The best RC drift cars are great for hobbyists that are seeking thrills as well as consistency. You get to build an impressive collection of remote control drift cars, and you also get to race and drift them whenever you want.
If you are an RC drift car novice, then the more expensive models may not be for you, as the skill floors and ceilings are quite high and can be susceptible to damage when in the hands of less experienced hobbyists. In this case, we would recommend trying out entry-level cars such as Jada Toys Fast & Furious Han's Mazda RX-7, which is more affordable and won't break the bank if you slam it into a wall on your first spin (we've all been there).
Just like the best RC cars (opens in new tab), the best RC drift cars come in two main varieties: ready-to-run cars, which can be used as soon as they are unboxed, and kit cars which require a decent amount of assembly before you are able to start drifting them. The feeling of racing a car that you assembled yourself is great, but if you are a novice then we would recommend going with a ready-to-run model.
There are a few things to consider when looking at the best remote control drift cars, such as battery life and control method. Cars that have over 30 minutes of battery life are generally favored in the RC drift car community, especially if they come with rechargeable batteries that can be swapped out for almost constant drifting. A lot of cars also come with a 2.4GHz controller, so that multiple of the same type of car can be used at once without connection issues - great if you are looking to drift or race with your friends and family.
Now that you know what to look for, let's take a look at the best RC drift cars on the market. For more great hobby content, check out our guides to the best electric train sets (opens in new tab) and nerf guns (opens in new tab).
Best RC drift cars
Why you can trust Top Ten Reviews Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
We've rounded up the best RC drift cars below to help you find the drift car of your dreams. However, it's worth noting that remote control drift cars are produced by specialist manufacturers and can flit in and out of stock quickly. That means that you might click on a link and not be able to buy the exact model we've recommended. However, our clever deal-finding system will recommend similar products to help you make the best purchase possible.
Our top picks of the best RC drift cars in 2022
Do you feel the need, the need for speed? If you, like Maverick, can’t get enough of high speed vehicles then the HSP RC Car 94123 Pro is the RC drift car for you. The Pro version comes with a brushless motor which drags the top speed up to a lightning quick 59 km/h, which leaves the rest of this list in the dirt. Now sure, it’s a drift racer, so straight line speed isn’t everything, but that’s still mighty impressive.
When it comes to the corners, the HSP RC Car 94123 Pro is well equipped, with a four-wheel independent suspension system, front and rear dual differentials and a lightweight aluminum drive shaft that helps it take long drifts into its stride.
User reviews are mostly positive, with an average score of 4.4 stars out of 5 on Amazon. Reviewers praised how easy it is to use out of the box, along with high top speed and great steering. Complaints focused on battery reliability issues that seem to be due to faulty units.
This RC drift car from Redcat Racing is a 1:10 scale sports car, similar to the Thunder drift car further down the list. While there might be some similarities, there are slightly different motors that power the two RC cars. Plus, they both have very different body style options to select from as well. The Lightning EPX has two body style choices, metallic blue and red, whereas the Thunder is in a gunmetal style.
Another key difference is that the Thunder is belt-driven, whereas the Lightning is not. While this means that, in theory, the ride should be smoother, in reality you'll find that the difference isn't so noticeable. If you like the Thunder but you're not keen on its limited body styles, then the Lightning EPX could be a great alternative for you.
The Lightning EPX receives favorable reviews on Amazon, with a 4.4 out of 5-star rating. Positive views frequently mention the good value for money that EPX offers, while negative reviews tend to be about the stock parts needing regular replacement over time, meaning you could end up spending more money on the car than originally anticipated.
With a four-wheel drive option and a brushless motor, the Exceed RC Drift Star 350Z is more than capable of delivering consistent power delivery. This makes it great for both indoor and outdoor drifting and will also help you manage your drifts easier. Outdoor drifters will be happy to know that the motor and transmission are completely dust– and mud–proof, sealed in to protect against any damage to the components. This drift car also has an aluminum-threaded shock body that is designed to be easily adjusted, so that you can tune the suspension to your own specifications.
If you are looking for a customizable drive, there are several color options that are available to select from. However, it's worth noting that there are no additional body shells to choose from. Luckily, the default design is beautiful, with a high-quality paint job and a large amount of detailing and livery.
