The WL Toys 144010 is a brushless 4WD 1/14 scale RC Car. It comes ready to run (RTR) meaning that everything except 4 x AA batteries for your transmitter is included. My tests have shown this car to be extremely quick and I will share all of that information and more in this review. In addition to this I have also added a section for tuning tips and other RC cars to consider in this category.
WL Toys is a Chinese-based manufacturer of RC cars that has been really popular over the last 2-3 years because of the great balance of price, speed and handling. The 144010 I am reviewing here is based on the same car that was released back then but has had 5-6 rounds of iterations with multiple improvements since that have culminated in a very well rounded car. This latest iteration includes all of those improvements and the latest brushless power system from WL Toys making it extremely quick as well. In fact I'd go so far as to say that you cannot buy faster for cheaper. Below I will break down the main systems of the car and will then give you quantified tests results plus my own opinion and finally my recommendations. Grab yourself a drink or bite to eat and let's get started.
What's in the box?
This is a RTR (ready to run) car but only the bare minimum is included to hit a price point. Like price sensitive buyers I quite like this approach - it means I'm paying only for the parts I want.
A closer look at the car
For this section I will go more into the technical detail for the key systems for this car - electronics, motor and drive train, suspension, steering, chassis/body and wheels.
Electronics - I consider this to be the transmitter, receiver and ESC. You notice immediately that the transmitter has a gloss blue wheels that signifies this is the higher power model with better range, something you'll see me confirm in the test section - a good start. This signal is then received by the standalone receiver with 3-wire plugs meaning all electronics are discrete and easily replaceable or upgradable. Note the extra two servo ports are reverse versions of channels 1 (steering) and 2 (throttle) which makes this useful for use in other vehicles. The ESC is a Surpass hobby 60 brushless unit which is about for this car. It runs 2s stock but is capable of 3s although I would only run on 3s for speed runs and sparingly. The ESC uses 3.5mm bullet connectors for the motor and a t-plug (Deans) for the battery. Speaking of the battery it is a 2s 1500mah lipo which performs well based on past experiences. The included USB charger will charge your battery but is a bare minimum and I tend to recommend a better charger such as the ISDT 608AC as I reviewed here.
Quick note: I checked the ESC setting with my Racerstar programming card as reviewed here. Low volatge cutoff is set to 3.1v, start mode (punch) is set to strong, brake force 100%, reverse speed 25% and Neutral range 9%
Motor and drive train. This was the biggest question for me - would they use the 3400kv motor and 27t pinion from the Eachine EAT14? This made for a poor driving experience due to cogging. Or would they use the vastly improved 4300kv motor and 19t pinion from the 124017 V2? I'm pleased to say the latter. If none of that made sense to you then the motor and drive ratio they have specced this car still favours top speed over torque and long battery life but unlike earlier iterations of this car (see my EACHINE EAT14 review here) that it is not at the expense of driveability. The 19t metal pinion drives a well made plastic spur that sends power to the front and rear via a simple and efficient solid drive shaft, This delivers power to front and rear metal diffs via metal crown gears. Internal diff gears are metal and are shimmed for improved longevity. Metal diff cups drive CVD driveshafts in the front and dogbones in the rear to metal outdrives which spin the wheel with a standard 12mm hex which makes for great wheel compatibility. All rotating mounts have ball bearings from smoothness and efficiency.
Suspension. This WL Toys series of cars have always been known for the excellent shock absorbers but sadly have also been know for poor assembly, notably too much or too little shock fluid. I'm pleased to report then that my car had the perfect amount from factory which is consistent with the more recent WL toys cars I've reviewed, namely the 124019, EAT14 and 144002. If yours happens to have too much or to little fluid then I have a hand guide here on how to resolve shock absorber fluid level. All suspension and steering linkages are adjustable tierods which is good for tuning your setup. Suspension arms have proven to be reasonably tough and it's good to note that hinge pins (a weak point on previous cars) have been toughened here by swapping the pin for at M2.5mm through bolt and nylock nut. Suspension is definitely a strong point here and leads to very good handling.
Check out how well those dampeners work - no bounce at all.
Steering. Steering all starts with the servo which is a 17g 3 wire model on this car and it is the fastest I have ever seen on a stock car. Don't believe me? Take a look at the video below on the right. From there all linkages are adjustable and there are even ball bearings on the swivelling pieces making steering movements smooth and precise. This systems has seen no changes over the years because it has always been excellent.
Chassis and Body. The chassis is made of thick aluminium and based on my extensive experience with this range of cars has never seen real damage other the chips and scratches on the underside. The body is the same classic design from the original 144001 but with a palette swap which, in my opinion is the best that WL toys have ever released. These bodies tend to be pretty tough although the spoilers can get damaged with enough knocks. This plastic replacement from the LC Racing EMB-TG is a robust bolt on replacement option.
