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Team Losi Racing 22T Preview

Before nitro dominated the racing scene and long before short course took over every track and turned the hobby back to electric, stadium trucks were the popular weekend warrior class. Unlike short course trucks with their scale appeal, stadium trucks only marginally resemble full-size race trucks. But what they lack in realism, they more than make up for in on-track prowess. While a lot of diehard racers have grudgingly joined in on the short course fun, they have been clearly thrilled to see the return, albeit slow return, of what they consider real RC race machines such as 1/10-scale buggies and stadium trucks. Well, timing is everything and just as racers were starting to show some renewed interest in 1/10-scale electric off-road, Horizon Hobby was looking to prove its Losi brand was committed to racing. Horizon launched TLR (Team Losi Racing), which can best defined as the new racing division of the Losi brand, and the first official TLR release was the innovative 22 buggy. After everyone got past how much of a departure the 22 was from the norm, the big question was when would we see the stadium truck version. Buggies are cool, but many of those previously mentioned weekend warriors are drawn to stadium trucks because they offer the same race experience but are noted for being easier to drive thanks to their wider stance and larger tires. Well, that’s enough build up—the 22T is here. Let’s check it out.

 

Key Features

Chassis. The real standout feature on the 22 platform is the use of an aluminum chassis plate. Increased strength and rigidity are the immediate advantages of aluminum over molded plastic. The 7075 T-6 hard anodized 2.5mm plate used on the 22T is noticeably narrow. In fact, it’s so narrow that the speed control is designed to be mounted on the centerline of the chassis and above the rear end of the battery.

Mid- or Rear-Motor Mount. The 22T allows the truck to be built either with the traditional rear motor mounting position or with in a mid-motor setup. All parts needed for either configuration are included in the kit.

Gull Wing Suspension Arms. The front suspension arms are bent down in the center where the lower shock mounts attach. This allows the front shock tower to be lower and that in turn lowers the center of gravity.

12mm Shocks. The 22T uses large diameter threaded body aluminum shocks that feature bladder compensators.

Steering Rack. Instead of a traditional dual bell crank setup, the 22T uses a sliding steering rack.

All Metric. It may seem like a small thing, but not all companies use only “standard” or only metric hardware. TLR makes life easy on the builder by only using metric hardware.

Adjustable caster. TLR includes different spindle carriers for 0, 3, 5 and 10 degrees of caster.

Additional Features. Some of the other features on the 22T include: vertical ball studs, titanium nitride hinge pins, 3.5mm turnbuckles, adjustable rear toe, same rims used front and rear, 30-degree front kick up (25-, 20-degree with optional parts).

Specifications

Length: 15.75 in. (400mm)

Width: 12.99 in. (330mm)

Wheelbase: 11.3-11.41 in. (286-290mm)

First Impressions

The 22 buggy was eye catching with its use of an unexpected aluminum chassis, but you could make a pretty persuasive argument that this design feature is even better suited for stadium truck use. And while going heavier may seem counterintuitive to modern racing thought, there’s no need to worry about the added weight. As RC race machines come out of the box lighter and lighter, electronics have gotten smaller and lighter and we now have more power than ever, adding weight for tuning purposes is the norm now. Take a look at any pro’s setup sheet and you’ll very likely see weight has been strategically added. It’s also worth noting that the chassis plate is about as low you can get on the truck, and this means the extra weight lowers the center of gravity. In addition to the aluminum chassis, I like that the 22 platform is significantly beefed up overall. It’s built to be tough. If 1/10-scale electric off-road stands any chance of coming back and staying back, the segment better quickly build a new reputation of being durable. If not, racers will just stick with short course. If any new release looks like it will be able to take a hit or two, it’s the 22T. I also want to hug the guy who thought to design the 22T to use the same rims front and rear. While Losi is very proud of the ability of the 22 vehicles to be built mid or rear motor, I simply don’t see myself or too many other drivers running on U.S.-style tracks really using the mid-motor layout. It’s cool it may be of use to some European racers, but overall it isn’t a compelling feature since stadium trucks have barely any following outside of the U.S. Other than a feature that most likely will never get used by 99% of the 22T’s owners, the truck appears to be as solid of a choice for racing as its main competitor, the Team Associated T4.1.

 


Gary Katzer of Horizon Hobby interviews Todd Hodge, TLR Development Manager

 

Links

Team Losi Racing

Horizon Hobby

Losi

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