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Old 09-10-2008, 03:16 PM   #1
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Default For those who have raced 1/8 nitro and electric buggys

Ok guys on my local forum we are having a "discussion" about 1/8 nitro vs electric buggys.

this is what i want from people who have owned and seriously raced BOTH types of cars. are you as fast or faster laptime wise with electric vs your nitro? please post what you have actually experienced one way or another.

please dont post comments based on what you have heard, feel or seen only if you have actual experience with both.
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Old 09-10-2008, 04:46 PM   #2
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I'm sure you already know this but, depends on the track. If your sig is any clue, you may have raced at MX131. That place can get WAY blown out over the course of a race day. My B44 would be struggling where my 1/8 will just ignore most of it.
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Old 09-10-2008, 05:10 PM   #3
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I believe he meant 1/8 nitro vs. 1/8 electric
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Old 09-10-2008, 05:14 PM   #4
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I assume that's a 1/8th nitro vs. a 1/8th conversion. My answer... I'm faster with whichever one I've been driving more. They represent very different styles, and switching is not, for me at least, at all simple. Overall, I think I may be marginally faster in the electric. A skilled driver with equal background in electric and nitro should be somewhat faster in the electric. A less skilled driver will IMO be faster in the nitro.

I'm a track owner, and I assume you're addressing the question "can we race electrics with the nitros?" My answer (for my track) is yes, not only because there isn't any other way to race them and thus build the class to stand alone, but because they ARE competitive cars. The difference is certainly no more than the latest nitro buggy vs. the three years ago model... we don't limit people from racing the latest and greatest. It's no greater than the OS VG vs. the C6BB, but we don't limit people to motors under $200. I think everyone will want the electrics to stand as their own class eventually, but they also want sportsman everything and so forth. Maybe it'll be strong enough to be its own class... if not, it'll strengthen the buggy class with people who don't want the hassles and expense of running nitro.
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Old 09-10-2008, 05:50 PM   #5
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yes i am talking about 1/8 in both cases. no i am not really doing this to see if they should run together or not. there are some local guys that feel that electric cant hang with nitros. so i am asking guys that have experience with both to get their opinions.
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Old 09-10-2008, 06:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kvrc View Post
there are some local guys that feel that electric cant hang with nitros.

I feel they are wrong. I raced 1/8 nitro since the late 90's. This summer I built 2 e-conversions, an old MBX5 and an AE RC8. I have not raced these conversions yet but will run the RC8 this winter. I do however practice at a local club track (over 60 members) every Sunday with the same guys I've been running nitro with. Drivers skill not counted, the electrics are way faster. A slow guy with nitro will not be any faster with electric (except down the strait). I feel throttle control with the electrics is way more precise. With a "proper" motor/battery/gear set-up we can turn way more RPM than nitro and have more torque the whole time. I can't give you lap time comparisons and this winter I won't be able to either because I have no intention of running nitro this winter, no reason to. O ya and after the initial investment, it's cheaper to run electric (except the tires).
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Old 09-10-2008, 07:18 PM   #7
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My experience has been that electric is very competitive with nitro, and on some track layouts I might be a little faster with a good electric car. BUT, some tracks may favor a nitro and I think in general, there is VERY little difference between them in lap times etc. I also agree that if/when the electrics have a slight edge, it's only in the hands of a very good driver.

Electrics have a lot of instant torque, and while that can be a good thing.... it can also be difficult to control. A nitro generally can be driven punched out which is easier imo.

Racing results at my track with several drivers have shown basically the same results at the end of the day, whether the car is nitro or electric.
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Old 09-10-2008, 07:39 PM   #8
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From what I have seen a well set up electric is quicker than a nitro car in any situation in the hands of a decent driver. The throttle control compared to nitro is a whole different level with much broader power. In my area the debate about whether or not to run electric and nitro together is about the unfair advantage of the electric possesses, not the other way around.
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Old 09-10-2008, 09:23 PM   #9
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Electric 1/8 definitely performs better throughout the powerband, but at the end of the day it really comes down to driver skill. I am a middle of the pack driver and the fastest nitro guys still lap me like the beginner driver I am even though I can out run them on the straights at half throttle.

I think electric is a lot harder to drive than nitro though. It takes some serious throttle control. It is probably pretty easy to go from electric to nitro instead of nitro to electric. Electric can feel kind of spastic with all the low end power.

