HPI Racing Trophy 3.5 Nitro Buggy Full Review!
Weve done a lot of reviews of electric vehicles, a scale 10 scale monster trucks, race, buggies, stadium, trucks, pretty much anything you can think of. We reviewed uh, but this is our very first nitro vehicle, so huge shout out to your rc for sponsoring this series of videos well have a link in the description below where you can get five percent off uh anything, including the trophy three and a half like We got here or any other brand team corrally arma traxxas techno, pretty much anything you could want. They carry and we do have fiber soft coupon code, also under five euro shipping throughout europe, so pretty good deal and they do carry things that you might not be able to find here in the us, including something like the team karate kronos xtr, which has been Super popular theyve got it in stock and five percent off. I think thats a pretty good deal. So this is my very first nitro vehicle, so this review is going to be a little bit different than what we usually do uh. Normally, we rank this in seven different categories and we will talk about those different categories but usually giving it a rating from one to five stars as compared to other nitro, 1 8th scale, rtr buggies. But since ive never had another nitro vehicle im not going to talk about that way, but just kind of talking about the pros and cons and what i see in this vehicle.
So this does retail for about 470 here in the us, and uh has been around for quite a while. This is an rtr. You know kind of a recreational nitro, a scale buggy you can race it. It is a legal 3.5 cc or 0.21 cubic inch vehicle. So you could definitely take it out club racing if you wanted to and does include pretty much everything you would need to get racing. Obviously you need fuel glow, igniter, that kind of stuff, but uh. It is pretty much ready to run otherwise and uh. This was my very first nitro vehicle, so it was tons of fun learned a lot um and certainly im gon na talk a little bit about nitro versus electric at the end, but yeah lets get into the review. First off is the electronics and the motor system. So pulling off the body, obviously theres, no theres, no electric motor theres, no esc. This is full on nitro to your servers, obviously steering and throttle heres your engine carburetor air, cleaner. All that good stuff also comes with the tf 41 radio, which ive had a couple of these in the past. Very good radio, especially for nitro, because it does have the end point. Adjustments for throttle and steering, as well as the throttle trim, which you would need for nitro, so uh worked totally fine. No issues with range takes four double. As 2.4 gigahertz a nice little drop down wheel, very comfortable foam wheel, a nice little trigger here.
Actually one of the best rtr radios, in my opinion, not super fast or responsive, but it gets the job done. It is comfortable to use. I do like the angle of the grip nice foam wheel, not too large or anything like that. So definitely one of the best rtr radios, especially with that steering end point adjustment, which is really nice and very few rtr radios, come with that so thats excellent cerebros are fairly weak, theyre called the ss20wr. I believe these are like 111 ounce inch, torque servos, fairly slow, they are waterproof and a metal gear, so that is nice, but you know they are definitely more on the budget side, and here is a receiver. The rf41wp obviously mounts or binds right up to your tf41 radio, so no issues there uh motor system hard for me to evaluate because im, not a you – know a excellent nitro tuner, so im not sure im getting all the power out of this, but it handles Uh well, um seem to have reasonable power. Probably goes in that you know. 30S. Maybe 40 mile per hour range, probably power wise, comparable to like a 4s vehicle, which you know a skill scale e buggies are sort of meant to emulate. Theyre supposed to be around the same amount of power, a nitro three and a half cc versus a 4s system, so yeah power wise. You know its not a success type of vehicle, but certainly fast enough.
I had no issues with there. No complaints about the power so yeah motor electronics, all that stuffs, pretty average. I think um. I think all the rtrs pretty much come with the motor about the same size, because they are meant to be kind of a race legal as compared to something like the kyosho inferno, neo 3.0, or something even like the mp9. I think its called the tki4 ready set, so those are kind of the competitors to this vehicle. Uh yeah, but seem pretty good out of the box, build wise, uh, no major issues. There are a couple things like uh, my uh needles were kind of set wrong. So i would definitely double check that i think the low speed needle is way out way too rich, like two or three full turns uh the high speed and the idle were pretty close, but the low speed needle is way off. So they do talk about those settings. Uh in the manual definitely would check those out. So i would say thats a major flaw, but for somebody kind of new to nitra you might not really notice exactly what theyre supposed to be set to. So definitely double check that i did take a look at the shocks and the discs um shock wise. They were filled with this nasty yellow oil. It looked almost like its not. It was really really disgusting. I think maybe this buggy had been sitting around for a while.
