Please note this article is a preview with my thoughts on the newly announced WL Toys 124019 and WLTOYS 124018. I do not yet have one in my hands (one is ordered for delivery November 2020) so my thoughts are based on the specs and images online plus my in-depth knowledge of the WLTOYS 144001.
Update! Link to my full in depth review with some unexpected improvements to the 144001 is now live: WL TOYS 124019 REVIEW - ALL OF 144001 IMPROVEMENTS THAT NO ONE HAS MENTIONED
The 1/14 scale 144001 has been a hugely successful model for WL Toys and has taken very strong "inspiration" from the excellent LC Racing EMB-1. Off the back of this success WL Toys have announced the release of the 124019 and 124018 which is an extended wheelbase version of the 144001 and claiming it as a 1/12 scale. Again strong "inspiration" from LC racing who released the LC12B1 which is an extended wheelbase version of the 1/14 scale EMB-1. In this article I will cover off the obvious differences, the less obvious differences and the benefits and disadvantages over the 144001. I'll then finish off by talking about suitability for upgrades and a little more specifically about the 124019 desert buggy
In order to extend the wheelbase there are four key new components - a longer chassis, a longer 4wd drive shaft a longer top deck and a longer body shell. In total this stretches the wheelbase out by 46mm, track and other dimensions remain the same.
Cosmetically the prepainted body has new colour and sticker scheme and as a side note the stretching is done here through and extension of the body BEHIND the cabin meaning there is still not a heck of a lot of space for electronics which is not a big deal as you'll see later. Additionally the wheels are white with the same nonsensical text now in purple and shock absorber caps, rings and seals are now anodised purple to complete the look. Lastly it looks as though the shock towers are anodised gold but are the standard pressed rather than upgrade moulded design. Get a better look at all the cosmetic differences on the product page here
Less obvious differences
The battery is bigger and is most definitely a lipo judging by the images available. 2200mah is approximately 50% more in capacity that the stock 1500mah battery off the 144001 so should offer better run time and more peak current available.
One thing I really like the look of is the top plate and resulting electronics layout. Since th 144001 uses such a big motor for the size of the car, it forces the ESC unit above the top deck which they had to place a drop down section in for the 144001. This compromises the torsional strength of the deck and it means you cannot fit a 3s battery in cleanly - the drop down section makes it too low. Now with the extra chassis length, the 124019 and 124018 do not need the drop down because the ESC fits neatly between motor and servo. As well as undoing the negatives of torsional weakness and 3s fitting above, it also means the weight distribution is much better - the stock 144001 did struggle a bit with rear bias which is why my 2838 brushless motor upgrade improved handling so much in the 144001.
Advantages and Disadvantages on the 124019
The advantages of a longer wheelbase car in general are well documented and include:
Potential for upgrades
In short this looks like a better option to base upgrades off. The extra length will allow for the fitment of even large brushless motors and ESCs like this cost effective one I reviewed without having the raise or change out the body as you need to do on the 144001. I also think that this will be better suited to a larger brushless motor upgrade compared to the 2838 size I recommend on the 144001 because of the better weight distribution. Something like a 3000kv 3650 brushless like this surpass brushless ESC/motor combo could be a good choice for bashing.
For speed runs this should be MUUCH better - the ability to fit all the gear under the stock low profile shell should make it better for aero and the extra length should help cooling but most importantly help with straight line stability. If you are a real animal you could probably shoehorn in something with a long stator in like this 3674 motor. Yikes.
In terms of looks I think this car could do with larger wheels with a smaller offset (i.e. wider track) to make it look less stretched - something similar to the LC racing EMB-TG (see below) which also has a longer wheel base and larger 1/10 scale wheels. This will be something to experiment with when I get it as it is hard to guess at when not holding it in real life.
The LC racing EMB-TG truggy also uses a similarly stretched chassis and makes use of 1/10 scale sized wheels which seem to be better proportioned compared to the stock wheels
A note on the 124018
My discussion has centred here on the 124019 buggy version but there is also a 124018 Desert Buggy look. Everything mentioned above also applies here but I'll offer my closing thoughts on what makes it different. Cosmetically the colour theme is similar to the 144001 with black wheels and red anodised shock caps, colours and rings. The guts of the car are accessed via a flip top lid which make it harder to access everything easily.
Functionally it has a front and rear bumper that offers better protection and is similar in appearance to those found on the LC racing EMB MT. The rear spoiler also looks to be made of injection moulded plastic rather than thermoformed polycarbonate which should be stronger although the weaker 2-point mounting makes me a little nervous.
Lastly the rear suspension geometry is quite different, Top mounts are much further forward to give the right look for this style of car but means there must be a lower suspension linkage that moves in 2 dimensions which could potentially a weakpoint but purely speculative at this stage.
Well that about wraps up my preview of this new car which builds (rather safely) on the 144001 albeit as LC racing did with their 1/14 4wd platform. I think it is not such a different car to think that it won't compete with the 144001 but for RC nut like me I can see interesting and unique use applications where this will be a better option than the 144001. Good news it that parts support is very strong. Both of these new cars are available at Banggood on pre-order below.
For a limited time I have an exclusive QuadifyRC discount code for 12% for these cars on preorder. Code BG124019 will get you 12% off the 124019 buggy above making it $102.
Code BGWL124RC will get you 12% off the 124018 desert buggy making it $105
At time of writing these are the best discount codes available.
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