8 Best 4WD RC Cars and Trucks

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You’ve found the right page if you’re looking for a 4WD RC car but don’t know where to start. There are 8 radio-control (RC) 4×4 reviews here covering a range of models from all price categories. This short introduction can help new hobbyists make better buying decisions.

The term 4WD goes by different names but they all mean the same thing. You may see vehicles referred to by their long name, four-wheel drive or 4×4 (four-by-four). The remainder of this guide uses the term 4WD to keep reading consistent.

Budget
best-budget-4wd-rc-model
Mini HBX Wildrider
4.4/5.0
Scale: 1/24
Running Time: 20 minutes
Dual speeds, independent suspension, waterproof electronics, high-grip tires.
Check Amazon
Best Value
best-value-4wd-rc-model
Redcat R. Everest Gen7 Pro
4.5/5.0
Scale: 1/10
Running Time: 45 minutes
This has easy access, steel parts, molded protection, LED mounts, roof rack.
Check Amazon
Top Pick
top-value-4wd-rc-model
Traxxas Unlimited 4X4
4.8/5.0
Scale: 1/7
Running Time: Depends on battery
Fast, easy to drive, bolt-on body, metal parts, twin GTR shocks, functional spares.
Check Amazon

The Benefits of RC 4WD Electric Models

The main benefit of a 4WD RC car is that it has a two-axel drivetrain. What that does is provide torque (twisting force) to all four wheels to improve traction or grip. It’s why 4WD RC models are ideal for driving off-road across challenging terrains. That means they can go to places where 2WDs can’t move. Some examples are snow, mud, gravel, rocks, sand, and grass.

There are 3 categories of on-land RC vehicles that include:

  1. Radio-controlled Cars
  2. Radio-controlled Buggies
  3. Radio-controlled Trucks

RC cars, buggies & trucks

RC cars are for on-road driving and racing. Most are 2WD and not covered in this guide. Buggies can be either 2WD or 4WD depending on the model. They drive well on and off-road. However, buggies have off-road limitations. RC trucks include 4WD monsters, short course, and rock crawlers. These models are tough and can handle mudding, bashing, crawling, and racing.

There’s also a category called “stadium trucks” that are gaining in popularity. They are a cross between a buggy and a monster truck. These vehicles have a truck-style appearance but with wheels that stick out from the body. Stadium trucks are small, fast, and aggressive off-road racers. Most stadium trucks are rear-wheel 2WD models and not part of this guide.

Off-Road Capabilities of RC Models

Off-road is a general term that tells us the RC model can drive on uneven or loose surfaces. The table below shows which trucks are best suited to what type of terrain:

GRASSPAVEMENTDIRT/GRAVELSAND DUNES
Monster Truck
Rock Crawler
Short Course Truck
Stadium Truck (marginal)
Buggy
Car
Monster Truck
Rock Crawler
Short Course Truck
Stadium Truck
Buggy
Monster Truck
Rock Crawler
Short Course Truck
Stadium Truck
Buggy
Monster Truck
Rock Crawler
Short Course Truck
Stadium Truck

The above terrain guide is general as RC vehicles all have individual capabilities. Always contact the seller if you need additional details about a model.

4WD RC Buying Considerations

Make a checklist before you buy anything. It’s a brilliant way to make sure the model you choose meets your expectations. You may need to compromise in some areas, but the point is not to buy anything in ignorance. Below are 7 buying considerations to get you thinking:

  1. Set a budget to help narrow down the choices
  2. Note the type of off-road 4WD RC you want and the reasons why
  3. Decide on the model scale (often overlooked by newbies)
  4. Maximum running time on a single charge
  5. Charging time
  6. Cost and availability of extra batteries and replacement parts
  7. Control range

Add anything to the above list that matters to you. Read a few reviews first if you’re not sure.

About My ‘4WD RC Model’ Guide

I researched dozens of 4WD RC models before I arrived at this shortlist of 8. The guide has vehicles from toy-grade beginner trucks through to high-end, hobby-grade options. I also took the opinions of industry experts and user feedback into consideration during my research. The first three models on this page are Best Budget, Best Value, and the Top Pick.

