Best RC Drift Cars to Feel the Thrill

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 20, 2017
Drifting is fascinating. But it is also dangerous and, aside from official competitions, illegal. To satisfy our craving for this adrenaline rush, we play computer games but it's just not the same. Today, we offer you RC drift cars to get up from your chair and have fun outside! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Scale
Track
Engine
Peculiarities
Powered by
Control
Max Speed
Tires
Dimensions
Age
Warranty
 
PROS

The powerful engine of this fast and furious drifting car model can reach the speed of approximately 55 MPH.

CONS

Charging takes long.

OUR VERDICT

With one of these models (offered in two stunning designs), you will conquer the most challenging drifts and will reach the leaderboard in no time.

detailed parameters
Scale

1:10

Track

Road

Engine

Electric Brushed: 27T 540,
Speed Control: ESC

Peculiarities

4WD shaft drive
Oil filled aluminum capped shocks
Adjustable independent suspension
Transmission: Forward and Reverse

Powered by

Car: 7.2v 2000mAh NiMh battery
Controller: 8 AA batteries (not included)

Control

2.4GHz Radio System (2-channel)

Max Speed

45–55 MPH

Tires

Drift Tires

Dimensions

Height: 112 mm
Length: 360 mm
Width: 200 mm
Wheelbase: 260 mm

Age

14+

Warranty

90 days

PROS

The car has a big foam front bumper so it will survive the most ferocious kisses with obstacles like curbs and other cars.

CONS

The antenna on the controller might be not very convenient.

OUR VERDICT

This drift version of a popular road car makes showy turns. You will definitely catch everyone's eye with it.

detailed parameters
Scale

1:10

Track

Road

Engine

Electric Brushed: RC540,
Speed Control: SP03018 ESC

Peculiarities

4WD shaft drive
Oil filled aluminum capped shocks
Independent aluminum suspension
Transmission: Forward and Reverse

Powered by

Car: 7.2V, 1800mAh NiMH battery
Controller: 4 AA batteries (not included)

Control

2.4GHz Radio System (2-channel)

Max Speed

~30 MPH

Tires

Drift Tires

Dimensions

Height: 112 mm
Length: 360 mm
Width: 200 mm
Wheelbase: 260 mm

Age

8+

Warranty

30 days

PROS

A tiny red light behind each wheel makes racing in the dark so much more flashy!

CONS

The battery is rather weak.

OUR VERDICT

It not only looks a little bit like Bumblebee (sans the color scheme)! This True-American RC car model can actually race and drift really good.

detailed parameters
Scale

1:10

Track

Road

Engine

Electric Brushed

Peculiarities

4WD shaft drive
Transmission: Forward and Reverse

Powered by

Car: 9.6V 700mAh Ni-Cd battery
Controller: 9V battery

Control

2.4GHz Radio System (2-channel)

Max Speed

~12 MPH

Tires

Drift Tires, Rubber Racing Tires

Dimensions

Height: 127 mm
Length: 419 mm
Width: 178 mm

Age

3+

Warranty

Amazon's 30-days return policy

PROS

An off-road RC drift car with large wheels and clearance.

CONS

Drifting is difficult on asphalt roads.

OUR VERDICT

This small copy of an off-road truck will be perfect for extreme tracks lovers.

detailed parameters
Scale

1:18

Track

Off-Road

Engine

Electric Brushed: 390,
Speed Control: ESC

Peculiarities

4WD shaft drive
Transmission: Forward and Reverse

Powered by

Car: 7.4V Li-Po 850mAh battery
Controller: 3 AA batteries (not included)

Control

2.4GHz Radio System (2-channel)

Max Speed

~25 MPH

Tires

Off Road Rubberized Tires

Dimensions

Height: 110 mm
Length: 190 mm
Width: 240 mm

Age

14+

Warranty

Amazon's 30-days return policy

PROS

The controller looks like a joystick so controlling this RC drift car is the simplest thing ever.

CONS

The chassis are rather primitive.

