The toy fair may not yet have even started and we have already been around the HB HPI Racing stand to get the lowdown on their new products for 2012. One surprise product on the booth was an all new 1/10th 200mm platform. Having previously been in this market with the R40, which won the ROAR nationals in the hands of Atsushi Hara, this as yet unnamed prototype has been constructed from prototype material in order to show it here and looks like a fairly solid car with a conventional layout and configuration. With the World Championships in Thailand in November the company expects to have the car ready in time to challenge for the win with a car driven by Atsushi Hara on his home track RC Addict.
Also on display is the HB CR8 1/8th scale buggy with the composite chassis that we showed you early last year and which has been extensively tested in the meantime in the build up to its expected mid summer release. The car will have an offset rear gearbox to get the engine as close to centre as possible and has an all new suspension geometry compared to its World Championship winning stable mate the D8.
HPI were showing off their new gasoline 2-stroke engine with outer dimensions only slightly larger than a big block nitro car engine. This size will allow it to fit in RC cars where gasoline engines never could before. The benefit of this system is more runtime, cheaper fuel costs, easier to start and with cleaner running. On the stand the engine was displayed mounted in a Savage XL, Super 5SCm Apache C1 and a HB D8T.
Other new items making their debut was the HB TCX Hara edition, a car which we have seen in action at the Euro Touring Series in the hands of Andy Moore and which includes a new narrower chassis, new top deck, rear gear differential and longer aluminium steering arms to increase steering lock. Other improvements include steel rear driveshafts, new servo mounts
incorporating LiPo stop, new front hubs & rear upright from TC-FD and new aluminium upper shock mounts.
HB and HPI were also showing a competition rock crawler which for the show has been completely made from rapid prototype material and which is expected to be released this summer. There are also new Plazmo Pro range of competition LiPos in 6500mAh 95C stick version and 5600mAh 95C saddle pack version.