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Custom RC Car Mimics Real Vehicle Dynamics Almost Perfectly

Despite the fact that RC cars are enormously fun—how can you not smile when smashing a small automobile into everything from base boards to ankles?—it seems like they rarely duplicate the suspension dynamics of real-world vehicles with much accuracy; RC cars can, for example, go over just about anything while real cars can… not. This custom RC car made by CGI artist Dimitar Tilev, on the other hand, manages to beautifully capture the suspension dynamics of the real car it’s modeled after, which is impressive to say the least. Especially considering the fact that it took Tilev a full year to build.

Tilev’s custom radio-controlled car, which comes via Gizmodo, is a “Super scale active suspension arduino powered 3D printed RC drift Oldsmobile Dynamic 88,” and is a 1:8.5 scale model of a 1963 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 Wagon. And even though it manages to capture the aesthetics of a real-life Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 Wagon quite flawlessly, it’s its lifelike suspension that really wows.

“The whole idea of the project was to see how close to reality I [could] make a scale model perform,” Tilev says on his website, adding that “Spring rates and resonance frequencies don’t scale down realistically when you go down to a 1:10 size, so I had to figure something else out.”

This super scale RC car perfectly mimics the suspension dynamics of a real car.

That “something else” Tilev came up with is an active suspension system consisting of an accelerometer connected to an Arduino microcontroller (i.e. a programmable circuit board), and four servo motors. Tilev explains in his post describing the RC car’s build that the Arduino monitors information coming in from the accelerometer and based on that input, figures out in real time how to adjust the four servo motors, which individually control the ride height of the RC car’s wheels. With this level of detailed control, it seems Tilev is able to simulate the suspension dynamics of a real-world Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 Wagon by mimicking its extra-soft tuning. Incidentally that kind of suspension tuning would probably make for some horrible handling—check out how much the RC car dips to either side as it makes its turns.

Along with the realistic suspension system, Tilev also took great pains to make the rest of the vehicle look identical to its real-world counterpart. Many of the RC car’s parts are custom, 3D-printed pieces, including the car’s rims, tires, shell, and even some components of the drivetrain. Speaking of which, Tilev apparently converted the RC car’s original drivetrain to a belt-driven one in order to reduce uncharacteristic noise. On top of all that, Tilev also made his miniature Oldsmobile especially proficient at drifting, even though that wasn’t his original intention.

It’s unclear if Tilev will build any other hyper-realistic RC cars, or hyper-realistic drones for that matter, as information on him and his creations is scant. But considering the fact that his entire Instagram and YouTube pages are populated solely with images and videos of this one build, it seems like we shouldn’t hold our breath for anything new coming out any time soon. If Tilev does get a hankering for another year-long build though, we hope he focuses his attention on Tesla’s insane Cybertruck. He may even be able to improve upon that apparently fickle “armor glass.”

What do you think of this hyper-realistic 1:8.5 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 Wagon? And what kind of vehicle do you want to see Tilev tackle next? Give us your thoughts in the comments!

Images: Dimitar Tilev