Every kid grows up with the aspiration to some day own a cool car. Whether they want to drag race down the boulevard in their very own ‘Vette, or climb rocks the size of sedans in a Wrangler, or drift perfect figure eights in the high school parking lot in their turbo’d Supra, we all get bit by the bug, and we all dream big.
RC cars are great, because those little bits of plastic and pieces of metal enable us to live out our wildest fantasies, because let’s face it: The majority of Wranglers don’t climb rocks, most ‘Vettes don’t get raced down the boulevard, and if you own a Supra, you probably spend more time polishing its paint than you do drifting it around.
C’est la vie.
While some RC cars are mere novelties, there are some companies out there who really put painstaking amounts of effort into making their pint-sized replicas as close to the real deal as possible. Or, at the very least, making them fun as hell. Here are 6 of the best and most realistic RC cars for adults:
Tamiya Toyota Land Cruiser
Tamiya’s spot-on version of the famous 40 series Toyota Land Cruiser is built with the vintage 4×4 enthusiast in mind. Stubby 125mm replica rock crawler tires, a legitimate 4-link suspension, and a powerful little motor make this RC monster fun on all terrains. Why drop $25 grand on a real classic Land Cruiser that’ll just sit in your garage when you can climb hills and mountains without reservation with the Tamiya Toyota Land Cruiser? $350
Capo Racing CD15823 Jeep Wrangler
Every Wrangler owner has the same fantasy; alone in the great outdoors, atop some wild, rugged terrain, with an awesome dog (probably some kind of Labrador, probably named something awesome like Titus, and probably wearing a handsome bandana around his neck), overlooking this incredible panoramic mountainous vista, while standing in front of their kickass Jeep Wrangler.
But that kind of stuff only happens in the Jeep commercial.
The Capo Racing replica Wrangler, however, is probably cleaner, cooler, and more kick ass than your wrangler, anyway! For the modest price of just $2,400 (no, that’s not a typo), you can have yourself a 1/8th full-metal-body replica of America’s favorite rock climbing machine. To be fair, this RC rig is as real-deal as they come, with sealed differential locks, independent axles, a real 2WD to 4WD transfer case, a fully functional disk brake system, and a real air-cooled motor. Even for an RC car, this thing is completely badass. $2,400
HPI Racing Savage XL 5.9 RTR
This ready to drive right out of the box RC monster truck is pure hell on wheels. The Savage XL 5.9 RTR comes with everything you need to scream in and around the toughest terrain, including a real aluminum exhaust system, a 5.9cc air-cooled motor that puts out a whopping 3.75 horsepower, a 3-speed tranny, a full alloy chassis, dual fiber disk brakes, machined gears and other drivetrain components, and tall all-terrain tires to help you boogie all over the map. This thing can really take a beating, too. $600
Hoppin’ Hydros ’64 Impala Hopper
This ’64 Impala from Hoppin’ Hydros didn’t make our list because of its state-of-the-art forged gear differentials or one-off alloy chassis (because they don’t have any of that stuff). They’re here because, at some point or another, everyone dreams of having a lowrider. Period. And at a price point that won’t make or break anyone’s bank, this kit comes with everything you need: an authentic Revell replica ’64 Chevy Impala hardtop, OG Blvd custom wheels and tires, a 7.2-volt Nicad battery (and charger), and a front and back hydraulic hopper chassis kit. The only thing it doesn’t come with is a Cypress Hill record. You’ll have to sort that out yourself, homie. $89
Axial Racing Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck RTR
If you know trophy trucks, you know that they are the kings of off-road racing. They hop, fly, and scream their way over and around the toughest terrain in the world. If you don’t have the 50 g’s laying around for the real thing, the Yeti SCORE by Axial Racing is probably the next best thing. Modeled after a real SCORE International trophy truck, the Yeti SCORE features an authentic solid rear axle with a 4-link setup, aluminum King Shocks and springs, replica BFGoodrich Baja T/A KR2 tires, 105 Method Race wheels, a massive 3150KV brushless motor, an Axial Hi-Lo two-speed transmission, an actual WB8 HD Wildboar drive shaft, and a full independent front suspension. God bless America! $450
Vaterra 2014 Corvette Z51 Stingray
The new Stingray is popularized as one of the sleekest, fastest, and most attractive production model ‘Vettes ever released, and we certainly don’t disagree. While this spot-on RC replica won’t take you 0-60 in 3.8 seconds, it won’t cost you a smooth $60,000, either. Powered by a punchy Dynamite 15-Turn Brushed Motor through a shaft-driven 4WD delivery system, mounted on one of Vaterra’s famous V100-S Chassis, this sophisticated radio-controlled screamer will keep hearts racing in all weather and terrain types. $250