The models below the top three are in price order for convenience. The table below shows these products as they appear on the page. Feel free to jump to any that take your fancy.

4WD RC Models Comparison Table

Make and ModelScaleRunning TimePrice
Mini 4WD RC HBX Wildrider Off-Road Truck1/2420 minutesCheck Price
Redcat Racing Everest Gen7 Pro Rock Crawler1/1045 minutesCheck Price
Traxxas Unlimited 4X4 Desert Racer1/7Depends on batteryCheck Price
SGILE RC Off-Road 4WD Kid’s Racing BuggyN/A20 minutesCheck Price
All-Terrain 4WD RC Off Road Car for Kids1/209 minutesCheck Price
Redcat Racing 4WD RC Volcano EPX Truck1/1010 minutesCheck Price
Traxxas Slash RC 4WD Short Course Truck1/1020+ minutesCheck Price
Losi DBXL-E 1/5 Scale 4WD RC Desert Buggy1:5Depends on batteryCheck Price

1. Mini 4WD RC HBX Wildrider Off-Roader | Best Budget

Mini 4WD RC HBX Wildrider Off-RoaderView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

The Best Budget pick goes to a mini 4WD Truggy called the Wildrider. It lives up to its name too. This little RC model is tough, powerful, and a lot of fun to use at any age.

  • Best feature 1: Solid aluminum frame
  • Best feature 2: Robust construction
  • Plus points: Dual speeds, independent suspension, waterproof electronics, high-grip tires
  • Minus points: Charging hassles, longish charging time

RC 4WD HBX Wildrider Highlights

Novice users should find the throttle and steering controls responsive and stress-free. It’s advisable for raw beginners to start on the SLOW mode before moving up to the FAST setting. The Mini 4WD RC HBX Wildrider off-roader is a well-built hobby-grade model and a step-up from toy cars. It uses quality materials and parts like flexible plastic, solid aluminum frame, and independent suspension.

There is a total of 15 ball bearings used in the build to improve the drivetrain and metal diff gears. This truggy has waterproof electronics so that users can play outdoors with confidence. High-grip off-road tires grab the surface incredibly well and keep the car upright across uneven terrains. The super-bright LED headlights add to the fun allowing RC’ers race in low light and dark conditions.

The running time for the HBX Wildrider is on the high side of average at 20 minutes. The control range is 250 ft. (76 meters) which is more than enough for a small 1/24 scale model. Low battery warning and overheat protection also add to the appeal of this exceptional little truggy.

The Not So Good

Charging the batteries is a hassle because there’s no built-in port. That means you must remove them from the car. That’s a job for parents of smaller kids. It’s not difficult, but it is a hassle after just 20 minutes of playing time.

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Tech Specs
Model Type: 4WD Off-road Truggy
Model Scale: 1:24
Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.1 x 2.8”
Product Weight: 1.1 lbs.
Max Range: 250 ft. (76 meters)
Battery: 3.7V, 800mAh Li-Ion
Max Running Time: 20 minutes
Charging Time: 2+ hours
The Pros
Solid aluminum frame
Robust construction
Dual speed modes
Independent suspension
High-grip off-road tires
Waterproof electronics
Long running time
Low battery cutoff
Overheat protection
Bight LED headlights
The Cons
Charging is a hassle
Longish charging time

2. Everest Gen7 Pro 4WD RC Rock Crawler | Best Value

Everest Gen7 Pro 4WD RC Rock CrawlerView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

The Everest Gen7 Pro 4WD RC Rock Crawler by Redcat Racing makes the Top Pick. It’s a Ready to Run (RTR) large 1/10 scale off-road model powered by a 550 brushed motor.

  • Best feature 1: 550 brushed motor
  • Best feature 2: Licensed Interco Super Swamper Tires
  • Plus points: Easy access, steel parts, molded protection, LED mounts, roof rack,
  • Minus points: Parts may be hard to come by

Everest Gen7 Pro Highlights

There are a few awesome vids that show Redcat Racing’s Everest Gen7 Pro driving over rough terrain. It’s a hobby-grade rock crawler with a highly customizable platform too. It has a steel ladder frame, a steel electronics bridge, and a low-slung battery tray. There’s also a molded roll cage, molded snorkel, inner fenders, and shackle mount bumpers. These are features usually found on much costlier models.

