After many attempts to build a drift car out of LEGO Technic parts, I decided if I wanted to have a radio-controlled drift car, I should just go out and buy one. I did. I had been wanting one for awhile, so I took care of two things in one purchase, not having to build one out of LEGO and quelling the need to just buy the real thing. It’s an RTR kit (ready-to-run), so basically you just charge the battery, pop it in, turn it on, and you are drifting in no time. I like it when things are simple. Sadly, even the simplest things are sometimes not always that simple.

This isn’t my first foray into the radio-controlled car world. Somewhere in my parents’ garage is my old HPI Nitro RS4. I had some fun with it back during my college days. Not much fun, because I could never really get that engine to run right. I am determined to find that kit, get it running well, slap a new body onto it, and go tearing through the neighborhood. But that will be another post; back to the topic at hand.

The kit details you can read here, Like I mentioned already, it’s an RTR kit. It’s electric. It’s a drift car. I went with the Camaro mostly because it’s black. The body will get swapped out eventually, but for now, I felt a black drifter looked better. After unboxing, I charged the battery and waited patiently for six hours. Six hours later, I went through the instructions to setup the car. I set up the transmitter. I setup the ESC to run on an NiMH battery. Check. Now to fire it up. Transmitter on. ESC on. Nothing. No throttle. No steering. D’oh! Something was wrong. I looked through the troubleshooting guide for answers. Nothing.

Long story short, the wonderful folks at HobbyTown USA in Torrance, CA came to my rescue. Apparently whoever put this car together at the HPI factory got the wires inside the receiver backwards. Nice QC HPI. The guy at HobbyTown saw that right away. Five seconds later, we were drifting in the parking lot. He then gave me some tips about drifting setup and other helpful advice. I ended up buying an extra battery from them. That’s the least I could do for their help, plus I know I will be needing more batteries anyway.

Boring story over. Now it is time for some pictures of the kit and some videos of a beginner RC drifter spinning around and crashing into stuff. I was so anxious to try out the car that I forgot to take the pictures before taking it outside. For the keen eyed, you will notice that the tires have already taken a beating. The backyard patio, the driveway, and the street are all pretty rough, so it’s tough on the tires. You will also notice that the body has some dings as well. While the video doesn’t show any crashes, I had two spectacular ones against the concrete step by the back door. Hopefully, I’ll get all the crashing out of my system on this body. It is tough to get it right. Too much throttle you spin out. Too little, you just turn. Too much steering angle, you spin. Too much counter-steering and you get a boring drift. Too little counter-steering, and you spin out. All those factors have to be balanced to get a good drift. I think in the 20 minutes I was out there for the video, I got 2 passable drifts.

In the coming months, I’ll post more videos. Hopefully, I will be a better drifter by then.


My first test run with the HPI Sprint 2 Drift Camaro