The Best Tires for Drifting

Table of Contents

Are you looking to take your car drifting or do you just need to know what the best tires for drifting are? If so, we have compiled the 10 best tires for drifting, including tires for both the front and rear of your car!

In this blog post, we will discuss the best tires for drifters and provide a round-up review of some of the most popular options on the market. Whether you are just starting out or are looking to upgrade your current setup, we have got you covered!

The Best tires for drifting

When it comes to choosing the best tires for drifting, the front and rear tires have different roles to play. The front tires are responsible for steering while the rear tires provide the power. As a result, you will want to choose different tires for the front and rear of your car.

Front tires

Front tires should always be in the Track day and Competition Summer tire bracket, as front end grip is extremely important when picking the best tires for drifting. Knowing this, here are our best front tires for drifting.

Editor's Choice
Achilles 123S
9.7/10We Try Tires Score
  • Track day and Competition tire
  • Superior dry grip
  • Stiff squared of sidewalls
  • High levels of responsiveness

The Achilles 123S is a trackday and competition summer tire. It is specifically designed for the track but is also road legal. This makes it a great option if you need to use your car on the road as well as the track, however it has a short tread life and is not suitable for everyday use.

However, daily driving is not what the Achilles 123S was designed for. It was designed to be a very grippy tire and provide maximum traction and handling on the track. This can be seen with its very aggressive tread pattern and stiff sidewalls.

Front end grip is extremely important when looking for a drift tire and the Achilles 123S provides plenty of it, making it an excellent choice for all levels of drift car. The Achilles 123S has excellent grip and handling characteristics.

It is a very responsive tire that provides great feedback to the driver and thanks to its more squared off sidewalls, offers more stability when drifting at high speed.

The downsides of this tire is that it does not have a very long lifespan and is a noisy tire when driven on at speed. However, these are the least important factors for people looking for a drift tire and for that reason, makes the Achilles 123S one of the best tires for drifting.

You may find that it is difficult to find in the largest sizes, which may mean you need to look elsewhere. However if you can find it in your size, we highly recommend it. The Achilles 123S is a fantastic option for those who are looking for a track-ready tire that is also road legal. However, it is not suitable for daily driving and has a short tread life.

Pros
  • Track day and Competition tire
  • Superior dry grip
  • Stiff squared of sidewalls
  • High levels of responsiveness
  • Road Legal
Cons
  • Noisy at speed
  • Not the hardest wearing tire
  • Some large sizes not available

 

Top Pick
Toyo Proxes R888R
9.7/10We Try Tires Score
  • Track day and Competition tire
  • Superior dry grip
  • Increase high speed stability
  • Road legal tire

The Toyo Proxes R888R is a road legal tire that was designed with the track in mind. It offers excellent dry grip and handling, making it a great choice for those who are looking to take their car out on the track.

The Toyo Proxy R888R has a very soft compound, which gives it excellent grip on both dry and wet surfaces. However, this also means that the tire does not have a very long lifespan and is not suited for daily driving.

The R888R is a very popular choice among drifters and is often considered to be one of the best tires for drifting. It is available in a wide range of sizes, making it a great option for those with larger wheels.

Thanks to its soft compound, the tire also warms up to its optimum operating temperature quickly, meaning you can get out on the track and start drifting sooner. It is also designed with a wide centre rib, giving the tire a very precise steering response, which makes it the perfect drift tire for your cars front wheels.

As mentioned, it does not make a good road tire because of its very soft compound that wears down quickly, and is also noisier than other tires more focused on daily driving. It is also does not like standing water and is much more likely to hydroplane when driving on wet roads.

Despite these small downsides, the Toyo R888R is still a great tire for those who are looking to take their car out on the track. It offers outstanding front end grip and handling, making it a one of the top choices for those who are looking to drift their car.

Pros
  • Track day and Competition tire
  • Very short braking distance
  • Superior dry grip
  • Increase high speed stability
  • Road legal tire
Cons
  • Noisy at speed
  • Difficult to drive at the limit
  • Nervous in wet conditions

 

Premium Pick
Falken rt615s
9.3/10We Try Tires Score
  • Track day and competition tire
  • Carcass construction provides durability
  • Extreme performance traction
  • Large shoulders give increased steering response

The Falken RT615S is another trackday designed tire which makes it a perfect choice of tire for those looking to take their car drifting. It is also road legal so can be used on the road to and from the track.

However because of its short lifespan, it is not the best choice for those looking for a daily driver as after just a few months of use the tire will wear down and become extremely hard and offer very little grip.

The Falken RT615S is a very popular tire among trackday and competition drift drivers. It offers excellent dry grip and handling, making it one of the best choices for those looking to take their car out on the track.