OUR VERDICT

This small model has working headlights, backlights, sidelights. Perfect for room racing and drift.

detailed parameters
Scale

1:24

Track

Road

Engine

Electric Brushed

Peculiarities

4WD shaft drive
Transmission: Forward and Reverse

Powered by

Car: 4 AA batteries (not included)
Controller: 2 AA batteries (not included)

Control

2.4GHz Radio System (2-channel)

Max Speed

~10 MPH

Tires

Drift Tires, Rubber Racing Tires

Dimensions

Length: 190.5 mm

Age

3+

Warranty

30 days

What is an RC Drift Car

Born in Japan several decades ago, today drifting competitions are held all over the world. Watching the cars drift at top speeds is as fascinating and breath-taking as sitting in those cars is dangerous. Not every car can handle this, and certainly not every driver, which is why we are often glued to our TV screens to watch those who can. Toy manufacturers had caught the hype and now we have an opportunity to not only watch but "drive" drift cars without any particular danger. Among all the remotely controlled toys like boats, quadcopters, helicopters, airplanes, and whatnot, drift cars have a special place thanks to all the variety of street racing movies like the popular game-based Need for Speed film or The Fast and the Furious franchise (the eighth movie has just hit the theaters this year, by the way). Here in this review, we've tried selecting five best RC drift cars to have fun with. Let's look at what we've got.

What Features to Compare

Intended Use
The selection of RC drift cars is dizzying and, consequently, there are quite a few factors you will need to take into account. First of all, there are road and off-road models; selecting between those, think about where you are going to race. Speed is important if you intend to take part in RC races, of course, but if you are buying an RC drift car for personal entertainment, you might forego this particular parameter. Then, there is the size issue—your car can be quite small or fairly big; models like 1:16 and smaller are good for indoors playing whereas those at 1:10 scale are generally designed for street tracks. Many manufacturers also set the lower age limit for their toy cars. Although those limits are more like recommendations than strict rules (after all, kids grow up at a different pace), it is usually considered wise to buy bigger models for smaller children.

Design Peculiarities
These cars are rather complex mechanisms, although not as much so as the life-size ones. Still, there are things we personally deem as important. RC cars come with either a gas/nitro or an electric engine. Electric ones are, obviously, more environmentally friendly and keeping them clean and ready is loads easier, what with the gas engines' need for oiling and all that; gas models are quite messy. Still, they are usually faster and louder than electric-powered RC cars and overall offer, in our opinion, a bit more of a "real feel" when it comes to racing. Hardcore RC drift lovers tend to choose gas cars. All this, however, does not mean that electric models are worse, the difference is not even enough for a big handicap on track if you treat your car right. It's the same with real-life racing cars.
A quality RC car also has good chassis with independent suspension, durable shock absorbers, appropriate transmission, and steering. The tires for drifting are generally smooth for better sliding at turns but you can replace them depending on your needs and surfaces you race on.

Convenience
You remote controller should not only fit comfortably in your hand (which is a given). You might want to spend some time deciding what frequency is better for uninterrupted car control.
When it comes to models with electric engines, for longer racing sprees, you will need a car with a powerful built-in battery; different types of batteries might have specific requirements as to charging. There are also options with replaceable batteries which may be more expensive initially but in the long run... it's not all that bad of a choice if you ask us, might come in handy.

These are the main things we tend to pay attention to. There is also an issue of design and car model and who knows what else, personal choices are even not always logical. Now, we'd like to talk about particular models.

...Read more ...Read less

Redcat Racing BL10315 1/10 Scale

Be a Leader

The Redcat Racing drift car is an undeniable leader in its class. The 1:10 car is big enough to play on the streets yet compact enough for the transportation to not cause any inconveniences. There are two body styles offered for the model, one a traditional blue sedan and another an aggressive-looking red racing car. The bodies are made of polycarbonate and are interchangeable so if you have both car modifications and one gets broken you can switch the bodies on the working chassis whenever you like. The 4.5 mm clearance and quality drift tires make this car able to race on most surfaces though smooth roads will offer you the highest speed the model is capable of, and 44–55 MPH is something to be reckoned with. 

The model is delivered fully assembled, you can go race the moment you get it out of the box. Leave you opponents behind to eat the dust!

Review of Redcat Racing BL10315 1/10 Scale EPX

Enviable Construction

The manufacturer didn't slack off with the hardware as well, the model is a gold standard among RC drift cars in its speed range. Electric brushed motor is very powerful, hence the above-mentioned speeds; the speed control is in place, too. With forward and reverse transmission, you will be able to avoid collisions and resume the race even if you overshot your turn a bit.