Driving the Everest Gen7 Pro is a blast. Owners of this truck love its hinged body tilt. It gives hobbyists instant access to the battery compartment, chassis, and ESC. That makes minor maintenance possible without stripping the truck down. On the accessories front we have LED mounts and a roof rack packed with scale extras. They include a sand ladder, shovel, ax, fuel cans, a jack, and a spare tire.

Running time is an impressive 45 minutes when trailing with the stock battery. That goes down to around 35 minutes with rock crawling.

The Not So Good

There are reports that certain parts can be hard to come by (at the time of writing). It’s a robust model and stands up well to impact, but no RC truck is invincible. Check for parts availability if you decide to go for this otherwise superb 4WD rock crawler.

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Tech Specs
Model Type: 4WD rock crawler
Model Scale: 1:10
Dimensions: 11.3 x 9.5 x 20.5”
Product Weight: 6.9 lbs.
Max Range: Not specified
Battery: 7.2V 3000mAh NiMH
Max Running Time: 45 minutes (trailing)
Charging Time: Not specified
The Pros
550 brushed motor
Interco Super Swamper tires
1.9 True Beadlock wheels
Hinged body tilt
Steel components
LED mounts
Long running time
Molded roll cage
Molded snorkel
Inner fenders
Shackle mount bumpers
Roof rack w/ accessories
The Cons
Parts may be hard to come by

3. Traxxas Unlimited 4X4 1/7 Desert Racer | Top Pick

Traxxas Unlimited 4X4 1/7 Desert RacerView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

Traxxas is a name synonymous with high-quality hobby-grade radio-controlled models. It should be no surprise that its Unlimited 4X4 Desert Racer makes our Top Pick RC4WD. There’s a lot of careful attention paid to the details that we’ll look at shortly.

  • Best feature 1: Realistic truck dynamics
  • Best feature 2: Incredible body detailing
  • Plus points: Fast, easy to drive, bolt-on body, metal parts, twin GTR shocks, functional spares
  • Minus points: Bolt-on body, not sand-ready, price

Traxxas Unlimited 4X4 Desert Racer Highlights

It’s fast, sophisticated, and it looks menacing, but don’t let any of that put you off. The Traxxas Unlimited Desert Racer is an incredible performer on and off-road. The beauty of this large-scale model is that it provides a realistic driving experience. Not all models can achieve that. Some of the realistic truck dynamics include 4-link rear suspension, solid rear axle, and cantilever sway bars.

Braving the Beast

The beast also boasts an ultra-tough drivetrain to channel its extreme power. That makes it fun to drive and easy to control for advanced beginners and above. Battery options are flexible and provide plenty of oomph. Foam blocks keep the cells securely in their place. It’s possible to use a single hefty 4S or opt for a twin battery configuration.

This model has a Lexan RC body bolted firmly on to the tubular chassis using 12 2mm hex screws. The reason for this is to provide additional strength, and it works. However, there’s a downside to this approach (see below). The Traxxas Unlimited takes on a whole new appearance without its body attached, yet still looks awesome. Some racers even prefer the tubular roll cage on display.

Long-travel (8cm) GTR shocks give the truck remarkable body control. The suspension is quite soft, and that’s deliberate. It lets RC drivers achieve those incredible high jumps with passion and confidence. And finally, there’s the fantastic body detail and functional spares. They include fire extinguishers and damper reservoirs, a wheel bar, jack, jerry cans, wheels, driveshaft, and tools.

The Not So Good

We’ve looked at the benefits of the bolt-on body, but not everyone appreciates it. The downside is that it takes time to remove and that’s a hassle. It’s still possible to access some crucial areas with the body attached, though. The battery and parts of the motor are reachable from the underside. Another disadvantage is that a desert racer it should be ‘desert ready.’ It’s not!

