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  #1  
Old 08-12-2006, 03:15 PM
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Drifting vs. Power-sliding

First off, I've got no idea if something like this has been posted yet or not, so if it has, 1000 apologies and a side of fries.


I read something quite interesting the other day, something I never knew. I always thought that drifting and power-sliding was the same thing, turns out it's not.

Let me explain as best I can:

Sliding: A state where the tyres lose grip and slide. Power-sliding is considered a controlled slide, is usually done with a RWD car and the direction the vehicle is traveling in can be controlled by throttle input and steering. Has little use in racing as the vehicle generally loses momentum. Mostly seen as entertainment, both to watch and to do.

Drifting: All four wheels have grip, but the angle of the vehicle as a whole is slightly different than the direction the vehicle is traveling in (resembles oversteer but with all four wheels having grip). Typically, a drift is characterized by the front and rear-wheels being at approximately the same angle, usually with the front-wheels turned in slightly more (front wheels turned into the direction of travel as opposed to opposite-lock in power-sliding). Direction of travel mostly controlled by throttle input alone, accompanied by minimal steering adjustment.This is considered as the fastest way around a corner and employed by many race-drivers in numerous disciplines of racing.


I don't have the more in-depth details of it (will try to get it), but it comes down to the "drifting" we hear so much about isn't drifting at all! If you're confused at this stage as I was when I read it, think of it this way: Tyres are flexible, therefore, the direction the wheels are pointing in and the actual direction the tyres are traveling in can be quite different at times.
Need proof? Drive on a stretch of road when the wind is really strong and you'll experience it- steering wheel is kept stationary, side wind catches your car and suddenly you're traveling more left or right than you intended without you actually changing direction via the steering wheel.

Also, almost anybody can perform a slide. Turn, apply some handbrake or if your car is RWD and has enough power, simply throttle it, and voila, you just performed a slide.

Drifting is a different matter altogether and something I personally haven't experienced yet. It takes extreme skill in order to master this art as you can probably imagine. Boils down to getting the balance of the car just right (weight transfer between the wheels, both front-to-rear and left-to-right) and steering the car via the throttle without losing grip on any of the tyres...


Interesting I hope?


Look out for some extra technical details soon.
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  #2  
Old 08-12-2006, 03:48 PM
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Neat. I always kept rambling that they weren't identical, but never really knew the difference. Thanx Mate. Keiichi Tsuchiya aka 'Drift King' describes a drift, "You brake and then turn the wheel, step on the clutch, and pull the e-brake. Release the e-brake, go into countersteer mode, then wait. Wait until you know the car is facing the corner exit direction. then you smile and slam on the gas as you exit the corner."

If you remember, he makes an appearance in The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift (the old fisherman)

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  #3  
Old 08-12-2006, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nazmacher
Neat. I always kept rambling that they weren't identical, but never really knew the difference. Thanx Mate.

My pleasure.
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  #4  
Old 08-12-2006, 08:30 PM
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So does this mean that when someone says a car "wiggles" in corners it's drifting?
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Old 08-12-2006, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweeney921
So does this mean that when someone says a car "wiggles" in corners it's drifting?

I have no idea. Twitches, riggles, rolls, shakes, nervous, pushes, jutters, shimmies... who knows?


EDIT: I think it could mean that the tail is twitchy under braking before turn-in, but again, not sure myself...

Last edited by Kooper; 08-12-2006 at 09:11 PM.
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  #6  
Old 08-13-2006, 12:57 AM
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In your discription of a real drift you say that all four wheels have grip. You need to explain this because to get the absolute fastest corner speed all wheels need to be sliding ever so slightly as that is when they are at maximum lateral traction for any given speed.

basically instead of grip (which in my mind means zero slipping) should be replaced with traction (only implies that the wheels are not forced over their limit and could be slipping slightly). Otherwise you are bang on the mark.
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Old 08-13-2006, 02:17 AM
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that description is total bollocks, to drift the rear tyres need to break traction to produce smoke, and because smoke is one criteria a drifter is marked on, if the wheels had grip, no smoke would be produced.


powerslide = using power to get your car sideways out of the corner

drift = using momentum, technique (handbrake / clutch) to get sideways in, through and clean out of the corner (unless setting up for next corner)
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Last edited by whiteballz; 08-13-2006 at 02:20 AM.
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Old 08-13-2006, 02:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteballz
that description is total bollocks
indeed. not once did it mention a supra or a viper.
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Old 08-13-2006, 05:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kooper
Drifting: All four wheels have grip...
nope.

whiteballz is correct, rear wheels must break traction and spin, otherwise its just fast cornering and thats no fun to watch.
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Old 08-13-2006, 06:54 AM
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if you don't need a hard opposite lock to slide through a turn, you're power sliding; if you need it, you're drifting
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  #11  
Old 08-13-2006, 12:06 PM
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Look, believe what you will. I read this from a respected technical writer.