The 4-wheel drive and independent suspension, as well as oil filled shocks, make the car easily controllable and "obedient". Moreover, it is fairly simple to tweak this model to your personal preferences and make it as convenient to play with as possible. Win the turns with flash!

Redcat Racing BL10315 1/10 Scale EPX in the use

Time Flies

This RC drifting car is so good you won't notice the time slipping by while you race. The controller is very ergonomic, it lies in your hands in the most convenient way. To power it, you will need to buy a set of 8 AA batteries separately. To save on buying new ones over and over, you can opt for rechargeable ones and a charger for them. In the long run, this might save quite a lot of money.

Detailed review of Redcat Racing BL10315 1/10 Scale EPX

No Fuss, Just Fun

No worries about the car's battery as well. The package you will receive includes a rechargeable 2000mAh 7.2V NiMH battery and a corresponding charger. After a complete charging, the car will work for 20 minutes at top speed (equals approximately 18 miles).

Redcat Racing BL10315 1/10 Scale EPX application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Redcat Racing BL10315 1/10 Scale
Redcat Racing BL10315 1/10 Scale
 

Exceed RC Electric DriftStar RTR

Dream to Reality

If your kid dreams of becoming a racer you can support them in their ambition and start by buying a car model as real-looking as possible. Drifting RC car by Exceed-RC looks somewhat similar to the Nissan 350Z model at a scale of 1:10. It is bright yellow-and-black in color with lots of stickers. Really flashy, just what you'd want from your racing car.

The model is geared with 65-mm drifting tires (26 mm wide), and finding a replacement for them is easy. The tires move smoothly and making challenging turns with them will come naturally, almost like breathing. Though this drift RC car is not designed for off-road, of course, but indoors and road racing is perfectly possible.

Review of Exceed RC Electric DriftStar RTR

Look Under the Hood

Besides the eye-catching design, this RC drift car is pretty modern inside as well. The RC540 electric motor is brushed but is pretty fast nevertheless, it makes up to 30 MPH in speed. High precision SP03018 electric speed control (ESC) has a nice effect not only on motor rotation speed but also on the overall car convenience. Independent suspension and high-level shocks provide stability on the road and make the car very flexible; you will be able to adjust it according to your quirks just fine.

A long anodized aluminum drive shaft and high-performance front/rear differentials save the power and relay it to the driving torque of all the wheels of the 4WD system. This drifting car is a perfect combo of power and control.

Exceed RC Electric DriftStar RTR in the use

Simple and Convenient Control

The controller for this RC drifting car model is a pistol grip type, which is really nice to hold; it also has a good operational range, enough to use the car indoors as well as on the street tracks. The controller is powered by 4 AA batteries (not included), and the car battery is a 7.2V 1800 mAh one.

Detailed review of Exceed RC Electric DriftStar RTR

Collision-proof

The model features a big foam bumper that will save the car in case of an unavoided close encounter with curbs or walls. No need to worry!

Exceed RC Electric DriftStar RTR application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Exceed RC Electric DriftStar RTR
Exceed RC Electric DriftStar RTR
 

Velocity Toys Camaro Electric RC RTR

Classics Never Die

The Chevrolet Camaro is a truly iconic model. This deeply American muscle car was first manufactured in 1966 and it is still with us today, what else would you need as a proof of its popularity? Camaro was even used as the "car" look of one of the world's most-loved Autobots, Bumblebee, throughout the years!

Anyway, this Velocity Toys RC drift car is a 1:10-scale model of a fifth generation Camaro SS and it resembles the original in fine details. Its size is 419 mm (L) x 178 mm (W) x 127 (H), the black plastic body is livened up with bright red and yellow abstract splotches that make it look rather bold. You can later replace the body if you wish but we highly recommend checking the chassis type and screws before making a purchase.

The car can be used indoors and outdoors alike although note that it is a road model so rough terrains might be impossible. However, we would also like to point out that the Camaro comes with two sets of tires, the drift ones and the conventional road set. If you want a little bit of fun without drifting, you can certainly have it!

Review of Velocity Toys Camaro Electric RC RTR

Minimum Preparation, Maximum Fun

The car is delivered assembled and all you will need to do to set it on track and start the race is charge it. Charging of the 9.6V 700 mAh battery takes up to 3–4 hours at most; after that, you'll have 10 to 15 minutes of racing at top speed. Or you can buy a more powerful battery separately to get more playing time and maybe a somewhat faster speed.

