Serpent have released three CAD images of their latest attempt to enter the competitive 1:8 Off Road market. One of the key players in the nitro onroad competition market, they give little details about the buggy itself, currently known as the S8xx, but instead have included the first of a four part interview with the car’s designer Billy Easton. Serpent has made noise about entering the 1:8 Off Road for the past few years and did get as far as racing a Gerd Strenge designed prototype at the European Championship in Greece in 2008 but the project didn’t go any further. American Easton is a very accomplished off road racer himself and has already tested his new creation in Florida while Serpent’s chief designer Michael Salven sampled the car in the snow in the Netherlands where the company’s design office is based.
Q: When have you started to work for Serpent and why?
I would say a little over 2 years ago. At that time Serpent was looking to expand their product line. So, my skills and knowledge were kind of a perfect fit for them. They had really only focused on Nitro onroad and a just begun a 1/12 scale car as well as their Electric sedan. So having the experience in the development and racing of Nitro offroad as well as electric onroad/offroad, I would be a perfect fit for what they needed. Personally, I wanted to work for a company that had a position available so that I could grow myself. I really enjoyed the design aspect of the cars and products and was given the chance to show the world my ideas.
Q: Whats is your main job at Serpent?
My job at Serpent consists of designing new and innovative products. I excel in the conceptual part or the birth of a product, I seem to have a natural knack for being able to visualize things. I spend countless hours researching and developing products as well. Aside from all those things, I will also be the guy that checks the quality and fit of the parts on the projects that I am familiar with.
Q: What are the main projects you have been working on in the past year?
Over the last year I have actually worked on a few projects. Some of them have not yet been released to the public’s eye, so they will remain anonymous. However, most note worthy are the 1/8 buggy project as well as our S120 1/12 link car, the 966-e and the 1/10 WGT pancar.
Q: For this offroad 1/8 project, what is the main goal design-wise?
Our 1/8 project has actually been quite extensive. We really took the time to first research all the current makers’ cars as well as build and test them. In the beginning we did indeed have a Document laying out the guidelines for our car. The main idea for the car was to provide the best possible balance, lightest possible weight, and ease of construction. Then, in the end provide the consumer with a product that he could build the first time and outperform all previous buggies he had ever used. I know it seems like a tall order, but of all the cars I have raced and tested over the last 15 or so years, they all lacked something. In the end, we wanted to take this class to another level and create the Ultimate package. Speaking for Serpent it was not just about releasing another car, it was about releasing the best performing car in the market place.
Q: Can you tell us when drivers can expect the Serpent 1/8 offroad car to appear on the market?
At this time, we are shooting for a release in march 2010. We will showcase the product at the Nurnberg Toy Fair. I will be there to discuss all the ideas and concepts for our 1/8 buggy. I am pretty sue you will like it, trust me.