Axial released the Wraith with much hype in May of 2011. At the time, RC enthusiasts didn't know exactly what to expect. Since that time, however, it has been tried and tested in a wide variety of terrain, which has made it easier to tell exactly what this RC car can do.

Vehicle Performance
Axial describes the Wraith as a rock racer. In effect, the Wraith attempts to mimic the functionality of dedicated RC rock crawlers, while maintaining the speed of racing trucks. Its 20-turn motor allows it to reach decently high speeds, while 3.5 inches of clearance and solid axles allows for light to moderate rock crawling.

Because it's not quite a racing truck and not completely a rock crawler, the Wraith finds itself in a sort of no man's land between the two. The features that enhance the Wraith's at-speed capabilities, like increased length and width, hold it back as a true crawler. On the other hand, its high center of gravity and solid axles that are helpful when crawling make it more prone to flipping at high speeds. In short, the Wraith is excels at doing a wide variety of things moderately well, but it's not exactly a specialist vehicle.

One of the most interesting aspects of the Wraith is its gorgeous aesthetic. The chassis is realistically proportioned and constructed of five pieces of Lexan bolted to a strong full tube frame. Not only is this chassis a good-looking piece of engineering, it also adds durability and helps protect the internal components of this RC rock crawler.

The tires on the wraith are great for general off-roading. Large lugs provide good grip in loose terrain, and the wide diameter of the wheels means they can climb over small obstacles with no problem. The tires are also fairly soft, which adds traction when you're doing more intense crawling.

Except for a fully enclosed receiver box, the Wraith is not waterproof. While its chassis protects most of its components very well, and it's certainly not going to balk at a puddle or two, it's important to consider this as you search for an all-terrain radio controlled car.

The Wraith is an RTR (ready-to-run) vehicle, which helps to make it accessible if you're just getting into the hobby. This means that it comes completely assembled (aside from the battery) and requires no technical knowledge to get started. If you're a little more confident in your RC knowledge, Axial also offers a kit version so you can build it according to your own preferences.

Remote Features
The remote included with the Axial Wraith is a 2.4GHz pistol grip transmitter. Squeezing the trigger causes the Wraith to move forward, and pushing the trigger away will put on the breaks and cause the Wraith to reverse.

 It has two channels, so you can drive your Wraith with a friend without worrying about the signals getting mixed up. It includes a servo-reversing switch, trim dials and an indicator light to let you know when your batteries are running low. Batteries aren't included with this model, so make sure you pick some up with your Wraith.

Help & Support
The support offered with the Wraith isn't the most comprehensive. According to Axial's website, the Wraith's warranty covers defects in workmanship or materials when it's new, and there is a 10-day warranty for electronics. Even by RC car standards, this warranty is quite limited. Other companies offer between 30 and 90-day warranties. Despite its short warranty period, Axial provides a good number of instructional documents as well as a FAQs section that will help answer any questions you have. Like most manufacturer's, Axial also provides a contact number if you fail to find an answer in the available resources.

Overall, the Wraith is a solid option if you're looking for an eye-catching vehicle that can tackle a little crawling, but can also maintain decent speeds off the rocks. You should be aware that it makes some compromises in order to achieve this versatility. Dedicated crawlers can tackle the rocks much better, and most other RC trucks are more stable at higher speeds. Few, however, can do both as confidently and with as much style as the Wraith does.

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