If you own and drive RC cars, you are probably always looking for new challenges that build your skills as a driver. RC drifting, in my opinion, is one of the most technical and difficult types of RC driving. RC drift cars are set up differently compared to off road trucks. RC drift cars come in 4WD and 2WD variations.
That being said, you have a pivotal decision to make when deciding on 4WD vs. 2WD RC Drift Cars. You need to research which type of surface you will be driving on because the surface will help determine what type of tires to run and whether you should look at 4WD VS 2WD RC drift cars.
2WD RC drift cars and 4WD RC drift cars will perform differently depending on the track surface. So before you buy your first RC drift car, do a bit of homework first and ignore the long term debate between 2WD and 4WD. Buy what is best for your situation.
In this post, I will cover some of the differences between 2WD and 4WD RC drift cars so you can make an informed decision before you buy. Lets dive in!
What Are the Reasons To Choose a 2WD RC Car?
When considering 2WD vs. 4WD RC drift cars, it’s important for beginners and people without much technical know-how to note that 2WD RC drift cars are simpler than 4WD from a mechanical perspective. 2WD RC drift cars don't have as many moving parts to maintain and replace.
Do you like technical gadgets that may have many parts and settings, or do you like no-frills, streamlined simplicity?
If you answered simplicity, a 2WD RC drfit car is probably the right choice for you.
Another advantage when starting is that you can focus on drifting without getting distracted by the more complicated methods involved with 4WD RC drift cars.
two-wheel drive RC drift cars are simple. All you need to do to drift them is slide out the back end and use the rear wheels to control the the drift.
2WD RC Drift Cars Are Cheaper
A major advantage of a two-wheel drive train is the overall cost of the vehicle. Almost all RC car models that have a two-wheel drive version is cheaper than the upgraded four-wheel drive model.
Cheaper may be the wrong word here because something can be expensive but cheaper than another comparable product. Most 2WD RC models are affordable, and affordability matters because you may not have much to spend.
2WD RC drift cars have fewer components than their 4WD counterparts. Fewer parts cost less money, so you save at the checkout line.
How Do 2WD and 4WD RC Drift Cars Compare in Speed and Control?
It is widely known in the RC car world that 4WD drift cars are faster and have better traction than 2WD vehicles.
that means a 4WD RC drift car will have the advantage on a straightaway section of track. That's because all four wheels are powering the RC car down the track. You should see the 4WD pull away a bit on longer straight sections of track.
When it comes to drifting through turns, I think a 2WD car has a slight advantage. A 2WD car has a more realistic drift because the front wheels are not providing any traction. They are only used for counter steering. This is how many real life drift cars work, too.
In my opinion, 4WD RC drift cars look to have more trouble initiating a drift. This is due to all four wheels providing traction to the vehicle. There is a reason 4-wheel drive cars are popular in snow and ice, and that's because they do not slide like a two-wheel drive car.
You may also want to check out the best ESC and motor combos if you are really serious about tuning your RC drift car!
If great traction and higher speed are important to you, buy a four-wheel drive RC drift car. It might be harder to initiate the drift, but the speed down the straightaway will give you a clear advantage.
If you want the most realistic experience, a two-wheel drive car is probably the RC drift car for you.
The video below shows a 2WD and a 4WD drift battle. You can decide for yourself which car is fastest.
The Red car Lancer Evolution is a 4WD and the black Yokomo DRB is 2WD.
What About Control?
Control is a complicated topic since we are discussing drifting. On the face of the matter, 4WD offers more control than 2WD; however, we are not talking about driving around a track like a road.
The very control that makes 4WD easier to steer around a track is the same control that makes 4WD more difficult to control and keep in a drift.
For RC car novices, the basic steering with a 2WD car will be more challenging for everyday driving. You will have to be more careful and prepare to have more collisions.
The reasons are somewhat complicated and get into the art of how to drift rc cars. When you want to maintain a drift, having only the rear wheel drive RC drift cars provide power, while the front wheels steer is easier to control.
The extra traction that is useful while steering with 4WD can pull you off drift with reactive remote controls. Once in a drift, you want the front wheels locked into the steering direction to maintain the drift. 4WD can steer in the wrong direction, and the wheels have the power to keep going.
Which Build-Quality Is Better for Drifting?
Any RC car that costs $50 or less is probably more of a toy than a fun tool suitable for drifting. The potential for getting a good deal on a secondhand model always exists, and the price may not matter as much.
In general, 4WD costs more, so once you look at a high-quality RC car, 2WD is less expensive to get started. I think 4x4 RC drift cars are only necessary if you want an all-terrain RC car.
Whether you are a beginner who wants to try RC car drifting or are looking to buy another car, 2WD RC has the edge over 4WD when drifting. 4WD handles better when driving normally, but 2WD handles better in a drift.
Especially useful for beginners, 2WD RC cars are cheaper, which will hurt less down the road if you decide to stop pursuing the hobby.
Good luck and happy drifting.
2WD vs. 4WD RC Drift Cars FAQs
The debate about 2WD vs. 4WD RC drift cars will probably never end and comes down to personal preference. Below are answers based on popular opinion.
Which is better for drifting: 2WD or 4WD?
Most enthusiasts will tell you that 2WD RC cars work better for drifting.
People who construct or travel to a track, buy a car, invest a decent amount of money, and spend considerable time on this hobby do not buy an RC car for something other than drifting. 4WD offers more steering control, but the extra control works against drifting.
What does the gyro do in a RC Drift Car?
The gyro will sense if the car's back tires are spinning out too much and will automatically adjust the steering to help keep the car under control. So, A drift gyro is made for beginners to help them learn to drift properly.
Can I drift a toy RC car?
For the most part, no, drifting with a toy car is too difficult outside of random luck. Two main factors are working against you, non-removable rubber tires and a weak motor.
Rubber gets too much traction, and toy cars only maintain peak motor power for a few minutes before the battery loses its edge.