Drag Racing Upgrade Tips

We’re sharing our top tips for how to upgrade your race machine!

Are you tired of losing your drag races?  Or annoyed at how your best gear changing efforts seem to put you nowhere close to the frontrunners in the pro league?  Well look no further, we’re here to help you understand your car and how to upgrade it.  We’ve created this guide so you can understand the methodology of how you can figure out the best car setup.


[If you’re an intermediate player and you’ve finished upgrading your car, check out out Drag Racing Tuning Tips here.]

[If you’re keen to have an edge against your friends with a decent tuned car, then ‘like’ us on Facebook where you’ll be able to see all the upgrade settings and car tunes which we’ve shared in our comments so far.]


Buying the right car

As per our previous post, the cars are limiting factors.  The ultimate top times are limited to certain models, and therefore you’ll need to buy the correct one for the right race.  The way to do this is either to check out the best racers in the pro leagues or world records… or to search on forums… or let us do the work for you.  If you’re in a rush (or just can’t be bothered to read), then jump straight to the bottom of this article where we have a list of optimum car setups.


After you have the right car, you have to follow the in-game tips: So that means first you need to equip the car correctly, and only tune it when you think you have the best setup.  Good balance of your car horsepower, weight and grip will let you beat most common drivers.  After that you’ll need to tune your car in order to fight with the best (in level 1, car tuning can shave about 0.7 seconds off your race time!)

Engine, Turbo, Intake/Exhaust, Nitro, Weight, Wheels

The first thing to understand is that this is only a game, so not everything is realistic.  That means that you shouldn’t think too complicated and expect the weight to increase when the engine, turbo and intake/exhaust are improved.  The game developers have kept these parts simplistic.  So…

  • Engine, Turbo, Intake/Exhaust and Nitro will only affect horsepower.
  • Weight reduction will reduce the car weight and decrease grip at the same time (i.e. no change to horsepower). 
  • Changing the wheels will only increase grip. 

Horsepower, weight and grip are the  most important factors in a drag race. 

There are various formulae which can model the game, but the ideal scenario is that you want to increase the power and grip whilst reducing the weight of the car.  Your other problem is that you have a threshold of how much cash you can spend before your car gets pushed into the next class category.  For example, for the Mazda RX-8, you can only spend approximately $13 to $13.5k otherwise you’ll be reclassed as level 2.

How you should equip your car? (For a quarter mile race)

We’ve created a spreadsheet and analysed all the benefit vs cost ratios, so based off our level 1 data and web research, here are some suggestions:

  • You should always buy 1 turbo and 1 intake/exhaust
  • Then you should start testing with as many nitros before you get reclassed. (You should be able to fit 4 or 5 nitro upgrades.)
  • Then you want to spend your cash in wheels whilst still maintaining your level.
  • Then you should buy the weight reduction upgrades whist still maintaining your level.

If you get to the scenario where you’ve fully upgraded Nitros, wheels and weight…

  • …then upgrade the engine as much as you can in your class bracket.
  • If you still have capacity then you should check if the turbo can be purchased (whilst maintaining your class)
  • Finally, you should check if the filter can be upgraded.

We won’t go through all the figures, but the reason why you follow this pattern is because these are the optimum improvements based on benefit cost ratios.  You’ll find that cars like the Nissan Skyline (upgraded to level 3), will be fully equipped on everything.

How you should equip your car? (For a half mile race)

Do the same as the above but on the 5th nitro upgrade, consider going for the engine or turbo (as per rules above).

How do you know if your setup is faster?

You’ll need to purchase a tuning kit, and do one of the test races.  You’re not actually tuning your car at this point, but the computer will do an optimum race drive which is always the same.  The time the computer gets will be an indicator if your setup has improved your car performance and thus reduced your race time.

Car setups

Quarter Mile Cars

Class Car Setup*
Level 1 Mazda RX-8 0-1-1-4-1-2
Level 2 Honda s2000 0-1-1-5-4-5
Level 3 Nissan Skyline 5-5-5-5-5-5
Level 4 BMW M3 5-5-5-5-5-5
Level 5 Lamborghini G 0-1-1-4-5-1
Level 6 Lamborghini G 4-3-3-5-5-5
Level 7 Audi R8 MTM 1-1-2-5-5-5
Level 8 CM F1 1-5-1-5-5-5
Level 9 Ferrari FXX 2-4-1-5-5-5 or 2-3-5-5-5-5
Level 10 Bugatti Veyron 5-5-5-5-5-5

Half Mile Cars

Class Car Setup*
Level 1 Mazda RX-8 0-1-1-4-1-2
Level 1 Honda s2000 0-1-1-0-1-0
Level 2 Honda s2000 0-1-1-5-4-5
Level 3 Honda s2000 5-5-5-5-5-5
Level 4 BMW M3 5-5-5-5-5-5
Level 5 Aston Martin 1-1-1-0-1-2
Level 6 Aston Martin 1-4-2-4-5-5
Level 7 Novitec Rosso 5-5-5-5-5-5
Level 8 Pagani Zonda 4-4-3-4-5-5
Level 9 SSC Ultimate Aero 2-5-2-4-5-5
Level 10 Hennessey Venom 5-5-5-5-5-5

*Numbers indicate upgrade levels for Engine, Turbo, Intake/Exhaust, Nitro, Weight and Wheels respectively

If you’ve finished upgrading your car, check out out Drag Racing Tuning Tips here.

[We’re collecting all our info into one place.  You can see all the info we’ve shared so far (upgrades and tunes) if you ‘like’ us on our Facebook page.]

Drag Racing QR code 

(Click on the image or scan the barcode with your Android phone to goto the Android Market)

Developers: Creative Mobile

Pick of the Week >> Space Keeper

Recent Android Game Reviews