I'm only going to focus on the dedicated RWD Chassis from the major players because there are simply too many these days.
Team Yokomo is still the leader in competition and parts support and service-ability. These products will be around for a long time.Links to D1 and involvement from Masami-san (RC god)
The YD-2 was introduced 2 years ago and has evolved into 6 variations plus a touring car and a host of custom upgrade parts. from $250 ~ $1200 dollars will get you from start to full tune. The separation of models falls into two categories based on grip.
1 For High Speed High Grip
Yokomo designed the original YD-2 for Competition Only. They did not consider scale or replication of modern D1 cars. Their focus is COMPETITION ie,,, fastest corner speed and maximum accelleration
YD-2 EX is the ultimate comp version for slippery surfaces incorporates increased weight and adjustability not available in the basic version. Carbon chassis and alloy adjustable towers and stronger bulkheads enhance the chassis in combination with re-designed rear suspension arms for more droop.
YD-2 has new versions for 2018, Upgrades since start of production include revised front steering for better ackerman and wider front track, increased droop in the rear
YD-2E (basic Plastic Version including plastic shocks)
YD-2EG (graphite using the EX chassis plate but plastic bulkheads)
Discontinued models from 2016
YD-2Plus is the initial release mid range upgrade that incorporates the big bore shocks and carbon chassis.
YD-2 is the entry point for competition. starting here can be a good point for a custom YD-2 or upgrading slowly over time.
2. For Low Speed Low Grip
Replicating real car scale chassis movement or running on more technical tighter and low grip tracks requires shifting weight. These S "slippery surface" targeted models offer more variation in layout with central, lateral fore and aft battery placement (Short ONLY) and adjustable motor position. They are less rigid in design eliminating the upper deck.
YD-2SX is the premium version of the YD-2 S and has a number of alloy and carbon parts including big bore shocks.
# Highly recommended for Scale.
YD-2 SPlus is the mid range chassis that incorporates big bore shocks and some custom components.
YD-2S is the entry level Slippery model. While still adjustable, Weight is a major contributor to performance on a slippery surface and this model should be purchased with future upgrades in mind.
A 275mm conversion is also coming back.! Scale for the WIN!
Lightweight Front axle
Alloy Front Adjustable Steering
the mainstay of Drift has been the Drift Package. Its 4WD, but there are countless conversions out there fro the DP to convert to RWD. Start with Yokomo Parts, but Kamikaze and others are great.
Exceed Raiden is a great option.
WELD Overdose are made in Japan and probably have the ultimate reputation for quality however this comes at a price.
They participate in REAL drift via FORMULA D Japan and now have rc bodies to include their sponsored vehicles..
Overdose chassis have some limitations as their development has been slow to convert from counter-steer variations to full RWD. Steering lock is not to the level of other other manufacturers due to the use of a slide rack. But the Vacula II is extremely precise and a capable machine nonetheless.
The two main chassis for 2018 are the Vacula 2 high end chassis and the GALM and both incorporate a smooth belt driven rear end in contrast to most other manufacturers. Reduced noise is a noticeable feature of Overdose chassis as a result.
XEX, Vacula and Divall are mostly 4WD.
Vacula 2 shown above incorporates a lot of very precise adjustment and this allows for strength and precision in setup. Overdose pride themselves on presentation and their Made in JAPAN finish is second to none.
Galm is the newest chassis in the overdose arsenal. It comes packaged with FormulaD bodies and various specs. Inboard suspension is purely for looks but opens the front end for clearance at lock. this also keeps weight central.
Overdose modifications are very expensive. visually pleasing whilst being functional unfortunately results in higher cost. Full tune overdose chassis can get into the $2000 range but is relateable to a good set of custom golf clubs.
HG Shocks are THE Ultimate standard in RC shock for Drift.
#highly recommended for advanced.
Drift Stage D-Like
DSDLike guys pride themselves on trying to replicate the realistic chassis movement in an RC drift car.
D-Like RE-R Hybrid (Weight Shift Meister)
An awesome piece of gear. The RE-R is 4wd but easiliy setup as RWD by removing the front axles and drive gear. this layout lends itself to chassis pitch and roll (especially on grippy circuits)
The slide rack easily accommodates more lock with a few setting changes also.
#Recommended for scale and flexibility.
Wrap Up Next
Wrap up next are a small Japanese RC maker with real car knowledge also. IROHA Circuit and their members (including gymhkana and drift champions) are tightly coupled with Wrap Up Next and were instrumental in the move to RWD chassis setups. 1st to create a dedicated gyro for RC and the FR-D was instrumental in scale RC focus.
Unfortunately, Wrap up next are placed lower on my buyers guide because they do not sell FULL chassis kits and are usually sold similar to the above picture. For those outside Japan, this is a major drawback as the advice is not really there top build a FULL chassis from individual pieces. You have to spend a lot of money to build a chassis this way so therefore these end up being focused on the advanced RC Drifter.
They do not make shocks. Customization and constant evolution is the key. Once you start, you will continue.
The FR-D now from V1 through to V4 (shown above) has evolved to reflect a real car concept.
The Front motor Rear Drive machine can now be built with a frame that eliminates the upper deck and makes a rear car tub.
Can you buy one to assemble? NO. You have to combine all the parts you need with an FR-D (and use a donor Drift Package chassis) to complete. This is similar for all Wrap up next conversion chassis.
MR-D takes the FR-D componnets and moves the layout backwards slightly for more balance.
this chassis also was first to include the VX Dock Steering components that place the servo vertically between the front wheels for balance.