Like all track focused competition tire, it has a very aggressive tread pattern, with minimal tread and a very large contact patch with the road. This will ensure that you are able to maintain your drift and keep the car pointing in the right direction at all speeds.

Falken also offer a wide range of sizes for the RT615S, making it a great option for those with larger wheels.

It is also more affordable that other comparable tires in its class, making it an excellent choice for drift car tires, especially since when drifting cars you expect tires to wear away at an accelerated rate. This means that having them as your go to drift tire is sure to save you a noticeable amount of money in the long run.

Overall, the Falken RT615S is a very worthy choice of drift car tire for the front of your vehicle, offering excellent dry grip and steering feedback, while being more affordable than some other options in its class.

Pros
  • Track day and competition tire
  • Carcass construction provides durability
  • Extreme performance traction
  • Large shoulders give increased steering response
  • Road legal tire
Cons
  • Compound hardens when used
  • Aquaplanes easily
  • Hard and uncomfortable ride
Top Performer
Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar 3R
9.8/10We Try Tires Score
  • Track day and competition tire
  • Unrivaled levels of grip
  • High speed of direction change
  • Ultimate cornering stability

When it comes to performing in any sport, to get the best results you need to have the best equipment. The same can be said for drifting, where having the right tires is crucial to getting the most out of your car.

This is where the Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar 3R comes in. As one of the most expensive tires you can buy, you can be sure that the price reflect the quality on offer. The Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar 3R is a road legal tire that has been designed for use on the track.

It offers extremely high levels of grip, meaning drifting or driving at high speeds you can be confident they will perform. They also warm up very quickly and have a better tread life than other comparable tires, meaning that you can drift on them for longer.

The Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar 3R tire achieves this maximum amount of grip with very sticky compound and very large contact patch with the road. This gives the driver an unmatched amount of steering precision and enjoyment when driven hard.

This does however mean that the tire also comes with a slightly heavy steering feel, and when tested was not the absolute fastest tire in its class either. However for drifting, lap times are not the primary objective of a tire like this and much more about the control, precision and amount of time you can hold a drift, making these tires one of the best you can pick.

As mentioned, this does come at a price and the Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar 3R is one of the most expensive tires in this list. But for those looking for the best tire for both road and track use, and the ultimate in grip and performance, it is hard to look past the Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar 3R.

Pros
  • Track day and competition tire
  • Unrivaled levels of grip
  • High speed of direction change
  • Ultimate cornering stability
  • Road legal tire
Cons
  • Heavy Steering
  • Expensive
Budget Pick
Federal RSRR
7.5/10We Try Tires Score
  • Track day and competition tire
  • Silica-infused tread compounds 
  • Flame-shaped tread pattern
  • Stiff construction helps tire wear evenly

The Federal 595 RSRR is Federals latest tire and is a road legal competition tire that has been designed with the track day and drift driver in mind. It offers excellent dry grip and direct steering precision, while also being more affordable than some other options in its class.

The Federal 595 RSRR has a very unique tread pattern which has been designed to look like flames! This is a very aggressive and impressive looking tread design, which also gives the tire a very large contact patch with the road.

This helps ensure that you are able to direct your drift and keep the car pointing in the right direction at all speeds. Although we think the design compromises the wet ability of the tire.

One of the most appealing parts of this tire is its price. Drift car tires do not last long due to drifting putting a huge amount of stress on the tires, meaning that they will wear down very quickly. Knowing this, choosing a tire which is more affordable may be a deciding factor in which tire you go for.

This low price inevitably means that the tire sacrifice in some areas compared to its more expensive rivals. The Federal 595 RSRR is offers let grip in the wet than other options, and it is also not the fastest tire either.

The most noticeable thing however from these tires is the noise. When driven on the road, the noise from the tires is extremely loud. However, after testing the tires do wear evenly and there have been very few reports of de-lamination, which still makes these tires worth considering as they have some of the best features in a tire for drifting.

Overall, the Federal 595 RSRR is a great choice of tire thanks to its reliability, low price, standout design and excellent dry grip. It does have some drawbacks in the wet and with noise, but for those looking for a good looking good all-round tire for drifting, the Federal RSRR should definitely be on your radar.

Pros
  • Track day and competition tire
  • Silica-infused tread compounds 
  • Flame-shaped tread pattern
  • Stiff construction helps tire wear evenly
  • Road legal
Cons
  • Very poor wet grip
  • Noisy at speed
  • Poor comfort on the road

 

Rear Tires

The best rear tires for drifting have a very different focus to the front tires, as they need to be able to handle much more stress and loads when drifting. This is because the rear wheels are going to be breaking traction constantly and efficiently doing prolonged and repeated burnouts.

