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What Is The Fastest Petrol Remote Control Car?

If you want to know what the fastest Remote Control car is keep reading. Also, learn if gas (Petrol) powered cars are faster in general and discover which is faster: Nitro or brushless cars.

What Is The Fastest Petrol Remote Control Car?

The fastest Petrol cars are known to reach speeds between 50-60 mph. The top brands in this class are typically HPI Racing, Losi, and Rovan.

However,  if we are to consider all RC cars, not just petrol, at the time of gathering my research, the Traxxas XO-1 is one of the fastest RC cars available, reaching speeds up to 100 mph. But, it’s essential to note that the XO-1 is electric, not petrol.

Unfortunately, the specific title holder for the fastest petrol RC car tends to change regularly due to rapid advancements and innovations in the field, so enthusiasts often turn to forums, official races, and manufacturer claims to stay updated.

Understanding Petrol RC Cars

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Before diving into the specifics, it’s essential to understand that petrol RC cars are typically larger, ranging from 1/5 to 1/4 scale models.

These cars run on a mixture of regular petrol and 2-stroke oil, similar to lawnmowers or chainsaws. The engines range from 23cc to 30cc, but specialized modifications can increase this even further.

The Need for Speed

Speed in RC cars is not just about bragging rights. It’s about engineering mastery, aerodynamics, weight distribution, and power-to-weight ratios. With advancements in technology, we’ve seen petrol RC cars breach the 100 mph mark, a feat that was previously unthinkable.

Factors Affecting Speed

Several factors can influence an RC car’s speed:

  • Engine Power: The size and tuning of the engine play a crucial role. More cubic centimeters (cc) usually translate to more power.
  • Weight: Lighter cars tend to be faster because they have a better power-to-weight ratio.
  • Aerodynamics: The shape and design of the car can influence how it moves through the air.
  • Tires and Traction: The right set of tires can make a significant difference in speed, especially when dealing with different terrains.
  • Transmission and Gear Ratio: Proper gearing can optimize a car’s speed and acceleration.

Chasing the Record

While official records are a great way to gauge the capabilities of a stock or modified RC car, individual hobbyists worldwide continually modify and tweak their vehicles in the pursuit of personal bests.

The global RC community is vast, and there’s always someone pushing the envelope, trying to squeeze out another mile per hour.

Are Gas-Powered RC Cars Faster?

No. The top-speed car is likely the Traxxas XO-1 electric car. While gas-powered RC cars have their advantages in consistency and some great speeds, electric RC cars are not far behind and can even surpass them in certain scenarios.

The decision on which is “faster” really boils down to specific use cases, personal preferences, and the environment in which the RC car will be used.

For those interested in speed above all else, it’s essential to research specific models and their performances. Both gas and electric cars have their champions in the speed department, making the world of RC racing a continually evolving and exciting field.

Power Source

Gas-Powered RC Cars:

Gas-powered RC cars, also known as nitro cars, utilize a mixture of nitromethane, methanol, and oil as fuel. This mixture provides a consistent power supply, which can allow these vehicles to maintain their top speed over longer periods.

Electric RC Cars:

These cars use rechargeable lithium-polymer (LiPo) or nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries. The burst of speed from electric motors can be exceptionally quick due to the instant torque provided. However, the performance might dip as the battery discharges.

Engine and Motor Efficiency

Gas-Powered RC Cars:

Internal combustion engines in nitro cars can deliver powerful performance. The rpm levels they can achieve are often higher than their electric counterparts, potentially translating to greater speeds. However, this depends on the tuning, engine size, and maintenance.

Electric RC Cars:

Electric motors are known for their efficiency. They can deliver almost instant power without the need for a complex transmission system. This can result in rapid acceleration, and in certain models, a higher top speed than gas-powered RC cars.


Gas-powered cars are generally heavier due to the weight of the engine and fuel tank. This added weight can sometimes reduce their overall speed. Electric cars, on the other hand, are lighter but can also become weightier with larger battery packs.

Maintenance and Tuning

Gas-powered RC cars require regular maintenance and tuning.

A well-tuned nitro engine can outperform its specifications, but a neglected one can underperform. Electric cars require less maintenance, but their performance can be enhanced with better electronic speed controllers (ESCs) and motor upgrades.

Track or Terrain

On longer tracks or terrains, a gas-powered car might show its prowess by maintaining a consistent speed due to a steady fuel supply. Conversely, on shorter tracks or in drag races, electric cars might take the lead due to their rapid acceleration capabilities.

Technological Advancements

As technology progresses, electric RC cars have seen significant improvements in battery life, motor efficiency, and speed. Some of the fastest RC cars in the world today are electric. However, gas-powered cars also benefit from advancements in engine design and materials.

Which is faster Nitro or brushless RC Cars?

When it comes to sheer top speed potential and acceleration, brushless electric RC cars often have an edge. However, nitro RC cars offer a more realistic driving experience and can maintain consistent speed over longer periods.

The decision ultimately comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of the hobbyist. Whether it’s the thrill of instant electric acceleration or the roar of a nitro engine, there’s a world of excitement awaiting RC enthusiasts of all kinds.

The Basics

Nitro RC Cars:

Nitro RC cars are powered by a mixture of nitromethane, methanol, and oil. These cars use an internal combustion engine similar to real-world vehicles, only on a smaller scale.

Brushless RC Cars:

Brushless RC cars are powered by electric motors, specifically brushless motors, and are generally powered by lithium-polymer (LiPo) or nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries.


Nitro RC Cars:

  • Top Speed: Many nitro RC cars can reach speeds between 20 to 70+ mph, depending on the make and model.
  • Acceleration: Due to the nature of their engines, nitro cars can often have a slower initial acceleration compared to their electric counterparts. However, they maintain consistent torque throughout their power range.

Brushless RC Cars:

  • Top Speed: Brushless RC cars can hit speeds from 30 to 100+ mph, especially those designed for on-road racing. A lot of this speed potential is thanks to advancements in brushless motor technology and battery power.
  • Acceleration: Electric RC cars, especially those with brushless motors, are known for rapid acceleration. Their instant torque can give them an edge, especially in short races or when sudden bursts of speed are required.

Factors Influencing Speed

  • Weight: Electric RC cars tend to be lighter than nitro ones, which can influence speed. However, the weight of the battery pack can sometimes balance this out.
  • Maintenance: Nitro engines require regular tuning to maintain optimal performance, while brushless motors demand minimal maintenance. A well-tuned nitro engine can deliver top-notch performance, but if neglected, it can significantly hamper speed and acceleration.
  • Terrain: On smoother terrains like tarmac, electric RC cars might have an edge due to their rapid acceleration. However, on longer stretches or varied terrains, nitro RC cars might have an advantage due to their consistent power delivery.

Beyond Speed

While speed is a primary consideration, other factors come into play when choosing between nitro and brushless RC cars:

  • Run Time: Nitro cars can run as long as you have fuel, while brushless cars are limited by their battery capacity.
  • Sound: Nitro cars produce a realistic engine sound which some hobbyists love, whereas brushless cars are comparatively quieter.

Cost: Over time, the cost of nitro fuel can add up, whereas the main recurring cost for brushless cars is battery replacement after several charge cycles.