I've been driving various R/C's since I was a kid; first I had the original RC10 from Team Associated (with the gold chassis and a mechanical speed control), a few cars later, and more recently I got a 1/18 scale Losi mini Baja which is pretty much the same as their MiniT. The small scale is really great, you can drive for more than 20min on one charge, and in smaller spaces. Recently, though, I've had my eye on something a little bigger, and that would be the new EMAXX from Traxxas. The major new thing with this truck is that it has been mostly waterproofed - which means less dirt will get in, and you can drive anywhere. Here's a picture:
Time to start saving lunch money!
On the battery front there's been a couple new technologies that are worth having a look at as alternatives to NiMH that have come around in the last few years. One is the LiPoly batteries that look like small silver bricks. These have really good energy/weight density - meaning you get lots of speed and driving time in a light package. These are some of the highest performance batteries currently on the market, but you have to be really careful when charging/hadling since they can explode big time if mistreated.Here's a few:
The newest battery technology is from a company called a123 (a123systems.com) who invented a new type of battery called Lithium nanophospate. This battery has by far the best power, fastest charge, can really take abuse, and can last for many years. Its energy density (running time) is between NiMH and LiPoly. Currently the only cheap way to get these cells is to buy DEWALT 36V battery packs, and disassemble them for about 10 dollars a cell (each cell is 3.6V 2.3Ah) which means you typically only need 3 cells: