Drift could best be described as the vehicular art form of capturing intentional oversteer in a fantastic show of driver skills as a car glides gracefully in a wonderfully controlled manner, or simply, it’s a smoke show shredding tires.
Still considered one of the fastest growing motorsports, drifting has its roots in Japan and as such has been dominated by Japanese-made cars due to the country’s love for production. rear-wheel drive cars like the Mazda Miata, Toyota Corolla AE86, and Nissan Z Cars often seen making up the competing fields.
Still, several non-Japanese cars can give the mainstays a good run for their crowns, with the Ford Mustang, Chevy Lumina and the Firebirds of the 1990s flying the American flag with aplomb. But for those who don’t have access to American Muscle and want to get away from generic Japanese choices, these are the best European drift cars.
Still considered one of the most maneuverable cars ever made, the BMW E36 comes in a variety of flavors. It offers a great entry point for learners and seasoned drivers, with a wide range of engine choices and price entry points.
Those looking for the ultimate version should look to the M3, however, whether it is the 3.0-liter or 3.2-liter evolution specification, sufficient power is available from the six-cylinder engine in line, as well as fluid management.
With used CLK prices plummeting in recent years, drifters have taken advantage of the coupe’s potential. Available with a handcrafted 5.4-liter AMG engine with a 367 hp V8 to provide plenty of forward thrust.
With several small displacement engines, some of which are supercharged, and a huge market for aftermarket tuning components, the CLK presents a stylish and established alternative to many Japanese cars.
Once stripped and lightened of its opulent leather and wood-lined interior, the Jaguar XK8 suddenly becomes a much more agile tool, a car that feels more alive and on its toes more, thanks to its stock V8, has a lot supply on-tap.
Highly performing and offering excellent handling right out of the box, when purchased in the advanced XKR form, the later upgraded 4.2-liter supercharged V8 engine will produce 400 hp and 408 lb-ft of torque, reaching 60 mph in 5.2 seconds.
BMW 5 Series
Something of a favorite of drift scenes thanks to the sheer volume of cars produced, the BMW 5 Series can be purchased cheaply and easily maintained, and as such provides an ideal basis as a learning car with scalable engine powers according to the capabilities of the driver.
Once you’ve learned the ropes, switching to a more powerful engine is a great choice, as there are several inline-six, V8 and even V10 gasoline engines on offer, as well as high-efficiency diesel units that have proven to be be a couple. monsters.
A rebadged Holden, the original Australian tire-smoker Vauxhall Monaro coupe was also used as a Pontiac GTO in the United States and in its base version it was fitted with a 328 hp LS1 V8 engine that generated 376 lb-ft of torque.
Later VXR models featured the LS2 V8 producing 397 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque, while a limited edition VXR500 was available direct from the factory with a monster supercharged 479 hp / 500 lb-ft good for 60 mph in 4.7 seconds.
A small family car, the rather simple looking Volvo is a superb drifting vehicle. With a curb weight as low as 950 kg and rear-wheel drive, the Volvo also enjoys near-perfect weight distribution thanks to a rear-mounted gearbox.
With a range of base engines that were easy to tune, with the 118bhp 2.0-liter engine being the choice, engine swaps with more powerful Volvo units later became popular as decent rounds were scarce due to the popularity.
Available for purchase at rock-bottom prices, the aging XJ has found great popularity with the drifting community thanks to its large displacement engines, rear-wheel drive and the ease with which the car can be modified for sport. .
Opting for an X100 XJR version will see a supercharged 4.0-liter 32-valve V8 under the hood that produces 370 horsepower and 387 lb-ft of torque. Lightened and lowered, the Jaguar can be made to drift in truly spectacular fashion.
Ford Escort Mk2
Once the golden child of the world rally scene, the agile Ford Escort Mk2 has been given a new lease of life and learned new tricks, within the hugely popular and growing drift community around the world.
A highly modifiable platform, the MK2 Escort can be custom built, a la Ken Block, to meet a driver’s specific requirements, and with its propulsion and handling make it a fantastic competition machine.
Renowned for being virtually bombproof, the over-designed Mercedes-Benz 190E is a European drift queen. Having a veritable plethora of engine choices available to a drifter and huge aftermarket support keeps the aging Mercedes highly competitive.
Easy to maintain, tune, upgrade or modify, the Mercedes-Benz 190E can be adapted to upgrade its already brilliant rear-wheel drive chassis, fighting the Japanese when and where it counts.
A look at the mighty Volvo would make any driver think that something so big just can’t drift off, but thanks to the possibility of easy big power, a quick weight loss diet, and of an excellent suspension setup, the Swede has proven that a lot of people wrong.
Using the 2.3-liter forced induction motor in standard form allows for 160 hp, but most dinghies choose to upgrade to a larger Borg-Warner GM-3 turbo unit, a cheap modification, to increase horsepower. output and exceed the 200 hp mark.
Opel / Opel Omega V6
Once favored by the UK motorway police for chasing speeders, the Omega was available with a selection of V6 engines, with the 208 hp 3.0-liter and 215 hp 3.2-liter units being among the most common for the drift.
Once fitted with a set of coils, the coarse power offered by the Omega’s silky V6 will hold up well against Japanese competition, while being mechanically much simpler to work with and maintain.
The Japanese domestic market – JDM – has produced some truly unique and wonderful cars, some of which have achieved cult status.
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