Ten Best Drifting Cars

There’s no denying it; drifting is fun. Really fun. I don’t care what type of car buff you are, breaking those rear tires loose and sliding through a turn sideways is exhilarating.

You can drift most rear-wheel drive cars with enough power, but there are simply some cars that are much better than others. So which cars are the best for drifting? First, let’s talk briefly about what makes a good drifting car.

Drivetrain: You want a front-engine, rear-wheel drive car. Front-wheel-drive cars can slide, but they can’t drift.

Transmission: You should preferably have a manual transmission. This is because you have more control with a manual, but it’s also possible to drift with an automatic tranny; you just won’t have the level of control you will with a manual and it will be more difficult.

Weight Distribution: Close to a 50/50 front/rear ratio; just search for stats on the car and you’ll find this information.

Power: The car must have enough power to keep the wheels spinning while you’re drifting. This shouldn’t be an issue for anybody reading this website.

Condition: Make sure your car is in good condition. Check and re-check your car to make sure it can handle the forces caused by drifting – you’ll be surprised how tough it is on a car. You might want to use cheap or old tires at first – they won’t last long.

So…what are the best cars for drifting? Continue reading for the list…

Because this is so subjective to each individual, I won’t list them in any sort of order. Once person might like one car for drifting more than the other; this just serves as a reference point for finding a good car for your drifting pleasure.

Nissan Skyline
Nissan Skyline Drifting

Mazda RX7
Mazda RX7 Drifting

Toyota Supra
Toyota Supra Drifting

Nissan 240SX
Nissan 240SX Drifting

Ford Mustang
Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Drifting

Dodge Viper
Dodge Viper Drifting

Pontiac GTO
Pontiac GTO Drifting

Pontiac Solstice/Saturn Sky
Saturn Sky Drifting

Nissan 350Z/Infiniti G35
Nissan 350Z Drifting

Toyota Soarer (Lexus SC300/400)
Drifting Toyota Soarer

And for the typical liability reasons, I have to say not to drift on local streets because it’s dangerous and illegal. Check with your local law for specifics, and try to get into a big open parking lot or join an organized drifting event. Seriously…just don’t be stupid.

Chris Burdick

Chris Burdick

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
Hi! I founded Automoblog.net in May of 2006. I'm an avid sports car and supercar enthusiast. My favorite cars include the Audi R8, Lamborghini Diablo 6.0 VT, and Koenigsegg CCX. I think the Ferrari 360 Spider is still one of the most beautiful cars in existence. For “normal” cars, I tend to lean towards imports - Nissan, Audi, and of course the Italians. I'm in love with my Pearl Yellow (don't judge) 1990 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo and plan to get around 550 HP to the rear wheels one day. I'm also a world traveler and have been backpacking Europe since March 2012, writing about cars along the way
Chris Burdick

@Automoblog

The car blog where auto enthusiasts mouth off to one another
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Filed Under: DriftingDriving TechniquesHow-ToListMotorsport


  • http://www.farrst.blogspot.com Stewart Farr

    WHAT!
    You completely forgot the following world renowned cars that have been drifting since the Viper was wearing diapers:

    - Toyota Chaser
    - Toyota AE86 Levin (ahhh HELLO! Tofu anyone?)
    - Nissan Cefiro/Laurel (AKA the original “Drift Taxi”)
    - Mitsubishi/Colt Sapporo GSR….

    and many more.

    Your list is broken!

    • http://www.automoblog.net/ Chris Burdick

      Yeah, there were a lot of cars that could have been added. Probably should have put the AE86 up there, but with a Top 10," there's only room for 10 :)

  • http://www.infoct.net infoct

    I'm all into s15 especially its' aesthetic looks

  • John K

    I'm really disappointed you guys didn't put in an AE86, those car are perfect drifters! And if you only have ten spots, you should swap the gto out for an ae86. Also the infinity g35 should be matched up with the skyline instead of the 350z, cause the 11th gen skyline is a g35 basically. Other than missing the Ae86 its a good list. Good job!

    • http://www.automoblog.net/ Chris Burdick

      Thanks John! Yeah that was tough deciding whether to put the G35 with the Skyline or 350Z, but I'll explain why I did it with the Z. This website gets about 85% of its traffic from the US. Over here, we not only don't have the Skyline (R33, R34, etc which are the best known Skylines,) but the G35 Coupe and 350Z are essentially the same car. That's all most people over here know about it. The Skyline, in America's eyes, is an entirely different car.

      • John K

        Thanks for responding Chris! By the way, I'm actually located in Nevada. I've also noticed a lot of people in the U.S. are very fond of the c10 skyline for some reason. Anyways good list, and it was nice talking to you!

  • groge

    that's cool! I like kei truck drifting too
    http://www.japansugoi.com/wordpress/kei-truck-dri

  • DriftDrgn

    Dude, you left out the most important drift car, the S15 Silvia. That car has been known to kick ass and take names when it comes to drifting. The HKS S15 Silvia is a great example.

  • Ke70kid

    I was just browsing the web and came across the lot of nonsense lol ……. how can you even say the word drift with out mentioning a hachiroku. this is clearly an Americans spin on drifting. All the Japanese vehicles in this are clearly good drift car but come on mustang viper gto. Sure V G jr. Drives a mustang but heavily modified a standard stang handles like shit. dont even get me started on the sky. if you want to create a list of top drift car in order to be even remotely credible it has to have an ae86 and then all your s chassis and of course you chaser, soarer and thus forth.

