7 Best RC Drift Cars of 2019

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RC drift car racing is a phenomenal sport and one that’s growing fast. It’s in a class of its own and provides adrenaline-pumping action like you wouldn’t believe. My guide reviews 7 of the best RC drift car choices around. I’ve included models for young kids, older beginners, and a few high-end options for skilled drivers. You may want to jump to the reviews if you’re already an experienced racer.

Keep reading if you’re new and would like a little help to choose the right model. First, let’s look at the vehicles. They look like touring cars at a glance, but there are a few fundamental differences.

Nissan Skyline GT-R Drift
Scale Size: 1/10 Scale
Drive System: Four-Wheel Drive
RTR, pistol grip controller, turbo button, batteries included, USB charging.
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Best Value
Redcat Racing EPX Drift
Scale Size: 1/10 Scale
Drive System: Four-Wheel Drive
RTR, 2 designs, polycarbonate body, fast, decent run time.
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Top Pick
HPI Racing RS4 Sport 3 Drift
Scale Size: 1/10 Scale
Drive System: Four-Wheel Drive
RTR, ideal beginner’s car, waterproof electronics, phenomenal drift capability.
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RC Drift Car Vs. Touring Car

The difference between an RC drift car and a tourer may not be evident at first. Indeed, a touring car can be a drift car and vice versa. In the R/C world, both models are scaled-down replicas of the real-life vehicles. The main differences are tires, suspension systems, and bling. A customized drift car may also have a stiffer chassis with a larger throw to accommodate oversteering.

Experienced RC’ers prefer to buy drift cars in kit form. The reason for this is so they can customize and tweak the model until it matches their style of driving. That’s nothing for this guide, though. It’s a fascinating sport and one that can quickly become addictive, but in a good way.

Buying Considerations

There are several considerations if you’re new to this. First, set your budget, and then think about the things below. Add anything else to the list that pertains to your preferences.

  • Model scale size (see below)
  • How fast can the model go
  • Electric motor type. Brushless is better than brushed but cost more
  • Drive system, i.e., 2-wheel drive (2WD) or 4-wheel drive (4WD)
  • Run time on a single charge
  • Battery charging times
  • Cost of spare batteries
  • Cost and availability of spare and accessories

The above are typical considerations for most RC vehicles. Make sure you pay attention to the model’s scale size, i.e., 1/10. The smaller the second number, the larger the model. A typical newbie error is to ignore scale and dimensions. They then complain that their drift car is much bigger or smaller than they thought. I include all the above points in the tech spec section of the reviews for easy reference.

About My ‘Best RC Drift Car’ Guide

There are lots of RC drift cars out there and more arriving all the time. My shortlist of 7 has models for all budgets and skill levels. I chose these based on personal thoughts and the opinions of experts in the industry. I also looked at real user feedback to help finalize the shortlist. The first three are Editor’s choice for the Best Budget, Best Value, and then the Top pick.

The table below shows the R/C drift car models in the order they appear on the page.

RC Drift Cars Comparison Table

1. Jada RC Nissan Skyline GT-R Drift Car | Best Budget

Jada RC Nissan Skyline GT-R Drift CarView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

This year’s Best Budget pick goes to the Jada RC Brian’s Nissan Skyline GT-R Drift Car. It’s a 1/10 scale Fast & Furious showstopper with incredible performance for a model in its category.

  • Best feature 1: High-performing drift action
  • Best feature 2: Extra set of drift tires
  • Plus points: RTR, pistol grip controller, turbo button, batteries included, USB charging
  • Minus points: Toy grade restrictions, needs space to drift, short play time

Nissan Skyline GT-R Drift Car Highlights

The Nissan Skyline Fast & Furious GT-R RC drift car is ready to run (RTR) right out of the box. It even comes with all the batteries and a spare set of drift tires. The car has pleasing graphics, custom rims, and a sleek design with LED light effects. It’s an excellent model for anyone who wants to try their hand a drifting for the first time. The battery takes 90 minutes to recharge, which is average.

