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I got an early chance to drive the X-6 of team driver Dan Greenwood at the F345 finals.  I ran the X-6 in the final and got similar lap times to the b4 I have run for years.  The problem I found was I ended up turning in too early and trying to throw the car around corners – which just isn’t necessary with the X-6, but laptimes were pretty much exactly the same as my B4. I definitely felt I could have got more from the X-6 with more time.

For the review I took the car down to the brand new CML Raceway in Southern England.  The surface is a mix of astro turf and asphalt with some large jumps which require a degree of skill to complete.

The weather on the late October Sunday was fine and sunny, but previous nights rainfall had dampened the astro turf – which would not dry out all day.   This meant that there never was much traction.  The low traction was coupled with the fact that this is a brand new track that not many people have even been to before – so tyre choice was a very hit and miss thing.

I took the X-6 out in practice and was scared by how easily the back end would come around.  I was suffering from a lack of steering and trying to ‘throw’ the car into the corners like I would my B4.  The X-6 really didn’t like this and the back end would come around before I even knew about it. I used a fellow racers B4 so I knew it was slippy for everyone.

Part of the problem was the tyres, the Proline Bowties I was using on the rear had good straight line traction but little side bite in the wet conditions, and I think everyone found the same. Different driving style needed!  Ah yes. 

Ellis Stafford, Xfactorys newest team driver – gave me some useful setup (and driving, ahem) advice to get the car to perform better.
Firstly I changed the front tyres to some step pins from the wide proline ribs (which everyone was under-steering with).  I ended up putting 25-degree hub carriers on the front instead of the usual 30’s to hold onto the corner better.
The other big change I did was to raise the rear gearbox height, as Ellis said this would give better traction.

The track has a lot of jumps and I gave the X-6 some brutal testing.  I managed to crack the front kick-plate addition to the main chassis.  This got worse during the day and I passed the part on to Ellis so he could in-turn pass it on to Chazz to see if there was a problem.
I ended up qualifying fairly poorly, 8th in my final.  The track was actually wetter in time for the finals due to the temperature dropping slightly.  The X-6 was, by now, a lot better than it had been earlier.  I easily threaded my way up to 2nd, turning inside people on the corners and eventually finishing 3rd.

Initially I thought the lack of grip was down to the car, but driving other peoples cars felt similar with quite low traction for everyone.

I was happy with the car by the end of the day, the help I got from Ellis certainly helped and the car did feel a lot better for a few small changes.

I took the car for its second outing to the Indoor North East regional at Batley Buggy Club. The surface was a mix of fairly high traction carpet, and very low traction polished floor.

One of the most demanding areas on the track consisted of a jump - landing onto a long mat section, which if you have not seen it, is very rough indeed. Here I could make up distance on other cars - the X-6 just looked and felt so confident and planted.

The long straight was carpeted but ended with a sudden chicane on the polished floor. This was harder to manage and the car tended to prefer to slow right down and be driven around this very slippy area rather than pushed hard and slid around the corner. A combination of setup help from Stuart Wood and others, combined with a slightly less agressive technique made this section a lot better as the went on.

There were some areas of the track that the X-6 wasn't 100% - a definate lack of setup time is to blame I feel. The car did get better throughout the day, partly with setup and partly the driving - as I learnt to push the car harder and find its limits.

There is certainly a lot more to come from this platform over the coming months.  As people learn to setup and drive this car, the benefits of its design will come to the front.

The quality of the parts is high and the car goes together well.  The manual is good, though a couple of parts seem a little back to front.

The servo mounting could be a lot easier than it is.  As previously mentioned, I believe the chassis are to be slightly altered to remove some material so less / no work is required depending on servo type.  But it would have been such a nice build without this step.

I cracked the nose plate at the CML raceway track.  The twisting force of one wheel hitting something hard (multiple times, hehe) I guess would be the cause.  Luckily team driver Ellis Stafford was on hand to help sort the car out.  Ellis took away the damaged part to report back to the factory – so hopefully if there is something that can be strengthened it will be done.  In all fairness I did give the car quite a rough time.

The rear wing mounts are custom made and could have been any shape desired, so it is a shame that it’s not possible to adjust the rear upper shock screw position without partially removing the mounts.   A small gripe maybe since it is only two extra screws that need removing, to pivot the mounts out of the way. Desipite their rather unconvential looks though, the wing mounts are superb and give a great base for the high downforce wing.

The XFactory team drivers tend to run Losi [XXX] shocks on their cars – and indeed the car was developed mostly using these shock absorbers.   This is a slight problem since those setups will be harder to apply to your brand new X-6, unless you are able to source some Losi shocks also.   I would hazard a guess that the majority of people will be running their X-6 with Associated shocks like I was – so it would be nice to see some team setups coming for these too.

I did find that it wasn’t a car you could drive the once and appreciate fully.  Trying to drive the X-6 like a regular 2WD didn’t work so well, and it was easy to get caught out by how much quicker the car made a turn.  My first run with the car saw me ride the apex on just about every corner and lose significant time because of it – though my best laps were the same as the best with my B4, and that’s the first run.

A worthy upgrade for your B4  ? that’s for you to decide, but there is certainly an advantage in some situations to the X-6 – it does turn nicely – I was able to turn inside people often, and it is great in the air, flying very flat but very controlable.  I found the car needed a slightly smoother driving style than my B4 and didn’t like being thrown into the corners quite so much, but just driving round the corners rewarded me with quick laps. 

Discuss the XFactory X-6 in the Forum!

Needless to say, I put a lot of effort into this review, so if you like it, let me know, thanks.

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Thanks to the following for their help in this review: Vicky oOple, Paul Rotheram, Chris Long, Dan Greenwood, Ellis Stafford, Chazz Sinclair, Stuart Wood, John Price.

Special thanks to Chazz Sinclair @ XFactory for his help in supplying the X-6 and his friendly support and assistance.

Thanks also to my advertisers, without whom I'd find it even harder to afford to do these reviews.

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