This means that a new rear drift tire is going to last a matter of hours or potentially even less for the most powerful and highly tuned drift cars. As a result, different factors make a good rear tire for a drift car, including finding the cheapest tire possible that can handle the punishment!

Here are the best rear drift car tires!

Editor's Choice
Ironman iMOVE GEN2 AS
8.5/10We Try Tires Score
  • UHP Ultra High Performance Summer Tire
  • Asymmetric tread design provides enhanced traction
  • Wear-resistant compound 
  • Most popular rear drift tire

The Ironman iMove GEN2 AS is a high performance summer tire that still offers great performance despite its low price tag. It has been designed with a wear-resistant compound and features an advanced pressure distribution concept, which further helps to ensure that the tire wears evenly under high stress and temperatures.

This alone makes it a great choice for a rear drift tire as it will be able to handle the constant abuse that is inflicted on it during drifting. Additionally, the Ironman iMove GEN2 AS has a very impressive UTQG rating of 320, which is one of the highest you will find in a tire at this price.

This means that the tire is able to withstand high temperatures without losing its grip or traction. This makes them ideal for drift cars as they will be able to hold up to the constant punishment that is inflicted on them.

The Ironman iMove GEN2 AS also has a very wide tread width and an asymmetric tread design, which helps to ensure that there is a large contact patch with the ground and this will provide the maximum amount of traction from the tire.

This is extremely important in a rear drift tire as it helps to ensure that the car is able to put all of its power down onto the ground, which is essential for going sideways.

Finally, the Ironman iMove GEN2 AS is available is a good range of sizes and is a poplar and readily available tire, which makes it practical and easy to replace no matter what size you need. This is an important factor for drift cars and they will go through tires extremely quickly, so having a tire that can be easily found makes it much easier to keep drifting.

It is no surprise that the Ironman iMove GEN2 AS is favoured by the most prolific and successful drift cars, which is why it one of our top picks for the best rear drift tire you can choose!

Pros
  • UHP Ultra High Performance Summer Tire
  • Asymmetric tread design provides enhanced traction
  • Wear-resistant compound 
  • Most popular rear drift tire
Cons
  • Loud tread noise
  • Lose traction in wet

 

Drifting ready
Delinte DH2
7.2/10We Try Tires Score
  • All-season high performance tire
  • Relentless tread life
  • Stiff sidewall for precise drifting action
  • Well priced

The Delinte DH2 is an all season high performance tire that has been designed with both professional and amateur drifters in mind. It features an asymmetric tread design with a very wide contact patch, which helps to ensure that the tire can provide maximum traction and grip.

It also has a directional tread pattern, which helps to ensure that the tire can evacuate water quickly and efficiently in wet conditions. This is an important feature for a rear drift tire as it will help to ensure that the car can maintain predictable grip and performance in wet conditions, which is often when drifting can be the most difficult.

The Delinte DH2 also has a very stiff sidewall, which helps to resist the forces that are exerted on it during drifting. This is important as it helps to ensure that the tire can maintain its shape and grip under high loads, which is essential for drifting.

Additionally, the Delinte DH2 has an extremely high temperature rating of 340, which is one of the highest ratings you will find in a tire. This means that the tire is able to withstand very high temperatures without losing its grip or traction, which is essential for a rear drift tire.

The tire is well known for its hard wearing and relentlessly long tread life, making it a favourite amongst drifters. It is also available in a very wide range of sizes from 13″ to 22” and is readily available, making it easy to replace when your first set have worn out.

All these factors including its low price tag, make it a common choice for both professional and amateur drifters alike.

Overall, the Delinte DH2 is a great choice for a rear drift tire as it has all the features and benefits that you would need in order to perform at your best. It is also very affordable and easy to replace, making it a practical choice for anyone who wants to get into drifting.

Pros
  • All-season high performance tire
  • Relentless tread life
  • Stiff sidewall for precise drifting action
  • Well priced
Cons
  • Unreliable in wet weather
  • Fast wearing 
  • Poor control and braking in damp 

 

Semi Slick
Nangkang NS-2R
9.4/10We Try Tires Score
  • Semi slick Extreme Performance Summer tire
  • Very consistent endurance tire
  • Track focused with extreme performance
  • Best grip and value for money

For the more seasoned drifter, you may be looking for a more serious tire for a very highly tuned high horsepower competition drift car that is able to provide the absolute maximum in grip and traction. If this is the case, then we would recommend taking a look at the Nangkang NS-2R.

