One of the biggest names in remote-controlled racing is Axial. This brand started in 2005, originally offering only build kits. One of the best kits from the early days of Axial Racing was the SCX10. It helped RC builders to overcome the technical difficulties associated with a home build and focus on aesthetics.
The original SCX10 became quite popular among RC enthusiasts worldwide. It had a strong, all-metal twin c-channel frame, capable and realistic axles, and a solid transmission. It boasted excellent performance in all trail conditions, but still left a little room for improvement.
Axial recently released an update of their popular SCX10 design. The new design, known as the SCX10 II, retains the trademark SCX10 frame. However, it improves nearly every other part of the original design. The axles, transmission, and suspension have all been redesigned to offer increased trail performance.
If you are looking for a new high-end RC vehicle, you might already be considering a purchase from Axial Racing. They are well-known for providing some of the best-performing, nicest-looking RC vehicles on the market today. If you are interested in the updated SCX10 II, read on to learn more in our Axial SCX10 II Review.
Body and Chassis
The first thing you need to know about the SCX10 II is that it is available in several different ready-to-ride body styles. Each style has the same basic design and underpinnings, and all of them perform well in trail conditions. There are three ready-to-ride styles that each offer their own unique cosmetic vibe.
2000 Jeep Cherokee (AX90047)
The fully-licensed, highly-detailed Jeep Cherokee XJ version of this Axial Racing RC car looks great. It has been pre-painted and boasts painstakingly-crafted parts such as wing mirrors, door handles, and trim panels. It also boasts XJ-style rock sliders – a feature that is only available with this body type.
2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (AX90060)
Casey Currie – a name well-known in the off-road racing scene – provides the inspiration behind the unique design features of this version of the SCX10 II. The hood, rock rails, fender flares, and bumpers on this iteration have been molded to match Currie’s. Plus, there are plenty of cosmetic parts included.
Trail Honcho (AX90059)
The Trail Honcho is not a copy of any real-life vehicle. Instead, this design is a custom offering from Axial. This SCX10 II was designed to conquer an actual black diamond trail for full size vehicles. It ended up making it through the entire course, even after ten and half hours of continuous operation.
Regardless of the body style that you choose, any SCX10 II will have the trademark c-channel chassis frame. It is created from durable steel and has been heavily reinforced with cross-bracing. The frame is also held together with hex hardware, meaning that it can withstand a good beating on the trail.
There have been a few improvements made over the original SCX10, as well. First off, the design has been expanded to include multiple mounting positions for the shocks. Suspension adjustments can thus be easily made, allowing fine-tuning for maximum performance.
Another important feature of the frame is a contoured skid plate. This allows the vehicle to move over many types of terrain without becoming stuck as easily. Also, the wheelbase can be adjusted due to the new mounting holes that have been added to the frame rails.
There are also cosmetic benefits to the twin c-channel frame used on the SCX10 II. The c-channel refers to the inside of the frame, which has been hollowed out. You are able to hide unsightly wires inside of the frame. This will improve the aesthetic of the vehicle – but also serves to protect delicate wiring.
Power and Control
Every iteration of the SCX10 II will include a 35T Brushed Motor. It offers a characteristic combination of speed and power, letting the vehicle ascend rocks or race down a straightway with ease. Plus, it is quiet, pre-tuned, and requires no fuel other than electricity.
The SCX10 II transmission included on these RC vehicles from Axial has a redesigned housing and unmatched customizability. Though the included all metal gearing is perfectly fine for any application, different sets can be purchased to improve performance in different situations.
This transmission also has a nice silver color that makes it look like cast aluminum. The durable appearance is not merely for show, either. There are improved mounting points on the transmission’s base, meaning that stripped screws are a rarity. It also holds the transmission firmly in place on the trail.
The revolutionary speed control design introduced on the Axial SCX10 II is completely waterproof and quite reliable. It is different from many other speed controls because it can be used with LiPo and NiMh batteries in the field using a plug-and-play jumper.
The AE-5L ESC also has a laser-etched heat sink to keep it from overheating in trail conditions. There is also a drag brake included, alongside an LED light controller with dual LED outputs. Overall, this speed control does what it is meant to do and offers a lot of flexibility.
The fully-adjustable battery tray is a new feature that has been introduced on the SCX10 II. It has been relocated to a position that is lower and closer to the front of the vehicle. This allows for an improved center of gravity and better weight distribution.
This tray will prevent the battery from moving at all while you are on the trail. So, it is very unlikely that anything will come unplugged, even in hardcore conditions. The tray is also easy to access, and can accommodate large-sized batteries up to 5,000 mAh.
The most important part of any RC vehicle is the transmitter. The Tactic TTX300 3-Channel SLT Radio transmitter included with the SCX10 II is incredibly versatile. It offers two-speed shifting and can also control any accessories that are included with the vehicle.
