Best Drift Cars: 6 nice Classics you should know about 2024

Drifting isn’t just a driving technique neither identifying the best drift cars is just about finding powerful engines or lightweight bodies.

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05/07/2024 12:10 am GMT

Drifting is accessible to many because it can be performed with various car types, each offering a unique experience. Whether it’s a purpose-built drift car or a modified street-legal ride, we can find joy in the pursuit of mastering the perfect slide.

History of Drift Cars

Let’s look at how drifting elevated its street roots to become a celebrated automotive art form.

Origins and Evolution

Drifting started as a driving technique where the driver intentionally oversteers, with loss of traction, while maintaining control and driving the car through the entirety of a corner.
The practice emerged in Japan in the 1970s and became popular in the All Japan Touring Car Championship races.
The sport evolved with vehicles that promoted a rear-wheel drive layout, offering the traction for effective drifting.

Key Figures in Drifting History

One pivotal figure in drifting is Keiichi Tsuchiya, known as the “Drift King,” who popularized the sport in the 1980s through his high-skill driving in Japan. His influence, documented in the famous street-racing manga and anime “Initial D,” solidified drifting’s cultural status. Western audiences were later captivated by drifting when it spread to the United States, where Ken Block expanded its popularity.

Essentials of a Good Drift Car

Certain characteristics come together to define a vehicle’s drifting ability. Let’s dive into these essentials that transform a regular ride into a drift legend.

Performance Characteristics

Boat Interior Design Best drift cars
by Pinterest

Primarily, a potent rear-wheel drive (RWD) layout is necessary – it’s the cornerstone of controlled sideways action.
The power-to-weight ratio is also critical; enough horsepower to break traction, yet light enough for nimble handling.
To maintain a slide, a limited-slip differential (LSD) ensures even power distribution to the wheels.
Steering responsiveness and a chassis capable of handling intense lateral forces are key as well.

Modifications for Drifting

Modifying a car for drifting is an art in itself.
Start with the suspension – coilovers for adjustable ride height and stiffness.
More horsepower is always tempting, but balance that with engine mods that promote reliability.
Drift-specific tires provide the right amount of grip to initiate and sustain drifts.
It’s these thoughtful tweaks that turn good cars into extraordinary drift machines.

Best Drift Cars

Our passion has led us to celebrate some of the best drift cars that have shaped this motorsport into what it is today.

Classic Drift Cars

Toyota Corolla AE86

This lightweight, rear-wheel-drive is a drifting legend, known for its appearance in the Initial D anime.

Nissan 240SX

Boasting a large aftermarket scene, this car has become a go-to for beginner and veteran drifters alike.

Modern Drift Cars

Boat Interior Design A colorful Nissan 240NX drifting
by Pinterest
BMW M3 (E36)

Favored for its balance and power, the E36 M3 is Europe’s premier drifting machine.

Ford Mustang

The Mustang, from its Fox body to the modern RTR Formula Drift, delivers brute power for thrilling drifts.

Budget Drift Cars

Mazda MX-5 Miata

Affordable and easily modified, the Miata is perfect for those starting in drifting without breaking the bank.

BMW 3 Series (E46)

Known for reliability and a balanced chassis, older 3 Series BMWs provide a cost-effective entry into drifting.

Drifting Techniques

As we explore the world of the best drift cars, it’s essential to master the techniques that make drifting so exhilarating. Whether you’re a beginner or looking to polish up your advanced skills, understanding the right maneuvers is key.

Basic Drift Maneuvers

To kickstart our passion for drifting with the best drift cars, it’s crucial to grasp the basic techniques:

Handbrake Drift

This involves pulling the handbrake to lock the rear wheels and initiate a drift.

Power Over Drift

By applying more throttle to increase the rear wheels’ speed, we can overpower the grip and cause a drift.

Boat Interior Design A white Toyota SUpra drifting
by Pinterest

Advanced Drifting Skills

Once we are comfortable with the basics, we can shift gears to more complex and impressive skills:

Clutch Kick

This requires a sharp release of the clutch pedal to momentarily break the traction of the rear wheels.

Feint Drift

By momentarily steering away from a turn before entering it, we can shift the car’s weight aggressively, helping it swing into a smooth drift.

Drifting Competitions

When we think about the best drift cars, our minds often race to the spectacular arenas where these machines truly come alive. These Drift events showcase not just the cars but the skills of the drivers in a highly charged and competitive atmosphere.

Major Drifting Events

Some events stand out for their scale, popularity, and the caliber of competition they attract.
Notably, the Formula Drift Championship is recognized internationally.
Then there’s the D1 Grand Prix, originating in Japan, the birthplace of drifting.
Regional events also play a crucial role, bringing local flavor to the sport and acting as stepping stones for drivers aiming to compete on a global stage.

Competitive Drifting Rules

Boat Interior Design A colorful Ford Mustang drifting photographed from above
by Pinterest

The regulations governing drifting competitions can be intricate, aiming to ensure fairness while spotlighting driver skill.
Elements judged typically include line, angle, speed, and show factor, which involves how much smoke a driver can produce and how close they can drift to the walls without collision.
Penalties are enforced for various infractions, from touching markers to spinning out. These rules maintain the structure and safety of the sport, making each event a thrilling exhibition of control and precision.


What is the best drifting German car?

The BMW M3 is the mainstay drifting car for many countries around the world, this is especially true in Europe where the number E36 and E46 models on track even outnumber the s-bodies.

What car is hard to drift?

Cars with front-wheel drive are very difficult to drift without a lot of practice. The front wheels control the car in order to prevent it from sliding. You end up understeering, which means the car doesn’t turn as much as you desire.

Can you drift an automatic?

Can you drift with an automatic car? Yes. Any car can drift, as long as the physical needs are met. The driver must put the car in a state where the wheels turn faster than the traction can keep up, thus propelling the car sideways.

What do you think are the best drift cars? Do you have a favorite one? Or Do you maybe own one by yourself?
We would love to know, so slide in the comments or write us an Mail, till then see you next time when it says again…
…Let´s Ride!

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Carsten Theermann
Articles: 519

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