HPI Blitz Interview
HPI Racing announced recently a new addition to their extremely popular vehicles lineup. The Blitz is a new short course truck (SC) based on the E-Firestorm platform. Just a quick look to all Blitz’s features is more than enough to understand that HPI is not just getting into the SC scene, HPI wants to lead this segment of the industry. The Blitz is an extremely promising short course truck. I’ve asked HPI those few questions, keep on reading.
MyRCBox.com: When did HPI Racing start to work on a short course truck?
Erik Shauver: Mid-March ’09
MyRCBox.com: Who have been involved in the design of the HPI Blitz?
Erik Shauver: The chassis and concepts were designed by me (Erik Shauver). I also adapted the Maxxis Trepador Comp tires styling to an R/C design with scale performance in mind. The Maxxis truck livery was designed by Andrew Hilman. Scott Roberts and Rodney Wills collaborated with me on the art concepts and executed a lot of the artwork involved in making all the peripheral design elements. Also, John Schultz helped a lot in the initial project stages with tire testing and researching this segment of the market. It was a very fun team to work with!!
MyRCBox.com: The Blitz is based on a lengthened E-Firestorm chassis. What are the advantages of building a SC truck based on an existing stadium truck chassis?
Erik Shauver: The E-Firestorm was already drawing from the design of the Firestorm, so a lot of the materials research carried over to that platform. Both of those trucks redefined the stadium truck segment by offering racing platform adjustability and “bashing” level durability. You get trucks that are sensitive to tuning adjustments and the parts have a long lifespan. The advantage was to take these existing attributes and bring them all another step forward, and at the same time, bring the price to a much more competitive level. The Blitz takes this mentality of giving you a race truck that also be bashed to the next level. Everything we learned from both of those platforms is distilled into the Blitz design.
MyRCBox.com: Do the Blitz and E-Firestorm share a lot of parts?
Erik Shauver: The gearbox housing and internal components are identical. A lot of the suspension components are also carried over (arms/ shocks/ carriers/ linkages). Beyond that, I tried to reuse as much existing hardware to make it easier for shops to support the trucks with parts. The main departures were done to increase strength over the Firestorm and E-Firestorm platforms. The main chassis and front bulkhead offer better performance, increase durability, and reduce costs. Also, I pushed the steering performance beyond that of the original trucks with new steering arm and servo saver plastic parts.
MyRCBox.com: What has been the most challenging in the development of the Blitz?
Erik Shauver: The most challenging aspect of the project was the timeframe. From start to finish on the RTR, I spent 20 days designing and detailing the parts and assemblies. Beyond that, it was critical to develop the correct balance between competing factors like performance, cost, and styling. It is no easy feat to extract that level of chassis for that price point.
MyRCBox.com: The tires, wheels and body are really realistic. Was this difficult and important for HPI to preserve the scale look?
Erik Shauver: It was incredibly important that the truck have the “proper” scale appearance. At the same time, it was hard to achieve the performance and style we wanted and remain within the provisional class rules for the body. I think our interpretation of the Nissan Titan Prolite and Nissan Titan “CORR” trucks works very well for the class. I also tried very hard to replicate the look and feel of the Maxxis tires while still keeping the tread block spacing appropriate for R/C performance in a variety of conditions. We consulted full scale fabricators and chassis designers to make sure our concepts would have the right appearance and feel.
MyRCBox.com: How do you compare the Blitz with the competition?
Erik Shauver: I feel the Blitz is the next step in the evolution of this segment. It takes a lot of the excellent features and driving performance of the existing trucks on the market and takes them to the next level. It is also much easier to work on and maintain.
MyRCBox.com: What does make the Blitz the best short course truck?
Erik Shauver: The Blitz is the best combination of performance, ease of maintenance, adjustability, price, and styling. It is the complete package!
MyRCBox.com: When I look at the Blitz’s specs and features. I can’t decide if the Blitz is for bashers or racers. The Blitz seems to be bulletproof for bashers but, in another hand, the Blitz has more than enough tuning options to please any racer. Is the Blitz has been designed for the bashers or for racers?
Erik Shauver: It is designed to accommodate both. Through the years with other platforms like the Pro4, the Savage, and the Baja we’ve found which materials we like to use for given applications. So I used our entire catalog of materials in new ways to achieve the performance I wanted without compromising durability or increasing cost. I want a truck that is fast and forgiving, so it definitely appeals to both ends of the segment [racing and bashing].
MyRCBox.com: HPI offers a wide variety of tires, wheels and bodies. Can we expect more bodies, wheels and tires especially designed for the new Blitz?
Erik Shauver: Most definitely!!
MyRCBox.com: Are there any upgrades or setups HPI recommends for bashers or racers?
Erik Shauver: I think both user styles will be satisfied with the chassis performance as is. The tuning range contained in the stock truck is amazing. A full set of our shock springs and oils coupled with your favorite tires should be plenty. That said, who doesn’t want more power?? I’ve been running an 8.5 brushless setup in mine. Although I have been eyeballing that 6.5 in my toolbox. It seems the more power I put in the truck, the better it does!
MyRCBox.com: I have read and heard many rumors for a kit version. Is this true? A Blitz SS kit?
Erik Shauver: No comment 😉
MyRCBox.com: Any chance for a “Fluxed” version of the Blitz in a near future?
Erik Shauver: No comment 😉
For more information, please visit www.hpiracing.com