In 1972 Aurora came out with the XLerators slotless system. It was very primitive compared to slotless systems starting in 1977.
the original 1972-1973 version of the XLerators set came in 2 and 4 player sets. The cars were basically modified T-Jets with the front tires locked to the left. The cars had no ability to make a right hand turn. it was up to the player using momentum and speed when entering a curve to overtake a car in the left lane. a left to right lane change was also possible with a track inversion. all XLerators sets included at least one loop inversion.
a 2 player version of the XLerators system ment the tracks had 2 rails. a 4 player version ment the track had 3 rails.
Note: The inside lane recieved power from the terminal track the outside lane was not used. The cars would only be powered when in the inside lane. the outside lane was not used for 90% of the track surface the cars would accelerate before a turn get thrown to the outside lane and glide with no power, if you went fast enough without being ejected from the track you would pass over the other car in a curve then the car would drift back to the inside lane and recieve power again. This is why you see Xlerator tracks with 3 rails for the inside lane and 2 rails for the outside lane. if you had a 2 player set you had the inside lane with 2 rails and a missing rail in the center that looked like a slot. and 2 rails on the outside. if you had a 4 player set the inside lane was 3 rails and the outside lane 2 rails. the straight sections did not have an outside wall yellow or white plastic rails were snapped into the outside lane of straights to keep the cars on the track but for the most part it would be impossible for the car to contact the outside plastic rail because the front tires were locked to the left, forcing the chassis to ride the inside lane all the time. This was part of the reason Aurora designed the S curve for the Xlerator track, it was to prevent ejection of the cars but maintain a passing area where a lane change could occur.
see here for more information: How Aurora Ran Four slot-less cars on one track
The more expensive the XLerators set the more track inversions it had allowing for more areas to overtake another car by a lane change.
So the player had no ability to lane change on command like with later slotless systems.
the track used AC power and each car had a diode onboard to allow it to see half the AC power wave, giving each motor either positive or negitive DC power. the magnets on the motors of each car were reversed to the other allowing the DC motors to operate in the forward direction only. This concept was later carried over to the Ultra 5 system in 1977.
in 1974-76 Aurora released the XLerators II system. The original system was updated for child safety and new track pieces appeared. while some dissappeared.
Changes from XLerators I to XLerators II
The XLerators II system lasted until 1976 when Aurora/AFX introduced the Ultra 5 system which used a larger AFX type chassis as the the new S scale became the standard car size sold.
The XLerators and XLerators II are the most primitive of Slotless systems but they do have some interesting track sections compared to later systems.
nothing from the XLerators track or car system is interchangable with modern slotless systems. The track lanes are a smaller width as well so driving a modern slotless car on the XLerators track is not a smooth or easy thing to attempt. the XLerators was designed for T-jet scale and the later slotless systems are much wider and longer.
The 4 player XLerators system is the hardest and rarest to find, what makes it more difficult is the 4 player track pieces are special because they have a center rail to power 2 of the cars. so you cannot interchange the 2 player track sections on the 4 player system.
most T-jet bodies would fit the XLerators chassis so you had a more diverse body inventory.
Note: the number on the Car represented its set position for its controller. cars #3,4 came with all 2 player sets. Car, #1,2 came in addition to 3, and 4 when a 4 player set was used. this had to be done due to the direction of the motor magnets and diode direction soldered on the chassis. 3,4 were used with the 2 rail inside lane 2 player system, cars 1, 2 used the 3rd center rail included with 4 player versions of the racing set. cars 1, and 2 are pretty common because almost nobody bought the 4 player versions of the track system. so the overstock of cars 1 and 2 are quite high, while cars 3 and 4 were the most replaced so now they have become rarer. you can convert a car 1 and 2 to a 3 and 4 and vice versa.
the chassis came in a few revisions. There are A and B car configurations for the XLerators the changes are direction of the diode and the polarity of the magnets, you can change a B to and A or A to a B but it will require re-soldering the diode connections flipping the diode direction then flipping the polarity of the magnets.
this is the XLerators I chassis
This is the 4 player variant just due to the Left shoe having a center rail extension. other then the Left shoe there is no difference between a 2 and 4 player car. This is the second version of the XLerators I. chassis notice the change from pancake motor to G-plus type armature. later this car became standard for the XLerators II system.
Because the XLerators are so primitive and you have no true steering control they have little value in performance slotless racing.
as a play set where you could have 4 players on the track at the same time it is fun, however you cannot have obstacles because the cars steering is locked to the left lane, you had no jam cars as well.The fastest Xlerators car had the advantage of staying out in front there was no ability to speed balance the cars, nor was there an ability to slow down the lead car to avoid an Obstacle or force a lane change.
You can see how the Ultra 5 system was a leap foward using the basic axle and motor design from this older set.
Later use of track obstacles forced a player to slow down and lane change giving a trailing player a chance to take the lead.
In 1977 when the ultra 5 was released the Xlerators system was obsolete.
This Website has no affiliation with Tyco, Ideal, or any other company that produced TCR play-sets over the years
The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by a hobbyist and Tyco fan and while I endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, I make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.