Which is the Better Choice for 1/10th Scale No-Prep Drag Racing?
Getting into 1/10th scale no-prep drag racing has never been easier. With the options to upgrade your old stadium truck or purchase a rolling chassis or a nearly Ready To Run (RTR) drag car, there’s something for everyone. In this article, we’ll compare two popular options: the Team Associated DR10 and the Team Losi 22S drag cars, specifically the RTR versions. Regardless of which team you choose, both cars will provide ample fun and room for customization.
Cost: Value for Money
When it comes to cost, the Team Associated DR10 has a lower price point, averaging around $350.00. On the other hand, the Team Losi 22S comes in at a higher price of $460.00. However, if we dig deeper, we find that the Losi 22S offers better overall build quality and electronics, making it worth the extra investment.
Build Quality: Durability and Performance
Team Associated DR10
The Associated DR10 falls short in the build quality department. It features a composite chassis, arms, and steering components. While this material choice has some benefits for new drivers who may encounter curbs at high speeds, it lacks the sturdiness and precision of a more solid build. The DR10’s shocks are notorious for leaking and offer limited adjustability on the fly. Additionally, the steering components have excessive play. These issues require the driver to address them personally in order to optimize the performance of the DR10. The wheelie bar, in particular, seems like an afterthought, lacking rigidity. Most DR10 owners opt to replace it after a few uses. Furthermore, the transmission is outdated, with no full metal gearing, which is a disappointment for a drag car.
Team Losi 22S
The Losi 22S is a step up in terms of build quality. Its parts fit tightly and employ an aluminum main chassis with composite components, resulting in a winning combination of rigidity and reliability. While the shocks are also made of plastic and do not offer on-the-fly adjustments like the DR10, they do the job adequately. The steering components exhibit acceptable tightness with minimal play. The wheelie bar on the Losi 22S surpasses that of the DR10, providing better stability. The transmission is locked and features all-metal internal gearing, which contributes to its overall reliability. It performs consistently, especially with a stock setup using a 2s Lipo pack.
Electronics: Power and Control
Team Associated DR10
The DR10 comes equipped with a cheap servo and a budget Reedy SC600 BL ESC. The included radio transmitter feels like a basic toy and offers limited tunability. While these electronics are suitable for casual runs in front of your house, they may not be sufficient to win competitions unless your rivals are also using stock DR10s and you’re a better driver. The 3300kv brushless sensorless motor can propel the DR10 to speeds of around 40+mph in 132 feet. However, experienced racers agree that the DR10 is better suited for 3s Lipo use and needs proper gear adjustments to legally race in official drag competitions.
Team Losi 22S
The Losi 22S boasts better electronics compared to the DR10. It features a superior servo with metal gears and an improved smart programmable Ferma 100 ESC. The ESC can be programmed using push buttons, an optional programming box, or USB SmartLink for upgrades and PC programming. Similar to the DR10, the included transmitter is a budget option designed to get your car down the track effectively. However, if I had to choose between the two transmitters, I would opt for the Losi. The Losi 22S comes with the Spektrum Firma 6500kv brushless motor. Both motors, though, are fairly basic in terms of performance. Overall, the Losi’s electronics provide better control and potential for upgrades.
Wheels and Tires: Looks and Performance
After testing both cars, I prefer the set of wheels and tires that come with the Losi 22S. However, this preference is subjective, and some may have differing opinions. I personally believe that the Losi’s wheels and tires not only look better but also provide better performance. It’s worth noting that the Losi 22S comes configured to squat lower than the DR10 and includes shock stops to prevent bottoming out. Additionally, Losi has partnered with Mickey Thompson to license their tires, adding an extra touch of authenticity.
Car Body / Looks: Style and Design
When it comes to the car body and overall appearance, Losi takes the lead. They have done an excellent job delivering a more “scale” looking car. Whether you’re a Chevy Camaro fan or prefer Dodge/Plymouth, the Losi 22S looks better, especially with its body wrapping around the chassis. It’s worth mentioning that Losi obtained a license to use the “Chevy Camaro” name, while Associated failed to do so.
Handling: Consistency and Control
In terms of handling, both cars are neck and neck. However, I personally gravitate toward the Losi 22S for my drag racing. I find that it provides more consistent runs, giving me better control over my races.
Upgradability: Room for Improvement
After some time, many drivers find themselves wanting more from their stock setup and crave the ability to customize their cars to perfection. The Team Associated DR10 has been around longer than the Team Losi 22S, resulting in a wider array of available upgrades. From full carbon fiber replacement chassis to upgraded transmissions and better steering components, there’s no shortage of options for the DR10. If you want to give your DR10 a full makeover, you can find plenty of titanium and graphite upgrades to keep you busy. However, this doesn’t mean that the Team Losi 22S lacks upgrade options. More and more upgrades become available for the Losi 22S with each passing day. As someone who has extensively modified my DR10 over a few months, it’s hard to even call it a DR10 anymore due to all the upgrades I’ve made. While the DR10 offers a great platform for comprehensive modifications, if I were to purchase an RTR no-prep drag car again, I would choose the Losi 22S. However, if you’re the type of person who loves going all out with upgrades, I would recommend starting with a DR10 rolling chassis and building from there.
In conclusion, the Team Associated DR10 is a reliable and widely-compatible no-prep drag car with an extensive selection of hop-up options from various manufacturers. The Team Losi 22S, on the other hand, offers a better out-of-the-box experience if you have no immediate plans for extensive upgrades. Both cars provide a thrilling drag racing experience and are visually appealing when displayed on the shelf. If given the chance to buy an RTR no-prep drag car again, I would opt for the Losi 22S. However, if you’re keen on pushing the boundaries of customization, I recommend starting with a DR10 rolling chassis.
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