HPI Savage RC Truck


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Overview of the Savage Trucks

The HPI Savage RC truck family includes: the HPI Savage 21 RTR, Savage SS, and Savage 25 RTR, HPI Savage X, and HPI Savage XL.  These RC trucks were released in that order.  RTR stands for Ready to Run.  First the HPI Savage 21 RTR truck (HPI 831) hit the scene and was an instant success.  The Savage 21 was the first BIG .21 powered 1/8th scale RC monster truck released by HPI.  The unique twin vertical plate (TVP) chassis was a major departure from the flat chassis design of most other trucks.  HPI took customer feedback and later released the kit version of the Savage in the form of the HPI Savage SS (HPI 845).  The Savage SS kit had upgrade parts included along with a bigger .25 nitro engine in a "build it yourself" package.  Shortly after this, the Savage 25 RTR (HPI 832) was released.  HPI took the already popular Savage 21 design and included many hop ups and upgraded parts in the Savage 25 package along with the larger, more powerful, S-25 nitro engine.  Then came the SS 4.6 kit which was updated with many great features including the new 2.9HP K4.6 high output engine!  After this, the Savage X was released, and then the bigger Savage XL hit the scene.

HPI Savage 21 RTR Truck

The HPI Savage 21 ready to run truck was the first in the Savage RC truck line up.  This truck offered customers a great new monster truck design that was different than anything available at the time.  As touched upon earlier, one of the special features of the Savage 21 truck was the unique chassis design. The Twin Vertical Plate chassis had 2 chassis plates oriented on edge with the "guts" of the Savage RC truck sandwiched in between.  This new chassis approach was very different than the simple single horizontal chassis plate that was so common up to that point. 

Savage RC Truck

Savage 21 RTR RC Truck

The Savage 21 offered a big block 21BB .21 nitro engine that was rated at 2.3 HP.  Eight (8) LONG oil filled shocks cushioned the ride and provided massive amounts of wheel travel.  A 2 speed auto shifting transmission provided good acceleration and good top speed.  The Savage 21 came with a high quality 3 channel radio system already installed.  The 3rd channel was reserved for the optional reverse module which could be purchased separately and installed along with a 3rd servo.  The Savage 21 was an instant success.  HPI's strong reputation for quality products and outstanding customer support - along with all the great features of the Savage 21 - made it easy for people to like this great RTR package.  

There were a few areas where customers wanted some modifications to this particular HPI Savage RC truck.  More power was an area of interest for many people.  Thankfully, because of the popularity of the Savage 21, there were many upgrades and hop ups that soon became available both from HPI and other aftermarket companies.  The Savage 21 has an increasing selection of upgrade engines, upgrade parts, and accessories that make it possible to take this great truck and make it even better!

PLEASE NOTE:  The Savage 21 truck is no longer sold in it's original form, and was superceded by the newer Savage SS, Savage 25, Savage X, and Savage XL trucks. 

HPI Savage SS Kit

One of the big requests from many customers was for HPI to release a kit version of the popular Savage RC truck.  HPI heeded these requests and released the popular Savage SS kit.  The Savage SS kit allowed the hobbyist to install their own choice of radio system, as well as become very familiar with their Savage RC truck through the process of building it themselves.  Not only does the Savage SS kit offer the more advanced modeler the satisfaction of building their truck from the ground up, but it also included a nice selection of upgrade parts. 

Some of the upgrades included in the Savage SS kit are:

  • Heavy duty chromed dog bones (driveshafts).

  • Extra gearing options.

  • Aluminum tuned pipe.

  • Firm purple shock springs.

  • Powerful 2.5HP S-25 .25 nitro engine. 

  • Adjustable upper suspension arms.

HPI Savage SS

Savage SS Kit (shown assembled)

The Savage SS kit was a big hit with customers and this is one of the only RC monster truck kits available.  At times, it was even hard to find one of these kits, because of the high demand and the limited quantities.

HPI Savage 25 RTR Truck

Shortly after the release of the Savage SS, HPI announced to the world the upcoming release of an exciting new savage RC truck.  The HPI Savage 25 RTR truck took some of the best features of both the Savage 21 and Savage SS, and combined these with additional features to make up an incredible ready to run package deal.

Some of the upgrades to this Savage RC truck were as follows:

  • New ribbed hex wheel hubs to help prevent stripped out wheels.

  • A re-designed primerless fuel tank with rear fuel pickup for better fuel delivery.

  • The bigger and more powerful 2.5HP S-25 nitro engine.

  • A heavy duty 3 shoe clutch system to harness the power of the 25 engine.

  • Black firm shock springs for better handling.

  • And a Roto Start electric engine starting system was even included!

HPI Savage 25

Savage 25 RTR Truck

The Savage 25 offered many more features than the Savage 21 truck, and all for a very small price increase.  The Savage 25 RTR offered the power of the new S-25 engine that was first released in the Savage SS kits, but with the convenience of a complete Ready To Run package.

For a quick summary of some of the primary differences between the early Savage RC truck family, refer to the chart below...

