What are the Different Types of RC Cars?

RC racing is considered as one of the most exciting hobbies not only for kids but also for adults. Surprisingly the number of adults that are getting into the hobby of upgrading, customizing, and racing RC cars are increasing every year, and there have even been a lot of tournaments or competitions that are organized for advanced RC racing in recent years.

While RC racing is quite popular today, people that are unfamiliar or are new to the hobby don’t know that there are actually different types of RC cars that are designed for various kinds of races. To learn more, here are some details about the different types of RC cars.

On-Road RC cars

An on-road RC car is a miniature replica of a real car that is designed to be driven on smooth surfaces such as asphalt or concrete. These types of RC cars are typically used for racing and can reach high speeds. They are equipped with specialized tires and suspension systems that allow them to hug the road and turn with precision. 

On-road RC cars come in a variety of sizes and styles, including touring cars, drift cars, and Formula 1 cars. They are powered by gas or electric motors and are controlled by a remote transmitter.

The main advantage of an on-road RC car is its ability to provide a realistic driving experience, as it is designed for smooth surfaces such as pavements or tracks. It also has high speeds and good maneuverability, making it perfect for competitive racing. On-road RC cars are also suitable for beginners since they are usually less expensive compared to other types of RC cars. To know more about RC cars that are great for beginners in the hobby, read The Guide to Picking Your First RC Car

However, the performance of an on-road RC car can be affected by any unevenness on the road, which can lead to damage to the car. Also, an on-road RC car may not be suitable for off-road driving, limiting its versatility.

Off-Road RC cars

Off-road RC cars are typically equipped with larger wheels and tires, as well as higher ground clearance, to navigate through rough and uneven surfaces. They are often powered by electric or nitro engines, providing ample torque and speed to tackle steep hills and jumps. 

This type of RC cars come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from small and compact to larger, more powerful models. These vehicles are ideal for outdoor enthusiasts looking for a fun and challenging way to explore rugged terrain.

Off-road RC cars are a popular choice for remote control vehicle enthusiasts due to their ability to traverse uneven terrain and challenging obstacles. Their sturdy build and rugged tires make them ideal for outdoor use, providing hours of entertainment for users. 

There are also some disadvantages to off-road RC cars, such as their tendency to require more maintenance than their on-road counterparts due to exposure to dirt and debris. The cost of replacement parts can be higher as a result of the wear and tear they experience during use.

Rock Crawler RC cars

A rock crawler RC car is a remote-controlled vehicle designed to navigate through rough terrain, such as rocks, boulders, and steep inclines. These vehicles are engineered to have high torque and low-speed capabilities, which allows them to climb and maneuver over obstacles that other RC cars cannot. 

Rock crawlers come in various sizes, from small scale models to larger 1:10 or 1:8 scale vehicles. They are equipped with specialized features such as articulated suspension, locked differentials, and large tires with deep treads for better traction. These features provide the necessary stability and traction required to navigate challenging terrains.

Rock crawler RC cars are popular among hobbyists due to their ability to navigate tough terrain and obstacles with ease. One of the main advantages of rock crawlers is their durability, as they are designed to withstand harsh conditions and collisions. 

There are also some drawbacks to consider when it comes to rock crawler RC cars. They tend to be slower and less maneuverable than other types of RC cars, which may not appeal to those looking for speed or agility. They also require specialized equipment and maintenance, making them a more expensive option compared to other RC cars.

RC Drift Cars

An RC drift car is a remote-controlled vehicle designed and built to perform controlled and stylish drifts on smooth surfaces. These cars are equipped with specialized tires, suspension systems, and motor configurations that allow them to slide sideways while maintaining control and precision. They often feature adjustable settings that allow for customization of the car’s performance to suit the driver’s individual preferences. 

RC drift cars are popular among hobbyists and enthusiasts due to their challenging yet rewarding nature, as well as the opportunity to showcase their driving skills through intricate and impressive maneuvers.

RC drift cars are popular due to their ability to mimic the sliding and drifting motions of real drift cars. One advantage of owning an RC drift car is the ability to control the car’s movements with precision, allowing for a more realistic and thrilling experience. 

One disadvantage of owning an RC drift car is the limited space required for optimal performance, as these cars need a smooth and flat surface to drift successfully. Drifting can be hard on the car’s tires and can cause them to wear out quickly, leading to additional expenses.

Other Types of RC Cars

Short Course Trucks

An RC short course truck is a miniature version of a full-sized off-road racing truck designed for remote control use. These vehicles are typically 1/10th or 1/8th scale and are built to withstand the rugged terrain of off-road racing. RC short course trucks feature realistic suspension systems, durable tires, and powerful electric or nitro engines, allowing them to perform high-speed jumps, maneuvers, and drifts. 

These vehicles are popular among remote control enthusiasts due to their scale realism and the ability to customize and upgrade components for improved performance. RC short course trucks are often used for competitive racing events, but can also be enjoyed for recreational purposes.

Monster Trucks

An RC monster truck is a remote-controlled vehicle that mimics the appearance and performance of a full-size monster truck. These miniature machines are designed to tackle obstacles and rough terrain just like their real-life counterparts. 

RC monster trucks are typically powered by electric motors and equipped with large, durable tires, high-performance suspension systems, and rugged bodies that can withstand crashes and impacts. They are controlled by a remote that allows the operator to steer, accelerate, and brake the vehicle.


Buggies are remote-controlled vehicles designed for off-road racing and stunts. They are typically small, rugged, and lightweight, with large wheels and a low center of gravity that allows them to traverse rough terrain with ease. 

RC buggies are powered by electric motors and can achieve impressive speeds, making them ideal for high-speed racing and acrobatic maneuvers. They are controlled using a wireless remote, which allows operators to steer, accelerate, and brake the vehicle from a distance.

An RC truggy is a high-performance remote-controlled vehicle that combines the features of a truck and a buggy. These vehicles are designed to handle off-road terrain and come equipped with large tires, powerful engines, and durable suspension systems. 

RC truggies are typically powered by nitro or electric motors, allowing for impressive speeds and agility. These vehicles are a popular choice for hobbyists and enthusiasts who enjoy the thrill of racing and off-road driving. With their durable construction and advanced features, RC truggies offer an exciting and challenging experience for users of all skill levels.


RC car racing has been a popular hobby for many years, attracting both young and old enthusiasts. The appeal of RC car racing lies in the excitement it generates and the sense of control and mastery it offers. 

With the advancement of technology, the build and performance of RC cars have improved significantly, allowing for a more authentic racing experience. RC car racing also fosters a sense of community and camaraderie among participants, with clubs and competitions held around the world. Besides RC cars, there are also other types of RC vehicles like RC planes and RC boats. For more info on RC boats and which specific to get as a newbie, you can check The Guide to Picking Your First RC Boat.

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