RC drift cars are one of the fastest-growing areas of the RC car and truck hobby. In both full-scale racing and speed RC cars, “drifting” refers to the practice of oversteering when approaching a curve and intentionally causing the RC vehicle’s tires to lose their grip on the track. The car then “drifts” sideways until reaching the correct angle to resume the turn. Professional drivers configure their cars’ suspension, steering, and power to match each circuit so their RC cars drift effectively. Drifting with remote-control cars and trucks is just as fun and challenging. RC car and truck drivers who practice drifting gain expert understanding of counter-steering, weight shift, and braking under load. RC drift cars engineered to accommodate drifting are available from Tower Hobbies® in Ready-to-Run (RTR) and kit completion levels. The RC drift kits provide a perfect opportunity for aspiring mechanics to learn how different components of the RC auto influence its drifting performance and to build custom RC drift cars. Get ready to get sideways with RC drift cars from ARRMA®, Redcat Racing, and other winning brands!
In full-scale racing as well as in radio control car and truck racing, drifting is a turning maneuver in which the driver intentionally oversteers to cause the vehicle’s tires to lose their grip on the surface. It’s similar to skidding on an icy road, but with a purpose. Using split-second adjustments to steering, acceleration, and braking, the drift car driver completes the turn successfully by sliding through it at an angle. The driver then resumes normal control and traction to speed down the next straightaway. Racing cars and RC drift cars are designed with this kind of activity in mind.
Full-scale and RC drifting are both done mostly for thrills. Drifting contests, including those for remote control cars and trucks, consist of drivers competing to earn style points from the spectators and judges. The more drift angle, tire smoke, and noise that a driver is able to maintain while going through the curves, the more points the driver wins.
So, unlike other types of auto and RC racing, RC drift cars are not about being the first to cross the finish line. They’re about entertaining the crowd with a skillful application of control techniques and getting more applause than your competitors.
Drifting with radio control cars and trucks is fun and challenging. That’s what makes RC drift cars one of the fastest-growing segments of the RC hobby.
Completing an ordinary turn with any RC car is, of course, pretty simple. You just rotate your radio transmitter’s wheel to steer your RC vehicle in the desired direction. Normally you want to reduce speed somewhat to keep all four tires in contact with the road. Otherwise, there’s nothing to give you traction.
But if you want to make your RC car or truck drift through a corner, losing some tire traction is part of the plan. While accelerating into the turn, you increase throttle enough to deliberately give up some traction in the rear tires and make the rear of the vehicle swing forward.
From there, successful drifting depends on how well you continue managing the amount of traction you lose. You still have to maintain some control over the rear tire grip, which you can do with a combination of throttle, precise steering, and subtle braking.
By constantly balancing the traction against wheel speed and slide, you can keep up the drift and still guide your RC drift car through and out of the turn.
Drifting with RC cars and trucks isn’t just about how you maneuver around the track. Dynamic body graphics, deep-dish wheels, loads of chrome, fat exhausts, and wild, unique scale styling are all part of the show. How you finish and upgrade your RC drift car is a big part of the fun that comes with taking part in the drifting lifestyle.
For some RC drift car enthusiasts, the driving and the skill are what’s most important. Showing off around the corners by executing extreme angles while burning up a set of tires is what puts a grin on their faces.
Others get their biggest kicks from the clean, polished looks of their finely crafted scale drift vehicles. The level of detail and customization in their own cars or someone else’s is what makes their motors run!
All standard radio control cars are capable of drifting, so any RC car can be a drift car. Those specifically designed for drifting have special modifications, such as a locking rear differential and belt-driven chassis rather than shaft drive. These features can help prevent damage that might occur if you repeatedly use an everyday RC car for drifting.
The most important component of any RC car or truck used for even occasional drifting is drift tires. Regular RC car tires will wear out quickly under the high temperatures and high pressures of drifting. Tires specifically made for drifting are available from the Integy and Tamiya brands. ARRMA® also offers dBoots® Hoons™ tires that are good choices for drifting. All of these are sold by Tower Hobbies.
The Redcat Racing Lightning EPX is a good example of a 1/10 scale electric RC vehicle designed specifically for RC drifting. It uses drift-specific tires that allow effortless drifting along corners while maintaining steady momentum. It also has a lightweight chassis made of plastic that improves drift recovery and allows quick response to direction changes.
RC cars that are well-engineered to accommodate drifting are available from Tower Hobbies in Ready-to-Run (RTR) and kit completion levels. The RC drift kits provide a perfect opportunity for aspiring mechanics to learn how different components of the RC auto influence its drifting performance and to build custom RC drift cars. Get ready to get sideways with RC drift cars from ARRMA, Redcat Racing, Tamiya, Losi®, and other winning brands!
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