The Nankang NS-2R is a semi slick tire that has been designed for track use and has an asymmetric tread pattern with a very wide contact patch. This ensures that the tire is able to provide maximum levels of grip and traction, even at high speeds and under high loads.

It also has a very stiff sidewall, which helps to resist the forces that are exerted on it during drifting. This is important as it helps to ensure that the tire can maintain its shape and grip under very high temperatures.

It is also able to hold itself together and allow you to “run them until they’re smooth” at very high temperatures allowing you to get a number of extra laps of of these tires and giving you better value for money.

The Nankang NS-2R can also be used on the front of drift cars thanks to their very high levels of grip. It is available in a wide range of sizes and widths and is exceptionally well priced for the performance that they offer.

You will however spend more money choosing these tires as rear tires for your drift car rather than another cheaper set from this list. However, if you have a highly tuned competition drift car and require the best possible drift tires, this is the extra cost required to maximise your cars drifting potential.

Overall, the Nangkang NS-2R is a great choice for a high performance rear drift tire that is able to provide the absolute maximum in grip and traction. They are more expensive than other tires on this list, but are still far cheaper than other comparable tires. If you have a very high performance drift car, they are definitely worth the extra cost.

Pros
  • Semi slick Extreme Performance Summer tire
  • Very consistent endurance tire
  • Track focused with extreme performance
  • Best grip and value for money
Cons
  • Low levels of comfort
  • Not for amateur drifters

 

Budget Pick
Westlake SA07
6.5/10We Try Tires Score
  • High Performance Summer tire
  • Readily available
  • High temperature and UTQG rating
  • Does not delaminate when drifted on

Westlake tires are a well known and respected tire manufacturer who have been around for many years. The Westlake SA07 is their flagship high performance summer tire and it has been chosen by both professional and amateur drifters alike for their features as a very cheap yet decently good performance tire.

With the most important thing for a rear drift tire being price, the process of finding the cheapest possible tire that manages to withstand the demands of drifting has brought Westlake tires into the spotlight. The Westlake SA07 is a cheap tire that still manages to offer good grip and performance thanks to its directional tread pattern and stiff sidewall.

The Westlake SA07 wears evenly and most importantly does not delaminate when it is drifted on. This means that you can trust the tire to perform consistently and not break down on you in the middle of a drift, which is obviously very important.

The tire is available in a wide range of sizes from 13″ to 20″ and is readily available off the shelf, which is important as it means that you can quickly and easily replace your tires when they start to wear out.

It performs poorly in wet conditions and hydroplanes easily. For these reasons it does not make a very good road car tire as it also has long braking distances and has a tendency to understeer when fitted to the front of a car.

However, it does feature a high temperature UTQG which allows it to hold its construction together, allowing you to drift on them for longer, which is by far a more valuable attribute for a rear drift tire.

Overall, the Westlake SA07 is an excellent choice for a rear drift tire as it is very cheap yet still offers good grip and performance. It is also readily available and easy to replace, making it a practical choice for anyone who wants to get into drifting.

Pros
  • High Performance Summer tire
  • Readily available
  • High temperature and UTQG rating
  • Does not delaminate when drifted
  • Low price point
Cons
  • Poor steering in wet conditions
  • Poor hydroplaning resistance
  • Long braking distances
  • Nervous at speed

 

Reliable drift tire
Achilles ART Sport 2
6.6/10We Try Tires Score
  • Ultra High Performance Summer tire
  • Directional tread design
  • Solid center rib promotes even wear
  • Good temperature and UTGQ rating

Achilles tires are a relative newcomer to the tire market but they have quickly made a name for themselves with their range of high performance tires. The Achilles ART Sport 2 is an Ultra High Performance Summer tire, making it the right kind of tire for drifting.

The Achilles ART Sport 2 is a very well made tire with an excellent tread pattern that offers good stable grip and performance. The tire features a good temperature and UTGQ rating, making it one of the best tires on the market for high performance driving. The Achilles ART sport 2 is also very well made and features a stiff sidewall that offers good support during hard cornering.

You can expect a pair of these tires to cost you around $150, which is a not a huge amount to pay considering the size and the performance you can expect from the tire.

The Achilles ART Sport 2 is available in a wide range of sizes from 14″ to 20″ and is very easy to find, which is important as it means that you can quickly and easily replace your tires when they start to wear out.

The tire has been praised for its very good grip in dry conditions, and the tire also warms up quickly. However wet conditions have proven to be its downfall as it does not offer much grip in the wet and can be dangerous. For this reason, it is not recommended for use as a road car tire.

Overall, it is easy to see why the Achilles ART Sport 2 is a popular choice of drift tire as it offers durability and good dry performance. It also ticks the other main boxes as it is cheap, readily available and has a high UTGQ rating, making it a practical choice for anyone who wants to get into drifting.