Wheels and tyres. Tyres are the of the new, more agressive pattern and are coupled with a medium soft rubber compound. The offer excellent grip on light off road. Grip is decent on asphalt and concrete as well but like most tyres on high powered cars like these can wear quickly. I'm not a fan of the writing on the rims but I know from experience that they are extremely durable. As mentioned earlier these wheels use a 12mm hex and so you have many other wheel options if you wish. Some of my favourites are the Remo P6973 (reviewed here) and the 1822 (reviewed here).
Stock tyres hook up pretty well in the dirt
In this section I'll share the results of driving the car which I've been at fairly solidly for the last 3 weeks since it arrived. I'll break it into sections of power, handling, durability and battery life to make it easier to navigate
Power and speed. This little RC Car is deceptively fast. On a smooth surface I managed 71km/h completely stock. That is just crazy for a car at this price. Sure, this car is specced with a focus on top speed but even then achieving this is just crazy. Acceleration is pretty good because the brushless motor is physically quite large for this car which means that even with the fast gearing it has enough pull to get the nose up.
It's not something I would recommend but for bragging rights this car will actually be able to hit 100km/h on a 3s battery on an otherwise stock car. Something like this CNHL 3s 2200mah would be perfect for this.
Handling. As mentioned in the overview this car has excellent suspension. The brushless motor is very light too and makes for very even weight distribution. All this adds up for a very predictable ride for both on an offroad. Since all of the suspension components are highly adjustable, it means that you can tune it for however your wish to run - onroad speed run, onroad bashing, offroad bashing, carpet track, dirt track. Even if you don't change anything it has good general handling, certainly better than anything else I've seen in this price range.
Durability. I'm not a hard basher, I don't enjoying trying to destroy my car at skateparks or off ridiculously high jumps, it's not my thing. I do enjoy offoad, grass driving and onroad though to give you an idea of where my opinion comes from. The car itself is well refined but simply because of the massive top speed you can expect to see breakages with this car. There is not a particular weak spot that needs attention, maybe the front hub carriers which are discussed here . I would never recommend this car to a first timer for this reason but it truly does reward a more experienced driver.
Battery life. I typically got around 10-15 minutes from fully charged battery to low voltage cutout on the ESC but this will vary greatly on how you drive and the surface you drive on. For example driving in grass will kill your battery faster than on smoother surfaces. This is certainly an improvement over the brushed version of this car that was so wildly popular but that is not necessarily high praise. If you want to skip forward to the tuning tips sections I'll discuss how to improve battery life further there.
Driving feel. Although I mentioned above that the handling on this car is very good I must make mention that I didn't like the throttle response. To be very clear there is no cogging - the 19t "V2" pinion takes care of that but there is a noticeable delay on throttle response even with receiver bound correctly, ESC tuned for maximum punch and minimum throttle dead zone (stock was 9%, I reduced to 6%). Now, this is not a big deal for speed runs and bashing but it is a little frustrating for precise control such as racing or drifting. Unfortunately this is just a consequence of building to a cost.
The WL Toys 144010 is a very fast car out of the box, in fact you cannot get a faster car for cheaper. This car is based on the outstanding LC Racing EMB-1 and has been through no less than 6 rounds of improvements. However, making a small car go this fast can have its drawbacks; namely durability and battery life. This is somewhat offset by the excellent handling though, which should help you avoid getting in to too much trouble. It is for this reason that I don't really recommend the WL Toys 144010 to absolute beginners nor to those that are wanting a rough basher out of the box- this just won't hold up given the speeds it is capable of. However if you are a little more confident of your driving and want something crazy quick out of the box then this may well be the car for you. Furthermore, if you like to tinker then there is probably no car on the market Chinese or otherwise that can be customised like this... speed runner, offroader, on road basher or even drifter - just so many options.
Definitely a great car to add to the list of available options. Keep reading to see more of my tuning recommendations and alternative cars if this isn't your cup of tea.
Having written over 40 articles on this range of WL Toys RC cars I'm in a fairly handy position to make some recommendations on free tuning tips and cheap upgrades that are worthwhile.
For my own car I already had the programming card and did the free tuning as above. I considered changing the Esc for something like this Hobbywing 10BL120 but will probably keep as it. If anything I might change to a 15t pinion as per this guide. This is because I have a preference for stronger acceleration and better battery life over top end speed but that is probably just me. TLDR: do the basic tuning and run it as is!
Alternatives cars to consider
The 144010 is super fast but not very durable out of the box. Here are some other cars to consider.
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