Best RC Drift Cars – Review & Comparison

After comparing and carefully reviewing 10 of the best RC drift cars you can buy on the market, we have found Tamiya TT-02D to be the best RC drift car for most users.

We have spent 11 hours checking, analyzing, testing, and collecting feedback to bring you this unbiased review to help you make the right purchase decision.

In this top 10 review, we took into account factors that might influence your buying decisions, such as the chassis lightness, servo capacity, gyro performance adjustability, quality, build quality and price.

At the same time, it is important to note that each drift car is made for slightly different purposes, so keep reading to find out which unit works best for you and your needs.

Best Overall - Tamiya TT-02D
9.7/10
  • Motor: FLMLF 32cc 4.5 hp
  • Servo: HPI 25kg/cm
  • Speed: 45 mph
Best Premium - Redcat Racing RDS
9.5/10
  • Motor: FLMLF 32cc 4.5 hp
  • Servo: HPI 25kg/cm
  • Speed: 45 mph
Best Value - HSP RC Car 94123 Pro
9.1/10
  • Motor: FLMLF 32cc 4.5 hp
  • Servo: HPI 25kg/cm
  • Speed: 45 mph

Table of Contents

Best Overall - Tamiya TT-02D

The roots of RC drifting came from Japan and Tamiya has a great legacy in that space being one of the most known and renowned rc drift cars out there.

The kit TT02D is built on an iconic TT02 chassis which made Tamiya RC cars known and respected amongst RC enthusiasts.

The TT-02D chassis includes a remarkable array of upgraded components, enhancing your ability to effortlessly slide your car around the track.

This chassis offers a range of drift-specific components, including 24mm wide drift tires mounted on sleek matte-finish metal-plated wheels.

It is equipped with CVA shock units on the 4-wheel double wishbone suspension, while reinforced resin uprights and damper stays enhance the chassis’ durability.

Eye-catching semi-gloss metal-plated parts like brake disc-shaped wheel hubs and blue battery holder parts add to its appeal.

Complete with full ball bearings, an aluminum motor heat sink, and a sport-tuned motor, this chassis provides exceptional performance.

Rest assured, it maintains the original TT-02’s exceptional drivability, ease of maintenance, and adaptability.

PROS
Iconic TT02 chassis
Lots of upgrade parts available
Highly adjustable suspension
Great kit-building experience
Good value
CONS
Does not come with a body

Best Premium - Redcat Racing RDS

The Redcat Racing RDS comes as a ready-to-run package, complete with all the necessary radio equipment and electronics to quickly get you on the track.

However, since most drift enthusiasts already own multiple battery packs, the RDS does not include a battery or charger.

It is compatible with competition-style 2S shorty LiPo packs, LCG 2S shorty packs, or standard-sized 2S stick packs.

Redcat designed the RDS from scratch with the actual competition practises in mind.

While it can also be used on unpolished concrete and asphalt surfaces, its full potential may not be realized on these rougher terrains.

The RDS comes with a 540 3300kv brushless motor, a 60A brushless ESC, a coreless digital Hexfly Drift-Spec steering servo, and a drift-specific gyro.

Gyros are crucial for rear-wheel-drive drift cars as they enable true-to-scale door-to-door drifting. The included Hexfly GX-1 gyro automatically applies countersteer to maintain smooth drift arcs.

The RDS excels in its lightweight carbon fiber-based chassis and extensive adjustability.

Every aspect of the RDS can be adjusted to suit the driver’s preferences, including camber, caster, toe, ackerman, roll center, and center of gravity.

The motor plate offers three different mounting positions, allowing for adjustments in chassis roll and weight bias.

The RDS is packed with tuning capabilities that cater to even the most advanced drivers.

Although the RDS is an advanced competition-spec drift car, it is also a good choice for beginners. It comes pre-configured out of the box for polished concrete and p-tile surfaces, allowing novices to start practicing with the factory settings.

