I think this image sums up my 2015 best. My favourite image of 2015.
Starting with the Hyper Lemon S13 in Full Counter Spec and Ending with the 86 on Full Weight Shift RWD spec that's 2015.
From the start of the year through to mid year, I was enjoying by RC, but the excitement was wearing off. I needed a new challenge. I first tried de-tuning my CS chassis to run with RWD which was fun.
I tried some new things, like a super short 4wd 3.4CS 200mm wheelbase Van. Loads of Fun.
I built a whole bunch of bodies.
And we set up events all through the year. Culminating in the 24hr event (by the way...FUN! but OMG! too long.)
But I found myself in the zone when I turned my Drift Package Drift Master into a weight shift RWD machine. I loved the imagery , driving dynamic and style.
A direction I have stuck with right through the latter half of 2015.
I found myself contemplating the use of chassis I owned, so it was time to do something, selling one of my faves to fund a RWD DRB project for my own use, but more on that later.
But whats happening in the RC Drift scene in general.
From what I can see, there has been a massive shift pushing Rear Wheel Drive drift cars to the mainstream.
Competitions and meets emerging that rival the Pro RC D1 style 4wd events. Yokomo RWD classes and more.
We have been inundated by social media videos of Iroha, Shift, Oahu and Dr. Japanese circuits showcasing constant RWD chassis drift trains. This inspiration is similar to what happened in the CS scene back in 2012 as it was replacing 50:50. Junkies and other RC Videos of that period are still in my memory.
MST has really driven the change in the western world with full RWD chassis available Off The Shelf and even RTR versions, but in Japan, which houses the major RC manufacturers, has had many conversions for the Drift Package so the foreign chassis have not really been required.
Wrap Up Next was the Driving force in Japan as their drift package conversions opened up ideas.
Larger Manufacturers like Yokomo finally releasing parts for easy RWD conversion in late 2015.
Niche Manufacturers like Overdose saw that even their high end Vacula CS models were immediately being turned into RWD specific "Nicula" models.
Ni =2 Ku = legs so Niku being the term used for RWD in Japan reflecting in the reference.
Overdose had to follow suit and supported their users with RWD specific versions and parts at a lower cost. That's a bonus of RWD. Less mechanical parts are required with no center shaft or belt, no front driveshafts or gear sets, no front one way or diff, etc
The additional gyro is much less than these parts combined. Now almost all drift manufacturers are offering RWD solutions recognizing that rear / mid biased weight and large steering angle required.
Products that started as front motor designs to replicate "reality" with Front Engine Rear Drive have given way in favour of performance driven chassis layouts.
FR-D to Nervis and MR-D are an example. FXX to RRX is another. It's evolving very quickly.
From my short but concentrated experience the Weight Shift chassis is a good focus and direction of the RWD hobby. Replicating the real movement of cars for higher performance.
But there’s nothing wrong with low stance and massive camber. Every style is supported these days.
So in 2016 it will be interesting to see if the Yokomo YD-4 4wd chassis gains any ground at all.
It's design is one that should have been introduced 5 years ago. Also whether the XE-X aka Ze Cross chassis will be 99% converted as RWD etc.
Will Tamiya enter the RWD game?
Body wise, the number of products introduced has been huge. Pandora RC making a massive number of new designs throughout 2015. Yokomo turning all their cars into lower priced street versions and Tetsujin making an impact with their own style.
We also saw a large number of "Aero" kits produced by Addiction, ABC and Demi-works to name a few.
These kit allowed customizing of RC bodies to another level. Engine bays and interiors... It gets crazy.
So with all this happening, the scene is rich and in a state of flux between 50:50 and CS as well as RWD.
In 2016. I expect more RWD movement. The cars behavior mimics the real machines closely and the drift trains are really of a higher quality for all. But there will still be many 4wd machines on track. Nothing wrong with that!
Having just released my own DRB Rear drive Evolution Weight-shift chassis conversion, I'm going to have a lot of fun in 2016.
I’ll still be watching the Real Drift Scene as they focus on the competitive side, but I will relax and enjoy. Keep Drifting Fun!