If you're new to drifting, this might not be the car for you. Many people have mentioned that it is fragile, and is likely to break during even low-speed collisions. While common sense dictates that a small plastic shell hitting something at 20-30 kph is likely to take on some damage, it's still worth considering, especially if you're more accident-prone than the average user.
The MST RMX 2.0 RTR is the ready-to-run version of the renowned MS RMXS 2.0 kit car that's already popular in RC drift car communities. This version comes with the same excellent build quality and top-of-the-range design, making the car handle flawlessly right out of the box. The front steering and suspension have been modified for greater stability and control, meaning it is a very forgiving choice for novices. The sheer amount of customization options also makes it a valid pick for experienced drifters too.
The motor can be mounted in an upper or lower position to change the car's center of gravity, which is a great way to experiment with your drifting. You'll also find that there is a whole community of enthusiasts online sharing tips and other modifications that you can implement once you're experienced enough to do so.
If you are more interested in modifying the looks of the car, then you will be pleased to know that the MST RMX 2.0 RTR comes with a large variety of shells based on iconic cars, with some even being officially licensed from Nissan and AMG.
If you’re not looking to sink a few hundred dollars into drifting cars just yet, have no fear because the Fast and Furious crew (and Jada Toys) have your back. You know why? Because you’re family, and you don’t turn your back on family. Jokes aside, this is a capable budget drifting car that would make a great gift for a RC drift car novice who wants to get into the hobby.
The Fast & Furious Han’s Mazda RX-7 comes with a pistol grip controller that will be familiar to anyone who has driven a regular RC car before. The car is durable and able to withstand a lot of accidental bumps. It even offers some decent drifting action for the low price point. Obviously, when compared to the MST RMX 2.0 you're not going to see a similar level of quality, but it costs significantly less. It also comes with a turbo button to increase the speed and can be fun for kids to mess around with.
Users have noted that the battery life is not great, topping out at around 20-30 minutes (depending on how much you use the turbo button) but the controller does come with USB charging so it's easy to recharge between sessions.
Another great option on the cheaper side of things, the VOLANTEXRC Remote Control Drift Car is a great gateway into the hobby for young children and offers some solid specs for the price. This RC drift car can reach up to 25km per hour and operates on a 4-wheel drive system to help it drive and drift on all sorts of terrain, both indoors and outdoors.
The battery life is decent, with two rechargeable batteries that can provide around 40 minutes of driving time. The wheels aren't the only thing that the batteries power, as the VOLANTEXRC comes with LED lights under the chassis for a legit street racer look. The controller uses a 2.4GHz signal, which provides a stable connection, and allows multiple of the same car to be used within close proximity of each other - perfect if children want to race each other.
The main drawback of the VOLANTEXRC is its durability. The manufacturer makes a big deal out of its durable "anti-collision" shell, but several people online have noted that there is a small piece near the wheels that is likely to snap off if there is a collision. This piece is not needed for the car to function, but it can ruin the sleek look of the car.
The Redcat Racing Thunder Drift sits in the middle of the price range of all the RC drift cars that we’ve looked at, and it provides excellent value for money if you’re looking to take a step up from the cheap models, but aren’t quite ready to sink the big bucks on a fully customizable kit car.
This ready-to-run drift car has excellent handling thanks to a wealth of fancy gear under the hood, including fully tunable, four-wheel independent suspension, a brushed electric motor, and a responsive steering servo. All that results in a smooth and reliable driving system. It’s waterproof too, so you can take it out in the rain.
Customers have been overwhelmingly pleased with their purchase, as it boasts an Amazon rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 based on 64 reviews. Some users have complained that the battery life is pretty lackluster though, so you should consider getting a spare battery to extend your drifting sessions. There are no cosmetic options either, so if you don’t like the gun metal body, you’re out of luck.
As the old saying goes, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog”; and this diminutive little RC drift car certainly has a lot of fight. As a 1:28 scale car, it’s comfortably the smallest car on our list but it’s still packing plenty of power under the hood. This pocket rocket can hit speeds of 30+ km/h, which means the K989 leaves some of the larger, more expensive cars we’ve looked at trailing in its dust.
The build quality is top-notch here too, with loads of metal parts including the chassis, drive shaft, and transmission. And thanks to a dedicated fanbase and great support, there are loads of replacement parts and upgrades available for the K989 too. The controller uses 2.4 GHZ signal, so you can race multiple of these little devils with each other without getting connection issues.
