While it wasn’t their first product on hobby shop shelves, Axial’s first vehicle, the AX10 Scorpion, undeniably put the company on the RC map. Over the years, the AX10 evolved and changed with consumer demands. The latest version of the AX10, the Ridgecrest, shares so few parts with the original, it’s almost surprising that Axial even calls it by the AX10 name. Check out this First Look to get the quick scoop on this new ride and keep checking RC Truck Stop for the full review.
Remember those “Wider is Better” Pontiac Grand Prix commercials from the late nineties? That slogan got kind of annoying after a while, but apparently Axial was paying attention to those ads. The Ridgecrest uses the AR60 OCP axles first seen on the Wraith which are noticeably wider than the previous generation axles that are now only still used on the SCX10. Not only are the AR60 axles wider, giving the Ridgecrest more stable handling, but they are significantly more realistic looking.
The transmission and drivetrain may look the same as the equipment used on the previous AX10, but the subtle differences, however, are actually profoundly beneficial. The drive shafts have been updated to Axial’s WB8 Wild Boar design that is far more durable. The drive shaft design doesn’t pop apart at the yoke like the old design was prone to doing and the set screw now passes through and does a far better job of securing the drive shaft the transmission output and the axle input.
Axial could have gotten away with the continued use of the aluminum AX10 chassis plates, but new molded plastic pieces are used on the Ridgecrest. These will most likely be more cost effective in the long run, but they also look far better with their tube chassis styling. The new chassis design also offers more adjustment in both terms of link and shock mounting but also in the placement of the battery and other electronics.
The Ridgecrest includes threaded plastic shocks, but the best part of the suspension is the use of a 4-link design. Not only does the suspension work well, but it is also more durable than the older 3-link design used on other AX10 models.
As an RTR, the Ridgecrest is aimed at beginners and/or people looking for an easy way to get into some rock crawling style RC off-roading. That said, it isn’t a “no-frills” entry-level rig. It is, in contrast, well equipped. It has threaded shocks, a 2.4GHz radio system, Axial’s latest drivetrain running gear. The new chassis is also a clear improvement over the old design. I appreciate all of these points, but what really sold me on the Ridgecrest was driving it. With the 20-turn motor, it could bash. It was fast enough to be fun for sure and the speed control with its drag brakes meant the truck could still crawl. Like its close cousin, the Wraith RTR, the Ridgecrest is pretty versatile. The big difference–other costly about $90 less-is that Ridgecrest will find giving their truck a unique look far easier than Wraith owners thanks to the removable body.