The Not So Good

It’s a hobby-scale size though it’s still a toy-grade model. That means it’s not so easy to repair or replace a part if something breaks. Nor is it upgradable. The 1/10 scale means the car is quite big too. That’s one of its attractions, but you also need space to drive the vehicle. Check the car’s dimensions below to see if it’s a good fit if you plan to drift indoors. Run time is an average of 15 minutes.

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Tech Specs
Brand Name: Jada
Model Scale: 1:10
Dimensions: 18 x 7 x 8”
Product Weight: 1.6 lbs.
Drive System: 4WD
Electric Motor: Brushed
Battery: 9.6v 900mah (fixed)
Running time: 15 minutes
Charging time: 90 minutes
The Pros
High-performing drift action
Extra set of drift tires
Ready to Run (RTR)
All batteries included
Pistol grip controller
Turbo button
USB charging
Impressive graphics
Custom rims
LED light effects
The Cons
Toy grade restrictions
Needs space to drift
Shortish play time

2. Redcat Racing Lightning EPX Drift Car | Best Value

Redcat Racing Lightning EPX Drift CarView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

There’s a jump in price, quality, and performance with our Best Value pick. This model is the stunning Lightning EPX drift car by Redcat Racing. It’s got lots of bling and heaps of power to boot.

  • Best feature 1: Fast and powerful car for its class
  • Best feature 2: Durable polycarbonate body
  • Plus points: RTR, 2 designs, polycarbonate body, fast, decent run time, fine-tune potential
  • Minus points: Stock tire restrictions, hard to keep straight at high speeds

EPX RC Drift Car Highlights

And they’re off! Forward, sideways, or reverse escapes—this car is highly maneuverable. The model has a powerful brushed 27T 540 motor and drift-specific tires. Combined, they provide this beautiful beast with incredible drift capability at high speeds. Quick recovery and rapid direction changes are possible thanks to the ultra-lightweight chassis. Best of all is that drivers can fine-tune the car.

The Lightning EPX has selectable mounting positions for its aluminum capped oil-filled shocks. Every track needs a different setting, and that’s where this beauty comes into its own. You can adjust the ride height, toe angle, and camber angle to match the surface and driving style. Hobbyists who want to upgrade and customize their drift car have that option too.

The Not So Good

The traction of the stock tires’ is decent on hard surfaces but less so on softer ground. Also, the car takes some practice to keep straight at higher speeds, so it’s not ideal as a first-ever drift car. Better steering control is easy to fix with upgrades. That’s not something most learners want to deal with.

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Tech Specs
Brand Name: Redcat Racing
Model Scale: 1:10
Dimensions: 14.2 x 8 x 4.5”
Product Weight: 6 lbs.
Drive System: 4WD
Electric Motor: 19T RC550 brushed
Max Range: 75+ ft. (23+ meters)
Battery: 7.2v 2000mAh NiMH
Running time: 20 minutes
Charging time: Xxx
The Pros
Ready to Run (RTR)
Two designs available
Realistic body
Durable polycarbonate
Exceptional drift capability
Fast speeds, quick recovery
Adjustable components
Metal parts
Reasonable battery life
Cheap accessories and spares
Fine-tuning potential
The Cons
Stock tire restriction
Hard to keep the vehicle straight at higher speeds

3. HPI Racing RS4 Sport 3 RC Drift Car | Top Pick

HPI Racing RS4 Sport 3 RC Drift CarView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

The Top Pick is HPI Racing’s RS4 Sport 3 RC drift car. It’s an incredible drift vehicle with flashy appeal. This model boasts a lot of impressive features that help it to excel on the track.

