What’s Faster: Gas or Electric RC Cars

By Josh •  Updated: 04/21/21 •  8 min read

Everyone has their unique take on which RC car is faster- electric or gas. This question has no single correct answer. Let’s have a look at what both types of cars have to offer.

Speed, Ready-To-Race Model AverageVery Good 
AccelerationGreatVery Good 
Speed, After UpgradingGreatGreat
Driving SituationsOutdoors and Indoors Only Outdoors
ProsEasy for beginners, no combustion, quiet operating noiseFast out of the box, and realistic car-like sound can run for a longer time. 
ConsRechargeable batteries take time to charge; upgrading the car can be very expensive, can only run for short periods.Loud, disorganized, tuning, and modification can be complex. 

Electric RC cars are faster than gas RC cars. With a speed capacity that can reach 100+ mph, electric cars with LiPo batteries and brushless motors are faster than gas RC cars. 

If you’re looking for a more genuine driving experience, gas or nitro RC cars are excellent. However, electric vehicles take the cake away when it comes to the car’s speed and cost-efficiency. 

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced RC car enthusiast, you will always encounter this debate- gas or electric. The answer lies in the type of performance and operation efficiency you expect from your RC car. 

In the end, it all comes down to what features you want your RC car to have and in which model delivers those. Do you want to know how fast electric RC cars than gas RC cars? Continue reading to find a detailed comparison of speed between both variants. 

How Fast Are Gas Powered RC Cars

Gas-powered RC cars have been inciting the thrill of miniature realistic racing fun for decades. Powered by nitro fuel, very similar to gasoline, gas RC cars make heads turn with their engine power and speed. 

However, years ago, when electric models of RC cars weren’t this advanced, gas RC cars were the fastest. If you’re looking for realistic driving endurance, then nitro RC cars are your thing. Having a maximum speed of 10 mph to 70 mph, sometimes if the vehicle has a robust built, it will go up to 100 mph. 

The fastest gas-powered RC cars give a steady speed of 50+ mph. Cars like Redcat Racing Earthquake and Traxxas Nitro Rustler are models which are quick and run on gas or nitro.  

The problem with gas-powered RC cars is that they have a lot of maintenance. From tuning the car after every match and cleaning it regularly, a gas RC car needs to be taken care of. Considering the intricacies of maintaining a nitro car, they are equally challenging to drive. 

You need to possess the skill to maneuver high-powered gas RC cars. So, if you’re someone who is experienced in RC cars and is willing to put in all the extra effort, gas-powered RC cars are great for you. 

How Fast Are Electric RC Cars

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced RC enthusiast, electric cars are probably your favorite. Not only are electric cars faster than most gas or nitro RC cars, but they are also way more convenient to handle. 

The top speed of the fastest electric RC car Traxxas XO-1 is 100 mph. The electric car emerges as a clear winner when it comes to speed and overall cost efficiency. Electric vehicles are compact, clean, and deliver speedy performance.   

When it comes to the construction of electric RC cars, they have two distinct types of motors. The two electric motors are brushed and brushless. 

Brushed Electric RC Car 

You can find the brushed electric motor in most entry-level, beginner, toy-grade RC cars. The mechanism behind brushed motors is that there are tiny brushes inside the motor that make it spin. Even in the brushed electric motors, there are two variants, fixed and non-fixed. 

If you get the RC cars with electric motors fixed brushes, you cannot modify or tune them. In contrast, non-fixed brushed motors give you the flexibility to adjust to an extent. The brushes are not fixed and can be replaced. You can even clean the debris and dust off the motor by removing it. 

Brushless Electric RC Car

Compared to brushed motor electric RC cars, brushless motored vehicles are an expensive investment. However, with the increasing popularity of brushless electric RC cars, they will soon put brushed motors in the past. 

The reason is that brushless electric RC cars provide high power endurance, which is unbeatable in the RC cars market. It doesn’t have contact brushes in brushless motors, so you don’t have to clean the unit frequently. Additionally, because of the absence of meetings, there is less friction and less heat generated. It makes the brushless electric RC car a beast. 

