HPI Blitz Short Course Truck Review
HPI Racing has jumped into the short course jungle with the recent release of the Blitz. With an attractive street price of 195$us, the Blitz is based on the robust E-Firestorm platform It has a lot to offer to any short course trucks fans. Is the Blitz for bashers or for racers? This is what I wanted to know as soon as I first saw the Blitz. Guess what? The Blitz has really surprised me…
The HPI Blitz uses four threaded shock bodies to make suspension adjustments easier and more accurate. White shock springs and 40wt shock fluid are used on four corners. The thick front and rear shock towers and suspension arms have many shock mounting holes to fine tune the suspension. The front shocks are mounted behind the front shock tower. Another nice feature is the captured hinge pins. They make the suspension smoother and reduce maintenance time. Turnbuckles make toe, camber, caster fully adjustable with the included wrench.
The stock SF-1 steering servo is okay to steer the front wheels of a 2wd 1/10th scale truck like the Blitz. Racers will want a faster and stronger servo but for the “average Joes” the SF-1 will do the job. The Blitz uses a standard dual bell crank and draglink steering system with an integrated servo saver to protect the steering servo in case of hard impacts. To limit bump steer, the bell cranks are angled to fit the front kick up angle. The steering servo is easy to remove for maintenance like the rest of the steering components.
The transmission is smooth and uses all metal gears to transfer the power the rear wheels. The transmission is ready for high performance brushless/LiPo combos. You can drop any brushless motors into the Blitz; the transmission will handle them anytime. An adjustable slipper clutch is used to limit and adjust the power for slippery surfaces and to add extra protection to the complete drivetrain. The metal spider diff is filled with oil at the factory increasing steering and drivability. A plastic cover protects the pinion and spur gear from debris. A quick access cover makes track side adjustments easy. The Blitz uses a full set of rubber sealed ball bearings. Standard dog bone style drive shafts are used to transfer to power from the transmission to the rear wheels. A quick-change 3-degree rear toe block is installed adding extra traction to the rear wheels.
All the drivetrain components are robust with no significant sign of backlash. The drivetrain is one of the hottest features of the Blitz.
HPI includes their standard TF-1 2-channel AM radio and SF-1 steering servo to control the Blitz. This is a basic setup that works well for HPI since many years. The radio/servo combo is not the best or the worst on the market. It is comparable with what the competition has to offer in this category of vehicles. A HPI SC-15 electronic speed control with reverse is included with the Blitz. I only have good words for this ESC. It offers a smooth control and its brake function works flawlessly and it is easy to control. The HPI Firebolt 15T brushed motor offers good accelerations and a good top speed. The accelerations and top speed are similar to all others vehicles on the market. So you don’t have to worry if you plan to race the Blitz. The Firebolt 15T motor features an internal cooling fan to keep the motor’s operating temperature low even under hard conditions.
The first things I have noticed are how the bumpers, the wheels and the Maxxis ATTK-10 body add extraordinary full scale realism to the Blitz. The body is trimmed and painted with many decals already applied at the factory, nothing to do at the exception of applying the extras decals included in the box. It fits perfectly onto the chassis. The wheels fenders are large enough to clear the wheels when the suspension is fully compressed. HPI has added nice rubber mud flaps for an even more realistic look.
The chassis is made of thick plastic/nylon extremely durable resisting to any kind of abusing. Durability is the trademark for HPI since many years. The battery box is located right in the middle of the chassis and as roomy enough to hold any six cells NiCad/NiMh and any 2S LiPo packs. It features two thumb screws to secure the battery plate. Different size foam spacers are included for positioning the battery pack differently for more rear traction or for more steering. An impressive and thick top plate strengthens the front chassis section.
The front and rear bumpers use, an inspired from the Baja 5T, pivoting skid plates system. This system is well known to resist to any hard impacts. The front bumper has two different mounting holes to adjust front skid plate and bumper angles. The nerf bars are removable and protect both sides of the chassis.
The Trepador Competition Bias tires look really good and are mounted on durable and light wheels. They add realism to the Blitz. HPI had the brilliant idea to use 12mm hex’s in front and rear. This lets you switch the front and rear tires.
With all those features, I had good expectations for the Blitz before my tests and the truck didn’t disappoint me. The Blitz feels home everywhere I have ran it. In my backyard, through rough terrains, rocks and different obstacles, the Blitz performs like a “bashing” vehicle should. It took all the punishment and it was asking for more.
The surprise happened when I drove the Blitz more like a “racing” truck. It really shines in this department. The Blitz has a real race potential and this explains why more Blitz are seen on many race tracks.
On the different surfaces I’ve ran the Blitz, the tires had good overall traction. Running the rear tires backward will increase forward traction for sure. The steering servo keeps front wheels pointed where you want them but the truck suffers of understeering but few tweaks to the rear diff and suspension will correct this situation. The 40wt shock oil is a little bit too thick for my likings. I’ll suggest 30wt rear and 35wt front for a more race oriented setup.
The ultimate durability test went to my six years old son. You know, the kind of driver that nail the throttle for any reasons and like to make the rear wheels spin into never ending 360s… The kind of kid that can toast any brushed motor in few minutes… After a full pack of torture the Blitz was still in one single piece. Nothing broke and the motor and ESC were slightly hot.
- Full packed of race features
- Suspension fully adjustable
- Heavy duty transmission ready for brushless/LiPo
- Based on the E-Firestorm stadium truck chassis
- Realistic full scale look
- Attractive price
- Captured hinge pins
- Basic AM radio
The HPI Blitz is a serious short course truck for racers and bashers. At first, I was thinking the Blitz will be more oriented for the backyard but I was wrong. For me, the key of its performances is the E-Firestorm chassis. There is no better way to build a race short course truck than to start with a stadium truck chassis. The Blitz is a pure race SC truck that can handle all the abuse of any brushless motors and LiPo packs out there. This is the most race oriented vehicle you can find in the HPI’s lineup. Good work HPI!
For more information, please visit www.hpiracing.com