During 2020, Xpress updated their popular sport level chassis with the XQ2S. Whilst some may feel that they could of released a sport version of the mid mounted XQ10 instead. In my experience, the mid mount arrangement is quick, but tricky to drive hard especially indoors. A rear mounted car is a lot easier to drive. In keeping the rear motor configuration, this still allows the Xpress brand to cater for everyone from a novice to the experienced racer.
I got my hands on a new kit from Steve @speedrc.co.uk & got started
The build was roughly similar to the XQ1S. Please see my previous XQ1S Review (click to open) . For this article I will cover the differences in this kit from its predecessor. So let's dive in :)
|Click image to open Manual|
CHASSIS PLATES AND MOTOR MOUNT
The lower deck is exactly the same. The upper deck has been revised to benefit from the latest areas of flex development. There is a bridge which can be moved or removed completely to control the flex. There is an alloy bridge available which can give a firmer feel
Above the motor mount post, there is now a system to adjust lateral flex. You have 2 plastic bushings which are slightly different but basically give a fixed level of flex. You can swap it out for a ball bearing which allows movement of lateral flex.
Combined with the top deck, the motor mount has been updated & has a plate that runs across the mount to control flex on the lower deck
These now have the clearance needed to allow the diff to be moved high or low with the supplied diff outdrives.
There are now 2 holes on the upper bulkhead for the inner camber links to change the length for more or less camber gain.
They now incorporate a post that contours around the front wheels. The idea is that it prevents the tyre touching the bodyshell during hard cornering.
This prevents catching on the shell but also allows the bodyshell to sit flatter during cornering & stop catching on the track surface
LOW PROFILE SHOCKS
The shocks remove the spacer from the lower cartridge. You also get 3-4 hole pistons in the kit rather than 1-2 holes.
You generally run 3 or 4 hole pistons at most tracks.
STEERING & SERVO MOUNT
After extensive running of the earlier chassis us drivers would chose to mount the steering in the fixed position (On the chassis), rather than the floating steering (fixed away from the chassis, onto the servo plate). This would give a more precise steering feel, so for this new version Xpress have decided to remove the option completely.
I also added the optional alloy steering posts (XP-10494) as I found the plastic units give too much flex
These are a complete new design as employed on the XQ10. The shape has changed on both front/rear arms & are a harder material which gives a sharper feel.
The outer pins are 3mm thick & use grub screws through the hubs to secure them rather than a screw off the end of the arms. I also added the optional roll bar kit (XP-10326) as this will be used for club racing on carpet
Note: There is also an amendment to the kit in a separate bag. You need to fit 0.2mm shims on the rear arms to remove a lot of free play
SPRING LOADED BATTERY RETAINERS
My favourite update of the whole car! A modern way to deal with battery tweak caused by tape is to use posts that secure over the lipo. The idea is that you create a cage, but keep the lipo slightly loose. You allow the lipo to float within the cage.
Check out this great video from www.Tonisport.de for information on battery retention.
The posts that sit over the top are normally a couple of horns (normally carbon) that require an Allen driver to loosen/secure them in place. You may forget to tighten them up before a race which can cause the lipo to eject during a race.
The Xpress system has spring loaded posts that require no tools to use when fitted.
|The spring loaded mechanism.|
You just pull them upward then rotate 90deg to remove/ fit the lipo. A very simple but effective system. You get optional posts for different battery sizes
|Easy to operate.. excellent|
I liked the system so much I bought the retrofit kit for my XQ10! The only tip I would offer is that you should pre-thread the lower nuts as they are very tight to install.
Although they look similar to the previous kits, the plastic ball cups are now softer so are much easier to build and install.
ADDITIONAL UPGRADES / HOP-UPS
You do get a lot for our money with this kit, however there are a few upgrades that I thought were essential if I was to do battle with the other racers in the track test.
- Yeah Racing 5mm Alloy clamp hex hubs. Never been a fan of plastic hex hubs.
- XP-10334 Front DCJ’s. These eliminate chatter during cornering to allow smoother cornering
- XP-10494 Alloy steering posts
- XP-10326 Roll bar kit
For the track test, I will be racing indoors on carpet, so I fitted a Tamiya 51000 servo saver with 3racing alloy servo horn on my SRT BH8015 low profile servo.
I fitted my preferred electronics, put a basic setup on & hit the track!
Here are some shots of the finished chassis, the build was very easy and the instructions were nice and clear.
Bristol model car club has been finally allowed to re-open. We have to limit numbers to 20 races, but its still nice to be back on the track. I reused my Sorex tyres I used for a few runs before we were locked down again in October 2020
I did a practice session. The rear of the car has little traction & would over-rotate at every corner. I turned the steering lock down & reduced rear camber so all 4 wheels were equal as I thought the rear was pulling the car around
My main competition was using a modern Awesomatix competition spec car. Thankfully, the Xpress is very easy to drive, so I just tried to circulate to set a decent time.
The car was better than practice but still a handful & was clipping a few apexs due to the over-rotation. The motor also felt sluggish during the run. I fitted a smaller pinion gear & spoke to a few other racers, they were also experiencing slow/sluggish motors. Combined with the lack of traction, we felt it was down to the carpet. Having being stored for 8 months, the carpet has some damp which will be removed with laying out & being used every week.
For round 3, I changed to a more aggressive additive & the car was better, but still not perfect. I managed to take pole position. I just drove the final with no changes. I hit a few barriers & lost some time, but still took the win by a few seconds. For the next meeting, I will be fitting a thinner rear diff oil
The XQ2S is a great update of an already popular entry level race chassis. The revised design has pushed this Xpress chassis to be able to battle at higher levels of competition.
I really like the range of flex tuning that is available for the stock chassis, it allows a lot of adjustment from the start with no additional cost. The innovative battery retention made a fast flowing club night a breeze. No messing about with tape. If you are in a hurry, you just flip the tabs & its secure!
Importantly, the new XQ2S is priced similar to the previous model so you don’t need a big budget to buy a competent club level chassis. One of the other great things about this chassis, is that there are a lot of upgrades that will fit from the pro-version of this car.
Overall a great car, that I intend to race more in the coming weeks.