PROS
Carbon deck/chassis
Highly adjustable
Brushless motor
Magnet body mounts
Motor mounting options
CONS
Generic body
Not many optional parts (yet)

Best Value - HSP 94123 Pro

HSP 94123 Pro is an upgraded version of the base model and is fully ready to run.

The PRO version comes with a brushless setup, significantly boosting its speed compared to the standard version allowing the car to exceed 35 mph.

This full upgrade package includes a necessary Lipo 3500mAh 7.4 V battery upgrade to fully experience the power of the brushless motor. 

Designed for people wanting to dip their toes in RC drifting, this model offers great speed and comes with an adjustable suspension setup such as camber, toe-in, and body leveling. It encompasses all the expected features of a hobby-grade model and more.

Notable components include aluminum oil-filled shocks, functional differentials, strategically placed aluminum parts such as the central drive shaft and upper chassis, a slipper clutch, and an advanced servo saver. Built on a semi competition-ready platform, this car provides a great drifting experience for both novices and experienced RC drivers.

Both the upgraded version and the standard version come equipped with solid compound drift tires and pre-mounted high-performance wheels, ensuring precise and a reasonably controlled drifting. The 4WD system enhances the consistency of drifts across a wide range of surfaces, but does not allow bigger drifting angles.

The radio-controlled car comes ready to run, requiring only 8 standard AA batteries for the 2.4GHz transmitter. Once you have the batteries installed, you’ll be ready to hit the road.

PROS
Great way to start RC drifting
Brushless motor
Quite durable
Water-resistant electronics
Enclosed drivetrain
CONS
Steering angle
Suspension is too soft

Best Mini - GoolRC WLtoys 284131

WLtoys are known for taking time tested and proven designs of other RC manufacturers and making a more affordable copy of it. As a result, the inspiration for 284131 was a well known Kyosho Mini-Z, but comes at 1/3 of the price. 

The car is powered by a 2s 400mAh battery pack that fits into a scaled-down battery clip.

The ESC provides proportional forward and brake control, with reverse activated by a double tap of the rear trigger.

The 130-sized motor allows for some upgrades and replacement parts if you want to uplift the performance of your mini RC drifter. At the same time, out of the box, you can expect the motor to propel your mini RC to around 25 km/h, which is pretty impressive for an RC car of this size.

The car features a fully independent suspension with metal dogbone driveshafts. It provides a very respectable handling also contributed by a good balance of all the components.

Battery life is decent and can provide you around 15 minutes of a full blown fun, so if you want to have longer runs, you need more and better capacity batteries with higher C-rating. 

The body integrates well with the bumper and chassis-mounted diffuser. Coupled with LED lights array both at the front and rear of the car, the body look really cool.

PROS
best 1 24 rc crawler aroundLED lights
Great value
25km/h top speed
Small but durable
Independent suspension
CONS
Some binding in the drivetrain

Best General Purpose - HPI RS4 Sport 3 Drift

HPI drift RC car Subaru BRZ is adorned with Dai Yoshihara‘s official Turn 14 Distribution race livery, which looks amazing.

This RC drift car replica is built on the famous HPI RS4 Sport 3 chassis that captures attention right out of the box.

The package is completed with newly designed Dai’s preferred R.M.K Design R5 forged wheels, wrapped in super-hard compound Falken Azenis RT615 T-drift tires.

The RC car comes with a shaft-driven 4WD, a sealed drivetrain, waterproof 2.4 GHz electronics, independent double wishbone suspension, and adjustable oil-filled shocks.

The chassis of the RS4 Sport 3 Drift is crafted from a single reinforced plastic piece, with a drivetrain tunnel molded down the center, mirroring real cars. It is superior to most other plastic tub chassis cars as components are positioned at the lowest point possible, resulting in an impressively low center of gravity that enhances cornering performance.

To ensure protection against dirt and debris, the drivetrain is fully sealed, encompassing the central driveshaft and gear differentials. You also get ball bearings on the driveshaft, differentials, and axles to reduce resistance and increases the efficiency of the drivetrain.