While the shell options are limited to the stock model (an obvious nod to the Ford Fiesta), there are loads of custom, third-party shells out there that fit this model, so you can customize it to your heart's desire.
User reviews are overwhelmingly positive, with an average score of 4.1 stars out of 5 on Amazon. Reviewers praised the alloy construction and great handling. The small size won't be for everyone, but if you’re looking for big power in a small package, then the WLtoys K989 is the perfect choice.
All the other cars we’ve looked at so far have been ready-to-race cars, which means they come already built - you just unpack them, charge the battery, and you’re good to go. The Tamiya TT-02D is a little different because it’s a kit car. That means when you open the box, you find a load of bags of parts and you have to assemble the car yourself from scratch. For some people, that’s going to be a fantastic project that they’ll enjoy almost as much as drifting the car when it’s done, but it’s not for everyone, and we wouldn’t recommend a kit car for novices who want to try out the hobby for the first time.
The upside of kit cars is that they’re easier to upgrade and replace broken parts for, since they’re designed to be assembled and disassembled. This means when you crash or break a part, you can easily swap it out. Likewise, you can customise and upgrade it easily too. Not that the Tamiya TT-02D needs much upgrading, as this is a top-quality RC drift car that comes with 4-wheel double wishbone suspension, a sport-tuned motor, and drift tires as standard.
There are loads of chassis options out there, including officially licensed classics like the Nissan GT-R, Honda Civic, and the Mazda RX-7. If you’re willing to go third-party, there are a wealth of other options out there too.
One final warning, you don’t get everything you need in the box - you’ll need to buy a receiver, transmitter, battery + charger, and servo separately. You can buy versions with a body shell or without, but either way the body needs to be painted too. Like we said, it’s a project as much as a drift car, but the satisfaction you feel when you take it out for its first drive is worth the effort.
Not everyone loves the sleek stylings of the best RC drift cars – if you're after a more rugged look, then why not consider this RC drift truck. It's capable of all the heart-stopped, pulse-quickening stunts that the other RC drift cards on this list are capable of, but it's decked out with a Ford-150-inspired truck shell instead.
While it might look slower than the race car-inspired designs that litter this guide, you can rest assured that looks are definitely deceiving in this case. With a top speed of around 30 km/h, this RC drift truck comes into its own when you hit the corners with its independent suspension and ESP Electronic Stability System. These features give the truck excellent stability and reliability in the bends, which is perfect for drifting.
Meanwhile, the 7.4V 1,200mAh battery means that you can expect to have around 20-25 minutes of driving time. Usefully, this RC truck comes with a spare set of racing tires (as well as the drift tires that comes as standard), so you can use it as a regular RC car as well.
User reviews are mostly very positive, with an average score of 4.4 stars out of 5 on Amazon from 147 reviews. One user notes that its a "great little guy for the cost" and that it "rips hella donuts" too – what more could you need to know?!
RC drift cars buying advice
What sets RC drift cars apart from regular RC cars?
The best remote control cars (opens in new tab) are designed to be raced and will accelerate and maintain high speeds, while RC drift cars are all about donuts and drifting. They won't go as fast as a regular RC car, but they will maintain smooth drifting through both tight and long corners.
A large number of RC drift cars are specially designed with customizable suspension and drift tires to help them run as smoothly as possible, leaving you with the satisfaction of drifting that perfect corner. Unlike a lot of regular RC cars, RC drift cars are often unsuitable for off-road driving and racing, but a lot of models are waterproof so that you can drift them in wet conditions.
What are the best RC drift car brands?
Tamiya and Jada Toys are both huge names in the RC car community which offer some affordable and reliable RC drift cars for novices, and brands like Exceed, MST and Redcat Racing offer specialized and customizable experiences if you are looking to go all-out on your purchase.
It can often be hard to find important information about some of these brands, with some RC drift car websites being quite old or outdated, lacking a lot of important current information. We compiled this list with reputable and reliable brands so you can have the best peace of mind when making a purchase.
How much do RC drift cars cost?
The price of RC cars can vary, and it really depends on what you are looking for. The cheaper models can go for as little as $40, and the higher-end customizable cars can cost over $300.
The majority of the cars come with at least a one-year warranty, but this is something that we would recommend checking before purchasing. Buying through Amazon will give you an extra layer of protection on top of the warranty, and returns for repair and refunds are easy.