Racing makes the world go ’round. Whether you’re racing in NASCAR, Indy Car, underground street racing or anything else, you need to know how your car will handle the competition. Drifting is no different. There are special requirements to make a drifting vehicle. Here are the three basics.
The car you buy needs to have some horsepower. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean the car NEEDS to come with plenty of HP. You can totally add a turbo to a Corolla, but that takes up a lot of space, plus the amount of money you would spend on a turbo could get you a simply better vehicle. There’s a balance between engine weight, car weight, and power. A Corolla with a big engine is kinda wonky, almost laughable but if it works, then why not?
Rear-wheel drive is essential for any type of drift car. The back has to swing out! How can the back of your car swing out if all the power is going to the front tires? This is a must. In the ’90s there was a weird boom or rear-wheel drive, 4-cylinder Toyota’s and Nissan’s. The AE86 is a prime example of this. Nothing really went into the car for racing, but for the time, it had some cool features. Nowadays there are tons of shows where AE86 owners take pride in their cars and they race! Having a rear-wheel-drive vehicle is essential for drifting.
Your rear-wheel-drive car will have come with one of two types of rear differential from the factory – either one of the open variety or a limited-slip differential (LSD). The purpose of a limited-slip differential is to stop the wheel with the least traction from receiving the majority of the power, which is what happens when you try and peel out in a car with an open differential.