Which RC drift car is best?
Drifting is rapidly becoming one of the most popular areas of motorsport around the world. Known for its flashy displays of swinging cars and burning rubber, this driving technique requires professional courses to do safely — and legally. Thankfully, drifting has come to the world of remote control cars. Now, many of your favorite RC cars are outfitted to perform these balletic slides so you can get an adrenaline rush at home with getting a ticket.
If you want to link corners and perform screeching-tire stunts, the best RC drift car is the BESWIT Remote Control GT Drift Car.
What to know before you buy an RC drift car
What is drifting?
Drifting is a driving technique that purposefully breaks tire traction in order to put the car into a controlled skid. Drivers slide their cars around corners in high-powered, high-octane expressions of personal style.
Started on the back roads of Japan in the 1970s, drifting entered mainstream culture in the following decades through popular TV shows like “Initial D” and movie franchises like “Fast & Furious.” It’s now a major sport with sanctioned events and competitions around the world.
What makes an RC car driftable
Just like an actual car, RC cars require a few dialed-in variables in order to drift. These have to do with suspension, ground clearance, tires and the drivetrain. One key difference between 1:1 cars and remote control cars is that RC cars can drift with a 4WD drivetrain, whereas drivers need a RWD car in order to drift in real life.
How to drift an RC car
Drifting is a driving technique that threads the needle between control and lack thereof. It requires the careful balancing of throttle and countersteering to maintain a slide once you break traction.
In order to get the tires to lose their grip, you need to brake hard before a corner and steer sharply. This sends the weight forward, lifting the back wheels up enough so the back of the car swings out. Then, by modulating the throttle and steering in the opposite direction of the skid, you slide the car around the corner before returning the steering to neutral and accelerating to drive straight again.
This is a pretty advanced technique, so it will take some practice. Try setting up your own course with miniature cones to practice initiating a slide at home.
What to look for in a quality RC drift car
Tires are one of the most important factors in determining whether or not your RC car can drift. Most RC cars use tires with some amount of tread as this helps them grip the road better, or even tackle mud and gravel.
It may sound counterintuitive, but to drift, you actually want to limit the amount of grip your tires have. A good drift RC car should have hard slick tires. These have zero tread so they don’t grab the road as well.
4WD vs. RWD
While some RC car platforms are switching over to RWD configurations, many are still 4WD. This means power is distributed to all four wheels. You can still drift an RC car with 4WD, and many beginners find that this layout is easier to control. As you get the hang of drifting, you can always modify your RC car and convert it to RWD.
A good RC car for drifting has a stiff suspension and locking differentials. Look for RC drift cars that have ball bearings in their product descriptions. These indicate the presence of differentials, which lock the wheels so they slide on the pavement.
Drift RC cars aren’t very high off the ground. This lets them have a low center of gravity so you can control the car easier. This is in contrast to popular RC car models such as trucks and buggies, which use a combination of lifted suspensions and large, treaded tires to handle uneven terrain.
How much you can expect to spend on an RC drift car
RC drift cars are typically cheaper than their all-terrain or record-speed counterparts, as the latter models require more power and tech. For a budget RC drift car, you can expect to spend $30-$60. More advanced models with better motors, batteries and suspensions can cost as much as $200.
RC drift car FAQ
Where can I drift my RC car?
A. RC cars can drift on any smooth surface. A freshly paved driveway, a basketball court or hardwood floors are all great options. Just remember that these cars can move pretty quickly and damage their surroundings when you invariably crash. If you’re looking for a safe and designated area to drift, there are many drift tracks where you can sign up to drive for free or a modest fee.
Do I need a powerful engine to drift?
A. Unless you’re building your own RC car from scratch, most pre-built drift models have engines specially made to put down enough torque and power to drift at speeds of 20-40 miles per hour.
How is an RC drift car powered?
A. Most RC cars are powered by electric motors that use rechargeable batteries to run. These typically last 15-30 minutes and take about 1-3 hours to charge.
What’s the best RC drift car to buy?
Top RC drift car
What you need to know: Take this Mustang replica with a striking livery and cool aerodynamics to the track or make your own course with the included cones.
What you’ll love: This is a great all-around RC car with an easy-to-use pistol-grip controller. Not only does it come with four drift tires, but also four racing tires so you can set record lap times at a top speed of 22 miles per hour. The lithium batteries charge via a USB port and when doubled up (you get two), allow for 30 minutes of driving time.
What you should consider: Drifting means eventually crashing, and some users found that this model’s chassis didn’t hold up well to repeated collisions.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top RC drift car for the money
What you need to know: Jada Toys’ replica from the “Fast & Furious” franchise is the best RC drift car for young enthusiasts and beginners.
What you’ll love: This is the famous orange-and-black Veilside Mazda RX-7 from the blockbuster, “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.” The pistol-grip controller comes with a turbo button to assist with drifting. You get an extra set of tires that mount without hassle. The battery charges with a USB cable and lasts about 10-15 minutes.
What you should consider: Users found that you need an especially slick surface to break the tires loose, so use this one at dedicated tracks or indoors.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This is the hardcore option for RC drifters who want all the bells and whistles without the pain of modifying or building their own car from scratch.
What you’ll love: Available with a brushed or brushless motor, this high-powered Nissan GTR-inspired drift car is one of the fastest premade builds you can get. It uses a stiff, independent suspension and locking differentials to achieve huge 4WD skids. Two sets of tires allow you to switch between racing and drifting. The NiMh battery lasts about 20-45 minutes depending on use and takes about 3 hours to charge.
What you should consider: Users recommend upgrading to a LiPO battery on this car to enhance its power and battery life.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Karl Daum writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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