HPI SAVAGE FLUX HP
HPI Savage 5Tv2
1/21/09
3:48 PM
TEST DRIVE
HPI SAVAGE
FLUX HP
■ RTR ■ ELECTRIC ■ OFF-ROAD
HPI DELIVERS
ALL THE POWER
YOU CAN HANDLE
WORDS MATT HIGGINS
❯❯ matth@airage.com
PHOTOS HOPE McCALL
TALK ABOUT FORESIGHT.
In 2006, when nitro reigned
unchallenged in its supremacy,
HPI released the E-Savage,
which was a smaller, lighter
and, of course, electric-powered version of its venerable
fuel-burning Savage. Fast forward to today, and HPI once
again electrifies its monster
truck platform, but this time it’s
big. The Savage Flux HP is big
in size and big on performance.
In fact, some might say it overdelivers on the latter. HPI was
ahead of the times back in ’06
and now is ahead of the power
curve in 2009. How so? The
Savage Flux HP is capable of
doing standing backflips and
breaking most speed limits right
out of the box. HPI states it can
even reach 62mph with street
tires and the proper batteries.
With this type of power, we just
had to find out for ourselves
what this monster was like to
wheel. Check it out.
SPECIFICATIONS
Type 1⁄8-scale RTR 4WD electric
monster truck
Price $645 (varies with dealer)
Top speed 62mph*
Wheelbase 12.3 in. (337mm)
Width 16.8 (427mm)
Weight, as tested 12.8 lb. (5,806g)
Spur/pinion 44/20
Final drive ratio 16.1:1
Chassis Twin alum. vertical plates
Differential(s) Sealed gear
Suspension Lower A-arms with
fixed upper camber links
Shocks Oversize fluid-filled plastic
*Manufacturer’s claim
ONLINE
EXTRAS
84 RCCARACTION.COM
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APRIL 2008 85
HPI Savage 5Tv2
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Page 86
HPI SAVAGE
FLUX HP
The HPI TF-3
is a simple
yet reliable
transmitter.
It’s AM and
features dual
rate to adjust
steering
throw.
FEATURES
CHASSIS
The hallmark design element of
the Savage lineup is the TVP,
or twin vertical plate chassis.
The Flux HP version of the
Savage uses beefy gunmetal
gray 2.5 aluminum plates that
key into equally stout plastic
bulkheads front and rear. The
bottoms of the bulkheads are
stiffened with aluminum plates
in HPI’s familiar purple anodiz-
///////////////////////////////////
IT’S INCREDIBLY POWERFUL, FAST AND
STILL ENJOYABLY EASY TO USE.
ing that are further protected
by plastic skidplates. Flanking
the chassis are two long battery boxes that can accommodate 2S and 3S LiPo packs
and up to 8-cell NiMH packs.
The boxes are well vented to
allow cooling air to enter and
hot air to escape. Rounding
out the chassis package are
realistic front and rear bumpers
and a roll bar that doubles as a
handle. It’s also worth noting
that the overall chassis design
86 MORE FROM THIS ISSUE AT RCCARACTION.COM
features a fairly low center
of gravity. This should significantly help handling, as
today’s high-power electric
packages can be quite heavy,
most often even heavier than
their nitro counterparts.
SUSPENSION
Like the chassis, the Flux HP
suspension is distinctly
Savage, but this time, the 4wheel independent suspension
is damped by four (not the typ-
ical Savage eight) large fluidfilled shocks. The shock shafts
are 3.5mm thick, so they are
not likely to bend, and each
shock also features a 2-stage
spring setup. This allows the
shocks to soak up small
bumps and ruts and still handle the impact from big air. To
further ensure the Savage Flux
HP would withstand the abuse
it will undoubtedly be subjected to, HPI took a page from its
Savage XL. The uprights are
HPI Savage 5Tv2
TEST
GEAR
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Page 87
DURACELL AA BATTERIES (8) ■ LRP PULSAR COMPETITION 3 CHARGER ■ MAXAMPS.COM
5,250MAH 30C 11.1V LIPO PACKS (2) ■ MAXAMPS.COM 6500 30C 7.4V LIPO PACKS (2)
PERFORMANCE
With two fully charged packs installed, the first thing I did with the Savage Flux HP was just punch
it. Even with “only” two MaxAmps.com 2S packs and the 14.8 volts they put out, I was rewarded
with an instant wheelie. HPI includes an optional wheelie bar, and I advise you to install it, or exercise lots of self control. Hammer on the throttle, and the tires bark, grab and the front of the truck
points toward the sky. Very cool indeed. The power and acceleration of the truck will impress anyone. Case closed: the Savage Flux HP rips. It also has too much snap. After perfecting my Big
Daddy Don Garlits-style launches (he’s a famous drag racer, too), I started testing the Savage’s highspeed potential. It is fast all around. I took some easy corners and started cornering faster and
faster. It isn’t a sports car, but thanks to some fairly stiff springs, the big truck cornered well. Any
crazy jerking of the steering wheel at high speed resulted in the expected tumble, but if you drive
with any sense at all, the Flux HP stays on all fours with the proverbial shiny side up. I tested the
brakes and they worked well. They’re completely adjustable, but the factory setting seemed spot on.
