FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Team Losi's First Ever 4wd Buggy
Friday, Dec 13, 2019 08:00am
By Mike Garrison
Everybody knows that Friday is meant for reminiscing old times. Each week we take you back in time as we flashback to some of R/C racing's greatest moments, products, drivers, and more!
For this week's Flashback Friday we travel back to 1997 for the release of Team Losi Racing's (TLR) first ever 4wd buggy - the XX-4.
After nine years in business, Team Losi released its first 4WD buggy - the XX-4. The car utilized a molded plastic chassis as the basis for its completely-sealed, three-belt drivetrain, and its long-travel suspension (compared to other buggies of its time) became the standard for 4WD buggies for years to come. The car was an instant success, winning the ROAR Nationals in prototype form, and finished 8th, 9th and 10th at its first IFMAR World Championship.
(Early XX-4 Prototype driven by Brian Kinwald - Photo Courtesy of VintageLosi.com)
(Photo's courtesy of Philippe Gross - PS93.ch)
Two years later, Jukka Steenari - who finished second at the 1997 Worlds while racing for Schumacher - drove the XX-4 to the IFMAR title in his home country of Finland. To celebrate Steenari’s victory, Team Losi introduced the full-option XX-4 Worlds Edition in 1999. A full array of graphite-composite parts included a new low-CG chassis, the motor mount had also been lowered, and other tuning parts were included.
(Jukka Steenari's Worlds Winning XX-4 Buggy)
The XXX-4 buggy was released in 2002, however, that would not be the end of the XX-4 buggy. Team Losi recognized that in some rare and extreme cases where the track surface is badly rutted and “blown out”, the remarkable suspension package of the XX-4 still offered a competitive edge. So by popular demand it was re-released as a “Limited Edition” graphite kit in 2005.
In 2005 major events were run on rough rutted tracks and the XX-4 ruled again winning both the European Championships as well as the last two rounds of the prestigious UK 4WD championship along with the 2005 BRCA Junior and Regional Championships.
(Ellis Stafford's 2005 European Championship winning XX4 - Photo Courtesy of oOple.com)
According to oOple.com, the car shown above that Ellis Stafford used to win the 2005 European Championship was not a re-released version of the car, but one of the original cars from 1999.
oOple stated at the time of the photos, "The car isn't very heavily modified but does have a selection of custom made, 3rd party and Team Losi option parts. The car uses LCD front drive shafts and BK Bones on the rear. Some custom parts have been designed and manufactured by Paul Worsley to improve aspects of the car. Trinity alloy parts are used in some areas."
The XX-4 was Team Losi's first 4wd buggy creation, and it proved to be a success for MANY years. It was the basis for multiple future models and conversions including the Worlds winning Street Weapon touring car, the Heavy Metal SC conversion truck, the Rally Weapon, and many of the original designs were still found on the XX-4 inspired 22-4 buggy released in 2013.