Not to say you're all wrong and he's right, besides, every driver has his own terms and lingo. If you want "drift" to mean the rear-wheels must produce smoke, so be it.

Then again, if you want understeer to mean "tail-sliding" and oversteer to mean "nose-pushing", then by jove that's your right.

Let me get the original article and post it, it's possible some of the facts got lost during my translation.

Until that time though, I again state that according to the article what it came down to was that drifting is not having the rear-end break away with plumes of smoke, but a black-art of getting the car's attitude in an oversteering manouvre without any of the tyres losing grip/ traction/ whatever.

And that's what I'm going with as the meaning of the term "drift".
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Old 08-13-2006, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kooper
Look, believe what you will. I read this from a respected technical writer.

Not to say you're all wrong and he's right, besides, every driver has his own terms and lingo. If you want "drift" to mean the rear-wheels must produce smoke, so be it.

Then again, if you want understeer to mean "tail-sliding" and oversteer to mean "nose-pushing", then by jove that's your right.

Let me get the original article and post it, it's possible some of the facts got lost during my translation.

Until that time though, I again state that according to the article what it came down to was that drifting is not having the rear-end break away with plumes of smoke, but a black-art of getting the car's attitude in an oversteering manouvre without any of the tyres losing grip/ traction/ whatever.

And that's what I'm going with as the meaning of the term "drift".
Makes abolutely no sense whatsoever.

According to that, Drifting is basically turning.

To get into an "oversteering manuever" the tires would have to break traction.
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Old 08-13-2006, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Canuck
Makes abolutely no sense whatsoever.

According to that, Drifting is basically turning.

To get into an "oversteering manuever" the tires would have to break traction.

No, it does not.

You missed the bit I mentioned about the direction the wheels are facing and the direction the tyres are actually travelling in, didn't you? Remember, tyres are flexible. They don't have to lose grip in order to travel in a different direction than what the car itself (AND the car's wheels for that matter) is facing in... If that wasn't possible, you'd be sliding in huge clouds of smoke all across the highway everytime a light gust of wind caught your car.

I give up. Let me just post the darn article.


EDIT: Actually no, let me take on this debate a bit more under my own steam (I'm still going to post the article).


Crossply tyres were replaced by radials... Why?

Because radial tyres are more flexible (incorrect term may have been used). This means that when going around a turn, crossply tyres wouldn't adapt enough to the surface of the road, therefore less area of contact, therefore less grip. Stiff sidewalls didn't help either.
Radials on the other hand have more adaptive properties. You go around a turn. The tyre itself adjusts to the surface of the road, therefore more contact area, therefore more grip.
And here's an interesting factoid for you: That's why so many technically-inclined people are against the run-flat tyres employed by some manufacturers at the moment, specifically BMW. The runflats (not all types) make use of strengthened sidewalls, which allows the form of the tyre to remain almost as it would've been if inflated. It doesn't collapse entirely if deflated in other words. This however defeats the purpose of a radial tyre, as one of the main attractions of the radial was it's adaptive properties, specifically it's sidewalls. But that's another story.

Anyways, the point is, if a radial tyre can adapt to transversal and up-and-down forces, what makes you think that it can't adapt to longitudinal forces...? Remember, a tyre isn't a piece of metal (even though metals are a part if a tyre's construct), it's flexible. It changes shape. Deflate the tyres of your car now to see what I mean.

Saying a car can't oversteer without the rear-tyres losing grip is the same as saying a car can't understeer without the front-tyres losing grip. Understeering without the front-tyres losing grip is something you can experience everyday, in almost any car (preferably a FWD car), at everyday-speeds (less than 60km/h or 35mph).

In fact, my dear UCPers, I'm willing to wager a bet that the most time a tyre (radials specifically) travels in the exact same direction as the wheel is when the car is moving in a straight line, without any transversal forces acting upon it (putting my head on the block with this one).

There, I've said my bit.

Last edited by Kooper; 08-13-2006 at 01:06 PM.
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  #14  
Old 08-13-2006, 02:34 PM
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Are you discussing new-age style drifting or the classic four-wheel-drifts as seen in other motorsport?
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  #15  
Old 08-13-2006, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nota
Are you discussing new-age style drifting or the classic four-wheel-drifts as seen in other motorsport?

Probably the latter.
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