  Savage 21 RTR Savage SS Savage 25 RTR
Engine 21BB Nitro Star S-25 Nitro Star S-25
Tuned Pipe composite Polished Aluminum, Ribbed composite
Starting System Manual Pullstart Manual Pullstart Roto Start System
Spur Gear 52T 49T 49T
Clutch Bell 14T 15T or 18T 15T or 18T
Clutch Type Two Shoe Two Shoe Three Shoe
Shock Springs Red Medium Purple Firm Black Firm
Fuel Tank with primer, front pick-up with primer, front pick-up without primer, rear pick-up
Body Black-Silver-Purple supplied clear Red-Black-Silver-Gray
Dogbones updated standard Heavy Duty Silver (#86134) updated standard


HPI Savage SS 4.6 Kit

In an effort to keep offering new and exciting products, HPI released a new kit version of the Savage truck.  The Savage SS 4.6 kit replaces the older Savage SS kits and comes with many upgrades that make this an even more impressive truck.  This is another build it yourself kit.  Below is another comparison chart showing some of the new HPI Savage SS 4.6 features compared to the other Savage RC trucks.   

Savage SS 4.6 Kit

  Savage 25 RTR Savage SS Savage SS 4.6
Nitro Star S-25 (4.1cc/2.5hp)
Nitro Star S-25 (4.1cc/2.5hp) K4.6 (4.6cc/2.9hp)
Carburetor Composite 2 Needle 7.5mm Composite 2 Needle 7.5mm Composite 3 Needle 8.5mm
Tuned Pipe Composite Polished Aluminum, Ribbed Polished Aluminum, Dual Chamber
Brakes Fiberglass Fiberglass Dual Cross-drilled Stainless Steel
Upper Arms Non-adjustable Adjustable Adjustable
Diff Shafts Standard Standard Heavy Duty Silver
Differentials 2 Gears 2 Gears 4 Gears
Servo Saver Horn Type Horn Type Adjustable Cam Type
Tires Standard GT Standard GT Dirt Bonz S Compound
Radio TF-4 3 Channel User Supplied User Supplied
Starter Roto Start System Manual Pullstart Manual Pullstart
Spur Gear 49T 49T 47T
Clutch Bell 15T or 18T 15T or 18T 17T
Clutch Type Three Shoe Three Shoe Three Shoe
Springs Black Firm Purple Firm Black Firm
Fuel Tank Primerless, rear pick-up Primer, front pick-up Primerless, rear pick-up
Body GT-1 Painted Red-Black-Silver-Gray GT-1 Clear, pre-trimmed GT-1 Clear, pre-trimmed
Dogbones Updated standard Heavy Duty Silver (#86134) Heavy Duty Silver (#86134)

HPI Savage X

Continuing on with the success of the Savage line of trucks, HPI released a new and improved HPI Savage X truck with the new 4.1 cc (.25 cu. in) engine.  A heavy duty slipper clutch helped to put the extra power to the ground and also protect the driveline better.  A newly designed TVP chassis helped to lower the center of gravity a little and improve stability and handling, while new shock towers helped to further increase strength and durability.  The HPI Savage X came with a fully decaled pre-painted body that looks great and is ready to go right out of the box.  Later, the HPI Savage X came with the bigger and better 4.6 cc (.28 cu. in.) engine that produces 2.9HP at 32,000 RPM.  This powerful new engine helped to breathe new life into the HPI Savage truck.  To better handle the new 4.6 engine, the transmission and differentials were also beefed up to take the additional power.  Later, further upgrades were made to the HPI Savage X by adding a double disc brake and further strengthening the differentials with alloy diff cases.  Stronger chassis and engine plate help to prevent unwanted flex.    

HPI Savage XL

As if the Savage X were not big and powerful enough, the HPI Savage XL takes the Savage to a new level with a big 5.9 cc (.36 cu. in.) engine that produces 3.75 HP.  The larger 5.9 engine is not all that changed on the new HPI Savage XL.  The whole truck is bigger.  Extended chassis plates, longer center dogbone driveshaft, wider stance, and bigger tires all add up to make the Savage XL look XTRA LARGE!  Equipped with a beefed up 3 speed transmission and heavy duty differentials, the XL is built to take the extra power of the 5.9 engine.  A heavy duty steel spur gear along with triple aluminum clutch shoes are all designed to handle the extra power.  Most of the components on the Savage XL are compatible with the Savage X which in turn is compatible with most earlier generation Savage RC trucks.  What this means is that most upgrade and hop up parts are interchangeable.  This interchangeability is great news, because the number of available upgrades for the HPI Savage is HUGE!      

Savage XL and Savage X


HPI Savage XL Octane

HPI has developed a gasoline powered version of the Savage that is known as the Savage XL Octane.  This new truck has a fan cooled 15cc gas engine that is matched to a performance enhancing tuned pipe.  A 3 speed transmission helps to put the power of this big block to the ground, while a new triple disc brake system helps to safely slow things down.  A heavy duty slipper clutch helps to protect the transmission and drivetrain.  A roll cage and an extra thick body shell are designed to stand up to the abuse that this truck can dish out.  The fuel efficient gasoline engine and a large capacity fuel tank lead to extended run times.  In addtion, operating costs can be significantly reduced by using gasoline fuel as compared to the more exotic and more expensive nitro fuel.

Savage XL Octane   

Whether you have the original HPI Savage 21, Savage SS, Savage 25, HPI Savage 4.6 SS, HPI Savage X, XL, or the new gasoline powered XL Octane - each truck offers customers a durable, reliable, and fun RC monster truck.  Thanks to the popularity of these great RC trucks, and thanks to the strong compatibility between models, there are MANY great Savage parts available for upgrading and hopping up these trucks!