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Traxxas Land Rover Defender is better than the real thing

Kamil Kaluski June 29, 2017 All Things Hoon 8 Comments

While I never played with radio controlled cars I always wanted my kids to be at the least exposed to them. The reason is that there is a lot to learn from RC cars: suspension geometry, gearing, simple electronics and mechanics, maintenance, troubleshooting, and repairs. Doing all of those, and driving the little cars, improves hand-eye coordination, too. It’s a great toy for kids of varying ages and it’s something that parents can do along with them.

After spending hours walking around the four-level garage of the Barrett-Jackson auction, I came upon a Traxxas display near the customer tents. Other than someone once recommending this brand to me, I knew nothing of them. I talked with the company representative and he recommended one of their entry-level sub-$200 models to me over cheapo cars. His reasons were simple: they’re better made, easier to control, faster, and can be repaired. That $20 CVS RC car likely won’t last longer than a set of batteries. He had some valid points. 

Being a fan of realistic toys, Matchbox over Hot Wheels thank you very much, possibly slightly obsessed with Defenders, I was immediately drawn to a great looking Land Rover Defender 110 RC truck. The Traxxas rep told me that this was a crawler rather than a typical all-terrain RC truck. To me that meant ground clearance and gearing. When I got home I went right to the Traxxas website for some research.


This Land Rover is no joke. First, it looks awesome because it is actually licensed by Jaguar Land Rover. Say what you want about JLR, they are very protective of their brand and the iconic look of the Defender, so they wouldn’t allow just any product to look like their vehicles. 

Second, the tech specs are quite amazing on it. Keep it mind that this is scale model. This Defender has:

  • Steel frame rails.
  • Aluminum coil-over adjustable shocks/springs.
  • 5mm steel steering links.
  • Portal axles! The thing has freakin’ portal axles like the Unimog, a Volvo C303, or a Dakar racing wagon!
  • Locking front and rear differentials! 
  • Two-speed transmission, just like a real 4×4, it has hi and low gearing.
  • There is even an optional Rigid LED light bar!
  • Just like a real Defender, it has a roll cage, rock-sliders, roof rack, snorkel, spare tire, and a hi-lift jack.

The overall design keeps all steering and drive shafts high off the ground. The over-sized tires and short scaled Defender overhangs yield amazing approach, departure, and breakover angles. All of this results in over three inches of ground clearance. Just watch the above video.

I know very little about RC cars but I was very impressed with all of that. And the damn thing looks so cool. This Traxxas TRX-4 Scale and Trail Crawler Land Rover Defender retails for $479.90. To put the price in perspective, it’s less than the cost of the first service or repair on your real Landy. 

They have a more reasonably priced Ford Raptor truck racer, too.