Review - RC Hoonitruck from Team Associated
We just got the brand new Hoonitruck, and this thing looks killer, but how well does it throw down? We unbox this truck, check out all it has to offer, and then take it outside and drive it.
If you're not familiar with the Hoonitruck, it's a one-off 900+ horsepower street machine created by the guys at Hoonigan Racing. The Hoonitruck was built for a role in the video Gymkhana TEN, and then later starred in Climbkhana TWO; you can watch both videos on YouTube.
The Hoonitruck was solely designed to be driven aggressively, "to hoon," and of course, to look good doing it. What's interesting is that there is only one Hoonitruck in the world, and Ken Block sold it recently for 1.1 million dollars, which equates to about $1200 for every 1 horsepower, which is one expensive toy!
If you're the guy that bought the Hoonitruck, congratulations, man, but if you're not, * this is the officially licensed RC Hoonitruck from Team Associated—and it looks fantastic.
Unboxing the Apex2 Hoonitruck from Team Associated
The RC Hoonitruck is ready to run, out of the box, with the chassis and electronics configured and the Hoonitruck body is painted and detailed. The only requirements to get up and running are four "AA" batteries for the transmitter and a battery pack for the Hoonitruck. There are two Hoonitruck versions available, one without a battery and charger, and the more expensive second combo version, which includes them.
The RC Hoonitruck Body
Checking out the front of the body, the front bumper, and bottom lip are part of the lexan body, but the front grill is a hard plastic detail attached from the inside. You might notice a decal behind that front grill and decals over the headlight lenses. Behind those lenses are proper light buckets to fit LEDs if you add them separately.
Moving up is the flat black hood, with a full decal covering it. Attached are two molded plastic turbos that sit recessed, with carbon fiber frame around them. The center of our hood features the molded engine intake. The windshield also features a full decal to tint and trim the window, with the slogan, "Kill All Tires." If we follow that to the roof, it's similar to the hood, featuring a full flat black appearance and double O's.
There are more decals on the sides of the body, including the Hoonigan H in the front blinker area, followed by wide front fenders. Behind them is the hard plastic exhaust piece, but this is attached to a secondary lexan piece attached to the primary body. This is done to get the tight angles and curves for the fender because lexan won't mold like that. Also, the fender must be cut off in the back to let the shredded tire pieces escape.
Behind the exhaust, you'll find more Hoonigan decals, plus another window decal to trim and tint it. The last thing to show here is the molded plastic running boards attached to each side. This helps offer a little more realism, and they help stiffen up the lexan sides.
Moving back from those boards are the rear fenders, and again, just like the front, they're really wide, and again, there is a secondary lexan piece attached to get the proper lines of the fender cut off, so the rubber can fly free.
One last tint and trim decal is used on the back window, where you'll also find the silver rear cage that makes up most of the truck, or at least the real one. This bed area is fully open on the full-size truck, but since that can't be done with the RC version, a decal mimicking the look is used.
The rear wing is the real deal, it looks just like the aluminum wing used on the actual truck, and it's a hard plastic accessory attached from the inside of the body, with decals added to it. The last bit of Hoonitruck scale realism on this body is the rear end, with another Hoonigan decal under the wing and large Ford branding on the tailgate.
That's how the body comes out of the box, but a few more scale details are included that you can add yourself. For instance, molded side mirrors and mirror decals are included, but they are not installed. So you'll need to install the decals on the mirrors, and then install the mirrors on the body in the existing holes and lock them in place with a drop of CA glue. The same applies to the antenna, however, the body didn’t have an existing hole for it, so we used a body hole reamer to create one and then installed it.
There are a few other detail decals included to use at your will, including brake caliper decals, since there are hard plastic discs and calipers behind the wheel. With a 7mm nut wrench, the wheel comes right off, and these wheel/tires look the part. The rubber treaded tires are glued to the white wheel with foam inserts. These wheels feature a 12mm hex, so any 1/10 scale TC style wheel with a 12mm hex will fit and swapping out to different tires is easy. We do that later on, to help get us sideways. Before we get to that, let's check out the rest of this Hoonitruck chassis, formally called the APEX2 from Team Associated.
What’s Inside the Hoonitruck?
