REVIEW – Drivers, start your engines! Ahh, those words that lead to high-speed excitement, the occasional crash, and a lot of left turns. If you fancy yourself an armchair racer, let’s check out the officially licensed Audi R8 LMS GT3 2019 from Creative Double Star and see if it has you saying, “Boogity, boogity”.
What is it?
This is a remote control car. Beyond the expected functions of forward, reverse, left turn, and right turn, the remote control can also control lighting on the car, two different sounds (engine and music), and a spray/fog function.
What’s in the box?
- R/C car – specifically an Audi R8 LMS GT3 2019
- Remote control (no AA batteries included)
- Battery for the car
- Cautions of Battery warning card
- Water dropped for spray function
- Charging cord with USB-A plug
- Screwdriver to remove battery door locking screws
- User manual
- Dimensions: 12.8″ l x 5.9″ w x 3.4″ h
- Weight: 14.7 ounces
- Frequency: 2.4GHz
- RC car battery: 3.7V 1000mAh Li-ion battery (included) – charger not included
- Remote control battery: 2x AA (not included)
- Operating time: < 80 minutes
- Charging time: about 120 minutes
- USB charging cable: Voltage 5V
- Rated power ≤ 10W
Design and features
This car is interesting, if for no other reason than the description on Amazon describes it as, “Remote Control Car, RC Cars for Adults”, yet the box proudly proclaims that it is appropriate for ages “6+“. So, it is an adult toy or a kid’s toy? Perhaps we’ll find some clues along the way.
The car itself is a plastic chassis with all of the “go” parts in it. Mounted on top, we find the Audi body – a molded plastic sheet. This is pretty typical with a lot of R/C vehicles as a means to reduce cost as well as provide some impact resistance. You’ll see that they have added some baubles, like the hood pins on the top. Do you see the side mirror? No? Here’s why.
When I opened the box, I noticed a rattle in the car. Then, this thing fell out. It appears that the glue on the back of the mirror mount dried up and it fell off, leaving the mirror dangling. I removed the mirror.
Here’s a couple of views from the back.
Overall, it is nicely designed with sponsor logos all over the place as well as prominent Audi badging.
See that hump in the back? That’s the “engine”, or at least where the engine would be in the real car. In this model, that’s where the water reservoir sits for the spray function. There is a rubber cover on the top that swings to the side to fill the reservoir.
Here’s a look at the undercarriage.
Let’s take a closer look at the details.
There is a steering trim dial upfront. In the event the car doesn’t track straight forward, you can dial in left/right adjustment. Mine tracked perfectly.
A little further toward the center of the car, we find the power switch encased in a silicone waterproof cover.
A little more toward the back, right in the center of the car, we see the battery compartment. Here is the battery. The connector is a two-prong deal with a small tang that locks it in place. It is not easy to connect the battery to the car, especially with the short length of the car’s side of the battery cable. The charging cable uses that same connector. It is hardly a kid’s folly to connect and disconnect the battery.
Once the battery is connected, you can close the battery compartment. Here we see the door in place and the swinging locks rotated into place. It is all very solid, again calling into question the usefulness of that screw that was in place. Of course, using that screw would make it much more difficult to open for a small child. Hmm…perhaps this is designed to be managed by an adult, but used by a child…
When you charge the battery, the end of the cable lights red while it is charging.
Let’s take a look at the remote.
There are four buttons, two joysticks, and an LED to indicate power. The left joystick controls forward and reverse. The right joystick turns the front wheels left and right. There are two buttons right below the power LED. The bottom one turns the remote power on and off. The top one turns on the spray function. There are two buttons at the very top of the remote. The button on top of the left side of the remote turns on engine sound or music. The right button turns on decorative LEDs under the body skin.
On the back of the remote, we see the battery compartment.
Again, this was initially screwed down. I do believe that is a safety feature to keep little fingers from removing batteries.
In my medium to large hands, I found the remote to be a bit on the small side, especially when compared to a typical drone remote.
Perhaps we’re seeing more clues about the intended audience for this car.
First, you need to purchase and install two AA batteries in the remote. Then, you need to find a spare USB charger and charge the battery for the car. I should mention that the battery doors on the remote and the car are screwed in place. They do include a small screwdriver to remove those screws. I’m not sure the function of those screws as I don’t plan to reinstall them.
Once the car’s battery is charged, you install that battery into the car, lock the battery door and get ready to race.
Let’s begin with what I consider to be a limitation. The steering control for the car is essentially on or off. When you push the joystick to the left or right, the tire turn completely to the left or right.
There is no subtle turning, it’s all or nothing. That is more of a “toy” design than an adult racer design.
Another thing to note – look at the bottom-left photo above. Look at the ground clearance. There isn’t any. This is designed for use of flat, and I mean extremely flat surfaces, like indoor hard floors. Anything with a texture of more than a millimeter or two will scrape. Does that sound like an adult racer or a kid’s toy?
Let’s look at some of the other features. Here is a look at the lighting. It is all concealed under the body skin and is best seen at night. In daylight, the lights are all but invisible.
Now, let’s take a listen to the start-up sound and music.
And finally, I’ve mentioned, there is a “spray function. To use it, you fill the included dropper with water and fill the tank on top of the car. Pressing the spray button causes the car to emit a cool fog, much like an ultrasonic humidifier.
I actually thought the spray function was kind of cool.
To test it out in a real-world situation, I went out to our street. Our road is paved with asphalt and that asphalt is well-aged, meaning that it is anything but smooth.
The first thing I did was run the car out until it stopped, meaning that it could no longer receive a signal from the remote. Pacing it off, I found that the range was somewhere between 250 and 300 feet, depending on which way the car was facing. I suspect the radio received is in the rear of the car as I can go away farther than I could come back. That’s an issue when you’re driving away as when you turn around, if you’re at the end of the radio range, the car will stop. Still, more than a couple of hundred feet is pretty good for a toy.
Here’s a video of the car coming back. You can see how it bounces on our less-than-stellar pavement.
Hmm…that doesn’t seem to be going very fast, does it. Let’s see if we can figure out how fast it is going.
As you’ll note from the less-than-athletic person in the video above, the car only goes at about a brisk walking pace, perhaps three to four miles per hour. Hardly a racer. Plus, you’ll notice that turning it is a little jerky, mainly due to the all-or-nothing control of the front wheels.
The bottom line is that this car is best used on very smooth surfaces, and probably indoors.
As far as being durable, this car has a couple of things going for it. First, since the body is made of a flexible plastic sheet, it should be quite durable. Second, since the car doesn’t go very fast, impacts should be non-events for both the car and whatever it hits.
What I like
- Fun visual design
- Spray function is fun
What I’d change
- Lighting could be better
- It could be faster
- The all-or-nothing steering makes it hard to control
After playing with this for a while, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is more of a kid’s toy than an adult racer. It’s slow and has only basic controls. But, it seems reasonably well-made, with the exception of the side mirror attachment, and in the hands of a kid, shouldn’t do much, if any, damage. Being able to screw down the battery compartment makes it that much safer for a little one to use. If you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive entry into remote controlled vehicles for your aspiring junior racer, this is worth a look.