You know this vehicle has been out for about 13 years. I think they did have an update or two through the years, but um you know not probably one of their biggest sellers because it has been around so long. So the last one of these was probably quite a while ago. I dont know if those oils were just too old or maybe they used yellow dye in the shock oils, but ive never seen that before on on rtr, so uh yeah, i would recommend checking out those shocks changing out the oils im actually running 35 weight front 30 weight in the rear. That seems really really good. I mean the the shock. Damping looks really really nice and taut other issues. Diffs all just have grease in them, so they are very free flowing. I mean much more than you would normally expect. I did change out the diff oil in the front to 5k. Well, probably do something similar in the rear and check out the center diff as well, but yeah. All three diffs are just grease filled would be nice if they came with oil, so thats another area. I felt like needed improvement and the last area is that it all comes with phillips head screws. So, as you can see, most of them are phillips head. I have started changing out some of them to hex head screws because im really more of a hex head type person, um not hard to do, but a little bit annoying, because obviously you will have to find the matching hex head style and some of them are Kind of a weird size like these up front, theyre still phillips head, because i think theyre closer to like a three and a half millimeter screw like a three millimeter screw is too thin and a four millimeter be way too thick, so uh yeah, some of them May be difficult to change out so build wise.
Those are some areas i wish they could fix. You know probably go to hex head would be nice um, the shock oils. You know if, if you think this thing may have been sitting around at your local hobby shop for a while um yeah definitely check those out, maybe refill them and then check your discs. I do think it performs better with some diff fluid in the disc, rather than just grease grease pretty much acts like an open diff. It doesnt give you quite the limited slip action you probably want, especially off road, so yeah. Those are some areas to check out but yeah. Those are kind of my thoughts on the build now well talk about the design and uh pretty typical, a scale nitro vehicle, aluminum, chassis, aluminum, sort of tie rods down the middle to add additional stiffness uh does obviously have a mechanical break. Three differentials that were grease filled, like i said, anti sway, bars front and rear, so thats, pretty nice im. Sorry only in the rear, so rear, sway bar adjustable turnbuckles, including front and back, does have a c hub design, as opposed to other acl buggies. That might have a pivot ball suspension, but yeah nice adjustments. You can definitely have different camber link locations here in the rear on the shock tower different shock mounting locations as well. If you want more, droop does not include drip screws, although you could probably add it there. It looks like its got holes for droop screws, as well as the ears on the chassis to make adjustments there design wise.
You know typical sliding motor mount there in the back even has different positions, i think for the wing. I think you can adjust like forward back or up and down a little bit so yeah, quite a bit of adjustments similar to a race vehicle um. Its not a full on race. Vehicle really meant for an rtr basher type vehicle, but you could definitely take it out racing things i dont, like i already mentioned the phillips head screws. Not a fan of that also does have a hinge pins with captured e clips on the end. So that is a little annoying a little more difficult to remove the hinge pins. I wish they used nuts or screws, or something like that. So a little bit dated there in the design fairly easy to work on. I mean not as easy. Some of your modern vehicles to access the discs you do have to pull off the four screws at the bottom. You got to remove the bumper. You got to remove these two screws to kind of pull the diff house, and then you can actually get to the two screws and pull out the front cover. So not super easy, but not super hard better than some worse than others. It does have a pull start, so you know theres no easy start system, although you could obviously add like a starter box and uh start the vehicle that way. Uh, the tank is 125 cc, so not huge, but you know, i think, thats, probably the race, legal maximum, so thats totally fine.
