The problem is that most drivers can not think realistic.
They have to get the fastest and so the most expensive engines, even when they can not drive 2 laps in a row without an error. A lot of drivers drive just as fast or even faster with lower priced engines.
The same counts with hopups. A stock 1/8 racecar is allready be very fast, titanium and lightweight aluminium parts will just give improvements in the hands of an experienced driver.
People can spend the highest prices on the latest models cars while a previous model can be bought cheap and drive just as fast.
Also with electronics... yes, a good transmitter and servo's is needed but you can get 2 Savox servo's for the price of one Sanwa or KO servo. Even a cheap Spektrum DX2 transmitter will do its job.
With most drivers I do miss the DIY factor. Brass weights are easy to make, screws can be easy found at the hardware store and lots more of things do not have to be bought from your favorite RC brands.
1/8 racing can be cheap but a lot of drivers aren't doing it.
Speed is only fiction but a 130+km/h MRS4 is for real.