If you compare the voltage capacity, then brushless motors are clear winners. A high voltage and brushless motor can help the RC car scale searing speeds. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced RC car enthusiast, having an electric RC car should be 

The price range for a brushed electric RC car is much cheaper than the brushless alternative. However, if you’re investing in an electric both the brushless and brushed motor options are exceptional. 

Are you wondering which is the faster motor? Brushless electric motor RC cars are one of the fastest RC cars ever, faster than nitro too! 

Gas vs. Electric: Which Car will win in RC Car Race?

The apparent differences in gas and electric RC cars have already been listed. But, if you’re comparing the two RC cars for winning a race, then the answer is not that simple. 

Winning an RC race requires far more than just the speed of your car; there are a lot of other factors involved. Fuel, speed, the skill of controller, tuning of the vehicle, driving environment, engine, motor, and runtime capacity are some essential factors you should consider. 

To answer the question, which RC car (gas or electric) will win in a race, really depends on the unique scenario. However, if you were to have a brushless motor electric RC vehicle with LiPo batteries, the chances of winning would be more significant. 

The brushless motor electric RC car would win because there is less friction so that the car will generate less heat. This quality makes this type of electric RC car unbeatable because the performance is truly outstanding. Additionally, if you supplement the brushless electric motor with LiPo batteries, your RC car will get that extra kick of power and sustain them for more extended periods. 

On the other hand, if you compare gas and electric RC cars’ speed statistics, gas RC cars are faster than brushed motor electric vehicles. However, brushed motor electric RC cars are generally slower than brushless electric and gas RC cars. 

Even if brushless motor electric cars pack a punch with speed and cost-efficiency, the runtime for these is significantly lower than gas RC cars. With gas RC cars, all you have to do is fill up the fuel, and you can race again. Conversely, electric RC cars will only last as long their batteries have power and the fast they charge. 

Which are the fastest RC Cars 

With electric RC cars being more convenient widely available, they are stealing the spotlight from gas RC cars. If you look at the fastest RC car speed record, it’s an entirely electric car clocking an astounding 202.02 mph. This ‘Radio Controlled Bullet’ currently holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest battery-powered RC car. While nitro RC cars were reigning kings of speed and power, they have been swiftly dethroned by their high-performance electric RC counterparts. 

Let’s see some of the fastest RC cars available in the market that you can get your hands on!

  1. Traxxas XO-1

Top Speed: 100 mph

Type: Electric RC car

Motor: Brushless 

Highlights: Traxxas Stability Management, aerodynamically stable design, and shock-absorbing cush drive.

  1. Traxxas UDR 

Top Speed: 50+ mph

Type: Electric RC car

Motor: Brushless

Highlights: Eight GTR shocks, Traxxas Stability Management, and BFGoodrich KR3 tires.

  1. Losi Ford Raptor Baja Rey 

Top Speed: 55+ mph

Type: Electric RC car

Motor: Brushless

Highlights: Aluminum chassis, waterproof electronics, A-arm front suspension, and four-link rear axle.

  1. Traxxas 8S X-Maxx

Top Speed: 50+ mph

Type: Electric RC car

Motor: Brushless

Highlights: 8-inch wheels, oil-filled suspension, robust axles, and ground clearance of four inches. 

  1. Tamiya Off-Road Buggy Champ

Top Speed: 30+ mph

Type: Electric RC car

Motor: Brushless

Highlights: Retro-body, Rear wheel drive setup, and Aluminum underbody 

Final Thoughts on What’s Faster Gas or Electric RC Cars 

While many people lean over to electric RC cars because of their quiet, convenience, and less maintenance, gas RC cars are not for the faint-hearted.

If you’re an advanced or an intermediate RC car enthusiast, you will love to modify and tune the vehicle to your needs. Also, drivers need the skill to wield the powerful nitro or gas engine. 

Gas RC cars are the only cars that give the raw thrill with the smoke and engine roars. Consider all facets of RC cars’ gas and electric variants before you settle on racing with it! 

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