They didn’t fade, and they weren’t set so strong that the truck did a front flip when I stabbed the
brakes. While I didn’t experience a single glitch, I wanted the added security of FM or 2.4GHz as I
easily hit speeds in the high 50s. The radar gun even got a pass at 58mph. I’m sure that with HPI’s
recommended street tires and optimal conditions, I could have gotten its claimed 62mph. After getting a feel for the truck on pavement, I hit the dirt and just bashed on it. I know plenty of people will
never get tired of just doing blazing-fast speed runs up and down their street, but the Savage Flux
HP is really at home off-road. It felt fast on pavement and insane on rough terrain. HPI has been
refining the Savage platform since it was introduced in 2002, and it shows in this latest offering. The
shocks do a great job of keeping the truck controllable even at high speeds over rough terrain. The
stock steering servo seemed more than up to the task, and the overall steering was very typical of a
monster truck. It went where I pointed it and held its course when asked to. Jumping the Flux HP
proved to be a lot of fun. With big tires and tons of power, it was easy to control in the air. I had the
power to launch the truck sky high, and the Savage suspension was able to take it. After I had
installed a matching set of MaxAmps.com 3S LiPo packs, I again started my testing from scratch,
and you can basically take everything I said before and add an exclamation point to it. The power is
just ridiculous. I tested the Flux HP’s ability to perform a standing backflip as HPI shows on its site.
That’s no camera trickery. Backflips are pulled off with ease.
direct transplants from the big
tire and overall oversize XL rig.
The upper shock towers feature three mounting options,
and overall, the Flux HP is light
on tuning adjustments. That
should be of no concern to its
target audience of bashers
and speed freaks.
DRIVETRAIN
The durability theme continues
into the drivetrain design. In
addition to rubber-sealed ball
bearings, all-metal gears are
used throughout. The spur
gear, which is often a vulnerable spot, is machined out of
steel. The gear differentials are
sealed so different thickness
silicone fluid can be added for
tuning, and HPI spec’d what it
calls its Super Heavy Duty
Machined gears. Last in getting the power to the wheels
are the also Super Heavy Duty
dogbones and the 17mm
hexes. An externally adjustable
slipper clutch further protects
the drivetrain. HPI includes an
optional 25-tooth pinion for
those who want even more
speed.
INCLUDED
ELECTRONICS
& ACCESSORIES
The Savage Flux HP isn’t just electric but also brushless and LiPo
ready. The Blur speed control features a built-in fan and the ability to
handle up to two 3S LiPo packs.
That’s 22.2 volts. We’ve come a
long way from the times when RC
cars couldn’t handle more than 7.2
or 8.4 volts at most. The Blur is
also compatible with Castle
Creations’ Castle Link setup that
allows complete customization of
the speed control via your computer. The Blur is wired to connect to
dual battery packs via Deans Ultra
Plugs. The second part of the
brushless package is the Tork
2,200kV motor. In addition to crosscut cooling fins, the Tork motor features two 8mm aluminum clamps
and a 3mm aluminum mounting
plate; traditional motor screws are
not used. The two clamps keep the
motor in position, eliminate flexing
and allow gearing adjustments. HPI
knew it couldn’t get away with a
wimpy steering servo, so it selected
an HPI SF-5 servo with metal gears
and 124 oz.-in. of torque. The HPI
TF-3 AM radio system is called into
duty for the Flux HP. This simple
2-channel transmitter features the
usual servo-reversing and trim as
well as dual rate.
PLUS/MINUS
+
-
❯❯ Tons of power
❯❯ Savage lineage
❯❯ High quality
❯❯ AM radio
VERDICT
The Savage Flux HP is a textbook example of the advantages of modern electricpowered RC. It’s incredibly
powerful, fast and still enjoyably easy to use. It’s also
built like a tank, so all the
power won’t result in an
instant or constant need to
order replacement parts. As
a basher, the Savage Flux HP
delivers the performance and
reliability that both newbs
and RC experts will require
and demand. It’s a solid
offering all around. The
Savage Flux HP makes great
use of existing HPI parts and
designs yet is still its own
truck. Overall, it’s very worthy of having the Savage
name.
SOURCES
HPI Racing hpiracing.com
LRP teamassociated.com
MaxAmps.com maxamps.com
APRIL 2008 87
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