HPI RACING TROPHY 3.5 Nitro – The Rallycross Buggy

The HPI Racing Trophy 3.5 Buggy is a compact, strong and reliable 4WD nitro machine. It is the perfect RC to get you started in the nitro 1/8 class of vehicles.

The HPI Racing Trophy 3.5 Buggy is a compact, strong and reliable 4WD nitro machine. It is the perfect RC to get you started in the nitro 1/8 class of vehicles. Its sturdy aluminium chassis, shock towers and powerful race-legal Nitro Star F3.5 (.21 cubic inch) HPI engine are sure to get you hooked. This buggy is great for racing, but also works well in the streets and neighborhood pavements. It can even perform some fancy big-air moves to impress your friends! It is an easy to tune, low maintenance machine built for track racing and so much more.

Rallycross buggies make up one of the biggest race classes, ranging from full size GP racers to RCs such as the Trophy 3.5. The HPI Trophy range of off-road racers comes updated with the latest waterproof servos, waterproof receiver and battery compartments and a sleek, aerodynamic body that allows the RCs to thrive in any environment. The Trophy 3.5 looks good, with a brand new paint design and a rear wing that add both aesthetic value and air and wind control. For an even fancier look, the shock caps and wheel nuts have been anodized to HPI-spec bright orange. The body shell features a bright brand new paint design, sure to stand out in a crowd of RCs.

What’s in the box?

The Trophy 3.5 comes in a big orange box that is partitioned into three parts using cardboard. The middle part contains the assembled buggy itself. The body is wrapped in protective plastic, as are the other separate parts. There is actually not much else in the box, so the package is pretty light weight. A quick look at what is in the box:

  • Owner’s guide and DVD instructions manual
  • Trophy 3.5 fully assembled body and chassis – semi waterproof
  • 4Gh radio system
  • Waterproof oil filter
  • Extra parts for adjustment
  • Decals/ Stickers
  • Rear wing
  • Extra suspension mounts included for tuning options

The body and chassis weigh about 6lb (2.7kg), without the wing attached. The package doesn’t come with AA batteries for the transmitter and receiver, so you will have to purchase these separately. You will also have to purchase HPI Power fuel separately. Other types of Nitro fuel can also be used, but consult your user manual to be sure that you buy the right one. A 500cc fuel bottle for refills is also recommended. Just as in all HPI RCs, this buggy comes with full owner’s manual and DVD that give detailed instructions on how to assemble, break in, and tune to your liking.

Waterproof design

Perhaps the best thing about this buggy is that you can run it even in the rain and mud. You can even cross a stream with it without having to panic about the water messing up the truck’s electronics. This is all thanks to the new cool waterproof electronics compartment holding the receiver and receiver batteries. HPI SF-10W waterproof servos and a water-resistant air filter cover are also included in this compartment. But please note, this buggy is designed to be water-protected from splashes and rain, and it should not be submerged in water.

2.4GHz Radio System

All the latest HPI RCs come equipped with a comfortable 2.4GHz radio unit that ensures maximum control of your vehicle. The radios best feature is the comfortable pistol grip design with a steering wheel, fold-down aerial, end point adjustments, servo reversing and an easy carry handle. It also comes packed with 3-channel functionality and steering dual rate. Its light weight means you can carry it around all day racing and riving your buggy without feeling the need for a break. It only requires four AA batteries to operate.

The radio automatically prevents radio frequency conflicts and changes channels as required, so no need to worry about what channel other RC users are on. As a safety feature, an electronic failsafe will bring the buggy to a stop if you ever lose radio signal or you run out of battery power, giving you an added level of control.


The Trophy 3.5 comes equipped with a Nitro Star F3.5 V2 engine, which is loud, strong and powerful, propelling the buggy to new heights. Double back flips, tall jumps, long jumps as well as back flips are all stunts that this buggy can perform with ease. Although its top speed is 40mph, the engine packs a commanding 2.5 horse power on tap, and a lighter, more efficient V2 engine, ensuring better acceleration.

The engine has a simple pull starter system, protected by a unique water proof cover and a 2-sage air filter. The pull starter system has a larger one-way bearing to improve durability. The two-needle carburettor allows you customise performance depending on fuel type and weather conditions. The composite design of the carburettor also helps prevent heat vaporisation of the fuel, ensuring efficient fuel use. The engine also comes with a lighter, higher heatsink made of aluminium for superior power-to-weight ratio, and increased cooling effect.

If you’re not a fan of the pull starter system, you can always upgrade to a simple engine starterby installing the HPI Roto Start 2 engine which comes with push-button starting, to get you running in no time.

Get racing straight out of the box

Perhaps the most exciting thing about the Nitro Star F3.5 engine is that it is race-legal, which simply means that you can sign up for a race as soon as open the box!

The Trophy 3.5 is Ready-to-Run and comes fully assembled in the box and tuned by professionals. All you would need to do would be to add the fuel, and off you go! Differentials, shocks and suspension are all perfect and you do not have to do anything. It brings all the features of a high-end RC kit, with the added advantage of being already tuned and pre-assembled by factory professionals.

Extra features

  • A tough front bumper protects against crash damage. This is especially important because of all those impressive stunts the buggy lets you manoeuvre.
  • Extra large 160cc fuel tank for longer run time
  • Thick aluminium shock towers with extra long oil filled shocks that are durable and strong
  • 4mm thick aluminium chassis with angled sides
  • Strong fibre brake pads with fade resistance
  • Tuned sport exhaust

Taking care of your Trophy buggy

According to various reviewers, it is important to heat-cycle your motor while breaking in. How it works is by heating it up and cooling it down within the recommended temperature range according to the user manual.

You also want to use After Run oil after every use. You pour a bit of oil in the top of the motor and carburettor and switch the engine on and off a few times. This helps to stop rust from forming in the bearings, and o coat the motor’s interior to avoid premature wear.

When not in use, keep the car elevated; this will reduce the stress on the shocks, ensuring they do not go flat.

Our Verdict

 The Trophy 3.5 comes with a great look and finish, with a wealth of tuning possibilities. It is built with good quality aluminium and composite materials and the engine runs smoothly.

However, the standard servos will strip in no time and replacements will be needed. Also, it is mostly stocked in Europe, so if you live in the US of elsewhere, you might have to import and have it shipped to you.