RCCA Exclusive! Caster Racing USA Fusion EX-1.5R Factory Pro Buggy & interview
New from Caster Racing USA
This is now officially the best electric 1/8 scale on the market. After a solid year of testing by over 50 team drivers worldwide, every modification for improvement was thrown at the Fusion EX1R to create the 1.5r.
Want reliability and durability? Pillowball suspension and new driveline.
Want unlimited motor choices? Almost ANY brushless motor will now fit including 74mm length truggy motors.
Want excellent handling? Well nothing has changed as that has always been our best asset from day one, but since you asked, new towers, new ackerman, new top plate, new wing, new shocks, new gearing, new tire compound, new foams, new wheels (US version not pictured).
There are no more excuses for anyone to overlook Caster Racing as the best option for anyone who wants to race in the electric 1/8 class.
Everything has been looked at and improved.
Everything that is the best of the best from Answer to Xray has been used. Pictures do not lie and we do not exaggerate, mislead, overpromise, or under deliver since 2008.
The Best Electric 1/8 Scale on the Planet!
- Premium high-competition off-road electric-powered buggy
- Pro version only – for professional racers
- Based on the ultra-successful ZX1.5R platform, sharing a majority of parts
- Efficient Caster pillowball suspension for better steering
- Well-proven ZX1.5R suspension parts and geometry
- Ultra-low CG, all parts centralized in chassis
- Optimized front/rear and left/right weight balance for perfect jumping
- Pure racing design, highest-performance ultra-durable parts
- Ultra-lightweight high-tensile transmission parts.
- Drivetrain includes 22 high-speed rubber-sealed bearings for maximum efficiency, speed, and durability
- Ultra-precision front/rear and center diffs with ultra lightweight outdrives
- Optimized multiple shock mounting locations for front and rear towers and arms
- All aluminum parts made from Swiss 7075 T6 aluminum
- Flexible suspension holders with integrated preset optimal suspension geometry
- High-tensile Swiss 7075 T6 chassis designed specifically for electric
- Ultra-strong inboard & outboard captured hinge pins
- Font & rear anti-roll bars
- Narrow servo saver and steering system for bigger motor, yet maintaining balance
- Front & rear 7075 T6 chassis braces for additional strength
- Premium-grade 7075 T6 aluminum shock towers: 5mm extra-thick front & 5mm extra-thick rear
- Big-bore oversized 16mm shocks for excellent handling on bumpy tracks and big jumps
- Improved big-bore hard-anodized shock bodies
- Protective rubber shock boots for big-bore shocks, front & rear
- Ultra-modern improved plastic “space” racing body
- Premium Shock Oils and Diff oils are required
Below is an exclusive interview with Mike Mazza of Caster Racing USA:
RCCA: Hello Mike. We have heard through the grapevine that you guys are coming out with a new electric buggy? Want to elaborate?
Mike: “Well, it is true that we completely redesigned the fusion electric buggy. As you know, we were the first manufacturer to actually create an electric 1/8 buggy and truggy back in 2008. But being a small company, we didn’t get the attention we deserved for it, but we have been growing exponentially even in this economy. Back to the subject, we got input from over 50 team drivers all across the world on input on what we did right and what we did wrong for the car. The one thing that people need to understand is that we have always had the upper hand when it comes to the car being able to put down fast lap times. To be honest, I cannot recall anyone regardless of skill switching from any brand to a Caster and not seeing an improvement and that is a huge statement to be able to make. However, our car was a B+ car at the time. So we did some changes that we feel will propel this car into the spotlight.”
RCCA: Such as what?
Mike: “First of all, the biggest complaint was that it would not accept the castle 2200kv motors. Personally, I do not understand why someone needs such a powerhouse in an electric buggy, but we felt it was an issue. The most important part was that we had to keep all the geometry the same such as wheelbase, angles, adjustments, etc… so we had to narrow the front end to accommodate a 74mm motor. So that means that virtually any truggy motor will fit including the Tekin truggy series, the Castle 2200, etc…. We also moved the chassis brace to the other side of the front driveshaft to assure there were no more issues with the 36mm motors running a heatsink.
