1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - Next

The Team Durango DEX410 is possibly one of the most anticipated electric off road cars ever - going back several years to the original 'Durango' prototypes with their TC3 drivetrain parts and Schumacher CAT3000 suspension, these were highly sought after cars back then but you couldn't buy one even if you wanted to. 

Gerd Strenge poses at the 2006 Euros in Austria with his creation

No, it was just a handful of the best drivers in the world that were able to get their hands on the cars - and then had to give them straight back afterwards!

The drivers that piloted the car back then read as a who's who - Rheinard, Honigl, Amezcua, Pinisch, Pavidis, Hara, Drescher, Neumann, Easton - and others. 

Team Durango were able to achieve this level of driver purely because 4WD was in such a bad way with very little choice open to the drivers.  Team Associated drivers for instance had no 4WD chassis available to them - so some of the lucky few got to race the Durango.  Still, with some good success the general public never got anywhere near one of the mystical Durango cars, and it looked like things would never change.

Billy Easton pilots one of the 'Serpent' branded Durango prototypes - Worlds 2007, Japan.

2004 Durango - photo by Rainer Schwesig

The cars developed to the super-narrow design that was most well known, and most unique, with many machined alloy parts and a price tag that would be through the roof, if you could only buy one.  Serpent Racing from Holland teamed up with Gerd Strenge to develop a Serpent-Branded 4WD electric buggy based upon Gerds prototype cars, calling the car the S500. 

The car was a radical departure from the slab-sided hand-machined prototypes when it first saw the light of day at Nuremberg 2008, and seemed to hold nothing back in the quest to create the ultimate 10th off road buggy.  Unfortunately things went sour for Serpent as the economic climate disintegrated and the S500 had to be dropped to allow them to concentrate on their core business. It looked as if the Durango would again be cast into the shadows and never see the light of day - at least for the average racer.

Various drivers with their prototype Durangos.

Step forward a few months from those dark-dark times and with new investors, Team Durango were formed - Thankfully, the team rescued what they'd created, rebranding the car the 'DEX410' and setting about many months of refinement and testing - and the wait continues.

The first production kits arrived the week after the last round of the 2009 UK 10th off road national series - we managed to get one of the first in the country so here's our take on Team Durangos DEX410.

Before you even open the DEX410 box - you know you've got something a little different from the norm. The spot-uv (glossy logos on a matte background to you and me) on the top of the box gives a real feeling of quality - and must have cost a pretty penny.

Inside the box you're greeted with two huge baggies of parts- along with the body, chassis plate and manual. The manual is similarly treated to spot-uv lovliness front and back and is in full colours throughout - again, this can't have been cheap to produce. One of the two large bags contains all the build stages and is mostly metal parts, lettered and ready. The other of the two bags contains all the plastic parts used - which aren't bagged into the stages.

Kit contents
Diff oil and grease are supplied in the kit - some kits even come with threadlock but we're not sure where ours was.... :)

The build kicks off with the slipper assembly - this is pretty simple comprising a combined lay-shaft and slipper plate machined from steel - with an opposing machined hard-anodised alloy slipper plate sandwiching the 87t spur gear with Associated-style slipper pads. 

The slipper pads actually fit perfectly into the 87t Associated spur gear I tried, but in the Durango spur are a very tight squeeze.  Indeed, I had to jiggle the pad around to firmly press all sides into the recess in the spur gear - at which point you end up with a bulging pad either side as they strain to jump free.  Never mind - once the slipper is screwed together things are perfect.   An alloy nut clamps down on a hefty spring to modulate the slipper action whilst a grub screw stops the nut from spinning to ensure the setting won't change.


I'm not sure how much weight Durango have saved by machining the out-drives and slipper plates so intricately - but it all looks very cool indeed.  16g lighter than a Hot Bodies D4 Worlds slipper that we measured.

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - Next