Radio-controlled (RC) cars have become an increasingly popular hobby over the years. These miniature vehicles come in a variety of scales, with each number representing how many times smaller the car is compared to its real-life counterpart. One of the larger and more impressive scales is 1/5 scale. As the name implies, 1/5 scale RC cars are about one-fifth the size of the actual car they are modeled after. This results in models that can be over 2 feet long and weigh over 20 pounds!

But what exactly does 1/5 scale translate to in tangible real-world dimensions? How large are these models compared to other RC scales? These are important questions for RC enthusiasts to consider, as the size of the car impacts everything from display and storage to running and handling performance. Larger models like 1/5 scale can provide an incredibly realistic and detailed driving experience, but require more space and maintenance. In this guide, we will take a closer look at the typical size specifications of 1/5 scale RC cars. Understanding the general size range and dimensions will assist hobbyists in selecting and experiencing these big yet incredibly fun models.

How Big is 1/5 Scale RC Car?

1. What Does 1/5 Scale Mean?

In the RC car hobby, the scale designation indicates how the size of the model relates proportionally to the actual full-size vehicle it replicates. For example, with 1/5 scale, the model car is 1/5 the size of the real car. So if the real car is 15 feet long, the 1/5 scale model will measure approximately 3 feet long.

This proportional relationship applies to all dimensions, including length, width, height, wheel size, etc. While some modeling details may deviate slightly, RC car scales aim to uniformly miniaturize the entire vehicle by the stated scale fraction.

1/5 scale models are noticeably larger than other typical RC car scales like 1/10 and 1/8. 1/10 scale cars are about 10-12 inches long, making them around half the length of 1/5 scale on average. 1/8 scale models fall between the two at around 18-20 inches long.

So 1/5 and 1/8 scale RC cars allow for more impressive size and realism compared to smaller 1/10 models. However, the larger 1/5 scale stands out with its ability to mimic details of full-size cars in ways that smaller scales simply cannot match. The bigger 1/5 scale dimensions provide room for more scale accuracy, intricate designs, and customizable options.

2. Typical Dimensions of 1/5 Scale RC Cars

Given their large 1/5 scale factor, most ready-to-run 1/5 scale RC cars fall within the following general size ranges:

  • Length: 25-30 inches
  • Width: 12-14 inches
  • Height: 8-12 inches
  • Wheel diameter: 5-6 inches

For example, the HPI Baja 5B monster truck measures 27 inches long by 12.6 inches wide and stands 11 inches tall, fitting within the common length, width, and height dimensions above.

The large 1/5 wheels and suspension enable greater ground clearance as well, allowing 1/5 scale models to tackle rough terrain. Truck bodies sit higher off the chassis, with a height of 10 inches or more. Lower profile sports car styles typically range from 8-10 inches in height.

While most off-the-shelf models conform to these general size parameters, dimensions can vary based on the specific vehicle design. Custom builds also exist where hobbyists tailor the chassis and bodies to create unique 1/5 scale models sized outside these averages. But for most ready-to-run cars, the above 27 x 12 x 10 inch ballpark provides a good estimate of what to expect at 1/5 scale.

How Big is 1/5 Scale RC Car?

3. Factors Affecting 1/5 Scale RC Car Size

While 1/5 scale RC manufacturers aim to make the models 1/5 the size of the real vehicle, there are some design elements that can alter the proportions slightly.

Body Materials

The materials used for the body shell play a role in dimensions. Fiberglass composite bodies can precisely hold scale shaping and details. But polycarbonate plastic bodies usually require thicker material, which may increase overall size slightly. Bodies that need more flex, like off-road styles, may also be a bit oversized for durability.

Chassis and Internal Components

The chassis and internal layout of components can limit how closely a model achieves true 1/5 proportions. Bulkier parts arrangements or protective chassis structures may expand dimensions beyond strict scale. Weight distribution goals can also influence component positioning.

Performance Considerations

Some models may tweak size dimensions for better speed or handling. Larger oversized tires or expanded wheelbase width could aim to increase stability and control compared to strict scale. These performance adaptions would nudge overall track width and length beyond accurate scale.

So while the target is 1/5 scale equivalence, real-world engineering priorities can understandably prevent perfectly proportionate miniaturization. But these small deviations are minor compared to the impressively large and realistic presence of 1/5 scale RC cars.

How Big is 1/5 Scale RC Car?

4. Size Comparison to Real Cars

While the measurements of 1/5 scale RC cars are impressive on their own, it’s most astonishing to see them pictured next to the actual cars they replicate. Photos truly highlight the hobby’s ability to miniaturize and mimic full-size vehicles.

For example, the Exoto 1/5 scale diecast model of a Ford GT40 measures about 30 inches long. The real Ford GT40 endurance racer is 187 inches, over 6 times longer than the 1/5 replica. Parked side-by-side, the hood of the Exoto model barely reaches the top of the real car’s wheel.

Standing next to the miniaturized 1/5 RC car truly emphasizes the sheer size and presence of actual sports cars and trucks. The smaller cockpit of a 1/5 scale RC is dwarfed by the spacious interior of the real vehicle’s cabin and doors. Yet despite the magnitude of size difference, these large 1/5 models still impressively capture the overall shaping, styling, and spirit of the life-size car.

How Big is 1/5 Scale RC Car?

Frequently Asked Questions about 1/5 scale RC cars

What are the typical dimensions of a 1/5 scale RC car?

1/5 scale RC cars are usually 25-30 inches long, 12-14 inches wide, and 8-12 inches tall. Monster trucks and off-road styles will be on the taller end around 10-12 inches, while lower profile sports car bodies are typically 8-10 inches in height. Wheel diameters are commonly 5-6 inches. These large dimensions allow for incredibly realistic detailing and performance.

How big and heavy are 1/5 scale models compared to other RC scales?

At around 2 feet long and weighing over 20 pounds, 1/5 scale models are noticeably larger than mainstream 1/10 scale RC cars, which are only about 10-12 inches long. The large size provides room for more power and capability. Gearing can be customized for high speeds over 40 mph.

Why are 1/5 scale RC cars so expensive?

The high-end materials, electronics, and details that go into 1/5 scale models require more investment upfront. But you get what you pay for in terms of realism, performance, and durability. These hobby-grade models are meant to perform and last with proper care and maintenance. Expect to pay $500-$2000 for ready-to-run examples.

What are the main benefits of 1/5 scale RC cars?

The large size allows for incredible detail in bodystyling, interior cockpits, suspension, wheels, and more. This lifelike presence and performance provides an immensely realistic RC experience. The large chassis also provides stability for control and handling. Customization potential is endless as well.

What kind of power and speeds can 1/5 scale models reach?

Gas-powered 1/5 scale RC cars can hit 50+ mph on a long straightaway. Even electric-powered examples reach 40+ mph thanks to brushless motors and lithium battery packs providing extreme acceleration and torque. The speeds and power rival small real-world sports cars.

Final Thoughts

As we’ve seen, 1/5 scale RC cars are impressively large models that provide an unparalleled sense of realism in the RC hobby. Typical ready-to-run examples measure around 2 feet long and 1 foot wide, with height depending on the vehicle body style. While internal components and design priorities can result in small variations, most 1/5 scale models fall within typical length, width, and height ranges for their intended vehicle type. When visualized next to actual cars, the miniaturization achieved at 1/5 scale is remarkable. These models may be only 12-30 inches long, but they condense the prominent features, shaping, and spirit of their full-size counterparts into incredibly fun, drivable replicas. For RC enthusiasts with the space and budget, 1/5 scale models deliver big execution and presence that smaller-scaled cars simply can’t match.

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