TRAXXAS STAMPEDE VXL
Traxxas has a lot of choices, and it can be difficult to choose just one (no one says you have to); this is especially true since they continue to innovate and improve existing models, like the Stampede. Equipping it with a Velineon 3500 Brushless motor and VXL-3S, Traxxas Stability Management, Auto Battery Identification, with the ability (when paired with the right pinion/spur and battery) to exceed 60 mph is what makes this Stampede special and worth talking about today.
60+ mph isn’t of particular importance in many circles, and it’s not new to surface r/c, but to proudly and boldly advertise it on the front of a box in a Ready-To-Drive 4×4 off-road monster truck is a big deal to me. It wasn’t too long ago you had to work to get 60+ out of an r/c vehicle, it usually cost you more than a few bucks to get there, and reliability was a bit of a pipe-dream. As technology develops and costs’s come down, companies like Traxxas can go to work to provide an incredible Ready-To-Drive experience.
Per usual with Traxxas, you get a bag of tools and equipment to help you work on and tune your Stampede. There’s also a quick start guide to get the wheels turning as soon as possible. The manual is incredibly detailed, with excellent illustrations.
There is so much packed into this Stampede it’s difficult to know where to begin, but I think TSM (Traxxas Stability Management) is good place to start. With a simple dial on the transmitter, the driver can decide how much computer assist they want. I find it interesting to put this feature on the Stampede, which will spend most of it’s time bashing.
The idea is to help the driver control the truck on surfaces where traction is tough to come by and wheel-spin is a real challenge; surfaces like dirt, ice, snow, water, wet concrete. The more you dial in and ask for the TSM to assist, the more control you have while shooting off the line, coming out of a corner, or making a stop. It’s not perfect, but it works and you can absolutely tell when it’s off.
Next is the fact this Stampede is decked out and equipped with their Brushless Velineon and VXL-3S, making it LiPo compatible with speeds north of 60 mph. This Stampede is an animal out of the box with the included NiMH, but with a different pinion/spur gear and LiPO it’s an all out beast.
The chassis is a shaft-driven 4WD system with a modular design. It’s got high ground clearance, improving it’s offroad “monster truck” capabilities. Despite that, the Stampede is designed to handle very well and corner like a smaller, lower center of gravity vehicle.
To top if off, Traxxas has included the TQi 2.4GHz radio should you want to get into remote tuning and telemetry from your android or apple device.
Of course, the guts of this Stampede 4×4 VXL with TSM are everything you’d expect from Traxxas for long-term durability:
- Heavy-duty 4mm steel turnbuckles and captured rod ends
- Single-screw motor access
- Modular simplicity, fiber-composite monocoque chassis
- Speed control and receiver are securely fastened to chassis
- Digital high-torque Traxxas #2075 waterproof steering servo
- Waterproof, o-ring sealed receiver box
- Sealed, silicone-filled differentials
- Revo®-Spec Torque-Control™ slipper clutch system
- Fully adjustable oil-filled Ultra Shocks™ with X-ring technology
- White powder coated shock springs feature a responsive spring rate
- Telescoping universal-joint driveshafts
- Rubber-sealed ball bearings
- Black-chrome All-Star™ 2.8″ wheels
- Talon™ multi-terrain tires with high-performance foam inserts
- ProGraphix® painted body
My son and I have now been driving the Stampede for several weeks, in multiple locations, and on several different surfaces. Traxxas putting together TQi, TSM, 4×4, Velineon brushless and LiPO is an amazing combination in the Stampede. It really does make it an all around weapon for whatever r/c itch you’re trying to scratch that day.
The tires have enough traction in them to get the front wheels up no problem in the grass, yet at full speed still allow the truck to turn pretty well without traction rolling. It is a little more difficult to wheelie on the pavement, but it will happen and the tires do well overall here too. And of course, the Stampede is at home in the dirt and sand.
I stressed this truck out more than I usually do but truly believed it could take it. And it has. The truck will wheelie, traction flip with aggressive braking, and jump as high and far as you are comfortable. And while I notice it likes to jump nose high, it’s very correctable in the air.
I could tell the TSM was working when I had it dialed up, but I never felt like it got in the way. If I wanted to have a little more drift capability or loose traction, a quick turn down of the dial on the transmitter to 0% and away I went, sliding around all over the place.
Having recently succumbed to a few inches of snow, I was also able to test the TSM in wet and icy conditions. I wasn’t initially sure why TSM would be of particular value to this basher, and it still wasn’t clear bashing around. However, on a wet and icy surface, it was starting to become more clear.
I turned up the TSM to 100%, and it wobbled back and forth the faster I went, so I wasn’t all that impressed. However, that just taught me the limits of the system, and I probably wasn’t being all that fair considering the conditions (think ice skating rink) for the TSM to be effective. That said when I backed it off to 75% or even 50% and it was noticeably more stable than at 0%. I could really see and feel it working.
I was able to slam on the brakes and watch the Stampede dance it’s way to a stop under relative control, making it very easy to control. It also manages aggressive acceleration well to keep the truck moving forward in a straight line. Again, the ice was a formidable opponent, but it was obvious in these condition’s the TSM was working and making it easier to drive.
The only thing I ran across that interfered with uninterrupted fun was the wheelie bar. On hard landings or aggressive wheelies in the grass, I found it would come loose more often than I like. I’m concerned if I don’t stop to secure it, and it’s left dangling, that it will get damaged. Because I’ve been paying attention, it hasn’t been damaged yet, but I fear it’s only a matter of time.
I had a hard time thinking TSM was of particular value on the Stampede. This is not my first Traxxas to be equipped with TSM. but it’s probably the first to receive as much attention as I’ve given it.
I’ve found that I dial it up and down more frequently on the Stampede than I have on the other Traxxas vehicles.
Without a doubt, I was excited about the equipped powertrain, and it’s worth every penny. As they say, there’s no replacement for displacement (does that make sense here?). Anyway, just because you CAN drive it 60+ mph, doesn’t mean you have to– but it sure is nice to have the power there when you want to go like a bat out of.. well, when you want to go fast.
This Traxxas Stampede 4×4 VXL with TSM and TQi is a beast, and it deserves the attention it’s getting.