As a fan of both “scale” trail rigs and small-scale radio-controlled vehicles, any model that has those two qualifications is sure to grab my attention. This year has seen a rise in the number of detail-focused, smaller-scale off-road rigs. RC4WD’s 1/18 Gelande II and the 1/14 Thunder Tiger Kaiser XS started this movement, with the most-recent addition being the 1/25 Pro-Line Ambush 4×4.
Pro-Line sent one of these new models my way for a review and I have been steadily putting it through its paces. Both indoor and outdoor use appear to be perfect for this tiny trail rig, but how difficult can the terrain before the Ambush 4×4 starts having trouble? Now that I have a few trail trips under my belt, I have gotten a feel for where this vehicle excels and what areas give this tiny truck issues.
Unboxing the Pro-Line Ambush 4×4
Even in the box, this is a fun vehicle to look at. I’m a fan of well-packaged products and even though that isn’t an indicator of how an item will perform, presentation matters. The Ambush 4×4 packaging includes a molded pulp paper base that mimics rocky terrain. Not only is this help raise the visual appeal of the model, but it can also be used to drive on and over once the truck has been taken out of the package.
With this being a ready-to-run (RTR) model, everything you need to hit the trail is included in the box.
- 1 Pro-Line Ambush 1/25-scale vehicle
- 1 350mAH Lithium Ion battery (vehicle)
- 1 USB Lithium Ion battery charger
- 1 decal sheet
- 1 2.4GHz pistol-grip transmitter
- 1 wheel wrench
- 1 instruction manual
- 4 AA batteries (transmitter)
Pro-Line Ambush 4×4 Initial Impressions
- The build quality on this model feels very tight and durable. Given the small size, it would be easy to cut corners and not put as much attention to detail in place, but the overall thought and engineering that have gone into this model is very impressive.
- The throttle response, when switching from forward to reverse (and back again), leaves a longer pause than I’m personally used to. The reverse throttle “depth” that’s needed to move the Ambush also seems to require a deeper press than what I’d expect. Disclaimer: This may be a personal preference issue more so than a vehicle-specific nitpick.
- The price ($195.46) may be a gamestopper to some, but when you look at what has been put into this model, you can see that the cost is justifiable. From the attention to detail, the build quality, and the overall performance that the Ambush 4×4 offers, there was quite a bit of thought that went into the design and creation of this model.
- The suspension doesn’t offer much articulation or travel, but that doesn’t appear to hurt overall handling and crawling performance. The narrow width of this model can cause some sideways rollovers if you aren’t on solid footing, but in my initial tests, those have been scarce.
- The ability to shift between three speed modes on the transmitter has been a huge benefit. While most obstacles that I’ve attempted to drive over could be handled with the middle or high range, I did use the low range setting on a few occasions when the terrain was “extreme”.
As a scale R/C fan, I can see myself taking this rig on many more adventures for a number of reasons. The compact size makes it a perfect hiking companion or lunchtime diversion and the scale appearance gives it a great visual appeal.