Nissan Leaf Becomes a "Drift" Car, Reaches the British Drifting Championship

Drifting Nissan Leaf 1 photo
Photo: YouTube screenshot
Nowadays, you can have all the driving skill and horsepower in the world, but if you don't put this to drifting use, many people are going to say you're missing the apex point.
However, we don't all have the money or the time to build rear-wheel-drive machines that have proper muscle and come with features such as a hydraulic handbrake or a steering system that allows for extreme angles.

What can you do if you happen to own, say, a Nissan Leaf, but you're willing to aim for those delicious slip angles?

This is the exact question Autocar's Matt Prior asked himself and, in order to come up with an answer, the editor took the Nissan EV to the British drifting championship.

But what do you do with an electric motor that sends its power to the front wheels and 100 horses? You add a pair of plastic tires for the rear axle and imitate the pros, that's what you do!

Matt managed to slide the Leaf at up to 50+ mph (make that 80 km/h if you're a fan of the metric system) , which isn't all that far from the speeds he says drifters use through the corners he chose.

This scheme isn't anything new, as defensive or performance driving schools have been using similar tricks for years - the aim is to teach drivers car control with limited costs and most schools use a wheeled platform that sits under the rear wheels of the front-wheel-drive car.

And while such hardware allows for cool sideways maneuvers, the FWD means you can easily bring the car back in line. Nevertheless, given the playful nature of the rear setup, spinning is always a risk.

So while novices can get the hang of it more quickly than they would in an RWD machine, it's not like things always go smoothly.

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About the author: Andrei Tutu
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In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
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