Use this site to research the best rc drift cars and get the most for your money. If you're new to the world of rc drift cars we have massive chart of rc drift cars that has all the most popular ready to run rc drift cars and their specs to help you compare, contrast and make an informed decision.
We provide you with individual rc drift car reviews, new and education below. Best thing is is that we are not a vendor so you can be sure to get honest and impartial advice.
If you're looking for the ultimate resource in rc drift cars you've come to the right place, we have tons of useful information for both rc drift car enthusiasts and newbies alike.
Recommended Best RC Drift Cars for 2018
Naturally this list of the best rc drift cars may change from time to time, but as of 2015 here are the latest rc drifters that impress me the most:
HPI Racing Mustang Monster Energy
This ready-to-run(RTR) RC drift car from HPI racing is truly a badass drift car, not only does it look amazing but it’s also super easy to drift.
This HPI E10 is a 1/10 scale drift car and the perfect reproduction from Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s Monster Energy Ford Mustang RTR.
If you are new to rc drifting, this is the perfect car for you. It’s designed for the entry level drifter looking to improve their skills on the track or just out in the driveway trying to have some fun.
What makes this car easy to drift, a few things actually. The combination of full-time 4WD, the independent suspension and specially designed drift tires.
Check out this quick video that shows just how easy this rc car is to drift right out of the box.
The tires are developed with a harder compound, which as you can tell from the above video clip makes drifting on paved surfaces much easier.
The highly efficient electronic speed control has your standard throttle, brakes and reverse, allowing you to steer and handle just like an actual vehicle.
Delivering the horsepower is an impressive Saturn 27T electric motor for dependable power and efficiency with very little upkeep.
If you are new to rc drifting, I would highly suggest you give the HPI E10 Mustang a look, not only is it truly a badass looking rc drift car, it's perfect for the beginner trying to learn to drift for the first time.
Exceed RC MadDrift 1/8 RTR RC Drift Car
Another quality option would be the MadDrift brushless rc drift car from Exceed.
This is a 1/8 scale on road car, similar to the E10 Mustang from HPI, the MadDrift is also ready-to-run straight from the box. It’s unique look sets it apart from other rc drift cars you may be used to seeing.
The MadDrift is loaded with some impressive electronics, its horse power is supplied through a 540L 2150KV brushless motor and sustained by an 80A electronic speed control from Hobbywing.
High RPM speed drifting is no problem with this car, oil filled shocks and aluminum sway bars, along with the 2.4ghz radio system keeps you in full control throughout the drifting process.
The balance of this car is outstanding, the ESC is mounted center mass with battery mounts on either side. The weight dispersion and design characteristics further enhance what is already an excellent handling rc drift car.
As with most rc drift cars, upgrades are readily available for the MadDrift at not only Amazon but many other online retailers. Possible upgrades include brushless motors, tires, servo’s, transmitters, gears. Pretty much you could rebuild this whole car if you felt inclined to do so.
One thing to note, if you decide you purchase the MadDrift rc drift car from Amazon, be aware the Li-Po battery charger is sold separately. That would definitely suck having to wait for another order to come in before you could run it.
Still Unsure Which RC Drift Car to Buy?
We know what you’re thinking: “I really want to buy a rc drift car but there are way too many complicated options so please just tell me which is the best drift setup so I can go and buy it.”
We hear this stuff more than you think, it’s really hard to just tell you which rc drift car you should buy. That’s because rc drifting is a skill that has a bit of a learning curve.
Of course there is also a bunch of crap out there which we will try to make sure you steer clear of, but even after weeding the junk out you’re still left with hundreds of choices from top quality manufacturers. Well don’t worry.
We know the choices can often be overwhelming, so be sure to check out our massive interactive chart of rc drift cars which has all the key data points to help you make the right decision.
Even when you may have figured out what type of rc drifter you want there are still many choices to sift through. So check out the chart and reviews which will help you a great deal.