You also get metal gearing, especially bevel gear differentials which are able to support increased power in case you later opt for a brushless motor engine and ESC unit.

PROS
Time tested, reliable platform
Great looking body
Future proof and sealed drivetrain
Falken drifting tires
Good at RC racing and general purpose too
CONS
Things can get stuck in the steering

Best Entry Level - Redcat Racing Thunder

Redcat Racing Thunder is a 4WD, belt driven, fully ready to run RC drift car.

It includes a 2.4GHz radio, 7.2v 2000mAh NiMH battery pack and a charger, so all you need to get is 4 AA size batteries for the transmitter.

The body is lightweight and despite being licensed, contains a reasonable amount of detail.

Surprising to see in this price category, but this affordable RC drifter comes with at tunable suspension.

You can adjust the ride height, shock length and positioning, change camber and toe angle, as well as the belt tension.

Thunder comes with good aluminum oil-filled shocks and ball bearing throughout the chassis, which is essential for any RC car that wants to improve the efficiency of the power delivery and reduce wear and tear.

The car is designed around the brushed power source, so if you were to upgrade to brushless, you would also need to change the stock 40A ESC, which is waterproof and works well with the 22T RC540 brushed motor, which is plenty to start off with.

Hexfly high-torque servo is reasonable and copes with drifting needs well, with the waterproof case protecting the unit from water damage and extending your run time.

PROS
Affordable
Great way to start with RC drifting
Good belt-driven system
Fully RTR (including battery pack and charger)
Waterproof electronics
CONS
Tires could come off when wheels are side hit

Best For Racing - MST RMX 2.5 RTR

Max Speed Technology has recently released a 1/10th scale RMX 2.5 RTR drift car, which has generated lots of excitement due to the company concentrating on RC drift kits before.

RMX 2.5 is an entry-level professional drift car, that promises to deliver impressive performance without a hefty price tag.

It introduces an innovative chassis layout and enhanced configurations to push those drifting capabilities up a notch.

Drawing on the company’s drifting history and the achievements of the RMX 2.0 platform, this upgraded iteration takes the RMX series to a new level of drifting performance. MST has redesigned chassis to improve user-friendliness for beginners while remaining gratifying for seasoned drifters.

With enhanced traction, control, and a wide array of customizable adjustments, the improved chassis elevates your driving experience to almost a racing or competition levels.

The inclusion of a high-performance specific gravity frame improves rear-wheel traction and accelerates propulsion.

Featuring a large-angle steering system with an Ackerman angle suitable for drift cars, it delivers excellent handling and control during large-angle drifts.

The option to choose between low and high center of gravity configurations for the motor position provides different handling characteristics for the driver to enjoy and tailor it to the your drifting style.

The car is equipped with professional drift tires, realistic wheels, and a realistic brake caliper set, coupled with a highly detailed and sturdy body produces an authentic look. 

MTS is known for testing each of their RTR cars before the package it to ensure the highest levels of quality control and as a result, you even get factory pre-set end points which are just spot on and do not need to be touched.

Whether you’re a novice or an expert, the RMX 2.5 RTR delivers plenty of drifting performance matched with an appealing aesthetic, featuring the LBMT pre-painted body.

PROS
Authentic RWD brushless drifting experience
Many stunning bodies to choose from
Lots of upgrade parts are available
Race-bred pedigree
Fits long and short batteries
CONS
On the expensive side
Plastic chassis, would expect carbon

Best For Kids - VOLANTEXRC Camel Area

VOLANTEXRC is a brand by EXHOBBY that specializes on budget friendly RC cars and Camel Area is their entry into the budget RC drift car category.

It is slightly smaller than a typical drift car as it is of the 1/14 scale and comes with a choice of two different bodies.

Since being very recreational, the car adds some visual appeal by having an LED inside of the body that flash different colors when the car is in action.

The package is ready to run, and includes the radio, battery, charger, some spare parts, another set of luminous drift wheels and road blocks for play.