  • Best feature 1: Licensed replica Subaru BRZ body & wheels
  • Best feature 2: Realistic tires
  • Plus points: RTR, ideal beginner’s car, waterproof electronics, phenomenal drift capability
  • Minus points: High price tag, some skilled drivers may find it underpowered

RS4 Sport 3 RC Drift Car Highlights

You know a thing or two about RC drift car racing if you have your eyes on this beauty. It’s a ready-to-run (RTR) model, so it’s good to go right out of the box. There are even batteries and a wall charger included. The RS4 Sport 3 has a licensed mockup body and wheels with realistic tires to give it a truly authentic look. Performance on the track is equally as eye-catching as its visual appeal.

Consider this drift car if you’re an advanced beginner, i.e., you have some basic experience. It’s a good-looking RC model that’s easy to control and well balanced. The fat foam front bumper does an excellent job at protecting the chassis, front suspension, and body from impact. The option to customize the car’s look with a variety of shells, wheels, and tires is a fun feature.

Impressive Spec Sheet

The car has an impressive spec sheet and many upgrades and accessories to back it up. It’s not cheap, but it does present excellent value for serious hobbyists. Here’s a glance at what it offers:

  • One-piece molded chassis
  • Low profile layout
  • Fits a variety of battery types
  • 2S lipo capable
  • Full-time four-wheel drive
  • Sealed shaft drivetrain
  • Carbon fiber driveshaft cover
  • Easy-to-access differentials
  • 4-gear metal diffs
  • Fully-adjustable suspension
  • Tunable rear suspension
  • Oil-filled threaded shocks
  • Double bell crank steering
  • Spring-loaded servo saver
  • Aluminum motor mount
  • Adjustable height body mounts

The list goes on, and there’s a plethora of optional extras to choose from as well.

The Not So Good

HPI’s RS4 Sport 3 RC Drift has a lot going for it, but like all RC models, it won’t please everyone. Although it’s an excellent choice for advanced-beginners and above, it does have a high price tag. That’s sure to put some off who are still experimenting with the hobby. Finally, aggressive, highly-skilled R/C drift car racers may find the RS4 Sport 3 a tad underpowered for their driving style.

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Tech Specs
Brand Name: HPI Racing
Model Scale: 1:10
Dimensions: 17 x 7.9 x 5”
Drive System: 4WD
Electric Motor: HPI Firebolt 15-turn
Battery: 2000MaH NiMH
Running time: Depends on battery choice
The Pros
Licensed BRZ body & wheels
Realistic tires
Ready to run (RTR)
Fully-customizable model
Lots of upgrades available
Superb advanced beginner’s car
Waterproof electronics
Phenomenal drift capability
Includes batteries & charger
Large, protective front bumper
Impressive spec sheet
The Cons
High price tag
Aggressive drift racers may find the car a tad underpowered

4. Team R/C Super-Fast Drift Legend Sports Car

Team R/C Super-Fast Drift Legend Sports CarView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.3/5

The Team R/C Super-Fast Drift Legend Sports Car is a great starter drift vehicle for kids. It’s a small 1/24 scale model and lightweight. That makes it a superb toy for indoor fun.

  • Best feature 1: Small and lightweight
  • Best feature 2: Full function driving
  • Plus points: RTR, fast and responsive, 2 sets of tires, impressive drift ability, LED lights
  • Minus points: Eats through batteries, no batteries included

Team R/C Legend Drift Car Highlights

It’s incredible what they put in the box for the money. The car is ready to run (RTR), and it comes with 2 sets of tires. The pre-installed smooth tires are for drifting, and there’s a rubber set for when you need extra grip. The car is not only fast but responsive to controls too. The remote is simple yet practical and comfortable for kids to use. It’s a cracking first car for youngsters new to the hobby.

The Legend’s drift capability is a surprise considering it’s a cheap toy. New drivers can get to perform figure-of-8 and U-shape drifts in no time. Another neat touch is the working LED headlights, taillights, and sidelights. The car has full function driving, i.e., drives forward, back, turns left, and turns right. Despite all its good points, remember that it’s still only a toy-grade model.