We also looked at everything on the market from Answer to Xray and decided we needed to make the ultimate buggy. We looked at bearings, we looked at lightened parts, we looked at carbon fiber and other exotic materials, everything was looked at, everything that we thought could be improved was improved, and we pushed ahead. For example, we decided to go with captured hingepins, lightened outdrives, new spiral cut gears, new driveline parts, new spur gear, and new driveline cups. heck, even the gaskets got changed and that is just the driveline.
As for everything else, we used to get complaints about our bodies being thin and fragile so we made a new more modern looking mold and found thicker lexan that is more impact resistant. We got complaints about the wing points digging into the dirt so we revised them to not be quite as aggressive, yet still retain the Caster look for our guys who make YouTube videos. We also reformulated the plastic compound for the wings and wheels for better durability. We got complaints about the foams so they got replaced. Chassis plate now covers the entire battery trays and is very electric specific, unlike everyone else. People also didn’t like the radio box so it got redesigned and moved. Of course, there were several other small changes that the team guys recommended that we put into the cars and those were all done also. I should also let everyone know we have a 1.5R nitro version and that we are not just an electric car company. Actually some of these changes that are not electric specific are in the new nitro buggy also.
But we did keep a lot of things the same. We knew the saddle pack setup was the obvious choice for several reasons. The biggest reason was balance of the car. There are several people who claim that the one battery pack setup is balanced, but none of them are unless the drivetrain is pushed off to the side. Of course, having the drivetrain at an angle does produce more friction, so that is something we chose not to do. We also knew that having 2) 7.4 volt packs also was a blessing in disguise for the 1/10 scale guys where they could drop in 2 of their battery packs and go and the 7.4 volt packs are much more economical, but at the same time, a person could run higher or lower voltage packs depending on the ESC they are using. You can put 11.1 packs in the trays as long as they are the same dimensions as the 7.4 hardcase packs for length and width. Height is adjustable on our trays.
We kept the 7075 aluminum and even added a few more aluminum parts, but do have a few made in the USA carbon fiber upgrade parts that will be available soon for the people who like carbon. We redesigned a few of the plastic pieces also such as the upper arms and wing mount.
We kept the pillowball suspension since they are an integr
al part of our handling and durability.”
RCCA: We have read in a forum that you said that your cars were actually better than some of the more common brands. Do you still believe in that statement?
Mike: “I honestly believe so. 2 years ago we had a sub-standard product and we created a forum and created a nationwide test program and began doing research. We tallied every part that failed and every issue that customers and team guys came across and went to work. My goal from day 1 was to be the next Xray and I publicly announced it. I got made fun of, called a dreamer, called insane, etc. but it was nice having such a high goal. The thing that was funny to me was that we were so focused on fixing our problems that all of the sudden, we noticed that everyone else was having their own issues. We were checking off issues as solved while some of the other big players were still having them. I honestly believed that our cars were not any good and that everyone else never had a diff issue or had plastic break or have issues with ESCs and so forth. I was naive and it made us 100 times stronger as a company as a result. I will not say that our cars are perfect, but I have no problem challenging anyone in any form of comparison with the new car. Name the contest…fast lap times, parts breakage, price, value, quality, customer service, support, information. Our owner’s manual is still being revised so that is our Achilles heel for the moment.”
RCCA: What else is going on in the Caster world?
Mike: “Well, we have a 4wd 1/10 buggy coming in the next 3 months and our 1/18 has had more success than we expected. I didn’t like it at first, but after seeing the competition, I knew we had a winner on our hands and the word is starting to get out on those also. It is funny because we have a pro kit and a rtr kit for those. We did have an issue with the servo, but now have a better one and we have an upgrade one that is all metal gears.”
RCCA: When are you announcing the new 1.5R?
Mike: “Well technically, I guess we just did with you. The first batch is literally in the air between here and Asia so they are not quite available for sale in the US yet. But I do challenge everyone to honestly look at the pictures and consider buying the car. It will not let you down and it is literally at a different level than the Casters of the past and we have built a great reputation over the past 2 years as a US company.
RCCA: Finally, on your website you have this listed as $100,000. Really?
Mike: “On the Caster USA site? It is what we do occasionally when we have a new product that is not quite available for sale. It is more of an identifier for the programming side to notice for going back in for actual shipping weight, adding more pictures, double checking the inventory, and everything else that might need to be revised or looked at. I assure you that the street price will make it a great value in the marketplace compared to the competition.”
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