There are perhaps two categories of rc vehicle: toy rc vehicles and hobby rc vehicles. Both are simply scale models of 'real-world' vehicles that are either electrically powered (EP) or nitro gas powered (NP / NGP). Most of the rc toy variety is EP, fueled by a rechargeable battery pack, whereas the rc hobby range can be EP or NP. Both categories are motorized and most are operated remotely using a wireless, hand held controller.
Toy RC Vehicles
These usually come readily assembled and are therefore 'ready to run' (RTR), straight out of the box. They are manufactured in large quantities and available in many retail outlets, both in store and online. However, they do not have the same appeal as hobby vehicles since they lack the obvious functionality and customization that the hobby vehicles possess. Nonetheless, they are still a great introduction for children and budding rc enthusiasts that are just starting out on their exciting rc hobby journey.
Hobby RC Vehicles
Hobby-grade vehicles are those usually bought at hobby retailers. These automobiles can be acquired as RTR, to completely disassembled kits requiring construction time and effort, before they are deployable. They are often upgradeable, customizable, have many more features than toy-grade, and are used in professional RC racing and other competitions. This range may be electric or nitro-powered.
The RC Vehicle Range
There is an rc automobile equivalent of most, if not all, 'real life / real world' vehicles. The following lists provide a summary of their diversity:
Land rc automobile include rc street cars and rc racers, buggies, jeeps and trucks, tanks, motorbikes and even rc robotics such as robo-dogs and robo-aliens.
Aquatic rc automobile include sailing boats, racing boats, cruise liners and other ships, hovercraft (that also run on land) and even submarines.
Aerial rc automobile include helicopters, alien craft / UFOs and even motorized balloons.
Focussing on the land-based rc automobiles now, here is a rundown of maybe the five 'neatest' rc cars on the market today, according to a review courtesy of bit-tech.
Fastest RC Car On The Planet (source: CastleCreations)
Schumacher Mi3.5 Streamliner – the world record is credited to Nic Case, with his rc vehicle exceeding a blistering 160 miles per hour. This surpassed Nic's previous world record, won three years ago with his 'Orange Bullet' rc car. No surprises then, to read that Nic has set himself a challenge to break the 200 miles per hour barrier.
Amphibious RC Tank (source: ThinkGeek)
This rc vehicle is impressive. It is an all-terrain craft that runs on Wheels over the most challenging of landscapes, or with its wheels off the ground when in amphibious mode.
Wall Climbing RC Car (source: AirHogs)
A lightweight and small rc vehicle, which belies its form with function, that is, its amazing ability to behave like Spiderman (the Spidercar?). It is akin to an anti-hovercraft in its modus operandus, in that it grips itself to walls and ceilings with its fan-driven suction power. Even the accompanying high decibel level still does not detract from its coolness factor.
Hydro Car (source: ScienceMuseumShop)
An rc vehicle that is hydrogen-powered, oh yes! Think back to your science classes at school, and you may remember that you can split water into its constituent elements, hydrogen and oxygen. The Hydro Car tops up its energy levels from this essential planetary resource (water) in a 'green' refueling station that is powered by the sun. There is still a downside – unfortunately, you cannot discard your regular batteries because they are still necessary for powering the remote!
Internet Controlled Car (Source: JBProjects)
This rc vehicle is Wi-Fi powered! It is kitted out with a Panasonic web camera that sends its signal to a remote laptop computer sporting a Linksys WRT54GL Router. The operating range is a satisfying 500 meters and more. The rc car can be of your own choosing, but the car featured is a very cheap buggy that was rebuilt specially for the desired functionality. However, the designer of the Internet Controlled Car has provided stepwise guidelines on its construction, allowing you the satisfaction of fashioning one yourself.
To wrap up, you can see that rc vehicles are always evolving and their range expanding. With such a diverse selection to choose from nowadays, you will never run out of rc vehicles to add to your collection.