This is a totally race legal vehicle. So certainly, if you just want to get started in nitro uh, maybe get your feet wet or do an occasional race here and there you could definitely get this, but yeah design wise seems pretty typical, pretty standard. I know the kiosks also come with phillips head screws. Motor everything seems pretty average among its class, so i dont think theres, really anything better or worse. The whole bow is another competitor. The vs, i think its called the vs2 ready to run a little more modern, a little more uh. You know adjustments a little more modular as well. This is definitely still dated came out in around like 2008 2009. So still seems like that type of vehicle and a little bit dated so not the most modern vehicle, but obviously actually most right here, where nitrous arent really that new, either so uh pretty typical. I think performance wise, like i said, cant, really tell how fast this thing is. The motors seem decent. You know no issues there. Uh is reasonably responsive. I am still messing around with the tuning and trying different uh fuels and stuff like that, which will obviously affect the performance um. I dont think its geared so much for top speed, but uh power wise, i think its fun, actually its pretty entertaining definitely not slow. Uh driving wise yeah, this thing is set up pretty soft out of the box. I do think the tires are excellent on road dirt carpet.
I did take it out to an outdoor carpet track and it performed totally fine, no issues there driving wise tons of steering its set up super soft and with no oil in those discs its going to lead to extremely aggressive steering. So no issues with the steering is somewhat soft, but you know kind of set up more for an outdoor type surface, a loose surface. I think so you know most eighth scale bugs are meant for like outdoor skill tracks. So i think that is totally fine um but of course, was fun. Um plenty of traction steered well no major issues. I mean these things arent, quite as torquey as an electric vehicle, so putting down the power is not that hard. Definitely these things can put the power down without so much wheel, spin and stuff, like you might get on an electric vehicle, so i think, set wise totally fine um, definitely more of an outdoor loose surface type, setup, durability, wise uh, nothings really broken on this thing. So i cant say that i send this thing like 30 feet high in the air, like i might, with a different a scale vehicle. Nitro vehicles really meant more for racing metamoire for on road type stuff, not super crazy sends but yeah durability, wise seemed totally fine. I mean these pieces look okay, i mean the vehicle is a little more dated, but it does have the aluminum chassis, aluminum center, brace, aluminum ackermann bar shock wise.
I think theyre aluminum yeah aluminum shocks with aluminum sort of covers here on the top shock standoffs. Nothing has broken so that was super. Nice even has a kind of aluminum steering hubs here in the front. The little silver cast piece so a little more durability there that you might not get with other vehicles. That are, you, know, plastic. So yeah no issues with the durability, doll um, you know didnt crash this, like super hard at all, but um it has been holding up, seems totally fine, aluminum shock, terrace front rear. Probably like four millimeter cast pieces. You know nothing super high quality, but yeah. This thing drove fine, no issues there, so durability was totally fine. I think nitro vehicles are a little uh tamer than electric vehicles, so they dont. You know youre not running into things at like 50 miles per hour, like you might, with a 4s electric vehicle, so durability, wise seemed totally fine. You know all steel drivetrain, especially down the middle uh steel spur gear, so yeah this thing seems totally fine durability. Wise! No issues a lot of aluminum pieces, including hinge pins, so yeah everythings, was pretty nice. Hpi had kind of disappeared for a while had gone through a lot of ownership changes. It was difficult to get parts for a while. It is owned by the vester guard group. Now in sweden, so i think parts availability has kind of come back and they are releasing new vehicles once again.
So easter egg is kind of back, which i think is really awesome. Uh does help with parts support in the us uh. You know there are different distributors and stuff, but its not quite as popular as some of the other brands, obviously, but still one of the larger brands and has been around a really long time. But i do think parts of it will be a little bit more difficult for your hpi stuff than you can get with other brands, maintenance, wise kind of typical kind of average. Nothing like super hard to work on. I do like or do dislike the phillips head screws, so i do find that a little bit annoying. But you know a lot of rtr nitrous actually have phillips head screws, so not unusual um, but yeah support mans, probably a little below average. I think there are better vehicles out there with better support. Hpis, not super well represented in the u.s, where i live so a little bit harder to get a hold of somebody. If you need, if you have some issues or need technical support, but yeah its not one, you know a super unknown brand out there, so i think its decent and the trophy 3.5 sells for 470 460 somewhere around there, depending on when you or where you picked. This up so uh, i think thats, fairly average. Most rtr nitros are about that 470 to 500. I think the kyosho mp9 tki4, ready to run or ready to set is 500.
