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After a lengthy wait, part two of Serpent’s Cobra Be 2.0 review has landed, summers gone, and the indoor 1/8 electric season starts to swing into action as drivers scurry indoors to avoid the cold and wetyet still get their RC fix…

Our in house Neo Stig pick up by ripping open the part bags with the shocks and start the assembly. As the parts were freed from their confinement we noted a good quality to the plastic composite parts and the shock shaft moves freely into the o-ring pack and the piston tolerance is just right.

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Neo Stig built the shocks sticking to the standard setup, using 300cps silicone oil provided in the kit. Please note that you’ll need to refer to the update sheet attached to set the right length of the rear shocks, as the new rear end sports 10mm longer dampers. Concerning the rebound, again we decided to follow the manual’s advice – pushing the shaft all the way up before tightening the cap, so that the final rebound would be minimal. Take care when inserting the rubber boots before screwing the uniball onto the shaft, Neo Stig forgot to do it for one of the shocks and tore the boot attempting to install it afterwards.

We also suggest you punch a tiny hole in the boots so that the air can flow in and out according to the compression without compromising the shock performance.

Review Links: Part 1 – Initial Build / Build Photo Gallery
Part 2 – Track test / Track test Gallery

Continue the review…

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Suspension done, now time to fit the electronics that our kind sponsors sent us to complete the car and proceed to finalize the setup before hitting the track. We started with the LRP’s ESC-Motor combo: a trusty iX8 and a Dynamic 8 (2200kv) that should provide more than enough power for the Cobra, together with the new LRP 5700 80c/40c sent us to try. Then came the turn the Hitec HS-7945TH steering servo, but while setting the right EPA from the radio we understood there was something wrong with the servo arm.

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The steering couldn’t go back to the neutral position. We contacted Serpent and understood that the problem had to do with the plastic of the lever being too soft, and that caused the insert not to grind properly into it. With a bit of thought, a longer screw and a couple of shims we managed to use a standard servo horn and continued on with the build.

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Once finished, the car gives rewards your eyes; tightly formed interior like an exquisite Latino senorita – all the various parts working in perfect unison, although like a firey chica, the Cobra also exhibits hard to reach screws in some areas when rebuilds are required.

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Onto the body, and Bittydesign once again hooked us up, painting it for us with the traditional NeoBuggy livery, so we didn’t actually notice how beautiful that piece of lexan was! Only once the body returned from the bitty’s we realized that we were about to complete one of the most beautiful buggys of its class, maybe the best looking one. The pictures speak themselves, of course the paintjob is outstanding, but the pure shape of the body is something you don’t see often on other electric buggys.

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With the car finally complete, it was a matter of minutes to fine-tune the setup setting the ride height, camber and toe angles and droop before hitting the track. The surface of our usual test-track was quite good to be honest, with a few bumps (which we need to properly test a car), medium to low traction and a dry surface with a bit of dust on it. Being the temperature not too hot (around 28-30°celsius), Our first choice in terms of tires was a set of soft Cityblocks, and after the first shakedown we started with the real test. It was clear that our tire choice wasn’t perfect, so we first tried some soft Impacts and then landed on some trusty I-beams, which we stuck with for the rest of the day.

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The car felt good since the second run, sporting a very good corner speed and very good traction, even if the front shocks seemed to be a bit too soft, the car reacting too much to the weight transfers on and off power, while the rear ones confirmed on track the feeling they gave on the table, resulting too stiff. Also, the steering on power wasn’t very satisfying, forcing us to wait before pulling the trigger and obviously to lose some time. On the bumps the car felt ok, but we needed more stability and to get the confidence necessary to clear the rough sections of the track with the right speed.

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A good start then, but some things to improve: we decided to try and just work on the car without changing any different oil or any option part, as if we were new hobbyists going to the track without any other equipment than the car. After a quick brainstorming with the test-crew, we decided to attach the rear shocks to the second inner hole on the tower, which made them slightly softer oilwise and helped us a lot through the bumps and increased the on-power steering. In the following run we tried to do the opposite on the front end, which also helped and made the car more predictable during the weight transfers.

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We started being more and more happy about how this electric buggy was behaving, the LRP electronics providing a smooth enjoyable power and the car sporting a nice, user-friendly handling.. But it sill wasn’t enoug. On the jumps and the obstacles our Cobra seemed to be too nervous, and it tended to lose traction very easy when encountering those situations. We blamed the droop, as we thought that with more travel the suspensions would have been able to work more without the tires losing contact with the ground, hence improving the traction. We were right, as increasing the droop by ¼ of turn on all the four arms made the car safer without losing any speed, and we started being able to use the whole potential of a very good car.

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Having now an enormous amount of traction with the track cleaning up in the lines, our last trial was to switch back to the set of soft Impacts we discarded before. This let the Cobra reach a level of performance that would allow a driver to compete for any kind of race, leaving to the skills of the user the last words about the result.

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A very good car then, specifically designed for the electric 1/8th class with that improving the look and the performances thanks to the nice weight distribution and the aggressive and slim look its designer gave to the body. Unfortunately, some small issues prevent us from rating it 5 stars, but once on the track the performances and the amount of fun we had made us forget quickly about struggling a bit during the build, the work being paid back in the best way possible.

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Part two Photo Gallery