This transmitter is also programmable, so you are able to fine tune its performance, and have it suit your particular needs. The SLT in the name of the transmitter refers to the onboard Secure Link Technology, which creates an unbreakable link between the receiver and the transmitter with the push of a button.
The receiver offered on this line of vehicles from Axial is a Tactic 3-Channel 2.4GHz receiver. It has been designed to avoid frequency conflicts and does not require an external antenna. This is perfect for the trail, as it provides reliable and simple reception without the possibility of anything breaking.
All-in-all, the power and control options offered by the Axial SCX10 II mark this trail-capable RC vehicle as one of the top competitors in the field. Regardless of the body style chosen, the performance of these vehicles in trail conditions will be quite respectable. They are capable and quick on or off the rocks.
Steering and Drivetrain
Chassis Mounted Servo
Without an efficient way to steer, any RC vehicle is basically useless. In the SCX10 II, the servo has been mounted to the chassis – just like the steering box is frame-mounted in a real vehicle. This helps it to stay quite sturdy during trail runs. Plus, the adjustable mounting system means that any servo can be used.
The SCX10 II is a four-wheel drive vehicle. It makes use of proprietary WB8 HD Wildboar driveshafts. The design of these has been updated recently for increased strength, reducing fatigue and flex associated with the old design. The surface area between important connections has also been increased.
The large-diameter cross pin design also means that the driveshafts can be easily maintained. In addition, different driveline parts are included with each SCX10 II to ensure that there is always a part that is the proper length for different wheelbase settings.
One of the best features of the SCX10 II is the axle design. It focuses on visual appeal, reducing torque twist, and maintaining durability. Though the axle housing size has been reduced, performance has not been sacrificed. The newly-developed AR44 axle is a revolutionary addition to the RC industry.
This axle design uses the very first high-pinion gear set. This increases ground clearance and allows the best driveshaft angle possible. It also has a higher surface area – and greater contact means increased durability. The all-metal locker is strong and efficient, and the small pumpkin is very realistic.
Key Note: Universal Joint Axles
These axles allow for around 45 degrees of steering. The reinforced, compact, and durable U-joints also allow a smooth, high-performance drivetrain. They are constructed of hardened steel and are quite unlikely to break or wear out quickly.
Key Note: Kingpin Angle
The AR44 axle has been mated with an 8-degree kingpin angle to the rest of the steering components. This angle improves the tire scrub radius, greatly improving steering efficiency. It also helps to preserve the central steering components, as it takes a lot of the load and pressure off of the servo
Suspension, Wheels, and Tires
The recently-redesigned suspension effectively mitigates bump steer with carefully adjusted suspension geometry. It also includes all-steel links with M4 rod ends. This will lead to incredible durability and strength – suspension parts are not likely to wear out quickly or break, even with heavy trail use.
The Axial Racing SCX10 II includes fully-adjustable coilover shocks. They use a single spring and are filled with oil (allowing for the dampening rate to be fine-tuned). They can be mounted in multiple positions for maximum performance. Plus, they look quite realistic due to the included scale shock reservoirs.
While each SCX10 II model includes a different wheel style, they are all METHOD-brand wheels. This brand prides itself on clean, strong, and simple designs. The 1.9-inch wheels are stylish and durable, lending themselves well to the trail – no matter which SCX10 II you choose.
The tires on each of the available body styles differ in licensing and design. However, they are all dependable and perfect for trail use. This is mostly due to the S30 compound – Axial Racing’s top choice for any and all off-road RC applications. Plus, deep treads mean great trail viability.
Axial Racing’s SCX10 II has clearly been designed with trail use in mind. The tires, wheels, and suspension offer great durability and performance, even while navigating the RC vehicle through some of the toughest terrain. They have even tackled the Rubicon trail in the past, thanks to their solid design.
– Durable construction
– Great trail performance
– Choice of three great body styles
– High power
– Reliable and efficient design
– Easy to use and control
– Must purchase batteries and charger separately
– Transmitter uses AA batteries instead of a LiPo or Nimh rechargeable
– Stiff ride before suspension is broken in
– Not fully weather-proofed (only certain parts)
The Verdict: Is the Axial Racing SCX10 II Worth a Buy?
There are few reasons to avoid purchasing an SCX10 II. There are not many flaws, and it is a great machine overall. They are also quite affordable, coming in at a decent price for the ready-to-ride RC market. If you plan to hit the trails soon, and you want to bring a new truck, take it into consideration.
Each model of the SCX10 II boasts incredible reliability, performance, and durability. It is also quite user-friendly and offers easy setup. This way, you can hit the trail as soon as possible – and with the ready-to-ride models, you can do so right out of the box.
One of the best parts about this line of RC trucks is that they are fully upgradeable. Also be sure to check out our full Top 10 RC Rock Crawler Guide.