• RTR or Kit: RTR
  • 2wd or 4wd: 4wd
  • Shaft or Belt: Shaft
  • Electric or Gas: Gas
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Scale: 1/8
  • Length: 23″ or 585mm
  • Height: 265mm
  • Width: 17.5″ or 445mm
  • Wheelbase: 15.5″ or 395mm
  • Engine: 2.7hp GT15C 15cc 2-stroke engine with pullstart
  • Differential: Beveled Gear
  • Clutch: 14T
  • Driveshafts: Dog bones front and rear
  • Shocks: 4 Big Bore Sport Set. Plastic bodies and caps, oil filled
  • Weight: 15.6 lbs
  • Servo Saver: Steering Crank
  • Screws: Phillips
  • Bearings: Full set
  • Tires: Terra Pin Tires S-Compound
  • Battery: 2 x 5 cell hump packs
  • Part Number: # 109073
  • Runtime: 25+ Minutes on full take of gas.
  • Warranty: “Two year limited”

The Savage XL Octane has got a lot of torque. It gets that massive SAVAGE truck going very fast in the first gear, even allowing you to do a wheelie from a standstill.
The world has been waiting for almost 3 years since HPI Racing announced the Savage XL Octane, and that's a good thing, we weren't holding our breath because we were expecting it a little bit sooner. The Savage XL Octane is the first 1/8 Scale GAS(octane) monster truck to hit this the  radio controlled car market, and a lot of people are thinking if this will be the beginning of the turn from electric vehicles dominance to a full change in the market place. Should you start saving your cash? Is the next rc vehicle you buy going to be gas? 
What You Need To Complete: You will need gas mixed with 2 cycle oil (Oil included in box), gas can, battery charger for the internal batteries.

Build Quality: Out of the box we didn’t notice any issues with the Octane. Nothing was binding, shocks were filled, everything rolled smoothly.

Test Drivers: Brian, Wrench (Bill), Adam the Intern, Rick

Test Venues: Industrial Park, Local Street, Several Forest Preserves, and the Big Squid RC Secret Test Track Facility.

Set-up Notes: We ran the Savage XL Octane completely stock. We used Premium gas mixed with regular 2 cycle oil at a 25:1 Ratio. We also used a Duratrax 235 Dual Charger to charge up the included two battery packs. If you are in/from the US, you will need to break out those thinking caps to get your mixture right as everything is in milliliters.

Turning: We were pleasantly surprised at the overall turning of the truck. It was effortless to steer it any direction you wanted to go, and under just about any condition. From foot tall grass, to loose dirt and gravel, the steering servo had enough muscle to put the wheels anywhere you wanted them. Of course it’s a big heavy monster truck, so if you weren’t careful you could roll it and find yourself doing the walk of shame.

Jumping: The Savage Octane jumped well. While a lot of the weight of the truck is in the rear end, the truck normally jumped very straight. If needed, you could tap the brakes and bring the nose down, but bringing the nose up proved more difficult. Getting that heavy mass to rotate up just wasn’t that quick. Speaking of heavy, the truck weighs more than 15 pounds, and while the shocks were pretty beefy, there was little they could do when landing from some good size air. We found the truck bottoming out often on even the best of landings.

Bumps/Whoops: In the rough stuff, the truck was a champ. The heavy weight kept the truck moving quickly forward with little to no bouncing while the shocks ate up the bumps while doing all the work. Anytime we were in the dirt, the truck handled great.

On-Road: While off-road is obviously the place for this monster truck, on-road bashing happens. The octane had no problems giving us wheelies on command, and long stretches of road gave you an idea of the speed while you listen to the 3 speed transmission work it’s way through all the gears.

Grass: The Savage XL took on the tallest of grass and didn’t even blink. We were in plenty of un-mowed fields with grass often over 12″ tall and the truck mowed it down without a problem.

Tires: The pin tires handled well on dirt and in the grass. They are the same/similar tires as previous nitro Savage XL vehicles, but maybe with different foams? Our other Savage tires would balloon much easier, and didn’t have the same strength in side to side action as these did. That being said, I feel we would of been happier with something a little more blocky for all around bashing as these pins won’t last long with the type of abuse we like to give the vehicles.

Power: The Savage XL Octane has plenty of torque. It gets that massive truck moving pretty quickly in first gear, even allowing you to wheelie from a standstill. We joked that it probably had enough torque to pull Wrench across the grass when he was hanging onto the rear bumper when I bliped the throttle. That being said, it seemed like we always wanted just a little more. The truck needs to shift into second gear almost instantly as first is just to get you rolling. As it worked it’s way up to speed, you could see the look on the face of whoever was driving wishing it would just – get there – a little – faster. Our average speed measured by radar gun was 36 mph. This isn’t slow by any means, but in a world where similar sized electric and nitro vehicles can hit 50+ we were looking for more. If the top speed was 36 and it got there FAST, that would be ok, but it takes a bit of time to hit that top speed.

Radio: The TF-20E 2.4GHZ radio the truck comes with left us a little disappointed. Previous pack in Savage radios featured a drop down style wheel, foam, and felt good in your hand. For our almost $1000 truck after taxes, the radio seemed on the cheap side. It worked well enough, we didn’t have any glitching or distance issues, it just wasn’t as good as previous HPI radios.

The truck looks good. The wide body was liked by everyone, and it gave it a aggressive stance. It’s also held up very well to our week of abuse. With the body off, and just the cage, it looked equally as mean, leaving us to think of what other body styles we could run or make fit that would show off this look a little more.
We aren’t big fans of the ignition off switch or location. Just knowing you will eventually have a problem where you NEED to shut it down, a little red slide switch right above a fast spinning tire is no place we want to put our hands.
We are sure the two separate battery packs (one for servos and radio, the other for the ignition system) are there for a reason, but a one pack solution would of been nice. Not sure if that’s even possible though. This also leads to having two on/off switches. And while in your head, you know your supposed to shut off the red one first, it’s inevitable that someone, at some point will shut off the radio one first, and you better hope your fail safe is ready to go.
The brakes work very well for the size of this beast. We had no problem slowing down or stopping when needed.

The included body clips are a good size. Easy to attach and remove, too bad Wrench lost one of ours in the grass shortly after testing started. (He claims I wouldn’t let him forget.. so why not remind him here)
Previous Savages tended to eat diff gears for lunch until you got them shimmed perfectly, we haven’t experienced any issues with the Diffs on the Octane so far.

Overall: Congratulations to HPI for being first out the gate for this new genera of 1/8th scale gas vehicles. After announcing it almost 3 years ago, it was a close race to see who was going to make it to the market first. While the Savage XL Octane is now out the gate, we think there is room for improvements, and we hope to see lots of aftermarket support for the vehicle. As time goes on, we may update this review to include tips or tweaks we have found to work well.