The brushless motors have been around for quite a while.
They were used (and are) by flyers and boaters.
The only drawback that they had for cars has to do with their speed controls.
1st : they were not smooth accelerating (in a boat that's a minor concern coz we want to get to plane speed fast)
2 nd: They overheated like mad if we didn't use full throttle most of the time.
3 rd: They were BIG
The basic design of the motor itself hasn't changed much since 3 or 4 years. Rare earth magets, strict tolerances and extra good BB's are their main characteristics.
I have an Aveox that looks like a jewel. The can and endbell are sublime (so far from our normal brushed motors).
Since they appeared people have been working in a decent ESC for cars and it seems they did it. At least with the first 2 points. The 3rd (BIG) is still way above the minimal ESC we can find today (LRP, NOSRAM, GM, ROBITRONIC etc)
However, they ROCK!!!!! Made to handle lower cell counts (my Aveox easyly handles 12 cells) they nned to have higher RPM/Volt in order to provide a decent speed on a car.
I have a Modeltech (if I'm not wrong it does 7.000 rpm/Volt) that has rpm similar to a hot 10 or 9, BUT a lot more power. I assume that instead of the normal 200 something Watts, it'll be in the range of 300Watts.
What this means is that I gear it from a 16 (64 dp) pinion to a 28 and the punch does not suffer noticeably, but the end speed reaches those of 1/8 On Road cars (oh yesssssss!!!!!)
We don't need to buy a combo from the same manufacturer.
There are two basic types - Sensor and sensorless motors and a given ESC can suit one of those needs. Better yet, a sensorless motor controller will control a sensor motor. The contrary is not true.
Their differ in the way they receive info from the motor regarding the stator position. One does that using a sensor, and the other does not.
Both types are reversible. If you can handle it, you can try to drive a rear steering car at full speed
In Europe LOTS of manufacturers do BL motors and controllers. Just to name a few, Kontronic, Modeltech, Lehner, Plettenberg, etc etc. In the US I remember Aveox and Astro Flight, now followed bu Novak (what about that motor???).
They're fun and give you the double of the run time for the same pack. My first test with a 3000 pack (blues Pana) gave me 18 minutes of FUN. How about that? Speed? Too much for my skills at the time I assure you.
BTW, the brakes are like hitting a brick wall... They STOP THE CAR. At first I used to look at my 64dp spurs to see if they still had teeth in them LOL