Best Tires For Drifting In 2020 [Top 5 Picks]

Last Updated on November 8, 2020 by Stephen Tillman

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It may have been many times that you dreamt of burning the road with your high speed car while managing your curves and controlling your nerves. However, it is impossible to drift smoothly on the road at high speed without proper road grip. The game of drifting originated in Japan has spread over the years across the globe.

It is fast becoming a popular adventure sports game that can give the much-needed adrenalin rush to not only the young hunks, but also to people of all ages who love to challenge the impossible. But to give you the best of drifting experience, you need to choose the best tires for drifting that can give your car a good grip on the road, so that your moves stay under control even while taking sharp turns.

Speeding with your car on the race track not only depends on your guts, but also on some other mechanical and design parameters of your vehicle. Apart from the change in the clutch, brake, and suspension, one thing that is a must to change is the tires. With the game becoming popular day by day, tire manufacturers are designing tires that can help you do ballet on the road with your car.

However, not all tires are right, and being a sports enthusiast, one should always use the best amongst the lot. Let us concentrate our discussion on the top 5 drifting tires that can give the immense joy of driving on the racing track, yet minimizing the chance of accidents.

ImageProductRatingPrice
Best Sports Tire
MICHELIN Pilot Sport 4 S
MICHELIN Pilot Sport 4 S
10
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Best For Highways
Firestone Firehawk Indy 500
Firestone Firehawk Indy 500
9.7
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Best For The Money
Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015
Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015
9.5
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Best For Winter
Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R
Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R
9.3
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Best All-Purpose
TOYO P215/55R17
TOYO P215/55R17
9
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Note: Before buying, make sure you are choosing the correct tire size. You can check that on your car’s wheels. Here is a guide showing you how to find your tire size.

The 5 Best Drifting Tires

5. MICHELIN Pilot Sport 4 S

Best Sports Tire
5. MICHELIN Pilot Sport 4 S
10/10 Our Score

Pros:

  • This tire’s average dry lap time is 39.25 seconds, while the average wet lap time is 37.23 seconds
  • Ranked as the 1st tire in wet braking and stops within 97 feet when brakes are applied during 50 mph speed
  • Comes with six years warranty for any manufacturing defects and a unique
  • Promise plan by the manufacturer to assist for three years for changing flat tires
  • Manufactured incorporating Acoustic technology that uses the best sound absorbing foams to reduce the noise levels considerably inside the car cabin

Cons:

  • Many users feel that the price is slightly higher, but one has to pay some premium to drift on the track

If you are a real sports enthusiast and want to drift on the road, this Michelin’s tire should be on your wheel drum. Michelin is one of the top manufacturers of tires and a renowned name in the racing circuit. They leave no stone unturned to get their tires perfectly designed for specific road races and shows. This tire comes with a section width of 265 mm and can sustain a load of up to 1477 pounds. The width of the rim is 10 inches and it weighs only 25.3 pounds. It is one of the premium tires that can give a superb performance as you juggle with the steering, clutch, and brake.

One might not always get a dry track to perform on, and this Radial Tire-265/30ZR20/XL 94Y has proved its mark in the wet tracks as well. It ranks 149th for the lap time in wet conditions. The model of the tire is commonly known as the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S in the drifting circle. It has 26.3 x 10.43 x 26.3 inches dimensions, which are enough to give proper road grip and ground clearances. The section width of the tire is 265 mm, and the tread depth is 9.5 32nds. The rim width of this model is 10 inches. This model of the tire is certified 300AAA UTGQ or Uniform Tire Quality Grade standards.

4. Firestone Firehawk Indy 500

Best For Highways
4. Firestone Firehawk Indy 500
9.7/10 Our Score

Pros:

  • Stoppage time is considerably less than the earlier models
  • Excellent traction and road grip
  • Price is within reach of all sports lovers
  • Value for money product
  • Drifting with full confidence is possible even on wet roads 
  • Reduces the risks of hydroplaning

Cons:

  • Some drivers complain that the ride is a bit bumpy, but it may be due to incorrect air pressure
  • There is no tread-wear warranty on the tire

While looking to drift the corners and curves with confidence, get your car rim fitted with Firehawk tire model Indy 500 275/40R20 106 manufactured by none other than one of the best leading drifting tire manufacturers, Bridgestone. You may not always be driving on dry roads, but as you go on the wet roads, this tire gives the perfect road grip and lessens the stopping time by 20% compared to other tire models available in the market. The design is of pulse groove channel type that helps evacuate water while driving on wet roads and tracks, thereby reducing the risk of accidents or hydroplaning.

Each UTQG 340AA certified tire is 32.2 pounds in weight and the overall dimension is 28.66 X 10.94 X 28.66 inches. The section width of this tire is 275 mm, and the rim width is 9.5 inches. The tire can withstand a load of 2094 pounds, and the aspect ratio is 40. With a 106 load index ratio and W speed rating that can withstand up to 168 miles per hour, it can be considered a beast in many aspects. The tread depth or the part of the tire’s rubber that touches the road is ten 32nds that gives a perfect road grip.

3. Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015

Best For The Money
3. Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015
9.5/10 Our Score

Pros:

  • Excellent road grip and traction 
  • Extended tread life
  • Tread-wear warranty of 60,000 miles 
  • Edge Tec groove feature clears the tire’s mud and dirt and helps to move fast, creating a more void area for a good grip
  • One of the perfect tires for wet conditions

Cons:

  • Only an expert installer can install the tire, and many auto shops lack such an expertise 

If you are looking for one of the budget tires, yet durable and consistent in drifting performances, then the model GT 1591 from the house of YOKOHAMA can be the right choice. This tire’s load capacity is 850 pounds, and the section width of the tire is 285 mm. With the triple 3D sips change feature, the tire changes its shape according to the weather and terrain conditions. Even during the harsh winter and chilling temperatures, the brakes can be applied to stop the car suddenly. 

The tires come with the universal fit and have a size of 285/ 45R22. The weight of each tire is 41.2 pounds, and the overall dimension is 32.1 X 32.1 X 11.3 inches. The aspect ratio or the width to height ratio of the tire is 45, and it is a radial tire having an excellent road grip. The speed rating is H, which means it can run at a maximum speed of 130 miles per hour. The UTQG grade of this tire is 600 AB and can be considered an all-season, all-terrain tire for various usages, including drifting. 

2. Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R

Best For Winter
2. Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R
9.3/10 Our Score

Pros:

  • Remarkable stability at high speed 
  • Excellent drifting capacity due to perfect grip
  • Works best even in wet conditions

Cons:

  • Many users feel that the price is on a bit higher side 
  • The tire is not available in all parts of the world 

As you search for some of the best tires for drifting, it is difficult to ignore the RE-71R from the house of world-famous tire manufacturer, Bridgestone. This tire is meant for serious drifting sports lovers, as it has a section width of 235 mm and has a rim width of 8.5 inches. The tire can withstand a working load of 1356 pounds and has a dimension of 25.5 x 9.5 x 25.5 inches. Each tire of this model weighs around 24.1 pounds.

With Bridgestone behind the manufacture of this tire, one can stay assured of the quality. The tire is UTQG certified and falls under 200AA. The speed rating of the tire is W, which means it can withstand a maximum speed of 168 miles per hour while you burn the track.

The construction of the tire is fully radial, and the load index ratio is 91. The UTC or the Unique Tread Compound helps to have adequate road grip and contact with the track surface, and this feature is highly required while drifting the sharp bends or while braking. The drainage is effectively done through the Hydro Evacuation Surface technique used during the process of manufacturing.

1. TOYO P215/55R17 93V PROXES R35 TL

Best All-Purpose
1. TOYO P215/55R17 93V PROXES R35 TL
9/10 Our Score

Pros:

  • Responsive sidewalls that give perfect control while drifting
  • Excellent grip and traction 
  • Performs exceptionally well in wet conditions
  • Price of the tire is within reach of almost all drifting enthusiasts

Cons:

  • Not many sizes are available to fit on a variety of rims

Although this tire is not mainly meant only for drifting, it is almost a must for all car racing enthusiasts, as it can typically race apart from drifting. The section width of this tire manufactured by one of the famous names in Italy, Toyo Tires, is 215 mm, and it has a load index of 93. With a tread depth of 10.5 32nds, this tire has a good road grip. It has a rim diameter of 17 inches, and the speed rating is V that establishes the fact that it can withstand a speed of up to 149 miles per hour. 

The overall dimensions of the P215/55R17 93 V tire by Toyo is 27 x 27 x 9 inches, and each tire weighs around 30 pounds. This entirely radial tire is available at a reasonably price and can be considered one of the budget tires for excellent drifting. This tire’s UTQG rating is 300 AA and can be regarded as a beast for long periods. 

Things to Consider Before Buying A Set Of Tires For Drifting

As you choose the best drifting tires from the whole lot available in the market, some salient features should be reckoned to select them. Here are a few of them:

  • The Material: Ensure that the rubber from which the drifting tire is manufactured can withstand hot temperatures. The tire temperature exponentially rises as one drifts the car on the track or the road. The rubber used to make the tire should be able to withstand the extreme heat generated due to friction while drifting. Although many people prefer summer tires, it is best to buy all-season tires to withstand extreme temperatures. 
  • Ultra-High Performance: One should always buy drifting tires that give an ultra-high performance. Many people purchase high-performance tires, but they do not provide the desired performance while drifting. It is best to read the reviews and catalogs and accordingly select the ultra-high-performance tires for drifting.
  • Work Well In Wet Conditions: It may not always be dry weather as you drift your car. The tire you fit your vehicle for drifting, therefore, should be able to perform equally well in wet conditions as well. The braking should work fine, and the stopping distance should be minimum when running at high speed, so that the desired drifting and curving are attained. 
  • The Budget: It is better to stay within the budget than to go overboard. Drifting tires are available at different prices, and one should buy them as per their budget. It is always best for a beginner to start with the best cheapest tire and then change according to experience. 

Conclusion

As you take part in the game of drifting, it is the tires that matter the most. Unless and until you fit your car with the best drifting tires, you will not be able to get that level of excitement and adrenalin rush. Use any of the best five drifting tires mentioned above and feel the difference in drifting.

It is time to drift with your car on the road while staying in control over the curves with cool nerves. Go, float like a boat using any one of the best five brand tires mentioned above and have a happy drifting experience.