Pros
  • Ultra High Performance Summer tire
  • Directional tread design
  • Solid center rib promotes even wear
  • Good temperature and UTGQ rating
Cons
  • Slippery in wet conditions
  • Low wear means less drift time
  • Softer sidewalls give less stability

 

What to know before you go drifting

Your choice of tires is extremely important to consider. However as well as deciding on the best tires for drifting, there are a few fundamental things to know before you go drifting.

Rear Wheel Drive Vehicle

The first thing is to ensure that your vehicle is rear wheel drive. This is because front wheel drive cars do not drift well. The reason for this is that the front wheels are responsible for steering, power and braking, meaning that they have to work harder and are less able to handle the high speeds and quick movements required for drifting.

Rear wheel drive means that the rear wheels are driven and the front wheels are only responsible for steering. This means the rear wheel are powering the car and propelling the car forward. This is a key component for a drift car as you can break traction of the rear wheels and “kick” the back end of the car out.

Once the back end of the car has broken traction and the rear tires are spinning, you then maintain the drift by controlling the amount of throttle and opposite steering lock you apply to keep the car. Without a rear wheel drive car, it is simply not possible to maintain a drift in such a way.

Find a large empty practice space

The second thing to consider is that you will need a lot of space to practice drifting. This is because you will be going very fast and will need a lot of room to manoeuvre. It is also important to make sure that there are no obstacles in your way, as you could easily crash into them.

Start Slow and Gentle

Finally, it is important to be very careful when drifting. This is because it is can become a very dangerous activity without proper guidance and tuition. Make sure that begin slowly and in a controlled environment.

Your first drift car should be a cheap car without too much power, as drifting puts a huge amount of strain on the cars components and will likely need repairs quite often.

Rules for picking Best Tires for Drifting

There are a few different types of tires that are suitable for drifting and the best tires for drifting will depend on your individual needs and preferences.

Which type of tire to pick

The first type of tire is the High Performance summer tire. These tires are designed for road use and offer increased levels of grip and performance. Depending on the manufacturer, they are usually premium tires which can cost more. However less well known brands do produce good quality tires that offer excellent value for money.

The second type of tire is the Trackday and Competition Summer tires. These tires are also designed for track use and are more expensive than High Performance summer tires. They offer superior grip and performance but may not last as long as they are designed to purely focused on offering the most amount of grip.

The rule for a successful drift car is to always run grippy tires up front and then add grip in the rear as you need it. If you have too much grip in the rear, the car will understeer.

Tire Pressure

It is possible to adjust the grip of your tires progressively by adjusting their air pressure.

Lowering the psi will add more grip, however may heat up the tires faster which will then slightly increase the pressure also as the air heats up and expands.

Alternatively, raising the psi will result in less grip and make your vehicle easier to drift. This balance can continuously be adjusted until the perfect balance for your car is found.

You may find yourself drifting faster and needing more grip. Once you have raised the PSI as high as you can and find yourself needing more grip, the next step is to go up a tire size.

A large tire size will give you more grip, however you need to ensure that larger tires will fit on your vehicle without the need to purchase a new set of wheels too, which can be expensive!

Your Tire Budget

The third thing to consider is your budget. Drifting can be an expensive hobby and the best tires for drifting can be quite costly. However, it is important to remember that your tires are one of the most important aspects of your car.

However, ask any serious drifter and they will tell you the same as us, that your rear drift tires should be the cheapest possible tires in your size that are able to hold up to the punishment that drifting puts on them.

This is why our top picks for drift tires, especially rear drift tires focus heavily on the best and cheapest available options.

Consider a spare set of wheels and tires

The final tip to consider when choosing the best tires for drifting is that you should have a spare set of wheels and tires. This is because you are going to wear down tires very fast and having a set of fresh tires ready to go allows you to change your tires quickly and get back out on the track, or even drive home safely.

Conclusion

Drifting is a high octane sport. It is important to be very careful when drifting and to make sure that you are using the best possible tires for your car. There are a few different types of tires that are suitable for drifting, however the best tires for drifting always follow the same rules.

Run grippy tires up front and then add grip in the rear as you need it. If you have too much grip in the rear, the car will understeer.”

This is why we recommend track day and competition tires for the front of your vehicle such as Achilles 123S and cheap high performance summer tires for the rear of your vehicle such as the Ironman iMove GEN2 AS.

We hope you enjoyed this article and found it informative. If you have any questions then please leave a comment below or get in touch via email or through social media and we will read and respond to every comment, email or question. Thanks for reading!

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