fan of the Losi 32K motor in both the 1/10-scale Desert Truck and Slider. It has a good balance of torque and top speed that won’t leave you looking for more power out-of-the-box. In the XXX-SCT the 32K motor once again has earned a fan as it works very well in the XXX-SCT. I’d estimate top speeds with a 2S LiPo were between 25-to 30-MPH with the kit gearing.

One thing that cannot be overstated is how smooth and efficient the driveline of the XXX-SCT is. Anyone who is familiar with the XXX-family of vehicles should be surprised by this as the transmission is proven and durable, capable of handling the hottest of brushless motors. Not only that but, compared to most of the other short course trucks, the XXX-SCT is virtually silent around the entire track. A quiet transmission is an efficient transmission, which improves both acceleration and top speed.

Handling
I hit the track with the XXX-SCT in total stock configuration, including the kit Blue-compound Eclipse SCT Tires. With the hard packed Trackside track I didn’t know how well the tires would hook up since the Eclipse tread pattern tends to excel on outdoor tracks that have a bit more loam to them. Also the Losi Pink-compound tires tend to work best at Trackside. I was actually surprised that the kit tires worked really really well. Both sidebite and forward bite were actually better than I expected and I really liked how the truck changed directions quickly without swapping ends. The XXX-SCT is clearly not the first SCT out there and it does handle differently than other trucks out there. There are some trucks that have an abundance of steering at the expense of rear traction. There are other trucks out there that have gobs of rear grip but tend to suffer from a reduction of steering. I’d say the XXX-SCT is the most balanced SCT from the box out of all the trucks I have driven to date. Now, admittedly I haven’t driven them all yet, but of the ones I have driven this is balanced to suit my driving style the best. Perhaps my favorite section of the track was the chicane right after the jump in front of the driver’s stand. The XXX-SCT just carved through there and felt a lot like my XXX-T CR when doing it. I know a lot of you might be tempted to toss the stock shock oil, put different springs on and such when you first get your truck. Do yourself a favor and drive the XXX-SCT first before changing anything. I think you’ll find that the stock setup is really, really good.

Jumping
Initially I ran the XXX-SCT with 3-foam spacers in front of the battery and the rest behind the pack. With this setup the XXX-SCT did jump with a bit of a nose-up attitude, although tapping the brakes did bring the nose down a bit. I did play around with the battery placement to try to get some weight placed more towards the nose of the chassis to help keep the nose down. This did help, although moving the battery also affected the handling at the same time. It was a balancing act but eventually I settled on running 2-foam spacers in front of the pack with an ounce of stick-on lead weights under the steering arm on the servo. This seemed to be the best compromise and provided the best overall performance.

Off-Power
Some short course trucks resort to getting steering out of the chassis by breaking the rear end loose, requiring you to be on top of the wheel as it slides around the apex. Not so on the XXX-SCT, as I had mentioned earlier, it really is well balanced out from the box. The XXX-SCT felt really good off-power and on turn-in without ever feeling edgy or like it was sliding around. I was able to take some steering throw out of my transmitter too, reducing tire scrubbing through the corner and, presumably, improving roll speed through the corners.

On-Power
I’ve driven other SCT’s that are just as planted off-power but once I got on the gas the front end had very little traction and the truck would just push or I’d have to wait for the rear to finally rotate before getting on the gas again. This is not the case with the XXX-SCT, as the front of the truck happily digs in and keeps you going in the right direction. I was caught a bit off-guard by this initially as I kept turning into the pipes mid-corner if I tried to drive the XXX-SCT like my other trucks. Once I started getting on the power more and more mid-corner-out, the truck seemed like it worked even better still when I got more aggressive with it. It reminded me of driving the 8IGHT in this instance-the harder you drive the more you get out of the car. It was really quite profound to see and, until you get to drive it for yourself, you can’t totally appreciate.

Out-Of-The-Box Setup
As mentioned in the video the XXX-SCT is quintessential XXX-T, meaning that it not only looks like an XXX-T but it also drives like one. Around the track at Trackside, a track that was extremely challenging, the XXX-SCT held its own. The stock setup worked very well and, as previously mentioned, was extremely balanced for me. In preparation for the Spektrum Indoor Electric Off Road Championships, I did change the chassis setup and put Frank Root’s XXX-SCT setup on it. As I drove, tested, tuned and tweaked I found myself coming back to the kit setup. The Losi guys really worked quite hard on the box-stock setup and performance and it absolutely shows!
Speaking of which, I am writing this after the Spektrum Race where Dustin Evans TQ’ed the Modified Short Course Class. The most remarkable fact is that, minus a ball diff and some other tires, Dustin ran his truck box-stock. He even ran the RTR body and paint scheme. If that wasn’t enough, his teammate Matt Chambers also placed his XXX-SCT in the A-Main with the kit setup. Now, admittedly, Matt started tweaking the setup to make it closer to his XXX-T CR’s after the third round of qualifying to try to catch Dustin but his truck looked really good too.

The XXX-SCT is a homerun for Losi and those who have been a fan of Team Losi Racing buggies and stadium trucks will be very pleased with it. It’s everything that folks have been asking for and then some. The details that have gone into this truck are really cool, from the wire keeps integrated into the nerf bars and the improved servo brace to the Eclipse SCT tires and great looking body, the XXX-SCT is what a short course truck should be. The handlingis top-notch, it’s durable and accepts most of the XXX-T option parts. It’s good to see Losi taking their customer feedback and delivering a vehicle that doesn’t just meet expectations but exceeds them. I am truly looking forward to more track time with this truck and cannot wait to race the XXX-SCT more and more.