What Should You Look for in the Best RC Drift Car?
When it comes to the world of rc drifting cars, there are many configuration options for the driver to take into consideration. Here are a few of the main points:
RC Motors Explained
When it comes to RC drift car motors, faster isn’t always better. In fact, the faster the car, the more difficult it is to drift.
The speed of a motor is determined by its “turns”. A lower turn motor will be faster with less torque, while the higher turn motors are slower with more torque.
For instance, I mentioned above the HPI E10 has a Saturn 27T motor. 27T refers to the number of turns, meaning this would be a low end on the speed rating, with high torque. Stock rc motors are 27 turns, and for a beginning rc drifter this isn’t a bad thing.
The slower speed combined with the higher torque makes breaking the tires loose and drifting the car much easier, so a stock rc motor is a good choice for beginners.
So more turns equals higher torque, less rpm’s and as a benefit longer battery life. It’ll be slower but much easier to control and drive.
Less turns equals less torque, more rpm’s and shorter battery life. Much faster but more difficult to control and drive.
In addition to the number of turns a motor has, is the number of winds one has around the armature.
A single wind is going to provide the most bottom end powered and lower rpms, these motors are good for short tracks with many turns.
Multiple winds, (2,3 or 4) will have more high end power at higher rpms, meaning faster for longer straighter tracks. Not really ideal for drifting.
What is great about rc cars, as your drifting skills improve you can upgrade your car to match. Depending on our budget there are many many upgrades you can add to your car, including a complete motor replacement.
Brushed or Brushless?
Most of your lower end ready-to-run drift cars will come equipped with a stock brushed motor, which is completely fine for anybody starting out, and for most others just wanting to have fun.
As you get accustomed to drifting you may wish to upgrade, while you may be able to do a 10 foot drift with your brushed setup, a brushless setup will deliver more power and could produce that coveted 20 foot drift.
One of the main benefits of a brushless rc motor is there is essentially zero maintenance involved, short of a catastrophic motor failure of course.
The same can’t be said for a brushed motor, there is maintenance involved. It’s important to keep it good and clean, free from any dirt and grime. Some type of motor cleaning fluid will do the trick. Keeping your motor clean is the best way to extend its life.
So the quick and dirty of it, brushed motors will be cheaper and easier to wire up, however maintenance is involved and they are more inclined to wear out quicker due to their mechanical nature.
Brushless motors have no mechanical parts, they use magnets to turn the rotor so maintenance is hardly ever required. Brushless motors will also deliver more consistent power, however you will need to run a lipo battery to get the most out of them.
Perhaps the biggest con facing the brushless motors is that they are a great deal more expensive than a brushed motor. You also have to be aware that not all ESC’s can handle a brushless motor, so research is needed if and when you decide to upgrade.
Shaft Drive vs Belt Drive
When it comes to setting up a rc drifter car, I tend to prefer a belt driven car. I say this because they are generally lighter and the motor is positioned to allow the chassis to be better balanced which allows drifting either direction way more easy.
A belt driven car will also be super smooth off the start, the belt absorbs the pressure and reduces torque steer.
However, with the belt drive also comes some issues, rocks and dirt can get in the belt and tear it up. Belts can stretch and when they slack up too much will come off, and ultimately need replacing when this happens.
A shaft driven car will be far more maintenance free, the enclosed drive train doesn’t allow pebbles and dirt in to muck things up. This introduces more surfaces you can run on without the worry of messing belts up.
For power, shafts are much more efficient, they unleash full torque right away. In my mind this makes for a much better racer than it does a drifter.
With that immediate power comes issues though, while you don’t have the belt maintenance to worry about, there is a risk of tearing up gears.
Not to mention, the instant power shoot introduces another issue, torque steer!
Wait, What is Torque Steer?
Torque steer is just what it sounds like, so much torque being delivered on heavy acceleration that it causes your rc car to steer automatically to the left or right.