Running the Traxxas Unlimited 4X4 Desert Racer on sand needs modifications to the wheels and tires. They’re simple adaptions, but it’s odd for a desert truck not to come desert-ready. The final gripe is the price. Most fans agree that it’s an excellent value hobby-grade model. Even so, its price tag puts it out of reach for many keen hobbyists, especially as it doesn’t include a battery or charger.

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Tech Specs
Model Type: 4WD RC desert racer
Model Scale: 1:7
Dimensions: 27.3 x 13.6 x 10.3”
Product Weight: 13.4 lbs.
Max Range: Not specified
Battery: Not included
Max Running Time: Depends on battery
Charging Time: Depends on the charger
The Pros
Realistic truck dynamics
Incredible body detailing
Fast moving model
Easy to control
Bolt-on body (also a con)
Twin GTR shocks
Functional spares
4-link rear suspension w/ solid rear axle
Cantilever sway bars
Functional limiting straps
Sculpted tube framework
Thick steel axles
All steel drivetrain
The Cons
Bolt-on body (also a pro)
Not ‘sand ready’
High price tag
Batteries & charger not included

4. SGILE RC Off-Road 4WD Kid’s Racing Buggy

SGILE RC Off-Road 4WD Kid's Racing BuggyView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

Meet the cute SGILE remote control off-road RC racing buggy for kids. This affordable toy makes an excellent first-time 4WD truck for younger enthusiasts.

  • Best feature 1: Eye-catching wild graffiti design
  • Best feature 2: 4WD Independent Suspension System
  • Plus points: Easy to handle, dual motors for added torque, multi-terrain capable, grip tires
  • Minus points: Slow, long charging time

SGILE 4WD Kid’s Racing Buggy Highlights

The first thing young’un’s notice about SGILE’s 4×4 truck is its eye-catching, wild graffiti design. There’s even a racing driver figure behind the wheel that adds to its appeal. Rubber grip tires maintain decent traction which makes the model easier for kids to handle. And dual front and rear motors give the car an extra push for those off-road adventures.

This buggy runs quite well over uneven surfaces for a toy-grade car. They include areas like dry dirt, pea gravel, dry grass, and short pile carpet. The range is around 66 ft. (20 M) which is plenty for a toy. The playing time is also quite decent at between 15–20 minutes on a full charge.

The Not So Good

This car is slow and moves at an average walking pace. That’s good news for parents as it means the kids won’t go scurrying after a fast runaway model. Older kids may soon get bored with the slow speed, though. The other con is the crazy 4–5 hour charging time. Extra batteries are essential.

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Tech Specs
Model Type: 4WD racing buggy
Model Scale: N/A
Dimensions: 11 x 6.7 x 5.5”
Shipping Weight: 2.3 lbs.
Max Range: 66 ft.; (20 meters)
Battery: 4.8V 400mAh NiCad
Max Running Time: 20 minutes
Charging Time: 5 hours
The Pros
Eye-catching wild graffiti design
4WD Independent Suspension System
Easy for kids to handle
Dual motors (front & rear)
Multi-terrain capable
Rubber grip tires
2.4GHz remote control
The Cons
Slow top speed
Long charging time

5. Remokids All-Terrain 4WD RC Kid’s Off-Roader

Remokids All-Terrain 4WD RC Kid’s Off-RoaderView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

The Remokids all-terrain 4WD multi-terrain truck is a favorite car for teens. It has an attractive beefy design that appeals to those who love off-road adventures.

  • Best feature 1: S-Truck suspension technology
  • Best feature 2: Front & rear protective bumpers
  • Plus points: Easy to drive, agile, decent range, rubber-like tires, bonus battery, USB charging
  • Minus points: Too fast for size, average playing time

Remokids All Terrain Off-Roader Highlights

This model is an impressive off-road performer thanks in part to its S-Truck suspension. It’s also quite durable despite the small size. RC drivers can get this puppy to flip, turn, and drift like the bigger models—with a little practice. It’s quick too, perhaps too fast for the under 8s. The crash-resistant structure brushes off those fated knocks and collisions that are typical of off-road exploits.