The battery allows up to 25 minutes of run time, which highly depends on the way the car is operated, which is reasonable. The chassis features a simple 4 wheel drive system which is capable of reaching 25 kilometer per hour. It does not have an independent suspension or oil filled shocks, but it should be expected in any RC drift car under $100. Being the cheapest car in our review, we have limited expectations and if you need a car to give your kid a go with RC drifting hobby – this is a great option to go for.
PROS
Very affordable
LED lights
Can do over 20 km/h
Great for kids 6 years old or more
CONS
No adjustments
No upgrade parts available

Best Mid Range RC Drift Car - Yokomo YD-2Z

Yokomo YD-2Z is the latest (and probably the final) evolution of the renowned YD-2 that is well-known in the RC drifting world.

The latest version comes with a number of updates to improve the car’s balance, drifting control and access to the drivetrain.

Moreover, you get drift exclusive wheels and a Toyota GR Supra painted body ready to go.

One of the ways to improve steering balance and operability is achieved with better quality and integrated bulkhead is at the front end. Steering is also more adjustable, as the kit includes an upper deck which is compatible with slide racks.

The redesigned gear case in the 3-gear transmission is more maintainable and has easy access to the differential by removing the rear cap. A side benefit of multiple gears is that the throttle response is almost instant.

Additionally, the motor mount offers 13 stages of adjustment, allowing you to control the center of gravity and offset according to road conditions, from low to high mounts.

Lastly, the battery slot accommodates standard-sized to shorty Li-po batteries, which may not seem like a lot, but it allows you to play with run time as well as the chassis balance.

Overall, Yokomo YD-2Z is a great platform to build on. It its good enough to get yourself into competitive RC drifting and improve as go along. Due to Yokomo’s pedigree, there are lots of optional parts for the YD-2 platform, so if you ever feel like you want to participate in drift competitions, this chassis and the pure selection of optional parts can get you there.

PROS
Abundance of compatible option parts
Fine-tuned steering
Powerful 27-turn motor
Loads of DIY fun
Extremely ‘upgradable’ chassis
CONS
Slightly excessive roll
No portal axles

Best Micro - Turbo Racing C64

Turbo Racing C64 is a 1/76 scale micro RC drift car that is designed to slide on your table. Just for some perspective – it is less than 2″ long and is smaller than a Hot Wheels model.

Despite its size, it comes with LED headlights with spotlight effect, tail lights that come on at the time of breaking and lots of other body detail and authenticity.

It has two speed modes that get engaged when you pull the accelerator trigger before and after the half way point. 

The smallest RC drift car in our review also comes with a gyro, which helps you keep your little car on the drifting line and is surprising for the RC car of this size/scale.

The tiny 55mAh battery can be charged with Type-C USB and lasts for up to 30 minutes.

Moreover, you get two more body shells in the box, in case you wanted to custom-design and paint it to your own liking. 

Overall, C64 is loads of table fun and if you are looking for the best micro RC drift car – there is nothing quite out there that compares with the same level of performance and value.

PROS
Realistic scale looks
LED headlights and taillights
Two additional and replaceable bodies
Proportional throttle and steering with gyro!
Loads of tabletop fun
CONS
Nothing to note

How To Choose the Best RC Drift Car - Buying Guide

FAQ

Choosing the best RC drift car requires considering several key factors, some of which can be quite decisive. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you make an informed decision that will land you an RC drift car right for you:

Budget

Determine your budget range for an RC drift car. Consider the initial cost as well as potential expenses for upgrades and maintenance. RC drift car start with $30 and can go north all the way to a $1000 or even more.

Type

Ready-to-Run (RTR) vs. Build-It-Yourself (KIT) – decide if you want the convenience of an RTR car, which comes pre-assembled and ready to use, or if you prefer the customization options of a KIT car, which requires building and tuning.

Scale Size

Consider the scale size of the drift car as they vary from the smallest 1/76 scale to the most commonly used 1/10 scale. The 1/10 scale is most popular as it offers a good balance of performance and realism, while smaller RC drift cars are more compact and suitable for smaller spaces.

