BEHIND THE WHEEL
I’ve been able to drive a lot of different types of 1/5-scale vehicles, but I hadn’t really been able to pull the trigger on an electric-powered one, so I couldn’t wait to get the DBXL-E fired up. First I had to get past the Velcro battery straps, which gave me a good bit of trouble while trying to get the battery packs installed. It took me about five minutes to get the batteries strapped in because I was fighting with straps trying to stick to other straps and not being able to grab onto the plastic ends because of the lack of space between the mounts and center drive shafts.
Once the batteries were in and the buggy was powered up I was ready for some fun. I got into the throttle hard while in my driveway and the DBXL-E accelerated with ease. While messing around on the pavement I found that the center diff fluid is a little light for high-grip duty. The diff bled power to the front end pretty easily with every stab of the throttle. In dirt, where this buggy belongs, this was much less apparent. The front end wasn’t bleeding power as much as it did on the pavement, and all four tires dug in and moved the DBXL-E out with authority. If most of your running will be in high-grip conditions, consider refilling the center diff with thicker fluid.
I expected the DBXL-E to be a little bit lazy due to its size and weight, but I was pleasantly surprised as I drove it around. It feels like you’re driving a much smaller and lighter 1/10-scale buggy. The throttle has a smooth feel, braking is perfect, and steering is very responsive. You wouldn’t think that a buggy this big can get squirrelly but the power on tap easily broke the tires loose and caused the DBXL-E to slide around more than I thought it would, at least when I had Active Vehicle Control switched off. Without electronic stability control stepping on the action, I had a blast pitching the big buggy into long drifts. With AVC turned up, less skilled drivers can more easily hold a tight line. Or, if you’re in really gnarly terrain that bounces even this giant around, dialing up AVC can make driving more precise no matter how skilled you are. It works the throttle and steering so quickly to make corrections that you won’t even know it’s happening.
You can never call it a day without getting some air, and that’s what I did with the DBXL-E. I was able to send it sailing with ease and landings were soaked up well. Slight corrections were made by stabbing the throttle and brake in the air.