Realistic-looking rubber tires do a fantastic job of gripping across various terrains. This car moves well over sand, grass, dry dirt, gravel, and even snow. The control range is a decent 262 ft. (80 M). It’s an ideal truck for RC enthusiasts over 14 years or younger with some experience of speed (see below).

The Not So Good

Speed is one of the attractions with any 4WD RC, but there are limits. This little off-road truck is only a 1/20 scale model, yet it can reach a top speed of 30–40 mph. That’s fine for older skilled drivers, but it’s too fast for younger, less experienced RC’ers. The battery lasts for 9 minutes or less on a full charge which is disappointing, yet average for a model in its class.

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Tech Specs
Model Type: 4WD off-road truck
Model Scale: 1:20
Dimensions: 10.2 x 7.9 x 7.2”
Product Weight: 2.2 lbs.
Max Range: 262 ft. (80 meters)
Battery: 3.7V/750mAh (2)
Max Running Time: 9 minutes
Charging Time: 90 minutes
The Pros
S-Truck suspension technology
Front & rear protective bumpers
Easy to drive
Agile model
Decent range
Rubber-like tires
Bonus battery
USB charging
Small scale
The Cons
Too fast for scale
Average playing time

6. Redcat Racing 4WD RC Volcano EPX Truck

Redcat Racing 4WD RC Volcano EPX TruckView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.3/5

This is another quality off-roader by Redcat Racing. It’s the 4WD RC Volcano EPX; a powerful hobby-grade 4WD 1/10 scale RC truck. It boasts fully-adjustable suspension and waterproof electronics.

  • Best feature 1: Ready to Run (RTR) out of the box 4WD
  • Best feature 2: fully-adjustable suspension
  • Plus points: Aggressive tread tires, waterproof electronics, fast, lightweight chassis
  • Minus points: Average running time, long charging time

Redcat Racing 4WD Volcano EPX Highlights

Redcat Racing’s Volcano EPX is a superb choice for anyone entering the serious side of monster trucks. It’s a ready-to-run (RTR) model that new owners can drive right out of the box. A powerful brushless motor, 60A ESC, and a 7.2v 2000mAh NiMH battery lets users push this beast to its limits. The soft compound tires have an aggressive tread and traction that grips to anything in its wake.

The truck is fast but not too fast to handle off-road. The balance of speed, handling, and performance is perfect for advanced-beginners to hone in their skills. Its lightweight plastic lower chassis plate is a good or bad thing depending on driving styles. There are lots of ways to upgrade if you want to replace various parts. Some examples are a carbon fiber chassis, aluminum shocks, hub carriers, and rims.

The Not So Good

The Volcano EPX comes with a battery and charger (not all bobby-grade trucks do). That’s the good news. The stock 7.2v 2000mAh NiMH gives around 10+ minutes of running time on a full charge. That in itself is disappointing, but the long 5 hour charging is even more of a letdown. This is not a monster truck you want to stop driving, so more batteries are a must-have extra purchase.

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Tech Specs
Model Type: EPX 4WD monster truck
Model Scale: 1:10
Dimensions: 15.8 x 12.2 x 7.5”
Shipping Weight: 8.25 lbs.
Max Range: Not specified
Battery: 7.2v 2000mAh NiMH
Max Running Time: 10 minutes
Charging Time: 5 hours
The Pros
Ready to Run (RTR) out of the box
Aggressive tread tires
Fast off road performance
Dual shocks
Reinforced bumpers
Fully-adjustable suspension
Waterproof electronics
Lightweight, durable chassis
Protective transmission cover
Cooling heat sink
Upgradable
The Cons
Average running time
Long charging time

7. Traxxas Slash RC 4WD Short Course Truck

Traxxas Slash RC 4WD Short Course TruckView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

The sleek looking Traxxas Slash RC 4WD has a definite place on this list. It’s a superb hobby-grade short course truck with a lot to offer. But can it live up to its high price tag?