Chassis Layout creates difference in prformance and is one of the keys to what people like.
The 2018 Travis chassis takes this layout concept to be a flexible design with 4 options plus their VX dock for a tunable design and you are not stuck with one layout.
Each layout will create a different feel to the chassis so you can tune how you like. in RMH layout, this really opens up the chassis for scale interiors and other components.
This chassis is a pure Drift Package conversion and creates a fantastic base for improving the super popular dp.
Like wise you see a theme in converting almost all available chassis (in this case the YD-2) into a Wrap Up Next version that incorporates their VX dock system. So lets look at that on its own.
The VX Dock is recommended by many as the precise steering option. However, much like the overdose (or any slide rack for that matter) suffers from restricted ultimate lock. When you need big lock for spin prevention on very slippery surfaces, it may not be there. Suits more open flowing tracks.
You can usually force a spin from a chasing car with a VX dock by cracking up the angle in a slow corner.
GX and VX components.
Wrap up next offer many outstanding suspension, knuckle and driveline components that shouldnot be overlooked.
Kazama Auto have stopped production of their own 4wd chassis and now offer conversion parts only including curved slide racks and open gearcases.
MAX SPEED TECHNOLOGY have made huge innovations in their designs over the past years. In similar ways to Overdose, they have focused on precise adjustments and easy of setup. the 2.0 theme indicates the evolution and current model transitions. MST chassis all feature a rigid backbone that forms a strong base for suspension tuning so small changes to suspension are quite noticeable on all MST chassis. The main difference for all MST chassis is the position of motor. You should be clear on how you want your chassis to behave before purchase of MST. Some other chassis manufacturers can provide a flexible solution.
Note: All MST chassis will have issues when installing a full dash in an an RC body.
RMX 2.0 is a great entry point.
Out of the box tune is near perfect for first timers and the cost is low. Not unlike the YD-2 in layout.. there are obvious similarities in performance.
# Highly recommended for Beginners
The previous version is available, but not shown.
RRX 2.0 for those who love more rear end traction and drift HANG.
using the same front end as the RMX version 2 chassis, the motor position is the only change for balance.
RRX VIP still uses older components. but expect the V2.0 components soon to be available in Alloy.
the key for the FMX is the central motor position. Not unlike the MR-D from wrap up next. a short shaft provides rear drive mid motor layout.
the FXX is the starting point for scale FR designs. Front motor Rear Drive by shaft is a good entry point for scale RC. I always suggest small ackerman change from the stock layout by shortening the stock steering belcranks by 1mm each side.
FXX VIP is the heavier high end FXX in similar spec to other MST chassis upgrades.
The FSX goes even further with a full front loaded motor position. Be careful of body selection with these cars requiring frontal space.
TO BE COMPLETED
RC-ART are a major hobby supplier and their drift line of parts and chassis cannot be ignored. While they and Street Jam shared a lot of knowledge in the past. As the street jam brand has not evolved to RWD, the RC-Art side certainly has.
Yager 12J 2017 chassis has evolved and the high motor and low CG has had great results in asphalt competition. these are direct competition for the YD-2 in japan and offer great customisation options.
For those with R31 based CE-RX white wolf and RX Banshee chassis that don't know what to do with them, this is THE option recommended for your old components. Only sold as a conversion. but there are also new 2018 spec steering components available.
R31 World is tied to to the Skyline crazy group of R32 house RC came from the Street Jam related OTA-R31 series and has evolved to rebrand their own components.
GRK V3 RWD
the GRK has been a 4WD mainstay so the RWD version simply negates the 4WD componentsand maintans the drift package style layout. Available in many colours, the GRK is very upgradeable. If you are looking for something special, this could provide some ideas.
Currently Street Jam do not offer a RWD conversion. But they do offer a rear motor conversion that is very well setup for RWD components to be added.
You can also use RC-ART and other R31-components.
3 racing produce a number of machines from high to low end.
The auper D is a high end version of the Sakura D4 chassis that includes some very different setup options like shock adjusted rear camber. You may need some different setup knowledge to get this on working 100%
The D4 is available in a few versions but the PINK stock version requires more than a few mods to get it right. Once the front knuckles are replaced, the D4 is a good starting point.
Recommended parts ... Front knuckles.
Sakura D4 Sport
The Sport version fixes many of the issues with the original D4 and uses a monoshock also to keep price point down. You really can't go past this as the cheapest entry point drift chassis.
Heaps of upgrades out there too. from companies like Usukani.
Usukani started with copied components and now have evolved into their own offerings
The PDS seems to be a classic copy and evolution of the Yokomo YD-2 and wrap up VX Dock with a cool ackerman adjustable system. Usually cheaper quality, but worth a look in 2018.
Eagle racing chinese supplied chassis were initally copied. so I don't really like to list them here. Having said that, a lot of original stuff is available now and the copied parts are not sold anymore.
These are based off the Tamiya TT-02 Donors so gearbox parts and shocks can be upgraded to Tamiya TRF (and will be necessary in most cases)
This chassis copies the Wrap Up Next VX Dock concept and applies it to their already tamiya copied components. I cannot recommend these but I will just show an option.
Thats enough to get you confused.
but there are more companies that make carbon conversions and other upgrade parts. ...
and of course the .RSG. DRB-REW
Whatever you choose, consider the build quality, ongoing parts support, layout and body fitting, tuning flexibility, price and more.