Most of the scale offroad RC scene is focused on low-speed crawling and trailing with high-riding truck designs, so it’s refreshing to see real attention to detail and authentic desert styling
in a buggy. Carisma has done a great job of dressing the M10DB for desert fun with window
netting, fire extinguishers, a functional spare tire, and well-executed cockpit. The LED-ready
light buckets are a nice touch too, and Carisma offers a plug-in light kit (#15333) for about $12.
In the dirt, the M10DB is a fun performer in the smoother conditions favored by 2 WD buggies,
and its proven rugged so far. As a “something different” pick for off-road fun that delivers with
realistic style to spare, the Carisma M10DB earns a thumbs-up. ✇
Behind the Wheel
The Carisma M10DB is meant to be a fun off-road performer with desert styling. That’s
perfect for me—living in Southern California, I have easy access to desert terrain, including
rock gardens, sand pits, loose dirt, and elevation changes of the coastal range mountains.
After installing a battery (which is particularly quick, thanks to the flip-up body) and a
shakedown cruise to check the radio settings, I was grabbing throttle and driving it hard.
The M10DB has familiar handling that’s similar to today’s 2WD buggies, with the extra
dexterity of a modern mid-motor design. Factory gearing feels conservative, with 22mph
on tap using a 2S LiPo pack. There’s likely room to gear up a few teeth to past 25mph, but
in scale-like terrain the gearing is good, and offers plenty of torque. (It’s also easier on the
power system and extends run time.) The tires’ lugged tread is good for loose and sandy
conditions, and their scale-like appearance really enhances the experience. The suspension
is highly active and balanced, which is good since camber and toe settings are fixed. The
M10DB jumps like other 2WD buggies, and has no trouble airing out. Massive leaps to flat
landings will bottom the chassis, which is typical—it’s a 2WD buggy, not a monster truck.
After a good amount of time thrashing around, I inevitably took some tumbles and found
some puddles. The buggy held up well and the water-resistant brushless system, servo, and
sealed receiver box all did their jobs.
The M10DB is intended for beginners, and is a good package for those looking for a
budget-friendly starter. It took on aggressive terrain and handled better than I expected.
As a 2WD buggy. it doesn’t have a ton of ground clearance, so expect rocks and obstacles
to scrape up the chassis. On the plus side, the low-slung chassis offers a planted feel and
low center-of-gravity. Lastly, you can’t ignore its head-turning looks. With so many cool
details, it feels like you’re in a miniature version of the real thing.
If you prefer short-course
styling, Carisma offers the
M10SC. It’s built on the same
platform as the M10DB and has
the same electronics, wrapped
up with an SC-flavored body,
wheel, and tire combo.
Duratrax Onyx 4000mAh 2S LiPo
You’ll need to add a battery to get the M10DB into action.
We went LiPo with a 4000mAh Duratrax pack, which is
hardcased for durability and inexpensive at under $30.
One hitch: Duratrax doesn’t offer the pack with an X T60
connector as required by the M10DB, but since Carisma
includes an extra pair of XT60 plugs with the car, we
were able to convert the pack without an extra trip to the
The M10DB’s 2.4GHz radio
system is no-frills, but it
does include adjustable
steering rate and works
just fine. Carisma includes
four AAs to power it up.