The remote controller is of the pistol type and works at 27 MHz (you'll need this info if you have other radio-controlled toys and you don't want this one to interfere with others). In contrast to many other models, this controller uses not the set of AA batteries but a single 9V one, included in the package.

Velocity Toys Camaro Electric RC RTR in the use

Night Fun

This drifting RC car is equipped with LED lights in all four wheels, making it tremendously entertaining to ride in the dark.

Detailed review of Velocity Toys Camaro Electric RC RTR

Telescoping Antenna

The remote controller for this model features a nice addition, the telescoping antenna. You can fold it when you don't need it but when you race, it comes in handy—you can control the vehicle from as far as 50 meters (165 ft).

Velocity Toys Camaro Electric RC RTR application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Velocity Toys Camaro Electric RC RTR
Velocity Toys Camaro Electric RC RTR
 

Nexgadget 1/18 4WD Electric

Off-Road Winner

Drifting is widely known as a part road racing but no one ever said you can't drift off the road. You surely can, and this Nexgadget off-road drifting RC car will show you how. The model is a 1:18 copy of the bigfoot truck; it is suitable for indoor playing the same way it is good for rocky or sandy terrains.

With a 4-wheel drive and an independent suspension, it is stable despite the bumps. It can even jump off the small hills and curbs, can you believe that? The maximum speed here is 25 MPH, and when you race on a sand ground (like a beach, for example) this means leaving showy sand showers and piles with the car's wide tires.

It will take some time to get used to if you previously only raced with road models but believe us, this car is worth it, especially when it comes to off-road racing.

Review of Nexgadget 1/18 4WD Electric RC Car

Practicality is Top-Notch

Although the model comes already assembled, we all know that life happens and sometimes you will need to check or replace some chassis parts inside, be it motor, shocks, battery, or whatever. Here, it is the simplest task ever. You just take off the cover fixed with four cotter pins and replace what you need. Note that charging a battery also requires dismantling the cover unless you pull the cable to the edge. As for the chassis, it is made of composite materials and can endure pretty challenging tasks.

Nexgadget 1/18 4WD Electric RC Car in the use

Nothing in Your Way

2.4GHz controllers might not be the rarest out there and if your fellow off-road racers use the same frequency the controllers might just happen to interfere with one another. For this very reason, Nexgadget provided their model with an anti-jamming feature. You can play with your friends or compete with your rivals without any struggle. By the way, the controller operates at up to 100 meters (330 ft). Quite outstanding and convenient.

Detailed review of Nexgadget 1/18 4WD Electric RC Car

Charging Is a Breeze

The charging cable this RC drifting car is delivered with is fairly versatile, it is a simple USB cable, meaning no country-specific outlet will stand in your way when you are going to charge your car and take a challenge in racing. If the adapter fails to fit into the outlet, just plug the cord into your PC, laptop, or power bank.

Nexgadget 1/18 4WD Electric RC Car application

Nexgadget 1/18 4WD Electric
Nexgadget 1/18 4WD Electric
 

Liberty Imports Drift Legend AE86 RC

Unlimited Fun

While this is undoubtedly a budget model, don't disregard it right away, this cheap RC drift car has something to offer.

First of all, this Toyota AE86 copy from Liberty Imports is a 1:24 model, 7.5" long, a size perfect for small rooms, for example. The car is enhanced with a good performance body kit and a black-and-white vinyl wrap. There is no need to assemble the model as it is delivered ready-to-go after you insert four AA batteries into the car and two more into the controller. The chassis is pretty sturdy and fully-equipped, it deals nicely with transmitting the torque from the electric brushed motor to the 4-wheel drive. As for the speed, this drifter car makes it at up to 10 MPH. Not the fastest model, but good enough to win some tracks, just watch it.

P.S. Did you know that the Toyota AE86 Trueno apex hatchback was the car Takumi Fujiwara, a protagonist of the famous Initial D anime, used? That's one of the main reasons the car was so very popular.

