The WL Toys 124018 is a 1/12 scale off road 4WD ready to run radio controlled car with a desert-truck look. It shares over 90% of its parts with the hugely successful 124019 (and 144001) buggies but there are several key differences. In this article I'll dig in to the differences and why they add up to more that just the look of the car.
Before you go any further please look at my 124019 review here. Rather than rehashing the same detail here I'll just focus on the differences in order to keep focused so I'll wait here patiently while you read that first...
The desert truck look of this car is clearly different. Rather than having a conventional single piece vacuum-formed polycarbonate body that can quickly removed and fixed with a couple of body pins it is much more intricate - consisting of a plastic tube frame that directly screws to the chassis at multiple points with moulded, painted polycarbonate 'panels'. This means you cannot remove the body like the 124018 but you can fold back the cab which hinges and then fixes down by way of 2 body clips. There is enough room to take the battery in and out and turn the switch on an off but not a whole lot more. This is beneficial in that it is more effective in keeping water and dust out but conversely it keeps heat in (as I found out with my drop in brushless upgrade here). It also means that any maintenance will require than you remove over a dozen screws to access the inside.
As you may already know, the 124018 desert truck appears to be styled off the lesser-known LC racing EMB-DT which is also a long wheelbase variant of the EMB-1 in the same way the the 124018 is a long wheelbase version of the 144001. Personally I think it is the best looking buggy in the WL toys range but I must say having the "drivers" heads mounted so low makes them look like naughty kids joyriding in their parents' car.
The front (and rear bumpers are more substantial that the minimalist version of the 144001 and 124019. They don't offer better wheel protection out the site but they do extend higher and integrate with the body meaning that rather than hitting something and stopping like with the 124019 bumper, you are more likely to go over it - a notable improvement over the 124019. As mentioned there is a similar setup for the back which offers better protection for those of you how like to drive in reverse!
Wheels, tyres and sponge inserts are the same as those used on the 144001 i.e. a black version of those found on the 124019. Grip is still not great but wear is surprisingly good for such a fine tread pattern. On stock setup they aren't especially grippy but are very predictable on and offroad.
Tip1: you can remove the horrid clear coated decals with your solvent of choice and scotch pads.
Tip2: My favourite remo P6973 wheels look awesome on this car - you can read more about those wheels here.
This is where the biggest difference lies. Firstly, the plastic frame body integrates with the suspension towers front and rear meaning that when the body is removed, the suspension is disassembled as a result i.e. you cannot adjust suspension with the body off. This also makes it a little hard to compare the geometry directly with the 124019 but I'll do my best. There is a benefit though and that is that the shock caps are entirely protected by the body and so need no further protection which is a common point of failure when skidding along upside down on the 144001 and 124019
For the front suspension the mounting point is at the same place on the suspension arms but there is only a single mounting point on the shock tower compared to 3 options on the 124018. You'll also notice that the springs are a different colour to the 124019 and after some test I've found that they are a little harder. The screws caps are red like on the 144001 rather than the purple of the 124019 but like the 124019 they are shorter at the front (65mm) compared to the rear (70mm) unlike the 144001 which is 70mm front and rear
Rear suspension geometry is very different. Although the same shock absorbers are used (albeit with harder, red springs) the bottom mount rotates the mounting point 90°C so that the shock points front to rear rather than side to side. This means that the rear mount is a little more complex but more solid. This also means that the top mount has the screw facing outwards rather than to the front. All of this means that the suspension travel leverages the shock absorber more i.e. the wheels move further up and down for the same compression length of the shock absorber itself.
Bottom line is that this provides a longer and softer throw in keeping with this being more aligned with offroad use. Great for clearance and travel but in order to create the unique mount they have had to reverse the suspension arms as I did with my 144001 wheelbase extension mod. This creates 2 minor downsides:
When I first saw the WL Toys 124018 I thought it was just a cosmetic change for a different look and I thought it simply diluted the offering for WL toys. However, the deeper I have dug in the more I've found that these changes make it more suited to more offroad bashing than the WL Toys 124019 (and 144001). This is based on longer softer suspension, a body that keeps out dirt, dust and water a little better and can handle rolls and flips without damaging the shock absorber caps. It doesn't come without compromises through - you cannot run drop screws or sway bars in the rear, servicing is made more difficult and heat build up is worse.
Don't forget that the full drive train is identical and as such tuning and any upgrades like brushless power trains are applicable to both, just be aware of the more limited room available in the 124018.
In the end, you need to decide which of these factors and of course the appearance are important to you when deciding which one to buy. Or not - you can always be like me and order both 😅 (plus a 144001 for good measure).
I recommend Banggood for all my cars and parts, I find their shipping options very good and the best part is they ship worldwide. They sell the 124018 options with one or multiple batteries:
Hopefully you have found this article useful, I'm focusing on making my guides and testing more technical and exhaustive so the choice is made easier for you. If you purchase via the links here or on any of my pages I receive a small commission at no cost to you which is enough to help my cover my hosting fees and other expenses related to quadifyrc.com - thanks!