In summary, you can't go wrong with an Associated Electrics RC12L4
. This is the company that has the most wins and developed the best 12th scale cars for 20 years. Most of today's other 12th scale cars kits are copied from the 12L4. In fact, most of them are using the same exact front end (purchased from AE and resold with their kits). What you will find with the other competitor kits are slight variations based on the 12L4. Although they all will work on asphalt and carpet, some have slight changes to focus on a particular surface.
Since most other kits are based on the the AE cars, they also perform very well. The good news is, you could pretty much buy any kit and be very competitive and winning car. Driving skill and choosing the right setup for the track usually determines the winner. There isn't a specific car that dominates.