By Aaron Waldron
LiveRC has obtained a leaked press photo of an upcoming vehicle from Team Associated, who seems to have successfully created the first hybrid nitro-brushless-powered RC vehicle - using the race-winning RC8B3 buggy platform as its base.
The buggy, code-named the RC8B3AF - for "alternative fuel" - reportedly uses just four new parts. With the brushless motor spinning up the spur gear before the clutch on the nitro engine engages, acceleration is expected to improve despite the additional weight - as well as a substantial increase in fuel mileage. Though the chassis layout is a bit cramped, the 4S LiPo pack strapped into place just behind the engine eliminates the need for a receiver pack.
When asked about the project, Team Associated president Cliff Lett didn't reveal much about the car or its expected release date - but he couldn't contain his excitement about the concept of a "green" nitro vehicle, and even mentioned the potential for a new racing class following ROAR's decision to remove 1/8-scale trucks from the Nationals.
"Once the engineers figure out where to put the darn speed control," said Lett, "I think we'll really be onto something."