Misc / News

King of Wings – Vortex vs. Finnisher

Finally, I was able to find a bit of time to go do some product testing and write my review about 2 wonderful RC products. Thanks to those who have been patiently waiting for the continuation of my preview.

fin med

First up, is the current heavy weight champ…….. the JConcept’s  Finnisher wing in the 6.5″ size. This wing first made it’s presence felt at the 2012 World’s in Vaasa, Finland and it’s popularity has spread like wildfire throughout the 1/10 scale off-road world since its introduction. Everywhere I go, all I see is JConcept Finnsher wings. They are used on the  TLR 22’s, Rb6’s, and of course the B4.2’s, which is the major 3 here in the US.  When you have a “must have” product like this, it definitely solidifies itself as a “Game Changer” upgrade.  Magically, it’s one of those items where you’ll see 10/10 cars in the A-main running it and there’s a reason….. because it flat out rocks! It adds cornering stability, durability, speed, improved lap times, and most importantly gave killer feedback. Comparing it to previous wings, it just feels like I could push the car harder as it managed and settled the car’s rear end in sweepers, 180’s, jumps…..etc.

Car: RB6 Mid Motor with Orion VST 8.5 and Orion 90C saddles all the way back.
Track: Indoor Clay
Track Conditions: Hard pack, dried, cracked track, with groove, but dusty. (I had to sweep before every run to keep it consistent to my testing.)
Tires: Slick’d Gold barcodes front and rear with red AKA closed cell foams.
Wing Setting: Gurney cut down to the 2 line for both wings.

So it took me a pack or two to learn the track properly and with a few different setup changes and tire choices, I found a good setup and was quite happy with my car. As the reigning champ of wings, I felt it was only right for me to give the Finnisher the honor of being the wing that I set up with since it’s the king. The contender doesn’t get this luxury b/c if it were to dethrone the champ….it would have to do it in convincing fashion.

In the end, I was able to do fast laps of 13.8 and a few 13.9’s, but 14.3’s to 14.5’s were more common. The track was tricky b/c of the small groove that existed and there is this bucky triple jump that would send your car up all funky….thus ruining the landing and lap times. If you were slightly out of it the groove, you would push till you hit the wall and then do crazy quick donuts. However, if you stayed in the groove, it was really fast especially on slicks.  You know the feeling of when you do a lap……it feels slow, but then you hear the lap time and it’s your fastest lap of the day and you’re left with the feeling, what the hell?? The car was good. I really didn’t want to mess with it, but I needed to compare the Vortex wing to see what it’s made of (lexan, I know haaaar). It was time.

vor med

UpgradeRC has developed an aesthetically sculpted masterpiece. With hard, fine lines of detail mixed with round bumps that look like bubble wrap, it looks completely different from the Finnisher. Sure the concept is similar, but it’s far from it. It’s thicker, it’s got sticker grid mounting system that reeks pure tech geek, the bubble wrap like bumps are suppose to aid in air delivery over the gurney…… there’s just more to this wing than meets the eye. Oh it’s got decals for the sides that I didn’t use and probably never will?

I had a little issue putting the wing on. The lexan is so thick that it made pushing those tiny body clips through even more of a challenge on the RB6! After killing my fingertips I finally got the wing mounted properly and instantly my car had a different look and feel to it. I was stoked! Immediately as I pulled the trigger for the first time in anticipation, it felt like driving a new car for the first time. The hype wasn’t just hype……….. It took me a few laps to get used to it, but I had a big smile on my face. Before this run, I had intentionally unplugged my transponder so I could just focus on the drive characteristics and wow…… I have to say I was really surprised how it changed the way my car drove. It felt more secure in the ass end as if someone had changed my tires to a set that had more grip! I started to question whether or not my previous car setup with the Finnisher was a little too lose b/c this was way more “drive-able”. Next step….. plug in transponder!!!

Sad to say, my car wasn’t any faster…… well not really. I was a bit shocked by this. The quickest I could do was a 14.0 lap…but my other laps were much more consistent to my fast lap in the 14.2’s and 14.4’s. So my fast lap wasn’t faster, but my averages were a tenth quicker and my range was a bit tighter. Overall, it felt easier to drive and also felt more locked in without killing the car’s ability to generate front end grip or rotation. The high speed was good and seemed to track better, but it was most noticeable coming out of corners with heavy acceleration.  I was really digging the fact there is a difference in wing performance.

Once in awhile a product gets released that doesn’t cost a lot of money, adds performance, and is adapted by all racers around the world. The Finnisher wing has been the “IT” wing since it was released capturing the hearts of all pure racers from both ends of the globe. UpgradeRC released a wing that challenges the undeniable King of Wings and does a fantastic job in doing so. Innovative in design….. it does not set out to mimic or copy, but to advance and push the envelope even further. From it’s unique grid system mounting, to it’s golf like dimples, the Vortex wing stands out among all other wings from past to present and I believe adds a new element to RC car tuning.

Is it ultimately better? Really, that’s hard to say since what it really does is give the car a different feel. In my own personal testing, it wasn’t faster but allowed me to drive more consistent. I attribute this to the fact that it locked the rear in more, which aided in consistency. As we all know….loose is fast, therefore the Finnisher was a tad bit quicker in the fast lap category, but resulted in a wider spread in times. Please keep in mind, this could be due to the fact I was running slicks on a dusty groove track and it might be a totally different result if I was on treads or running outdoor. With more experience running the wing and going back and forth between the two…. I’ll have a better idea of which wing I like better for my driving style. I also wanted to cut the gurney down another line to free it up and see if it actually would improve my lap times but still keep most of the dialed feel.

IMG_3909As of now…… the Vortex 10 wing has earned its place on my 2wd buggy. Although, I will certainly carry and will be trying the Finnisher wing when I feel that the benefits of the Finnisher will be more desirable. Even though the Vortex’s grid system is nice and allows me to adjust the depth of the wing on any car and still mount it with precision…… my only gripe that I could say is that if you don’t put on the grid sticker perfectly straight, you’ll be reaming the holes crooked with precision! Word of advice is to cut the front of the wing out as carefully and as straight as possible. This will making mounting the grid sticker easier and straight. Luckily the lines are really easy to see on the Vortex ….. just make sure you bring the bad boy scissors b/c the Vortex wing is a BEAST!!!

I want to thank UpgradeRC for partaking in this wing review. I got to compare it to the champ and it stood on it’s own and I’m thoroughly impressed with the quality and ingenuity brought on by UpgradeRC and their designers for all racers to experience. I’m pretty sure you will start to see a good mix of both Finnisher and Vortex wings on the track. Please visit UpgradeRC to learn more about the wing straight from their website. Also visit JConcepts as they are always pushing forward for more performance……IFMAR World Champs and a true racer’s company.

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