The Not So Good

Think about rechargeable batteries if you buy this RC model. It only gives about 20 minutes of drifting fun, and that can get expensive. Rechargeables won’t last quite that long, but they’ll save on the pocket. The product doesn’t include any batteries, which is understandable considering the price. You need 4 AAAs for the drift car and 2 AAs for the controller.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Brand Name: Team RC
Model Scale: 1:24
Dimensions: 10 x 7.2 x 4.2”
Product Weight: 12 oz.
Drive System: 4WD
Max Range: short
Battery (Car): 4 x AAA
Battery (Remote): 2 x AA
Running time: 15+ minutes
Charging time: N/A
The Pros
Incredible value
Small and lightweight
Full function driving
Ready to Run (RTR)
Fast and responsive for its class
2 sets of tires (drift and regular)
Impressive drift capability
Functional lights all around
The Cons
Eats through batteries
No batteries included

5. NQD RC 360° Rotating Drift Car for Kids

NQD RC 360° Rotating Drift Car for KidsView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

Parents—meet the NQD RC 360° rotating drift car for kids. R/C is a cool hobby that’s educational, competitive, and most of all, good clean fun. This model is a perfect introduction to drift cars.

  • Best feature 1: High-quality, child-safe materials
  • Best feature 2: Ideal indoor toy
  • Plus points: Easy to drive, 4WD, 2 drive modes, 6 stunt modes, crash-resistant, rechargeable
  • Minus points: Exaggerated battery life, long charging time

NQD RC Rotating Drift Car Highlights

Indoor toys don’t get much better than the NQD RC rotating drift car. There’s even a racing driver with movable limbs at the wheel to add a touch of realism. The car is made from advanced ABS plastic that’s safe for kids and is quite crash-resistant. The model is dead easy to drive at the beginner level. It has 2 driving modes, i.e., drift and race, and 6 fancy stunt modes.

The Rotating Drift Car can do 360° spins and wheelies in Race Mode. It also performs 360° spins in 1-click Drift Mode and 360° rotations. The magic wheels jump from vertical to a horizontal position with the simple touch of a control. There’s so much to play with to stop kids from getting bored. It’s even more fun when two or more vehicles compete against each other.

The Not So Good

The makers state 30+ minutes of running time on a single charge. That’s an exaggeration as 20 minutes seems a more realistic figure. Extra batteries are available. You can also buy upgraded batteries for extended run time. Always check the guide for compatible options. The charging time can vary between 2–3 hours, so most users want at least a couple of backups.

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Tech Specs
Brand Name: NQD
Model Scale: 1:16
Dimensions: 8.3 x 6.5 x 5.3”
Product Weight: 22 oz.
Drive System: 4WD
Electric Motor: Dual brushed
Max Range: 82ft (25 meters)
Battery: 7.2V, 800mAh LiPo
Running time: 20+ minutes
Charging time: 2+ hours
The Pros
Easy to drive and great fun
Child-safe materials
Perfect indoor toy
Crash-resistant ABS
Collision avoidance protection
Powerful magic wheels
Driver with moveable limbs
4-wheel drive
2 drive modes
6 stunt modes
Rechargeable battery + charger
The Cons
Exaggerated battery life
Long charging time

6. GPTOYS Fast Remote Control 4WD Drift Car

GPTOYS Fast Remote Control 4WD Drift CarView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

Sixth on the list is the 1:26 scale 4WD RC drift car from GP Toys. It’s a toy-grade model at the higher end and provides plenty of attractive features for young enthusiasts.

  • Best feature 1: Powerful drift capability for its class
  • Best feature 2: Fast top speed
  • Plus points: Easy to drive, strong suspension, wear-resistant tires, extended play time
  • Minus points: Not upgradable, long charging time

GPTOYS R/C 4WD Drift Car Highlights

This small-scale car can reach speeds of to 11 mph (18 km/h). The agile model has impressive drift capability an all smooth type surfaces. Drivers can perform circular, 8-shaped, and U-shaped drifts up to a range of 262ft (80m). The tires look cool and are quite wear-resistant. And the independent suspension system keeps the vehicle steady at faster speeds.

