3Racing – Sakura D4
This is by far the most requested chassis since it’s release. The main focus seems to be the price. To get a dedicated drift chassis, the Sakura D4 appears to be the cheapest to get into. At $130-$145 it’s hard to argue with it. However, that is not the entire story, and people new to R/C often times have a hard time seeing past this. This is why I feel this entry is so important. More on that later. This chassis comes either AWD (Counter-Steer Ratio of 1.8 IIRC) or RWD. We recommend the AWD regardless of the application. It comes with a Gear Differential for the rear which is an upgrade for RWD, but it cannot be purchased separately at this time. So the only way to get it is to purchase the AWD Kit. To make it the same as the RWD kit, you only need to add some steering wiper extensions which we always stock. They are only a few bucks.
Build Quality – For those who are familiar with 3Racing, you know they are NOT known for the best quality. The Sakura D4 is no exception. The kit comes with a black fiberglass main chassis, upper deck, and shock towers. Plastic shocks with pretty pink aluminum caps and some matching aluminum parts such as the motor plate and some washers come standard. For those who are not aware, fiberglass is not the same (not even close) to carbon fiber. It is very flexible and prone to breaking. There have been many reports (at our shop and online) where the shock towers broke during assembly. I was not impressed with the build quality of this kit in the least.
Out of the box impressions – The Sakura D4 if built as specified by 3Racing is in a word, Impossible. After building our kit, there was no way I could even hope to do anything decent with it. Quite honestly, I was shocked it was as bad as it was out of the box. I did not expect a perfectly tuned chassis, but I did expect something drivable. This was just not the case. I confirmed everything was built to spec. Basically, this chassis is impossible to drive without some serious tuning. Not just R/C car tuning, but serious knowledge of R/C RWD Drift setup. That being said, keep in mind this is not a full on review of these chassis, this is for the beginner. Telling a beginner to swap out the front UCAs and LCAs and knuckles is an easy task is very unfair to them, and very misleading.
Performance – As with all the chassis we build, I spend a good amount of time with them, to figure out all the ins and outs of each one. Every chassis I have built, I have been able to get it to perform to my liking. Of course some are better than others, but for the most part, I have always been able to get them to work. This was NOT the case with the Sakura D4. The design is such that there is very limited adjustment on the front-end. This is something imperative to successfully tuning a RWD chassis.
What we have observed – This is where I feel we can share our knowledge and provide some valuable information. I have not seen a single person successfully tune / drive the Sakura D4 in stock form. (Remember the price that was such a deal?) In fact, we have seen many people turned off of R/C Drifting completely after purchasing this chassis. If the price is what got you in, be prepared to be frustrated and / or ready to make a healthy investment in upgrades to make it perform slightly decent. I’m sure you have read online about this guy who did this or that and it works great. That’s fine, we are only stating what we have observed.
Recommended – We recommend this chassis for anyone who believes what the read online and is looking for a real challenge. The very experienced RWD R/C Drifter may be successful with this chassis, but that is not something we have seen up to this point. Even with all the aftermarket upgrades available, this chassis still appears to fall short of the average.
$130 – 3Racing Sakura D4 Kit
$35 – Gyro
$165 – Total (Plus Electronics)