    • http://www.farrst.blogspot.com Stew

      Unfortunately buddy – the US is a bit slow to the whole drift thing……they missed out on all the drift classics ;) Likewise they are also a bit slow on the JDM import market.

      One of my fondest (and earliest) driving memories was a friend taking me 'sliding' in his Celica-Supra XX……good times

  • Ke70kid

    sorry for the rant. At least the new grassroots drift seen in america is showing how fun and sic a lot of these jdm vehicles

  • ben

    the viper is by far the best drifting car out there due to it's unmatched power to weight ratio and superior engine.Alot of jap loyalists hate to admit it but the facts don't lie.See the stats on a Hennesey Viper and you'll realize that no japanese car ever made can stand up to it in any competetive motorsports.

  • http://www.farrst.blogspot.com Stew

    Sorry ben, but while I love the Hennessy Viper. Those stats are out of date these days – 1400hp was being done in the 90's by pretty much every performance manufacturer in Japan (Veilside had some very interesting 1200hp Supras/Skylines).

    Where they lacked in comparison to the Viper was the 10+ years of development of putting the power down on the track. However as Hennessy also gained this skill – so did all the other manufacturers.

    Ironically enough a lot of the racers are actually downgrading their power so they have a more useable power-band mid-drift. Most are only running about 600hp now.

  • steve

    No LAN EVO in the list? No STIs? you gotta be kidding me. O_o

    • colin1212

      evo’s and sti’s are AWD…its common to have a conversion to RWD but they are no were near the top 10.

      • http://www.automoblog.net/author/csburdick/ Chris Burdick

        The most common AWD-to-RWD conversion from what I’ve seen is the Skyline. Either way, most drifters seem to lean toward naturally RWD cars.

        • http://www.farrstdevelopments.blogspot.com Stew

          Actually most (say 95%) Skylines are RWD. It is commonplace to get the GTS/GT/GTST and put the “R” (prev RB26) motor in. Rather than get the GTR/GTS4 and convert to RWD.

          • Liviu

            Actually…only GT-R from Skyline is AWD, not 95%. Rather….a more exclusive 5%. And yes, they naturally put a RB26DET in a GT/GTs/GTsT but not because is too difficult to transform a GT-R in RWD, but because is trully expensive to ruin a GT-R…

  • michael

    guys, what is the best old drift cars aside from ae86 toyota corolla because its difficult to find ae86 here in Philippines. How about mitsubishi lancer boxtype or any old RWD? and what should I do or add on the car coz its UNDER POWER. what else should i do so that the car won't tear apart or break? thanks in advance!!!

    • http://www.farrst.blogspot.com Stew

      depends on what you consider "old" – but if we say "pre-89" then you have a large arrangement.

      - Nissan Skyline

      - Nissan Leopard

      - Nissan Cefiro

      - Toyota Celica (XX or celica-supra)

      - AE86/AE85 (obviously)

      - Toyota Soarer/Chaser / Crown series

      - Mitsubishi Lancer

      - Mitsubishi Sapporo / Scorpion

      - Mitsubishi Sigma

      - Mitsubishi Galant

      - pretty much anything GM made pre-85

      - Ford Escort

      - Various Morris motors

      - Mazda RX7

      - Mazda 626 / 929

      and thousands of others.

      Bracing etc is most important. I have seen vehicles with only 30hp drift (not the best drifts……but still respectful). But if the chassis is not braced and strengthened it will 'sag' and you wont get the transferred momentum for the drift. Strut braces are required, but even welding up a space-frame works wonders.

      Power wise, try and work with an engine that either can be turbo'd or supercharged, it hard as nails, and has good low down torque. This is not a rule (rotors can be draft cars), but its a shitload easier if you have all of those three. Mitsubishi's old 4G62 and 4G63 SOHC are actually already good for a drift project. And you won't have to upgrade until you need the extra power. Likewise Nissans RB series etc. Toyota's 3K and 4K plants actually aren't great drift engines – but have a truckload of bolt on aftermarket parts you can get. As well as easy mods.

      I would personally look out for a Nissan Cefiro. It is often overlooked as many people want a skyline. This makes it cheap – but they are effectively the same car. Try and not get one with HICAS/4WS as you want everything locked up. But if you find one that does have it – it can still be locked up. Failing that the Toyota Crown is another often overlooked car.

      But as for "the best" – there isn't really one. That is the great thing about drifting.

  • tom smith

    the silvia s15 or the ford escort best drifters and the skyline r34

  • Mohmmad Ali

    I Think The Best 10 Car To Drift
    1 .Toyota Corolla AE86
    2 . Toyota Altezza
    3 . Nissan Silvia S15
    4 .Nissan 180SX/200SX
    5 .Mazda RX-7 (FD3S)
    6 . Toyota Supra
    7 .Nissan Silvia S14
    8 .Nissan Silvia S13
    9 . Skyline R34 GT-T
    10 .Nissan 350Z ….

  • alex

    You guys are still missing out on an entire continent of vehicles. Ive found the BMW 3 and 5 series to be great drift cars even though they do weigh a bit more than almost compacts you guys mention