As a novice RC car owner, I had no idea there were different types of RC cars each having its own function. There are actually many people that build their own RC race car and then race them against other model builders. In understanding what the different classifications of RC cars are, this may help the RC racer develop a better model.
RC race cars are put into classifications according to the type of fuel the car uses and the type of terrain the car will be racing on. Knowing what type of classification their car may end up in, and understanding its power source and terrain capability, will also help the RC racer add an edge to their competitiveness.
Electric RC race cars are usually lighter in weight than their gas powered counter parts. These models are also more responsive to the controls so the racer will be able to react faster to different track conditions. Also, because it is a cleaner way to power the vehicle, electric RC cars are easier to maintain than the gas powered models. Unfortunately, being electric, RC race car owners will need to take into consideration the amount of time it will take to recharge the batteries or have a way of changing out battery packs so there isn't as much "down" time. Also, the overall speed capability of the electric RC cars are not that as the gas powered ones.
Nitro RC Race cars have a small engine powered by Nitromethane and lubricant as the fuel. These cars can be extremely fast reaching record breaking speeds. They run for a long period of time and are easy to refuel which gives them the advantage of electric RC race cars. The down side to this type of RC race car is due to the combustion process the fuel must go through to make the car run. The combustion produces a lot of smoke and noise, so these cars may not be used inside. Also, it provides a lot of build up inside of the car so cleaning must be down carefully and is time consuming.
Outside of the power source classifying the RC race cars, the terrain puts the cars in certain classifications also. On road RC race cars can compete on paved race tracks. These cars can achieve and maintain the top speeds during the race but only if used on a paved track.
Off road RC race cars are designed as their name suggests: to be used off road. These cars can grip the ground much better than on road cars and so therefore are capable of reaching and maintaining top off road speed. These cars handle well during races that have obstacles or mounds.
As you can see, there are a few things to take into consideration when choosing your RC race car. The best question to ask is where would you have the must fun racing? If it is indoors and a paved track, an electric on road RC car would be the answer. If you prefer outdoors and off road, the Nitro off road RC would be a great way to go. Whichever you choose, you are sure to have fun!