The Hoonitruck is a 1/10 scale, all-wheel drive, on-road, electric platform truck with an independent suspension and front and rear gear differentials. The front and rear gearbox clips are the same using the same parts, minus the bumper attached and the top brace. Likewise, with the suspension, the upper and lower arms, hubs, and steering blocks are all the same parts, shared at each corner. Because of this, the rear hubs have a turnbuckle link, but all the links are non-adjustable. However, if you upgrade to the adjustable ones, you will be able to manually adjust your rear toe angles, which is a premium feature with some other cars.
Other features include the plastic oil-filled shocks with threaded collars, a G10 fiberglass chassis, a nice big front foam bumper, and easy-to-use Velcro strips for the battery box, which will only fit shorty LiPo batteries. Another important feature of the Hoonitruck is the metal drivetrain used throughout, with a metal center driveshaft and metal dogbones used on each corner. These outdrives are metal to last as long as possible, except for the two outdrives used in the center.
The power system connected to that drivetrain is the Reedy SC500X speed controller with a T-style battery connector and a reedy 15T modified motor, in 550 can size, and it's a 3-pole. For the steering servo, it's the reedy 1523MG metal gear servo.
Getting the motor out of the car is pretty dang easy, removing the screws for the top cap and then the plate behind it, and it lifts up. The motor plate is aluminum, and to ensure the correct motor direction for its orientation in the chassis, it uses a drive gear attached to the plate, and you set your gear mesh to this gear. Again, there is no center differential or slipper. The spur gear is directly attached to an aluminum spool. Since this is the Hoonitruck, it seems fitting to have a direct drive setup, but Team Associated offers a center gear differential optionally if you want to add that.
How fast is the RC Hoonitruck from Team Associated?
Well, we tested it! With a fresh 2S LiPo battery installed, and our GPS speed meter stuck to the truck, we went for it and realized a top speed of 17mph. Next, we removed that 2S LiPo and replaced it with a more powerful 3S LiPo, then tried again. This time, the extra battery power provided us with a top speed of 27mph.
Using a 3S battery provides a good jump in speed but take note that you may need to gear down for 3S LiPo use, as recommended in the manual, but it depends on many conditions, like the outside temperature. We tested the temp of our car after using a 3S, and temps were ok, but it was also a cool day out; if it were a hot out, we'd probably gear down as recommended.
Driving the Hoonitruck is quite the experience, and all about how it looks while driving. The rubber tires have a good amount of grip on a parking lot pavement surface, and the vehicle is subject to body roll. Turning is pretty sharp, and if you get on the gas while turning, the truck will start to drift out on you, pulling some pretty impressive powerslides, or even donuts if you want that. Controlling the powerslides is a little tricky, and it's all finesse. We had a good time bashing around the Hoonitruck, and it delivers the all-wheel-drive experience you'd expect.
Driving on the pavement was fun, but the best experience we had with the Hoonitruck came from drifting it around, which is possible only after installing optional drift tires, that is precisely what we did. The Hoonitruck came alive, sliding and getting sideways with ease, begging us to give it more power, and we gladly did. We discovered that for drifting and powerslides type of driving, a slower 2S LiPo was best to maintain control. However, the faster 3S LiPo was the ticket for bashing on the pavement.
The Hoonitruck is one awesome reproduction in RC form, and the body is simply fantastic. We can see the Hoonitruck being popular with Ken Block fans, Hoonigan Racing fans, or even collectors. Shoot, it would also be a great first RC car. Although the Hoonitruck is a little more expensive than similar cars in this category, it's not 1.1 million, but if you want the Hoonitruck, this is the only one in the world that's for sale.
Whoa, hold up, time out, we just realized we forgot to mention that this body is an excellent fit for other touring cars or maybe a drifter like the RMX 2.0. It fits right on with no problem once you pop some new body mount holes. There is a clear body version coming, and it's pretty dialed up.
The RC Hoonitruck Review
For even more information, watch our "RC Hoonitruck from Team Associated" review on our YouTube channel, and while you're there, be sure to check out our new product reviews, and how to videos.
Team Associated Apex2 Hoonitruck RTR RC Truck ASC30123
Team Associated Apex2 Hoonitruck RTR Truck Combo ASC30123C
Reedy WolfPack 2S Hard Case Shorty 30C LiPo Battery ASC758
Reedy WolfPack 3S Hard Case Shorty 30C LiPo Battery ASC759
Fuji EnviroMAX AA Super Alkaline Battery FUG4300BP4
SkyRC GPS Speed Meter & Data Logger SKY-500024-01
Yokomo DRC Competition Drift Tire YOKZR-DRC
MST GT Wheel Set MXS-832109W