What is drifting?
Drifting refers either to a driving technique utilizing a difference in slip angle between the front and rear tires of a car, or to a sport based on the technique; this article deals primarily with the sport. When the rear wheels are slipping at a greater angle than the front wheels, the car is drifting, or “power-sliding”. The rear end of the car appears to chase the front end around a turn; the driver utilizes both front tires and the rear tires to control the actual direction of the car. More throttle induces more rear wheel slip angle and the rear of the car wants to overtake the front. The goal is for the driver to achieve opposite lock and use the throttle to fine tune the car’s angle and direction.
Right.. Let’s get to it!
Pick a drift carâ€¦
The most important part of any driftâ€¦ is the car! With an amazing collection of cars to choose from its hard to say which car will be best for you.
Hit any drift event and the 200SX will be as common as my Aunt Sophie. That’s no coincidence. The 1.8 (169bhp) or 2.0-litre turbos (197bhp) look good, are reliable and hang their arses out more readily than Soho rent boys. 1989 â€“ 1994 S13s offer huge value. R24,000 will get you one in mint condition. 1994 â€“ 2001 S14s, meanwhile, rarely top R91,000. Allow at least R9,000 for an uprated diff, coilovers and an extra 100bhp. Or import a spec R S15, which features R33 Skyline suspension and brakes, a better diff and 250bhp.
BMW M3 E36
Many people will tell you the M3 is a real 200SX alternative. Its better built, already has 286bhp, comes with more drift-friendly diff and gets the totty more excited. All you need to do is sort the sloppy suspension so you’ll spend less drift-specing an M3 than a 200. Cars with Alcantara seats are cheaper, as are those in yellow and white.
Toyota Carolla AE86
We have listed prices here â€˜cos they’re so random. You might get lucky and pay Â£1000.00 or you could hand over the best part of Â£4000.00; Whatever the AE86 has a cult following because of its 1.6litre twin cam is unburstable and its still the best out-of-the-box budget drift car thanks to its unflappable handling and LSD. The AE86 is also the same car used in the cult drifting anime, Initial D. Be warned though its only 124bhp and the youngest cars are nearly 20.
The good news? RX-8s are among the sexiest cars on the planet, handle beautifully (the rotary lumps sits low down and far back) and offer a stonking 237bhp. The bad news? They’re thirsty bastards and are far more frangile than my other choices. Don’t be surprised then, to pay Â£2.5k for an engine rebuild. The ideal solution? A Scooby-powered 7.
Nissan Skyline R33 GTS-T
GT-R Skyliners are famous for 4×4 tech but drivers love the rear wheel drive GTS-T range with their straight-six, single turbo motors. Like the GT-Rs, they deliver an easily tweakable 280bhp (but only with one turbo) and are pretty bomb proof. Things to watch for? Parts can be scarce for R32s, make sure the rear wheel steering works and avoid non-turbo models.
Drift like the God I am!
I’ve been drifting for about five years now, and with the upcoming release of drift movie, Initial D, drifting is about to become more popular than ever. Its origins are highly illegal, Oriental nutters taking over post-midnight mountain roads and smoking rubber. If you’ve any petrol in your veins, you’ll love drifting.
Want to know how it feels to drift?
First of all, starting the slide is heart-stopping, and you only have a fraction of a secont to catch it. Drifters initially let go of the wheel, grabbing it again when the cars at an optimum angle. Feels weird at first.
At this point you’re settled into the slide, the steering’s nicely weighted up, your looking at where you want to be going and dropping the loud pedal to spoke the rubber. You feel you were born to do this.
The car’s loaded up now and, with the wheels pointed into the slide, will catapult you the other way with any sudden lifts off the throttle. Particular bad with soft, standard suspension.
Wanna stop sliding? Gradually reduce the gas and slowly wind off the steering. Leave sudden lifts for chucking the car into another slide in the opposite direction a chincane, for instance.