Team Losi Racing 22X-4 Elite Review: Is It Worth It?

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RChobby Lab Profile Picture Ted Dulles
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Reviewed by Kristen Ward
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Reviewed by Kristen Ward

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Hey RC fans, welcome back to the channel! I’ve got something a little different for you today – it’s not a basher or a crawler like you usually see here. Instead, it’s a high-performance four wheel drive electric competition buggy. I’m pumped to show you this race-ready rocket and put it through its paces on the track.

The car in question is the freshly released Team Losi Racing 22X-4 Elite. This successor to the 22X-4 race buggy comes loaded with over $130 worth of option parts that the pro teams use for enhanced performance right out of the box. From updated suspension and steering geometry to advanced differentials and a lightweight body, the 22X-4 Elite looks poised to dominate the competition scene.

Let’s head over to the workbench for a closer inspection before taking this speed demon out to stretch its legs!

Unboxing and Assembly of the 22X-4 Elite

After two solid days of intense building, my 22X-4 Elite sits completed before me. As expected from TLR, the instructions were clear and the parts all cleanly bagged and readily accessible during construction. The carbon fiber and machined aluminum components feel suburb in terms of quality and fitment too.

I’m especially impressed by the finish on the shock towers – the edges of the carbon fiber are smoothly beveled with no need for me to break out the sandpaper. It seems no detail was overlooked in the refinement from previous iterations.

While the 22X-4 Elite may share some DNA with its forebears, plenty has changed under the skin. Let’s dive into the laundry list of enhancements:

Included Hop-Ups for Enhanced Performance

As mentioned earlier, the “Elite” distinction means this latest 22X-4 iteration ships with a heap of option parts pre-installed that used to require separate purchase. We’re talking around $130 worth of goodies!

Here’s a taste of what now comes as standard:

  • Low profile lightweight body
  • Front and rear carbon fiber wings
  • Updated front and rear shock towers
  • Floating servo mount
  • Ti-6 aluminum hardware upgrades
  • Aluminum shock caps
  • Metal internal differentials

Of course, you’ll still need to supply electronics, a battery, wheels and tires, paint and finishing touches to get the 22X-4 Elite track ready. It is a kit after all. But with the hop-ups taken care of, you can concentrate budget and effort on the rest.

Now let’s explore some of those included upgrades in more detail…

Refined Suspension Geometry

On the front end, an all-new shock tower with extra camber link and shock mounting positions enables enhanced adjustment of roll center and tweakable handling traits. The composite suspension arms, aluminum steering knuckles and updated ackerman geometry complete the front end revisions.

Out back, TLR likewise baked in more shock tower options than before for increased tuning capability. I’m also digging the aluminum clamping hub caps which let you accurately set toe and camber. The advanced suspension leverages sharp steering while retaining stability through high speed sections and jumps.

Bleeder-Style Oil Shocks

All round, the suspension gets pumped up by TLR’s latest bleeder shocks. They incorporate pre-load adjustment clips for reduced binding risk compared to threaded bodies. The aluminum caps have a smart design that lets air escape while filling too. And I can confirm the seals stayed leak-free even bashed at speed over the rough sections!

Lightweight Chassis and Battery Mounting

The 22X-4 Elite keeps mass centered and low thanks to the 5mm thick 7075 aluminum chassis plate. But it’s the new battery mounting setup that really caught my eye.

Gone are the old front-to-back battery straps. In their place are clever swing-out carbon fiber side plates with two height options for the retaining posts. Whether running shorty packs or standard sticks, it’s now a cinch to swap batteries while retaining sturdy security.

Beefed Up Drivetrain

On the subject of secure, the driveline upgrades inspire confidence that the 22X-4 Elite can handle some punishment. The differentials for example include metal gears, cross pins and ring/pinion teeth along with beefy ball bearings.

The driveshafts equally impressed me with their CVD style cups that smoothly articulate while keeping things aligned. Speaking of alignment, the adjustable aluminum motor mount with sliding capability is the cherry on top of a rugged race-ready powerplant.

That covers some of the more notable hop-ups baked into this “race replica” buggy straight from the TLR factory. Next I’ll share driving impressions from its first few packs. How does all that hardware translate to handling and durability? Read on to find out!

Pounding Laps at the Track

I couldn’t wait to unplug this beast, so I headed over to break it in properly on the demanding turf track at RC Madness. After getting acquainted with the 2S power delivery and dialing in the feel, I managed to shoot some backyard laps to give you a taste of its capabilities.

Agile and Responsive Handling

Straight away I noticed the 22X-4 Elite has distinctly sharper front end response compared to my old, more ponderous 22 2.0 race buggy. The steering took minor input adjustments instead of arm wrenching to change direction.

