1/28 4WD Drift Car Review

The car is 1/28 scale full proportional for both steering and throttle. It runs on 4 AAA batteries. The transmitter is 2.4 GHz so you can run many cars simultaneously. This also requires 4 AAA batteries. You might think this chassis looks familiar and you’d be right. This car is being sold in different places under different names for example Mini-Q DIY, Rage and Cartoon Car. Essentially, they are all the same chassis but with different wheels, differential and body configuration. Let’s take a closer look at the chassis. This is 4WD with plastic tub chassis. The suspension is simple 4-wheel independent king-pin strut system. Obviously, there’s no adjustability except for the springs which are compatible with Mini-Z AWD. The knuckles are pretty smooth with very little slop for this type of suspension. Wheelbase is 94mm and it is not adjustable. With the included wheels, the width is 68.5mm at the front and 69mm at the back because of toe angle and 55.5mm without wheels. The wheel nuts are M2 lock nuts which is great. To remove the wheels you need 4mm hex socket or a cross wrench like this. The wheels are all narrow 8.5mm with 1.5mm offset equipped with Mini-Q drift tyres. Honestly, these tyres are not the best but they get the job done better than other cheap tyres. More importantly, the wheels have the same hole pattern as Mini-Z AWD and they are interchangeable. The car is fully equipped with ball bearings from wheel hub to gearbox which is really amazing considering the price. Unfortunately, it uses a plastic drive shaft. Even though the car is not that powerful I expect this part to be the first one to break. But don’t worry, it has a metal upgrade directly from Sinohobby Mini-Q. It’s also compatible with Mini-Z AWD swing shaft. The differentials are locked diff or spool, perfect for drifting. It is also compatible with Mini-Z AWD differential so there are many options for upgrade. The gear ratio is fixed, not adjustable with 16T on the pinion and 29T on the spur. The gear mesh is really good throughout the car and the drive train is smooth. There’s no need to worry if the drive train will chew the gears to pieces. The chassis without a battery weighs 97 grams which are really light. With battery to one side, the weight bias is towards the right which does affect the handling a bit but you can put a counterweight on the left to fix it. Next is the body. The body is a hard plastic multi-piece separated between body, windscreen and some lens for headlights. However, there’s no lens for tail lights. What we have here is Mitsubishi Evo 7. It comes in 3 colours blue, white and red. The other body style is Toyota Supra. The proportion and details are not so good. To be honest it looks rather tragic. But exactly because of that you can crash comfortably without feeling bad. Also, it’s absolutely solid so it’s not going to break that easily. There’re also slots at the headlights for 3mm LED. The mounting mechanism is just the front lip and magnet at the back. The magnet is pretty strong and it’s not going to come off unless you crash really hard. You can also use the Mini-Z body. But the chassis doesn’t have the slots for side clips so you’ll have to fashion your own magnet mount. On to the electronics. Let’s just say it was alright while it was working. The transmitter is compact with basic functions.

Here is the steering trim to make it go in a straight line. And these are steering and throttle dual rates to limit the steering and throttle. The servo is 5g with 5 wires and the same dimensions as other Mini-Qs and WLtoys. It has an on-board gyro with 4 settings, off, low, medium and max adjusted by pressing the gyro button on the transmitter. It uses very standard 130 motors without capacitor. And the speed is quite fast especially for 4 AAA batteries powered cars. And this is where it all went wrong. The 3 in 1 unit fried while I was doing the speed test. So my car is not working anymore. Anyway, I’ve filmed some test drive footage before it went up in smoke so let’s take a look at that instead. The initial test drive was pretty good. The servo speed is good but it’s not precise. Considering the price this is to be expected. The fun stopped abruptly when it went backwards by itself. Just reset the car and transmitter if this happens. Gyro is a big help for someone new to drifting. You’ll see that I don’t have to work the steering as much as when it’s turned off. Well, if you get one that’s working correctly it’s a really good car. Although it’s not the most precise car to drive, it doesn’t kick the car out randomly and I can hold the line very easily. Steering lock is enough to initiate drift easily too. Turning circle is about 50cm, more importantly equally for both left and right. The speed is just right for drifting as well. To sum it all up, Well, Mini-Q’s quality control is dodgy to say the least. So if you decide to buy one, then good luck. And I do mean it. It’s a good chassis with decent headroom to upgrade. Because it has direct compatibility with Mini-Z AWD for wheel, swing shaft, spring damper and especially differential. For the electronics, the motor upgrade is easy to find since it is standard 130 motor. Even a Tamiya Mini 4WD motor will work. If you want to upgrade to brushless the motor must have the same shape as a brushed motor at the front and the back, like this. Because you have to put it in the slot, not screwing it in. So some motor is not going to work. The servo is pretty easy to replace. And you can stack an ESC and a receiver on the top. The Plastic chassis is also durable. I have been doing and undoing the screws to test many upgrades after the board is fried and there’s no stripping in any screw thread or hole. All in all it’s still holding up really well. The price at the time of this review is 32.99 USD which is the cheapest 1/28 scale, full proportional 4WD car you can buy right now. It’s a very good deal if you get one that the electronics work. And even if they’re not it’s still a cheap and solid base for modding. If you want it for drifting, I suggest you to get the front one way and metal swing shaft with it. Or if you want to use the car for grip or touring or driving around, you can get some new wheels like these aluminium wheels and treaded tyres and also metal swing shaft. Sure, you can drive around with locked diffs but it’s better to replace them with open diffs or ball diffs.

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