3 Racing has just anounced their next generation Sakura Touring Car (TC); the Sakura Xi, available in Mid-July of 2011.The new TC has been redesigned and will have significant improvements over last model Sakura Zero. The new chassis will utilize a 2 belt drive design with the motor position shifted forward for better weight balance. This chassis will be designed to optimize new brushless motor and LiPo/LiFe battery technology for enhanced performance. The Sakura Xi will be a good competitor in the touring car arena. This TC is quite an affordable CF chassis and is also a belt driven car so drifters may find it appealing as well. Read for more features and specifications…..
Official 3 Racing Literature:
Center layshaft has been raised to accommodate larger spur gears, it is now possible to use up to a 85T 48P spur gear. Upper deck has been simultaneously raised to accommodate larger capacity lipo batteries.
Motor Mount Moved Closer to Chassis Center
Motor mount being moved 1mm towards the center compared to the Sakura Zero resulting in better left to right weight distribution. The optional vertical screw mounting motor mount is now standard on the new Sakura XI.
Motor Moved 3mm Forward
The Sakura Zero’s rear suspension geometry has proven to produce exceptional rear traction, this has allowed us to move the motor forward by 3mm on the new Sakura XI for added steering response.
Center Bulkhead Allows Upper Deck Capturing.
For extra chassis flex adjustability, the center bulkhead will have the option of capturing the long upper deck with extra screws giving the Sakura XI extra adaptability to various conditions without the need to change any significant chassis components.
Narrower Center Bulkheads
Center bulkheads have been narrowed to add slightly more chassis flex and to accommodate the narrow upper deck design. Our testing has shown that upper deck design plays a significant role in the Sakura XI’s handling characteristics, minor changes would result in substantial differences in handling and laptimes.
New Rear Bulkhead with Integrated Belt Stablizer
To Eliminate belt skipping which leads to most breakages, 3 Racing has once again to be the first to incorporate a lower belt tensioner stabilizer to the rear bulkhead which has proven to prolong rear belt life and enhances the Sakura XI’s top speed and off power free flow due to the ability to run a lower rear belt tension setting, making the drivetrain significantly more efficient.
Front and Rear Belt Tension Adjustment without Removing Bulkhead Cover
Belt tension adjustments on the Sakura XI is made much easier with its new system which allows for fast and easy adjustments in small increments without the need to completely remove any of the bulkhead covers. Belt tension setting can be more clearly seen greatly increasing the speed to make adjustments and greatly minimizing the common error of incoherent settings on between the left and right sides.
Upper Camber Link Length Adjustments in 1mm Increments
A true innovation from 3 Racing, the new upper camber link adjustment offers a industry first two dimensional adjustability in fine increments. With this system, upper camber link length can be finely adjusted in 1 mm increments on the bulkhead without compromising the adjustability of camber link angle. Current touring cars on the market have had to sacrifice the ability to be able to finely adjust one or the other, with our system the best of both worlds can now be obtained.
New Stiffer and Shorter Rear Arms
New short rear arms made from a stiffer composite material giving the Sakura excellent reaction and rear traction even under low traction conditions.
With the introduction of Lipo batteries, touring car chassis can now be designed with near equal amount of flex on both sides. Back when Sub C cells were the norm, the battery side of the chassis had to have battery slots cut into them to hold the battery pack in place and to keep CG to its lowest. This caused the battery side of the chassis to be significantly softer than the motor side of the chassis resulting in an inherent flex imbalance.
With Lipo batteries, battery slots are no longer necessary and thus we sort to develop the chassis with the perfect flex balance on both sides. Through extensive testing we ended up with a narrow 2.25mm high grade woven graphite main chassis that has proven to provide the right amount of flex and rigidity and one that’d achieve the purpose of providing equal left and right flex resulting in more consistent handling under most low to medium high traction conditions.
3 Point Battery Positioning System
The Sakura XI will feature a unique 3 point hardware battery positioning system which ensures consistency when fixing battery pack to the chassis which is essential in maintaining the right balance of the car each time you hit the track.
