There is a never ending competition between RC manufacturers to stand out from the crowd in one way or another. Recently the battlefield has moved from Short Course Trucks back to the perennial favorite, Monster Trucks. In the last year or so that battlefield was in gas (petrol) engines in 1:8 (as opposed to 1:5) vehicles. These small gas engines have certainly shaken things up, but realistically have little major advantage over their Nitro brothers.
More recently stability control has appeared as a technological step forward helping cars to point where they are supposed to be, be that drifting or keeping straight on dirt. These systems are even adjustable on the fly as to their sensitivity. The ARRMA Nero moved into yet another new piece of ground in the form of it’s Brain differentials. The system allows for four combinations of the front, center and rear differentials to be locked using a mechanical system much similar to what is found in a full size four wheel drive. Actuated by a small servo and controlled by the radio i’m not sure if this is another piece of electronics to go wrong, another moving mechanical component to fail, or just pure genius pushing the game forward. I’ll probably remain on the fence on that one until such time as I get the chance to drive one myself.
Now to be clear, unlike the Summit the differentials can not be controlled individually, the diff brain is a device operated on the third channel giving four combinations of open and closed differentials. The three modes being Blast (open Diffs), Wheelie (center locked), Drift (Center and rear locked) and Climb (all locked), which honestly covers most situations!
However the new Nero is an all new design, and you only have to look at it’s spaceship like twin vertical plate chassis to see that. Honestly it looks more like a sculpture than a radio control car, but I am loving that part of the car!
Another aspect of the design that is unconventional, is the lay down shock configuration last seen on the E-Revo/Revo. However it looks like it is well thought out and executed and seems to work well on the videos I have seen. Now of course this truck is designed to run on 6s lipos, however most MT’s seem designed for 4s most of the time, and 6 sometimes. Not so with the Nero, with a 3 pad slipper clutch, all metal gears, and a metal telescoping driveshaft, you can see that the Nero is designed to run all day on 6s, not break plastic driveshafts every other day.
In conclusion, it looks to be a ripper. My only concern is the durability and longevity of the differential locking system, but if as much thought has gone into the design of them as it has into the rest of the truck, I think ARRMA are on to not only a winner, but a true classic.
For more information, photos and videos, visit the ARRMA website at http://www.arrma-rc.com/nero/