I think the hobo is also about 500 for the latest ready to run nitro uh. Kyoto does make a cheaper nitro rtr, the inferno neo 3.0, which i think is 350, so thats a pretty good deal, although it does have some downgrade stuff like a plastic spur gear, two gears inside the differential, so probably something you might need to upgrade – spend a Little bit more money on, i think, thats a decent vehicle. The radio is pretty good. The motor seems pretty nice nice little anodizing sort of a matte gray, dark gray finish. It does come with a you know: reasonable size, battery box, turbos theyre, okay, uh, pretty typical. I think for the ready to run so i think in terms of what you get in the box as opposed to what you pay. This is kind of average. Definitely a little bit cheaper vehicles definitely a little bit more expensive vehicles, so i cant say its really good or bad, but pretty typical for what you want to buy and i do think actually nitro you get a little bit more value for your money than electric Vehicles, nitro vehicles tend to be a little bit less than their electric counterparts, so in some sense youre getting a pretty good deal actually so my final thoughts on the hpi racing, trophy 3.5 buggy had a ton of fun. This was my very first nitro vehicle. I would say it actually makes a pretty decent beginner vehicle.
The instruction manual has a lot of explanation on. You know how to get the things started: uh things to watch out for adjustments uh how to tune the needles and stuff so uh. What you know how to break in the engine, so i actually found this pretty reasonably easy to learn how to use to drive. I would definitely you know, look at videos online ask for help. Uh read as much information you can about nitra because it is quite a bit different than electric can be a bit frustrating at times, but you know i feel, like i understand the vehicle now actually am reasonably competent at getting this thing started. It was a hill to break it in so somebody like me that had absolutely zero nitro experience was able to get up and running with this vehicle and i think its actually pretty good. In that perspective, i would say overall, you know if youre just getting into rc nitro is probably not the way to go, because even with electric theres, a ton of stuff, i learned just about kind of the vehicle itself, never mind the power system and then, when You throw nitro on top of that. Obviously, it makes it even more complicated, so i had fortunately a lot of experience with just rc cars in general, so i didnt have to worry about all that other stuff, the tires and the tuning the shocks, the discs, how the sewer rows work.
All that kind of stuff – i i just kind of already knew, but the nitrous side again, is obviously a bit of a learning curve. So yeah i had tons of fun with. This is actually one of my most fun vehicles, ive gotten so far this year and probably the vehicle i look to driving most you know. Nitro is not for everybody and ill be the first to admit that, and there are definitely times where uh had some frustration. Sort of uh some disappointment in the vehicle. You know you can definitely run into things where youre not really sure whats going on it can be complicated but theres. Nothing like smell the sound the fuel all that stuff. You know even the the oil and all that stuff doesnt bother me as much as i thought it would. I think its actually kind of cool reminds me of getting an rc car for the first time so tons of fun. I dont really talk about fun as a category, but i would say its actually the most fun rc car ive gotten this year, just because its so different – and i always look forward to running this thing, even though, obviously it is more work but anyways. Those are my thoughts on the hpi racing trophy 3.5. Let me know what you think of this vehicle. If you have one, if you love nitro, if youd like to see more nitro content, definitely throw down a comment in the in the comments below on what you think i should pick up next, i am looking at some other vehicles im.
Definitely looking kind of through the nitro catalog and seeing what else is out there happy to join the nitro gang and uh yeah. This buggy is sickening man, so anyways hope you enjoyed the video dont forget to hit the like share, subscribe.