Battery position is adjusted by applying spacers to 3 positioning reference points to accurately secure the battery to its desired position.
Down Stop Plates Deeper into Chassis
Due to positive customer feedback, the down stop plates which protects the chassis from droop screw wear will be retained on the new Sakura XI and positioned deeper into the chassis ensuring you’ll never lose one even under the heaviest of crashes.
Unique Double Layered Dual Bell Crank Desgin
The Dual Bell Crank may be one of the most recent advances in touring car design to be adopted by a majority of manufacturers but 3 Racing has been able to advance its already matured design even further having fully assessed its pros and cons. By adding a second positioning arm on top of the system we were able to accomplish a number of objectives, with the first being the elimination of most of the vertical upright movement or play a traditional dual bell crank system would have. Secondly, the positioning of the servo can now be placed within the chassis giving in maximum protection especially when the Sakura XI utilizes a narrow chassis design and thirdly while allowing the servo to be securely placed closer to the chassis’s center line the race proven upper deck design does not need to be altered to accommodate the positioning of the servo. Through extensive testing, a solid centered X shaped upper deck proved to be the design to provide the most suitable amount of flex characteristics giving the car the best steering response and rear traction needed under most low to medium high traction conditions. Our unique dual bell crank design has allowed us to retain what we already know and proven to work while being able to incorporate other tried and true design technologies.
Bell Crank Centering Lock
Another unique 3 Racing innovation is the centering feature included in the bell crank, by inserting a post which connects the bell crank to the chassis placing it dead center for easy steering trim and turnbuckle adjustment ensuring equal lengths on both sides. Should your vehicle not run straight you can be sure to rule out your trim or steering system to be the cause of the problem. Our team drivers likes to adjust steering trim using this system before any finals eliminating the need for it to be done on the track, the advantage of this being your freshly traction additive warmed tires don’t need to pick up any unwanted dirt and debris on the track while adjusting steering trim hence by keeping the dried outer layer of traction additives on your tires cleaned and at the correct temperate, your Sakura XI will be quicker off the line on the sound of the tone and feel more responsive with a more stable rear end going into the first corner giving you the ultimate advantage on the very first lap where the most positions can be gained and in most cases turning out to be the most important lap of the entire race.�
Larger Foam Bumper Supporting Shell Bumper
The Sakura XI will be equipped with a larger front foam bumper serving the 2 purposes of added chassis protection and body shell support. Some commonly used lightweight body shells for racing tends to deform under high speed resulting in inconsistent handling at different speeds, a larger foam bumper will ensure the front bumper of the body shell will hold shape even under extreme high speeds touring cars are subjected to under today’s high powered brushless motors and Lipo batteries.
Updated Short Rear Shock Tower
With the ever increasing speeds of touring cars and the improvements in tires and body shells, the old long flexing rear shock tower on the Sakura Zero which increased rear traction was no longer necessary. The updated rear suspension geometry on the Sakura XI has proven to complement nicely with a shorter stiffer shock tower giving the Sakura XI superior reaction and rear traction on high speed turns.
Rear Fluid Filled Gear Differential
The Sakura XI will feature a rebuildable fluid filled gasket sealed gear differential as standard equipment to accommodate today’s high powered brushless systems. No longer will you need to rebuild your rear differential after every pack as a fluid filled gear differential runs consistently between packs and up to 30 packs before you’ll need a rebuild. To keep rotational mass to a minimum, the differential casing and internal gears are made from composite material and steel interal gear shafts for maximum durability (optional hard coated 7075 alum shafts will be available to further enhance performance without sacrificing durability). By simply changing differential oil weights the gear differential can be tuned to suit any conditions.
Sakura Xi Specifications:
Overall Length: 434mm ( without Body & Foam Bumper )
Overall Width : 186mm
Wheel Base :257mm
Tread ( F/R) : F163mm/ R161mm
Gear Ratio : 2.0 :1 ( 38T/19T)
Source: 3 Racing