Review of Liberty Imports Drift Legend AE86 RC

Comfortable Control

The controller of this Corolla model is the conventional one, known to many of us for years—a two-side joystick with thumb control. The right side is responsible for making turns and the left one—for forward and backward movement. A bit of practice, and making U-shape and B-shape turns will become a cakewalk. Keep in mind, though, that the operational frequency of this drift car controller is 27 MHz and there is no anti-jamming feature, keep the same frequency controllers at a distance.

Liberty Imports Drift Legend AE86 RC in the use

Two-in-One

Besides the car itself and the controller, the delivery package includes an additional set of rubber tires for simple races without sharp turns (the tires already on the car are the plastic drifting ones). Now, you will not need to buy the rubber tires separately and will be able to choose the appropriate ones right off the bat for the type of race you have looming over. Rubber for standard racing, plastic for drifting. Simple!

Detailed review of Liberty Imports Drift Legend AE86 RC

Just Like Real

The car also features real working headlights and rear lamps. Both light up the moment you push the controller to start moving the car.

Liberty Imports Drift Legend AE86 RC application

Liberty Imports Drift Legend AE86 RC
Liberty Imports Drift Legend AE86 RC
 

FAQ:

Q: How is drifting different from racing?
A:
Drifting is a way to make sharp turns by pitching your car sideways. This way, you will not have to slow down before you take the turn, you will go through the turn faster, and you will exit the turn at a much higher speed that you do generally. The skill takes a lot of practice in real-life racing as it is highly dangerous to the point of life-threatening. In RC racing, a drifting gone wrong might damage your car model rather badly.

Q: What cars can I use for RC drifting?
A:
Strictly speaking, you can use just about any RC car to drift, with some advanced skills you will probably be able to somewhat even out the disadvantages a conventional car has as compared to a specific RC drifting car. The said disadvantages include special tires, drive, motor, etc.

Q: I see most RC drift cars have 4WD but real-life ones are generally RWD. Why?
A:
The difference in design between RC models and the real ones make toy cars heavier in the rear so 4-wheel drive is a way to balance it out. The power on the front wheels helps pull the car through the turn.

Q: Should I get an electric model or a fuel one?
A:
As we stated above, electric models are usually low-maintenance and generally are overall cheaper (both initially and in said maintenance). Gas models, also called nitro RC drift cars, are mainly faster (though now not so much anymore) and offer more real-life experience with all the noises and fog/fumes but they can be quite expensive and rather messy when it comes to oil change and repairs. Like we said, real-life experience. As to which you should choose, it depends on your situation. High-ranking official competitions tend to balance in favor of gas models thanks to their speed but if you are looking for entertainment like racing with friends from your block, it really is more convenient to get an electric drift car.

Q: Rechargeable or non-rechargeable batteries?
A:
Most modern RC cars come with rechargeable batteries anyway but for a controller, you may choose whatever you like (though care to check what the car manufacturer says regarding rechargeable batteries). If you race frequently, buying a rechargeable set might be a good thing as it will be cheaper than buying new primary batteries every couple days/weeks. Also, you might want to check if your future car has a replaceable battery for you to race longer in between charging sessions. But if you only play from time to time, this option may be unnecessary.

Q: Can I repaint my car?
A:
Yes, sure you can. But check the paint beforehand, it should be specifically compatible with the material of your car body (usually, polycarbonate). Take off the initial painting if your car has any, clean and dry the car body properly, mask the parts you don’t want painted (like windows) with a masking tape and let your imagination loose! By the way, there are also decals available in some shops.


Sources:

1. Paul Onorato Buying your first RC car, RCGroups. May 7, 2014.

2. Michael James How To Choose Radio Control Toys, About.com

3. How to Choose a Gearing Ratio on an RС Car or Truck, wikiHow.

4. Terry Dunn How to Get Into Hobby RC: Exploring RC Drift Cars, Tested. May 4, 2016.

5. Get Sideways! Learn to Drift with HPI, HPI.

6. Electroinnovation The (almost) COMPLETE Guide to Electric RC CarsInstructables.

7. rcMart Danny How to Convert Your RC Car Into Drift Spec (Beginner’s Guide), RC Media. August 7, 2012.

8. Evol DRIFT ITCH – HOW DO I GET INTO DRIFT?? Big Squid RC. October 2, 2015.

9. Dino Dalle Carbonare Masters Of Detail. RC Drifting On Another LevelSpeedhunters. March 26, 2014.

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