I am not sure a great nitro driver would get better lap times with electric unless they are already a skilled electric driver. It takes a different driving style vs the blip blip of nitro. A couple of the nitro guys I have let drive my car could barely control it.
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Old 09-10-2008, 09:27 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Edumakated View Post
Electric 1/8 definitely performs better throughout the powerband, but at the end of the day it really comes down to driver skill. I am a middle of the pack driver and the fastest nitro guys still lap me like the beginner driver I am even though I can out run them on the straights at half throttle.

I think electric is a lot harder to drive than nitro though. It takes some serious throttle control. It is probably pretty easy to go from electric to nitro instead of nitro to electric. Electric can feel kind of spastic with all the low end power.

I am not sure a great nitro driver would get better lap times with electric unless they are already a skilled electric driver. It takes a different driving style vs the blip blip of nitro. A couple of the nitro guys I have let drive my car could barely control it.
All of what you've posted indicates that your electric car is way overpowered, especially the last sentence. Try going down one cell on your battery or a couple steps on your motor.
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Old 09-10-2008, 09:36 PM   #11
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I have compared both styles of 1/8 buggy in practice but have never gotten the opportunity to actually race an electric conversion. First of all, the two drive completely different. The nitro feels much heavier in the air and around corners than the electric. Not all bad as it helps with traction and stability in the air. The electric feels much lighter and more agile however this, for me at least, took away some confidence in pushing the vehicle to the same level as the nitro. The other major difference I found was in the way the power came on. In my experience nitro vehicles seem more often than not to have excessive power which requires more throttle control on the driver's part. Again, not always bad as long as the driver knows what he's doing. The electric was slightly more user friendly as the power came on a little smoother. Though power delivery was smoother, the electric was by no means underpowered. I have run electrics for years and have always liked the consistent and smooth power of electrics vs. nitros so to me this is an advantage of electric over nitro. Both can be set up to be fast and IMO it's more driver preference and skill than anything in the end.
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Old 09-10-2008, 09:44 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Davidka View Post
All of what you've posted indicates that your electric car is way overpowered, especially the last sentence. Try going down one cell on your battery or a couple steps on your motor.
The car is not overpowered by any means. My top end is set to run with a fast nitro (about 40mph +/-). The difference is that electric accelerates about 2x's as fast a nitro due to the instant torque. There is no lag in the power which makes it easy to over jump things or spin out hence why all the other posters are mentioning throttle control issues.

Another thing I have found is that I actually turn faster laps when I am not racing with nitros. Since I can't hear my car over the nitro's it can make it a bit challenging to drive. Kind of like playing a video game with the sound off. A couple of times I have been on the track with just other 1/8 electrics and I found my driving to improve because I can actually hear how the car is performing.
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Old 09-10-2008, 10:02 PM   #13
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With any halfway decent amount of practice, I don't think anybody would be faster with a nitro than they would with an electric. Sure, good drivers will be very fast with either (and they are fun to race against eachother), but I have never heard of an electric being slower when the same driver is driving both.
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Old 09-10-2008, 10:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidka View Post
All of what you've posted indicates that your electric car is way overpowered, especially the last sentence. Try going down one cell on your battery or a couple steps on your motor.
I'm not sure you can set up an electric 1/8th scale buggy this way. Any brushless setup that has respectable top speed and doesn't overheat during a race will always have enough torque to cause huge wheel spin at low speeds. My RC8 will pull wheelies with a measly 3s battery and I've only got a 2200kV motor in it. It puts my MP777 (with its .28 "big block") to shame in the torque department. I think the only way to soften the power delivery of a brushless motor is to use some kind of smart control scheme that's integrated into the ESC.
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Old 09-10-2008, 10:58 PM   #15
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I paid very close attention at the last race I went to because we were debuting 4 Caster Fusions there and it was a year end shootout.

There were 2 very good drivers that ran pro and someone else and I ran sportsman. From what I saw, the electric had an advantage in the jumping department and the nitro had an advantage on cornering. This might not be the case in the future as literally all of our drivers hadn't raced them before. We all have 1/10 scale experience and tried to run them like 1/10 scale cars. The lap times were very similar and I think were extremely fair. Top speed was very similar on this track so there wasn't an issue there.

The biggest thing I did see was that there were 2 track mistakes that required a restart. with electric, that means a big DNF, whereas a nitro, just add fuel....however, with electric, it was a 5 minute lookover and then twiddle thumbs until next heat, no tuning, etc....

It will definitely be an interesting year next year.....
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