By Mike Garrison
Team Losi Racing made a spectacular debut of their forthcoming 22X-4 1/10 4wd Buggy at the recent IFMAR World Championships, where Dakotah Phend would finish 2nd overall. As TLR fans anxiously await the release of this new 4wd buggy, we take this opportunity to flashback to the release of the 22-4 platform and its successes.
(Dakotah Phend driving the XX-4, released in 1999, at the 2012 ROAR Super Nationals)
The TLR 22-4 was released a decade after the previous model, the XXX-4 Graphite Plus (released in 2003). The 22-4 was a new buggy, but looked very familiar to some, as it stepped back in time to before the XXX-4 platform and combined many of the design features found on the popular XX-4 buggy released in 1997.
(Top - Jukka Steenari's IFMAR Worlds winning XX-4. Bottom - TLR's 22-4 buggy.)
(The TLR 22-4 debut at the 2013 IFMAR Worlds in Chico, California)
Much like the 22X-4, the original 22-4 was also debuted at the IFMAR World Championships where Dakotah Phend would finish eighth overall.
(2013 Horizon Hobby TLR 22-4 Preview and XX-4 Comparison with Todd Hodge)
"Taking inspiration from a number of past and current TLR® vehicles, the 22-4 kit represents a refinement of what has been one of the most popular Team Losi Racing cars ever, the XX-4. And we've found the lineage between the XX-4 and the 22-4 is hard to miss. Some of the things that are instantly recognizable is the triple belt setup, forward-positioned center-mounted motor, saddle pack battery and more. From the 22-series you will recognize things such as super-beefy molded components, titanium carbonitride components, an HDS slipper clutch and big-bore top-filled shocks. In the end, the 22-4 has been designed from the ground-up to take everything drivers loved about the XX-4 and improve the drivability and durability, and update it for the latest-generation batteries, motors and race tracks." - Team Losi Racing (2013)
The 22-4 would go on to finish 2nd place at both the 2014 and 2015 ROAR Nationals, where the team continued to develop, improve, and tune the platform with new options, modifications, and parts.
Three years later in 2016, the updated 22-4 2.0 buggy was released. The new buggy featured the same belt system drivetrain, however, included unique gear differentials, revised suspension geometry, and multiple other new tuning options and tweaks. The 22-4 2.0 would go 1-2 at the 2016 ROAR Nationals in Omaha, Nebraska as former TLR driver, Ryan Maifield, took the win with teammate Dakotah Phend taking second.
(Ryan Maifield on his way to an overall win at the 2016 ROAR Nationals after winning A2 and A3.)
While the existing 22-4 platform has seen a large amount of success, including a National Championship title, sources tell us the new 22X-4 is "nothing like the 22-4" and is "built from the ground up" with a shaft driven design. The new buggy is also said to have a more similar "traditional style" chassis design and layout as seen on other 4wd buggies on the market, as opposed to the very different 22-4/22-4 2.0 chassis layout and design.
While the official release date of the all-new 22X-4 is unknown, it is said that the buggies seen at the IFMAR Worlds were actual production cars - meaning it won't be long.
Stay tuned as we anxiously await the arrival of the next generation TLR 4wd buggy coming soon!