Gasoline Vs. Nitro

Back in August of 2011 (one year ago), HPI Racing launched the above advertisement that instantly stirred up the nitro guys–right to the core. It also piqued the curiosity of the electric crowd too. Later, we were offered a little more information about the 1/8-scale gasoline engine and it was also showcased at the annual Nuremberg Toy Fair. So by early 2012, HPI’s new engine was officially very buzz worthy.

Now, as we all know, nitro engines can sometimes be a little finicky depending on the user’s tuning ability, outside temperature, age of the engine, humidity, fuel grade … the list goes on. In contrast, bigger 1/5-scale gas rigs have a reputation of being easier to tune and get running. That is not to say one actually requires less maintenance than the other as a whole, but from a tuning point it sure is. Think of how easy it is to fire up that weed whacker after it sitting for a week compared to a nitro engine that has sat unused.

I’m personally an electric guy through and through, but I’ve dabbled with 1/10- and 1/8-scale nitro rigs over the years. My take is you either like it or you don’t. My big draw to e-power is the instant speed and instant gratification. It’s fast as all get out and plug-and-go. When Lipo and brushless came out, it’s undeniable that a huge number of people made the switch. Even my 1/8-scale Savage .25  is fume-free and is now brushless.

> Smoke
> Sound
> Finicky
> Messy
> Requires frequent tuning
> Requires hobby-specific fuel

> Awesome acceleration
> Ease of use
> Clean
> No noise or smoke
> Limited runtime

> Smoke
> Sound
> Little tuning required
> Uses pump gas (with oil added)
> Gas can be dangerous 

Why is all this gibber jabber relevant? Well, this new 1/8-scale gasoline concept is pretty interesting. It promises the best of both worlds. A gas engine in a small package should be able to deliver of ease of us close to electric with the titillation of the senses through smoke, vibration and noise–best of both worlds.

The new gasoline-powered engine is said to be released sometime this year (2012). The models the engine will be used in have been rumored to be the Savage-XL, D8T, Super 5SC and even the Apache C1 and SC.

I want to know what the RC Truck Stop readers think of this new idea from HPI? Will this concept bring back the fuel-powered RC back to when almost everyone had nitro??  Would you consider this idea for your next RC purchase over a brushless setup?



HPI Racing

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  1. I am excited about this engine in many ways. I started with a HPI Nitro RS4MT a long time ago. Never could keep that one running worth a darn being young and not experienced enough to know any better. Over the years I have learned to run 2 stroke engines with Banshee ATV’s and a few more Nitro RC’s. I really enjoy both Electric and Nitro, I can enjoy them both but electric gets the nod because of equipment ease and set up. Now with this engine being introduced I have a complete custom Unlimited Engineering truck build that is going to be centered around this engine right here. The 1/5 scale craze is all about Gasoline and I am not ready to make the jump to 1/5 scale when I have a TON of sweet 1/8 scale RC parts to use. Once I get my hands on one I will be making a custom motor mount and I am hoping the Savage Gas Tank might work for my custom rig.

    Bring it on HPI!! I am ready…

    Joe 🙂
    Michigan MONSTERS of RC

  2. I would expect this engine to acquire more of a following with the idea of being more affordable with fuel and burning cleaner than nitro. Though not knowing much about the new gas burner, I wonder if there may be issues burning gas with ethanol as there have been issues with other small gasoline 2-stroke engines?

    1. Yeah Matthew I will not be running pump gas from my local corner station. I will get the VP Racing fuels that come pre mixed in a metal can from a hobby retailer. That type of fuel is much better for our small engines because it is cleaner and does not have as many additives in it to clean your automobile engine. Plus with it being in a metal can the shelf life is extended much more than your small garden plastic can.


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