  • Best feature 1: 100% fully assembled RTR (ready-to-race)
  • Best feature 2: Licensed logos and graphics (painted and decaled body)
  • Plus points: Simple controls, brushless power, triangulated chassis, incredible top speeds
  • Minus points: Price, battery and charger not included, wheel paint easily scratches

Traxxas Slash RC 4WD Highlights

This mechanical beast arrives 100% fully assembled. Consider the Traxxas Slash 4WD if you want a ready-to-race (RTR) hobby-grade short course truck. The model sports eye-catching licensed logos and graphics on immaculate paintwork, decaled body. Its controls are simple and offer a 1-button setup. There are three programmable driving options, including a training mode for new users.

Another significant highlight is the truck’s powerful, maintenance-free Velineon 3500 brushless motor. Others are the watertight electronics and Velineon VXL-3s Electronic Speed Control (ESC). The speed potential of this truck is off the charts, reaching 60 mph with the right setup. It’s durable enough to withstand high-speed crashes and recover from flying jumps as few trucks can.

The Not So Good

Not all who love this truck can justify its high price tag. New owners also need to buy a battery and charger of their choice before it arrives. Most folks want more than one battery which adds further to the cost. A less significant gripe is that the paintwork comes off too easily on the wheel rims. Others would argue that more scratches add to the truck’s rugged appeal.

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Tech Specs
Model Type: 4WD short course truck
Model Scale: 1:10
Dimensions: 23.3 x 11.7 x 7.6”
Product Weight: 5 lbs.
Max Range: Not specified
Battery: Not included
Max Running Time: 20+ minutes
Charging Time: Depends on the charger
The Pros
100% Fully assembled and Ready-To-Race (RTR)
Licensed logos and graphics
Pro painted decaled body
Simple controls
Durable controller
Brushless power
Triangulated chassis
Incredible top speeds
1-button ESC setup
3 drive modes (includes training)
The Cons
Battery & charger not included
Wheels scratch easily
High price tag

8. Losi DBXL-E 1/5 Scale 4WD RC Desert Buggy

Losi DBXL-E 1/5 Scale 4WD RC Desert BuggyView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

The Losi DBXL-E 4WD Desert Buggy is a 1/5 scale RC model with unique appeal. It’s a brilliant choice for those who are ready for the adrenaline-pumping BIG league. Are you?

  • Best feature 1: Large 1/5 scale size
  • Best feature 2: Incredible high speeds
  • Plus points: Powerful 800Kv engine, flip-top cage, LED light bar, waterproof electronics
  • Minus points: High price tag, battery & charger sold separately

Losi DBXL-E 4WD Desert Buggy Highlights

Losi’s DBXL-E 4WD Desert Buggy has the performance characteristics of gas counterparts. But it’s not nitro, it’s electric, and that means its cleaner and much easier to use and maintain. It’s an aggressive racer that comes with a powerful 800Kv motor. This desert buggy can reach speeds of over 50 mph (80 km/h) with the right battery and gear upgrades.

The flip-top cage gives ultimate protection and easy access to the batteries. Waterproofed electronics protect the receiver, servo, and ESC from the wet outdoors. That means the DBXL-E can drive up and over whatever and wherever the user takes it, tearing up terrain as it goes. Other highlights are the MAXXIS Creepy Crawler tires, LED light bar, chassis brace plate, and much more besides.

The Not So Good

This is the most expensive 4WD RC model on the page. It does offer excellent value, but the cost is sure to be too much for some hobbyists. The batteries and charger are also extra costs. That’s typical for hobby-grade RC cars and trucks but no less annoying.

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Tech Specs
Model Type: 4WD desert buggy
Model Scale: 1:5
Dimensions: 33.2 x 19.8 x 12.1”
Product Weight: 18.9 lbs.
Max Range: 300+ ft. (91 meters)
Battery: Not included
Max Running Time: Depends on the battery
Charging Time: Depends on the charger
The Pros
Large 1/5 scale Desert Buggy
High speeds 50+ mph
Powerful 800Kv brushless motor
Protective flip-top cage
LED light bar
Waterproof electronics
MAXXIS Creepy Crawler tires
Chassis brace plate
The Cons
High price tag
Battery & charger not included
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