Drive time is 20+ minutes on a single charge or 15–18 minutes if you only drift. Finally, the metallic chassis makes the model stronger and more durable than cheaper plastics.

The Not So Good

It’s a toy car, albeit a high-quality one, but it’s still a toy. So, it’s not upgradable, and it may be hard to find some parts depending on what breaks. Even so, it’s an expectational model and an ideal stepping stone on the journey to better things. Battery charging takes around 100 minutes for 20+ minutes of run time. That’s quite long, so most pilots factor an extra battery or two into the price.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Brand Name: GP TOYS
Model Scale: 1:26
Dimensions: 8.7 x 7.4 x 5.6”
Product Weight: 0.64 oz.
Drive System: 4WD
Electric Motor: Brushed
Max Range: 262ft (80 meters)
Battery: 7.4V 400mAh Li-ion
Running time: 20+ minutes
Charging time: 100 minutes
The Pros
Powerful drift capability
Fast top speed
Full drive function
Easy to drive
Independent suspension
Wear-resistant tires
Metallic chassis
Extended play time
The Cons
Not upgradable
Long charging time

7. Exceed RTR Powerful RC MadSpeed Drift King

Exceed RTR Powerful RC MadSpeed Drift KingView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

Last up is the hobby-grade Exceed MadSpeed 4WD 1/10 scale Drift King. It’s a powerful, ready-to-run (RTR) model with a distinct look and a long list of quality features (see below).

  • Best feature 1: Intense wheel-spinning action
  • Best feature 2: Attention to details
  • Plus points: Brushless power, LED lights, protective bumper, incredible wheel-spins
  • Minus points: Average stock battery, tendency to overheat

Exceed R/C MadSpeed Drift Car Highlights

This car looks as good as it goes. There’s a lot of care gone into the details like the street-ready pre-painted drift body. Owners also appreciate the detailed side mirrors, wing, chrome exhaust, and the wheels. It’s attention to visible features like these that give the car its realism. The LEDs are another nice touch and include head, tail, and interior lights.

There’s a thick foam bumper to help protect the car from impact while high-speed drifting. Exceed RC have adapted the MadSpeed Drift King to perform insane wheel-spinning action. The car gets its tire-shredding torque from an Exceed RC ESC and powerful 380 3000KV brushless motor.

Here’s a glance at some of its high-end features:

  • Centralized low center of gravity (COG) design
  • Exceed RC ESC w/ 380 3000KV brushless motor
  • 2.4Ghz Pistol Transmitter Radio Control
  • Detailed door mirrors, wing, exhaust, and wheels
  • Detailed street-ready drift style body
  • Protected foam bumper
  • CNC aluminum center drive
  • CNC aluminum motor mount
  • CNC aluminum upper deck
  • Hard-wearing oil-filled shock
  • 3KG high-torque steering servo
  • Easy-to-access front/rear ball differentials

The Not So Good

This car is well above average—aside from its 20 minute stock 7.2v Ni-MH 1800mAh battery. Most users will upgrade the battery so they can exploit the MadSpeed’s full potential. The other negative is that the car sometimes overheats when driving it flat out. It then auto cuts off to save damaging the components. That’s a good thing, but it would be better if it didn’t overheat in the first place.

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Tech Specs
Brand Name: Exceed RC
Model Scale: 1:10
Dimensions: 17.32 x 7.48”
Electric Motor: 380 3000KV brushless
Product Weight: 3.3 lbs.
Drive System: 4WD
Battery: 7.2v Ni-MH 1800mAh
Running time: 20 minutes
Charging time: 100+ minutes
The Pros
Ready to Run (RTR)
Close attention to details
LED lights (includes interior)
Brushless power
Intense wheel-spinning action
Sturdy build
Easy to upgrade or replace parts
Protective bumper
The Cons
Average stock battery
Tendency to overheat
0/50 ratings