Many racers sold their monster trucks and switched to 1/8 scale buggies. It’s easy to understand why, buggies are fast, reliable and the competition level is high. Team Associated’s fans have waited long time before the release of the first 1/8 buggy from the A-Team. While others manufacturers were fighting to win races, the A-Team’s designers and racers were refining their buggy. Now, does the result worth the wait?
To test the Team Associated RC8 FT, I glued new Pro-Line Crime Fighter tires on the included white wheels and bolted a Novarossi N21B-2001BF .21 (Read review) coupled to a black Factory tuned pipe.
Acceleration and braking
With a 4.3:1 diff ratio, the RC8 accelerates and gets out of the corners like a missile. Even when fully accelerating, the RC8 is easy to control and never got out of shape. The top speed was not as I expected, I swapped the stock clutch bell (16T) and I installed an optional 17T clutch bell (PN: 89127). The additional toot didn’t really affect acceleration, the RC8 still accelerates quickly and the top speed was better by few miles per hour.
Good comments for the aluminum clutch shoes, they grab nicely and even after many minutes of race, they still working perfectly with no sign of wear or fade. The diffs are factory filled; the stock fluid selection (5000 front, 7000 center and 3000 rear) was perfect for my track condition and for my driving style.
Braking? There is not such to say about the RC8’s brakes. I can resume the RC8’s braking capabilities with few words “On a dime”. Aluminum inserts help to cool the brakes and like the clutch shoes, the brakes never shown any sign of fade. It is easy to fine tune the brakes with the two thumb screws. The RC8 uses the new Free Float Caliper (FFC) brake-system that eliminates the possibility of unwanted brake drag while on throttle.
Jumping and bumps handling
One of the most spectacular characteristic of the RC8 is its ability to jump. The RC8 literally pops of the jumps easily. No matter how bad I took the jump. The buggy was easy to control in the air and landings were predictable and smooth. The RC8 jumps well and lands perfectly.
In the bumps handling department, the RC8 performs smoothly and never gets out of shape. It floats on any imperfections on the track, no need to release the throttle, just keep your speed and the RC8 will to the rest of the job for you. The suspension is very smooth. The front shocks are filled with 50wt oil while the rear shocks are filled with 40wt oil. This is the Factory setup and I didn’t feel the need to change anything in the suspension setup.
If you ever need to change the suspension setup, the RC8 has many adjustments options and multiple shock mounting positions to help you to fine tune the suspension to your driving style and track conditions.
Another hot characteristic of the RC8 is its steering. The buggy is extremely nimble and has plenty of steering. On and off speed steering is amazing too; I was able to enter tight corners without losing much speed where normally I have to apply brakes or slow down with my others vehicles.
With such steering, it’s easy to drive the RC8 trough the tight sections of the track. I’m more a truggy guy than a buggy guy and it took me few laps to get familiar with the feeling of the steering. On my test track, the buggy has a slight tendency to oversteer but nothing major. A minor suspension/caster tweak should have corrected the problem. I’m not a top driver but the RC8 is easy to drive, that makes me drive better and faster all around the track.
What I liked
- Smooth suspension
- Precise steering
- Accelerates and brakes perfectly
What could be improved
- No tire included
Items used for the track test
- Novarossi N21B-2001BF .21 engine (Read review)
- Pro-Line Crime Fighter tires
- Team Associated Factory tuned pipe
- Futaba 3PM 2.4 GHz transmitter (Read review)
- Trinity 30% Monster Horsepower fuel
- Team Associated DS1015 Servos
- Reedy 1600NiMh humppack
No doubt here, the Team Associated RC8 Factory Team buggy is a full race buggy. Out of the box, it jumps, accelerates, brakes and steers like a champion. I crashed the RC8 many times, nothing broke and it still in perfect shape.
According to the folks at Team Associated, AE didn’t include tires because the racers have their own tires preferences but I think that two pairs of Pro-Line Crime Fighter or Bowtie should have been a nice addition. This is the only negative point I have concerning the RC8.
A RTR version is also available, the RC8RS. I invite you to visit www.aeforums.co.uk to have complete setups, tips and information concerning the RC8, where many factory drivers are online to assist you.