Despite having boost to spare from the sensored 13.5 motor, I felt comfortably in control blasting from corner to corner. The typical nervousness of a high grip track didn’t manifest, just smooth, planted traction.

Only on the third battery did I experience some oversteer coming hot into a hairpin, likely from the rear end rolling more than ideal. A tweak of the droop screws and perhaps stiffer sway bar should dial that in.

Jumps and Bumps

Given the pedigree of past TLR buggies, it’s no shock that the 22X-4 Elite handles jumps and rough sections well. I did experience a few clumsy landings when hitting kickers at less optimum angles. However the suspension soaked up everything the turf track threw at it from whoops to gaps.

Again, the missing setup tweak for my conditions reared up with too much rear squat, making the buggy sit back slightly on jumps. Despite less than perfect landings though, I didn’t experience any parts breakage or issues. Proof perhaps that the 22X-4 can take some licks while racing hard!

Consistent and Quick Lap Times

After getting reacquainted with four wheel drive performance, my lap times rapidly dropped over just three packs. The abundance of traction lets you carry serious speed through corners. Tuning will unlock another level, but even with a baseline setup the 22X-4 Elite proved quick and unflappable lapping at pace.

The only downsides I noticed were slightly binding rear CVDs and increased motor temperatures exceeding 160 degrees (F). The cool breeze likely wasn’t helping the temp readings, but more gearing experiments are needed.

All in all though, for a first run, I came away mighty impressed with the refinements found in the 22X-4 Elite. Next I’ll cover final thoughts back at the RC shop before closing out this in-depth review.

Final Impressions and Recommendations

With testing wrapped up, my stoke level remains high for the latest iteration of TLR’s championship-winning race buggy platform. It truly feels like an enhanced evolution in essentially every area. The proof as they say is in the pudding – and the pudding tastes pretty darn sweet after pounding numerous battery packs.

Let’s recap the key positives and negatives based on my experience so far.

Driving Dynamics

On the handling front, the nimble and planted feel stood out immediately, backed by the dialed suspension and spot-on geometry. I also appreciated how the buggy soaked up track imperfections without drama.

The speed and precision took minor adjustments to get comfortable, but the 22X-4 rewards driving it smoothly with insane consistency. I have zero doubt that tuned properly, it would churn out lap records with ease.

Build Quality

As expected from the TLR factory, everything went together without issues aside from slightly tight rear CVD pins. Otherwise the kit proved well engineered. I especially liked touches like the beveled carbon pieces and pre-mounted wings/body that removed finishing hassles.

All hardware and ball studs felt properly beefy for racing punishment too. And it survived my novice RC driving with only cosmetic battle scars so durability checks out!

Value Proposition

With $130+ worth of hop-ups included that used to demand extra purchase, the 22X-4 Elite offers standout value for money. The price tag seems more than fair given the polished package ready for podium chasing that shows up at your door.

As a bonus, should you desire even more tuning potential, the dual motor mount and battery position options baked into the chassis allow for easy tweaks down the road.

Areas for Improvement

No product is truly perfect though, and I did observe a couple niggles on the 22X-4 Elite that deserve mention:

  • The rear CVD drive pins bound slightly during assembly and may indicate minor manufacturing tolerance issues. Further break-in may resolve it, but worth monitoring.
  • Even with a cooling fan directly mounted, motor temperatures crept worryingly high. Additional gearing experiments are needed to see if that improves.
  • Shock tower protectors would be a welcome accessory given their vulnerability while flipping off jumps.

However none of those gripes proved deal breakers so far. I’ll be sure to report back on their status as more packs get run through this awesome race buggy!

Who is the 22X-4 Elite For?

In case it’s not painfully obvious yet, I’m thoroughly impressed by the 22X-4 Elite package. The refinement over prior TLR platforms makes this the clear choice for both upgraders and newbies entering competitive RC.

Thanks to the hop-ups pre-installed and multi-option parts like the adjustable chassis, it can capably fill multiple classes like club level racing all the way to trophy chasing at big events. And the tuning potential means skilled drivers will appreciate peaking every last ounce of performance too.

At the end of the day, if you crave four wheel drive action that’s decisively quick yet predictable to drive at the limit, the 22X-4 Elite deserves a spot at the top of your wishlist!

As always, feel free post any questions down below about my experience with this rad new race buggy from TLR. And don’t forget to smash those “like” and “subscribe” buttons to unlock more RC content coming your way soon!

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Written By Ted Dulles

I'm Ted Dulles, an avid RC hobbyist extraordinaire! My passion for the world of remote-controlled (RC) models ignited in 2018. Just a year later, fueled by this passion, I took a bold step and opened my own RC shop in California. I have a deep fascination with all kinds of RC models – be it cars, planes, or boats. I'm always eager to take on new challenges and absolutely love the thrill and excitement that come with this hobby.

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