This phenomenon is more prevalent on a shaft driven car, due to the shaft being perpendicular to the wheel.
To see this in action on a shaft driven car, punch it and let it run without steering. You’ll see it start to favor one side over the other. Also you’ll notice on a shaft driven rc drift car, one side is easier to drift than the other.
So why aren’t belt driven cars affected by torque steer? A few reasons actually, the motor rotation is inline with the pulleys, and the drivetrain is aligned with the wheels. Everything is delivered equally in all directions.
Best RC Drift Tires
HPI T-Drifts are a very good set of drift tires, if you are running on polished concrete or other similar surfaces you’ll find them to be very smooth and highly controllable.
HPI T-Drifts are probably the most common rc drift tires ran today, they are very dependable and will fit most anyone’s drifting needs.
Another good choice would be the Yokomo Zero-One R2, these tires are well suited for a smooth asphalt surface and will be very smooth and controllable, similar to the T-Drifts.
To be perfectly honest, drift tires are mostly user preference and pertain to surface material and condition or said surface you’ll be drifting on.
A smooth surface can allow you to run a softer tire setup without burning up your tires to quickly, while a rougher surface may require you to run a hard compound tire.
Keep in mind the higher compound tires will spin more freely, so lower rpms are required for better drift results I’ve found.
NiMH or Li-Po Battery?
You’ve only got 2 choices really, and it will be decided mostly by your setup. You can either choose to run a NiMH (Nickel-Metal-Hydride) battery, or a Li-Po battery (Lithium-Polymer).
Technically there are a couple other battery choices, but they inefficient and never recommended.
The NiMH battery is comprised of individual cells daisy chained together to increase the total voltage of the battery. Each individual cell is 1.2V, so a 6 cell NiMH battery is 7.2 total volts.
The more voltage delivered by your battery, the faster you car will be. So a 8 cell battery would be 9.6V and would obviously be faster, but also take up more room, so this could often times not be an option for some.
Another thing to consider, if you want upgrade to a higher voltage battery, other components, like the ESC must be compatible with the higher voltage.
Li-Po batteries will have better performance, much like the NiMH they are comprised of individual cells. However instead of each cell being 1.2V, they are 3.7 volts each, with a choice from 1 to 4 cells.
So a Li-Po with 4 cells can produce 14.8 volts, that’s some serious power, and are usually used in high demand rc setups, like drones and helicopters.
I know what your thinking, why would anybody ever choose to run a NiMH over a Li-Po. It comes down to your motor and ESC.
Brass tacks, if ran incorrectly, a Li-Po can toast a brushed motor pretty quickly. If you do decide to go Li-Po on a brushed setup make sure you run a 1 or 2s, 7.4V max.
Also keep in mind, if your ESC isn’t compatible with the Li-Po battery you’ll have some issues there also. Typically brushed ESC’s will not have a warning built in to let you know when your battery is running low, and running a Li-Po to low can kill it.
ESC’s built for brushless setups will have some sort of warning signal, alerting you when you Li-Po battery is running low, or even some sort of built in low voltage cutoff.
A good Li-Po battery will have a balance plug, which evenly charges each individual cell. You’ll need a good charger, the EZPeak plus is a good entry level charger. Or if you prefer to never have to worry about the battery type again, you can go for the iCharger 208B.
There You Have it, You're Ready to Run Now!
With the amount of information I’ve put into this page you should be on your way to making a solid choice in which rc drift car to buy. Whether you are a complete beginner or even a seasoned veteran of rc drifting, there is something for everyone.
Hopefully you’ve learned a little something about the different rc drift car setups and options, difference in motors, types of drift tires and battery selections.
No doubt there is a lot of information to digest, but as you read through some of our rc drift car recommendations I have confidence we’ve given you the needed tools to make an informed decision on which rc drift car you should buy.
Now go and buy your rc drift car today and start having fun, and if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.