Team Associated mid-motor T5M stadium truck spotted
Monday, Jan 5, 2015 11:55am
By Aaron Waldron
By Aaron Waldron
Photos of a prototype Team Associated stadium truck chassis being tested at OCRC by Ryan Cavalieri were posted to the popular Facebook group B5 Nation over the weekend, confirming rumors that AE's "Area 51" engineers had been testing the truck more privately for quite some time. The photos were deleted from the page rather quickly, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who saved them before they disappeared.
Like what was the case at the IFMAR Worlds in Messina, Italy last fall when an RCTech user snapped photos of Yannick Aigoin's RC8B2 prototype, it looks like the T5M wasn't kept too totally secret from passers-by - this truck very clearly belongs to Ryan Cavalieri and is sitting as plain as day in his pit area. Like previous stadium truck iterations of Team Associated buggies that came before it, the T5M looks like a stretched version of the B5M with an aluminum chassis and plastic side pods to create a stiff backbone. Like the B5 and B5M, the T5M will fit either Reedy's square pack, saddle packs, or a "shorty" like the Team Orion unit installed in Cavalieri's tester. Rather than the new three-gear transmission that Team Associated released for stock racing and high-grip conditions, this test mule has a traditional four-gear tranny bolted in place. It appears the B5M's suspension geometry was massaged to suit the truck's taller shock towers and longer arms, and the innovative front hub design looks like it will carry over to the new pickup as well.
If the apparent fit and finish of the molded plastic parts on the chassis weren't enough of an indication as to how close the T5M may be to production, Cavalieri's all-red practice body sported what looks very much like official logos. The body itself looks like an original piece, looking neither like Pro-Line's mid-motor BullDog or the JConcepts Finnisher.