Out of the three trail-ready, “scale R/C” vehicles being released in 2017, HPI’s Venture FJ Cruiser is receiving the least amount of online chatter. With its official unveiling at the 2016 International Toy Fair, the Venture was the talk of many hobbyist message boards and social media groups in late 2015/early 2016. Soon after that announcement, however, HPI encountered some issues and needed some time to regroup and find their footing.
Now that they’ve recovered, many of the vehicles which had been announced over a year ago are seeing the light of day. For that reason, the Venture may be a model which was forgotten about, especially in the wake of new scale trail rigs hitting the scene. Now that you know some of the history of this vehicle, let’s get up to speed with where we are today.
Ready for the Trail
With pre-orders currently active, the Venture FJ Cruiser is expected to become available in late July (2017). Although its design is largely similar to that of that of other 1/10-scale R/C scalers, there are some unique aspects which HPI is bringing to the table.
Rather than mounting the motor in the middle of the chassis, the Venture FJ Cruiser features a front-mounted, brushed, 35-T motor which sits next to the steering servo. The remaining chassis design falls in line with other 1/10-scale trail rigs you’ll find on the market today.
The Toyota FJ Cruiser body appears to be highly detailed and includes some nice visual touches such as a roof rack and rear, swinging tire mount. If you’re not a fan of the FJ Cruiser, you should be able to easily swap this body out with an aftermarket option after a few small adjustments.
HPI Venture FJ Cruiser Specs
- Length: 20.7″ (527mm)
- Width: 9″ (227mm)
- Height: 9.4″ (238mm) with roof rack, 8.5″ (217mm) without
- Wheelbase: 12.3″ (311mm)
- Front Overhang: 3.9″ (101mm)
- Rear Overhang: 5.3″ (135mm)
- Running Weight: 5.3lbs (2.4kg)
- Weight without Body: 4.7lbs (2.1kg)
- Break-over angle: 44.5°
- Approach Angle: 55°
- Departure Angle: 45.5°
- Max Climb Angle: 49°
- Max Tilt Angle: 28°
- Axle Articulation: 30°
- Ground Clearance 2.7″ (68mm)
- Ground Clearance at Standard Ride Height: 2.4″ (60mm)
- Axle Ground Clearance: 1.3″ (32mm)
- Drivetrain Ratio: 7.6:1
- Transmission Gearing: 1.53:1
- Axle Gearing: 3.31:1
- Transfer Case Gearing: 1.5:1
- Model type: Ready-to-Run (RTR)
- Price: $369.99
Pricing for the HPI Venture FJ Cruiser sits at $369.99, making it comparable to the Axial SCX10 II Kit ($376.88 – Amazon.com), the Axial SCX10 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon RTR ($379.99), and the Vaterra Ascender K-5 Blazer kit ($327.87 – Amazon.com). As a first-time entry into the world of scale R/C, this looks like a solid offering and should be a welcome addition to the trail.
Learn more about the HPI Venture 1/10 Scale Trail Vehicle
- See what’s under the hood of HPI’s first scale, trail rig.
- An interview with the designer, Thad Garner.
- The HPI Venture took on the challenge of the 2017 UK RECON G6. See how it fared. [Video]
- The HPI Venture FJ Cruiser at the 2017 Nuremberg Toy Fair [Video]
- Pre-order the HPI Venture FJ Cruiser:
Image credit: HPI