Chassis and suspension

Look for a drift car with a well-designed chassis and suspension system. Features like a low center of gravity, adjustable suspension, and quality dampers contribute to stability and precise control during drifting. Also, you want to know what you can configure and what you can’t – check if camber and caster angles can be adjusted to squeeze out every drop of drifting performance there is.

There is also a choice between plastic and carbon chassis when you are picking your RC drifter. Plastic chassis for RC cars are a cost-effective choice, offering durability, lightweight construction, and affordability, making them suitable for entry-level models. 

On the other hand, carbon chassis provide superior performance with their lightweight, rigid structure, enhancing handling, and precision. Although they come at a higher price, carbon chassis offer exceptional rigidity, reducing chassis flex and improving stability during high-speed maneuvers. However, they can be less forgiving in crashes, requiring specialized repairs.

Ultimately, the decision between plastic and carbon chassis depends on budget constraints and the desired level of performance for your RC car.

Drivetrain

RWD (Rear-Wheel Drive) and AWD (All-Wheel Drive) are two different drivetrain configurations commonly used in RC drifting.

RWD (Rear Wheel Drive) Drifting

RWD drift cars mimic the characteristics of real-world drift vehicles. In an RWD setup, the power from the motor is delivered solely to the rear wheels. This configuration allows for dynamic and aggressive drifting maneuvers, as the rear wheels provide the primary source of propulsion and steering control.

RWD drifting requires skillful throttle control, steering finesse, and precise weight transfer to initiate and maintain controlled drifts. It offers a more realistic and challenging drifting experience, closely resembling the techniques used in full-scale drifting.

RWD drift cars are popular among experienced drift enthusiasts who enjoy the technical aspects of drifting and mastering the art of initiating and controlling slides.

AWD (All Wheel Drive) Drifting

AWD drift cars distribute power to all four wheels, providing increased traction and stability. The power is evenly distributed between the front and rear wheels, allowing for better grip and control during acceleration and cornering.

AWD drift cars are generally easier to handle for beginners or those transitioning from other RC car disciplines. The additional traction makes it easier to maintain stability and initiate drifts, especially on low-grip surfaces. AWD drifting allows for smoother, more controlled slides and provides a forgiving platform for learning and practicing drifting techniques. It can be a great option for those looking for a more approachable and forgiving drifting experience.

Ultimately, the choice between RWD and AWD drift cars depends on your skill level, drifting goals, and personal preferences. RWD offers a more challenging and realistic experience, while AWD provides stability and easier car control, making it suitable for beginners or those who prefer a more forgiving drifting style. Both drivetrain configurations have their advantages and appeal to different types of RC drift enthusiasts.

Body and Aesthetics

Consider the body style and aesthetics of the drift car. Choose a design that appeals to you and ensure that replacement bodies are available if you want to change the look in the future. Customization options such as decals or lights can also enhance the visual appeal.

Upgradability and Optional Parts

Optional parts refer to aftermarket components that can be added or replaced on an RC car to modify its performance, appearance, or functionality.

These parts are often designed by third-party manufacturers and cater to specific needs or preferences of RC car enthusiasts. Examples of optional parts include upgraded motors, high-performance batteries, advanced suspension systems, upgraded shocks, different tire compounds, aluminum or carbon fiber chassis components, and upgraded electronics such as speed controllers and servos.

Optional parts provide opportunities for customization, allowing enthusiasts to fine-tune their RC cars for specific racing conditions or personal preferences.

Reviews and Recommendations

Before making a final decision, research and read reviews from reputable sources to gain insights into the performance, durability, and user experiences of a different RC vehicle. Seek recommendations from experienced RC enthusiasts or join online forums to gather additional advice and insights.

Also, feel free to check the best RC boats for pools review, if you are into water fun!

