RC Drift

The RC drift is the fact to practice drifting with a radio controlled car .

The car is equipped with low friction tires and is configured to facilitate skidding and control. The radio-controlled drift requires skill and a good knowledge of his car. The practice is usually done with a four-wheel drive chassis to scale 1/10 th . However, there are smaller models to 1/12 th and 1/24 th to practice very easily indoors and outdoors.

Many enthusiasts practice RC drift as an intensive hobby and put a lot of effort into creating and modifying their radio-controlled car. Meetings, championships, and series of challenges are organized around the world, these can be organized simply to gather fans and for relaxation. Often prizes and / or awards are awarded to the winners. The judging criteria on a drift mainly relate to the aesthetics, the trajectory, the angle of slippage of the car, the speed and the style. It is no longer a race where the winner will be the one finishing at the top of the race, but the quality of his skid, a bit like figure skating.


  • RC Drift Yokomo MR4 TC SD chassis, with optional carbon parts. The photo describes the distribution of the elements: in orange the electrical elements, in blue the notable mechanical elements which are for the most part specific to the RC Drift 1 .
  • Are there any chassis specially designed for rc-drift?

The base is a model of four-wheel drive or propulsion.

For the choice, the simplest is still to learn about the many forums dedicated to this discipline. Manufacturers nowadays make chassis typed “DRIFT”. These chassis are mostly equipped with a “CS” system for Counter Steer that allows the rear wheels to turn faster than the front wheels. The “CS” makes driving more realistic by forcing the pilot to counter-shine as the real-world drift pilots do. The most popular models currently are the Ms-01d MST, the Yokomo DIB, the Tamiya TT01-D and the HPI-Racing Sprint 2 Drift. New Asian brands have made their appearance on the market (Street Jam, 3Racing, EnRoute among others). However, it is sometimes difficult to get some chassis in France,

  • Can we practice RC drift with a propulsion chassis?

The use of a propulsion chassis is more and more common, unlike their older full size, the radio-controlled cars have a structure and a distribution of the masses making them difficult to control in the bends and must therefore be equipped gyroscope to facilitate their control because the very light weight of rc-drift cars makes the behavior very lively. As a result, this adds an additional difficulty to the pilot but an increased realism.

Today, many modellers with some experience in rc-drift are working on the subject and propose more and more personal achievements. But this is not within the reach of beginners because of the complexity of the distribution of masses to perfect and piloting become more pointed.

  • Thermal or electric motorization?

The motorization is most often electric. Engines can be more or less powerful depending on their installation or technology. The practice of thermal drifting is not impossible theoretically but remains very little widespread. In addition, heat engines prohibit the use of vehicles indoors mainly because of exhaust fumes.

In addition, in thermal engine cooling problem is problematic in the case of thermal because the engine will heat enormously and the low speed of the car and the angle of the car are not enough to cool the engine.


The advantage of rc-drift in this area is its very low cost, unlike radio-controlled racing cars where rubber or foam tires have a very short life span. In a global way, the practice of rc-drift is done by replacing the tires with plastic parts “ABS” (or polyethylene tube). ABS tires can be purchased pre-cut at different commercial sites dedicated to rc-drift. Many have a good finish and look like real tires. You can also make your own tires with some tools and good will. Some manufacture their very slippery PVC tube tires from do-it-yourself stores, and are relatively efficient on concrete. Only its light gray color lacks aestheticism, some practitioners prefer to paint the flanks.

Nowadays, renowned manufacturers have designed rc-drift tires that make driving more realistic and more controllable. After a series of tests with practitioners, the most effective would be the HPI T-Drift made of a mixture of several different plastics, and Yokomo single ring ZR-DR02. However rc-drift is a relatively recent sport, in any case, technology and techniques are still improving constantly.

At 1 / 10th scale, the proper tire dimensions are as follows:

  • Inside diameter: 52 mm
  • Outside diameter: 63-64 mm
  • Width: 26 or 24 mm (variable depending on the width of the rim)


Another important aspect of the RC drift is the bodywork because it is the first visible on these radio-controlled cars. Some will prefer to reproduce their favorite cars from the full-size drifting championship, others will prefer a more personal style but having sometimes nothing to envy to real cars. They can be equipped with LEDs , neons, wide kit, fins and all the accessories allowing to accentuate as much as possible the realism like the radiators, fins, lights, muffler, etc. Custom paintings are also a point of interest in the search for perfection. Others go so far as to create their own bodies. Car body customization can go a long way with custom stickers.

The choice of bodywork is also very wide between Japanese, European and American cars. The last few years have seen the emergence of craft manufacturers mainly reproducing Japanese sports cars with a fidelity and finish sometimes superior to international manufacturers.

Many tutorials are available through dedicated sites.


The overall budget for practicing retraining is not necessarily very expensive. You can pay from several tens of euros to several hundred euros (or more) only for a car without electronics and battery. It all depends on the level of options and the design of the chassis in question. For example, setting options are available as standard on high-end models, but only optional on others. That said, all practitioners will agree that only the skill and mastery of the pilot (which he has assembled from his own car from beginning to end) will count.

RC Drift Videos

One of the unifying and very public aspects of the RC drift is the realization, almost professional, of videos of meetings or competitions. This support is often used to promote RC Drift and demonstrations on UGC video sites (CGU in French is User-Generated Content ) that popularizes drift RC, and redirects video-viewers to dedicated forums.

Notes and references

  1. ↑ ” RC Drift, Yokomo MR4 TC SD ”  [ archive ] , on LX FACTORY , (accessed April 20, 2017 )

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