Just because drifting involves a lot of sliding doesn’t mean that grip is not important. There’s still a considerable amount of grip required to keep the car in control. Drift tires would be your regular off-the-shelf street tires, but drifters manage to wear them out in a matter of minutes when these tires are supposed to last for a couple of years or so. It’s also important to choose a strong and light-weight wheel as wheels get a real beating in drifting.
The great thing about drifting is that engine power does not play that big of a role in performance. Turbocharged, supercharged, or naturally aspirated - it all depends on how the driver makes use of that power to great effect. As they say, it’s not about how big your tool is, it’s how you use it. Some cars drift with a good 150hp but Japanese Kamikaze drivers drift with more than 500. What’s important though is to have the engine upfront driving the rear wheels - better known as an FR (front engine, rear wheel drive) layout. Until now, it still is the layout of choice.
For a dog, a cage might be a prison, but for a drifter a rollcage is his or her safe haven. A rollcage is nothing more than welded metal pipes around a car for added chassis stiffness. A car might look strong and stiff but the strains it endures causes it to twist and bend just like Clay Aiken’s sexuality. The rollcage not only reduces this twisting and bending, it also provides the driver protection just in case the car rolls over, as the name suggests, or if it unexpectedly hits anything big and hard like a wall.
LSD users could drift up in the sky for hours or days on end, but it could get them in trouble. Drifters make use of LSD in a much better way as it actually gets them out of trouble. In layman’s terms, a Limited Slip Differential (LSD) allows both rear tires to translate the engine’s power onto the road equally. The traditional differential of a car is designed to allow the left and right wheels to rotate at different speeds when turning, but in racing or specifically drifting, trying to put all that power down to the ground with the left and right wheels turning at different speeds could lead to a disaster. It would be like trying to run with a siamese twin who shares the same pair of legs, but wants to go in a different direction as you do.
Racing and drifting are contact sports where cars regularly hit solid barriers or touch each other in ways no man could ever imagine possible. This is why a four-point or even a five-point racing harness is a safety requirement. Racing seats are a vital component in drift cars as they serve more than just a protection for the driver’s bottom. Since drift cars travel sideways all the time, the seats are intricately shaped to provide lateral support on the hips and torso. Racing seats are mounted real low, which is a big plus whenever a sexy girl in a short skirt decides to get into one. Gentlemen, prepare some assistance.
Paquiao might have the perfect pair of gloves, the right-sized shoes, and fancy-colored shorts but he wouldn’t be the champ today without his amazing skill and ability. A drift car is a purpose-built well-oiled machine but it doesn’t take rocket science to build one. Having the perfect car doesn’t guarantee an easy victory; it’ll only help you get one step closer.