Volcano S30 redcat - The product under scrutiny today is the Sumo RC 1/24 scale electric truck by Redcat Racing. If your not familiar with the Sumo let me introduce you.
Volcano S30 redcat
The Sumo is a hobby grade 4 wheel drive electric RC vehicle that is fully upgradable and offers big attitude in a small package. The Sumo RC is packaged as a ready to run (RTR) vehicle including everything you need but batteries. The Sumo RC is small enough to use indoors around the house but robust and durable enough for full on bashing sessions outdoors as well!
As tested, our Sumo was stock - featuring an electric RC 131 30,000 RPM motor, 4 wheel drive, coil spring shocks, independent 4 wheel suspension and the stock AM 2 channel radio. This truck measures 160mm in Length and 128mm in width (the truggy and buggy measure 167mm by 121mm).
This review is not intended to be a technical review of each component, rather it is a general consumer review outlining the strength and weaknesses of this item. A technical review, including parts replacement, upgrades and modifications is in the works as of the writing of this article.
The 1/24 scale Sumo RC is ideal for a wide spectrum of consumers from the first timer to the more serious hobbyist. What the Sumo RC is not, is a high dollar, competition class race vehicle; if you're at that level and looking for that type of vehicle the Sumo RC is not for you.
During our testing of the Sumo RC we did our best to break the little guy without introducing unrealistic or un-natural abuse. Video was shot during some of our testing and a teaser video was created and posted on YouTube.
Lest talk now about the truck.
Our trucks arrived in very attractive display boxes and I could not wait to open them up and see what these guys could do. I have never reviewed or driven an RC truck as small as this one. When I first saw the physical size of the RC vehicles, I had my doubts about the performance I would get and I almost abandoned the idea of reviewing this item based on my first impression.
Thankfully, the more I examined the trucks, the more intrigued I became. Being that the trucks claim to be hobby grade I thought I would take a look at the suspension, drive train and steering before driving the trucks. What I found was a soft suspension that allowed the truck to absorb the bumps and obstacles rather than bouncing over them. This later proved to be a positive factor in controllability of the vehicle.
I was a bit disappointed in the steering components. There is noticeable play in the steering making fine tuning of the tow impossible with the stock parts. During our testing however; the play in the steering was not noticeable and did not appear to degrade the controllability of the Sumo RC truck.
The drive train appears robust and durable. The stock setup offers some drag between the wheel hubs and the differentials but I anticipate that problem will be corrected with the upgrades that we have planned for our test vehicles.
We tested our trucks using standard Duracell AA batteries in the truck and in the transmitter. A comparison between standard 1.5 volt batteries and the recommended 1.2 volt rechargeable Batteries will come in our "Sumo Revisited" review.
Our testing included overall performance, handling, durability and ability to navigate obstacles. What we found was impressive for a RC truck in this price point.
The truck is very easy to work on and only requires simple tools. We disassembled and reassembled the front wheel, control arms, shocks and drive axel using only a #1 and #2 phillips screwdriver. The soft, responsive suspension was impressively effective in absorbing the bumps without allowing this rc truck to bounce around; a feature not found on most rc vehicles in this price point. The truck was responsive to steering input and had good throttle response.
The vehicles stopping distance was moderate. There does not appear to be any way to adjust the brake strength. The brake was not strong enough to cause the wheels to lock on most surfaces. The inability to lock the tires under full braking does prove to be useful however in maintaining the ability to steer the truck.
This truck drives well, as expected, on hard surfaces like wood and tile floors as well as cement, brick pavers and asphalt. The Sumo RC also does well on dirt surfaces and light gravel. We ran our Sumo RC on the grass at a local park and found it tackled that terrain as well. The 1/24 scale truck will not drive well, and often gets stuck in my thick southern lawn - not because it doesn't have the muscle to do so, but because it simply gets high-sided by the tall grass. The grass in the park is more like golf course grass.
We ran the Sumo across playground mulch and even took it to the beach and played in the sand where the 4 wheel drive proved quite effective!
After establishing a good baseline to use for writing this review, it was decided to test the durability of this small RC truck. A short oval course was set up with two ramps. The ramps are the same ramps I use for testing of 1/10 and 1/8 scale RC vehicles so for this 1/24 scale truck they are enormous. The ramps I am speaking of are the plastic skateboard ramps sold at many popular stores. The ramps are about 2 feet tall each.
After countless laps an many many jumps, some more graceful than others, we decided large, full throttle jumps alone will not break this truck. It was time to up the ante.
We decided to drive the trucks off a set of concrete stairs. The stairs consist of only 3 steps and the truck was able to clear the steps and land on the sidewalk below. We needed more stares.
It all comes apart and goes back together just like the larger 1/10 and 1/8 scale trucks. Not having access to a taller set of concrete stairs, the next best thing was the stairs in my house. With a running start the Sumo RC hurled itself from the top to the bottom only making contact with the steps on one occasion on its way down. I was not impressed with the first attempt. A second attempt turned out much the same way, not much of a crash and no carnage.
Sometimes less is more. I decided to drive the truck off the top with a bit less gusto and bingo, results. The little rc truck toppled end over end landing on one front wheel and cartwheeling to the opposite corner to impact a rear wheel. The truck hit just about every step on the way down and I knew for sure that tumble had to have broken a control arm or shock mount. I was wrong. When the truck landed it came to rest on its wheels and I drove it away. Three more rides down the stairs in a similar manner convinced me, I was not going to damage this truck without some outside influence.
During the testing of this truck we consumed 5 sets of batteries and not one time did anyone think to keep track of how long the batteries last. I can say the run time of the truck on a set of batteries was about average and I never had the thought that the batteries ran down too quickly. I will time the battery life in the "Sumo Revisited" article later this month.
The overall rating on this truck is average. The bang for the buck on this truck is excellent. The durability on this truck is excellent. Ground Clearance is very good. Precision steering and suspension setup is fair. Braking ability is fair.