There are several reputable brands known for producing high-quality RC drift cars. The "best" brand for RC drift cars ultimately depends on individual preferences, budget, and specific requirements. Here are some popular brands known for their RC drift cars:

  • Yokomo: Yokomo is highly regarded for its RC drift cars, known for their precision, high-quality components, and excellent performance. They offer a range of drift car models suitable for beginners to advanced drift enthusiasts.
  • MST (Max Speed Technology): MST is recognized for its innovative and performance-oriented RC drift cars. They offer a variety of models with features like adjustable chassis, high-quality suspensions, and customizable options.
  • Tamiya: Tamiya is a well-established brand that offers a wide range of RC cars, including drift car models. Tamiya drift cars are known for their attention to detail, scale realism, and solid performance.
  • HPI Racing: HPI Racing offers a selection of RC drift cars designed for both beginners and experienced drifters. They are known for their durable construction, good handling characteristics, and a variety of body options.
  • Overdose: Overdose specializes in high-end RC drift car components and complete chassis kits. They are renowned for their precision engineering, attention to detail, and top-notch performance.
  • Sakura: Sakura drift cars from 3Racing provide a cost-effective option for entry-level drift enthusiasts. They offer good performance and customizable features at an affordable price point.

The choice between RWD and AWD for RC drifting depends on personal preference and skill level. RWD provides a realistic and challenging experience, requiring precise throttle and steering control for dynamic slides. It appeals to experienced drifters who enjoy the technical aspects.

AWD drifting is more forgiving and easier to handle, making it suitable for beginners or those transitioning from other RC disciplines. AWD cars offer better traction and stability, allowing for smoother and controlled drifts, particularly on low-grip surfaces. Ultimately, it's recommended to try both drivetrain configurations to determine which suits your skills and driving style.

Yes, it is possible to drift a 4WD (Four-Wheel Drive) RC car. While 4WD cars are typically known for their traction and stability, with proper setup and technique, they can be drifted effectively.

While any RC car has the potential to be used for drifting, not all cars are optimized for the specific requirements of drifting.

The key features that make a car well-suited for drifting include rear-wheel drive (RWD) or four-wheel drive (4WD) with a rear bias, adjustable suspension, a low center of gravity, and drift-specific tires. Cars that meet these criteria and have a chassis design conducive to weight transfer and maneuverability are better suited for drifting.

At the same time, with modifications and adjustments to the suspension, tires, and weight distribution, it is possible to enhance the drifting capabilities of various RC cars.

  • Realism: RWD drifting closely mimics the behavior of real drift cars, making it appealing to enthusiasts seeking a more authentic and immersive experience. It requires precise throttle control, weight transfer, and steering input, similar to the techniques used in full-scale drifting.
  • Challenge and Skill: RWD drifting is generally considered more challenging and requires a higher level of skill and finesse to initiate and maintain controlled drifts. The need for precise throttle control and weight transfer to induce and control slides adds to the complexity and satisfaction of mastering the art of drifting.
  • Dynamic and Aggressive: RWD cars excel in dynamic and aggressive drifting maneuvers. With power delivered solely to the rear wheels, RWD cars are more prone to oversteer, allowing for dramatic slides, power slides, and quick direction changes. This allows experienced drifters to perform more technical and skillful drift techniques.
  • Style and Aesthetics: RWD drifting is often associated with a more stylish and aesthetic appeal. The controlled and graceful slides achieved with RWD cars can create visually appealing drift angles and long, smoke-filled drifts, adding to the overall excitement and spectacle of the sport.

While AWD drifting has its advantages, such as better traction and stability, RWD drifting offers a more challenging and realistic experience that appeals to enthusiasts seeking technicality, skill development, and an authentic drift car experience.

RC drift cars are commonly available in various scale sizes, but the most popular and widely used scale for RC drift cars is 1/10 scale. This scale provides a good balance between size, detail, and performance. It allows for accurate representation of real-life drift car proportions while offering ample space for the necessary electronics, suspension components, and other features. Additionally, 1/10 scale drift cars often have a wide range of body options available, allowing enthusiasts to choose from various makes and models to customize their RC drift cars to their liking. However, other scale sizes, such as 1/18 or 1/12, can also be found in the RC drift car market, catering to different preferences and space constraints.

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