The Schumacher CAT revolutionized off-road racing when it was introduced in 1986, being years ahead of the competition. It became an international success winning British, European, Japanese, Australian, and American championships. It was updated with a longer wheelbase and Masami Hirosaka went on to win the 1987 1/10th 4WD IFMAR World Championships in Romsey, England. We are now excited to offer this iconic replica of the car that Masami used to win the first of his many World Championships, and put Schumacher Racing on the map as a leading RC car manufacturer.
- Ball differentials, which had been invented by Cecil Schumacher in 1978.
- Unique integrator system offering adjustable torque split between front and rear.
- Double wishbone suspension with massive travel.
- Full replica decal set.
- Alloy coil over oil filled shock absorbers.
- Huge steering lock to handle the tightest tracks.
- Front O-ring ‘crashback’ system to minimize front end crash damage.
- Compact design with low polar moment of inertia and low center of gravity gives the CAT remarkable maneuverability and balance.
- Tough polycarbonate bodyshell and undertray to keep out the dirt.
- Original Schumacher spiked tires.
- Accepts period correct NiCd/NiMH batteries or modern shorty Lipos.
- Accepts brushed or brushless motors.
- Transmission upgrade available to handle modern high powered motors, and create a class leading buggy for historic RC racing.
This product was added to our catalog on July 20, 2017
The build- This kit is a bit more difficult to build than a modern one. Nothing is pre-built. The front and rear ball diffs and integrator obviously have more parts than a modern geared setup. The manual is pretty good, but the sequence is a little off in places. Google is your friend as several folks have posted a better order of assembly online. That said, I built it in the order prescribed and it went together fine. If I build another one, I will definitely pre-build the steering assembly. Also, I own about 75 Phillips screwdrivers, and NOT ONE of them fit the screws that came with this car properly. I was able to complete it, but I had to be be careful and go slow, or else I would have stripped every last screw in the kit. Schumacher should take a hint from Kyosho and include hex head screws.
Quality- Even though it is a 30+ year old design, the quality is quite good. You will occasionally have to trim casting flash from the molded plastic bits to get the best fit. Speaking of plastic, there is a lot of it, much more than on today's carbon fiber and exotic alloy wonder-buggies. But don't forget that this was a world beater in its day. The parts are very well designed and come together nicely. The materials aren't exotic, but they were well chosen for their intended purpose. One of the best parts of building any Schumacher kit, especially the vintage ones, is marveling at the cleverness of the engineering.
Performance- This is actually an extremely good handling car. I run it 100% box stock: shocks, oil, tires... It is very driveable. It has tons of steering on or off the throttle. It accelerates quickly. It has a good top speed and is very quiet, which suggests that the drive train is fairly efficient. It tends to move around around on its suspension quite a bit. Personally, I like this trait. Schumacher was way ahead of everyone with suspension droop, weight transfer, and general vehicle dynamics back then. My home made track has a short grass surface, 3 decent straights, 15 turns (9 left, 6 right) and no jumps. That is what a typical English track would have been when this car was new, so it is no surprise that the CAT performs so well on it. I have not driven a modern 4WD for comparison. I have to assume things have improved over the last 30 years. Even so, this car got all of the basics right. It does everything very well. The performance gap to a newer car is probably not as great as one would expect, especially at "reasonable" power levels. I have a 13.5 turn Reedy brushless in mine, and it gets around my track extremely quickly. My KF2se (7.5 turn Reedy) is faster, of course, but there is so much drama relative to the CAT. That drama can be fun at a track, but in the yard with no marshals, it is quite tedious. The CAT is very fast and very fun without needing to be turned back over onto its wheels every 90 seconds or retrieved from the neighbors swimming pool.
Summary- This is a fast, fun, great looking car. Many will be shelf queens, but they don't have to be. They can be driven hard, too.