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Drifting Glossary

Compiled by D1 Sponsor YOKOHAMA Tire Corporation

Heads up!

Welcome to this article from the Crutchfield archives. Have fun reading it, but be aware that the information may be outdated and links may be broken.
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Intentionally causing a vehicle to exceed its tires' limits of adhesion, exhibiting a lateral slip, resulting in an oversteered condition.

A side-to-side, swaying drift typically used on straight-aways.

Corrective steering used to balance and maintain an oversteered condition. (Turning the steering wheel in the opposite direction of the turn once the vehicle starts to oversteer).

Allowing the rear wheels of a vehicle to burn rubber, causing the car to rotate around the front tires.

Drift King
Japanese racer Keiichi Tsuchiya is a living legend in the world of drifting.

Exhibition drift
The purpose of drifting at the Drift Session is to cause maximum oversteer in a vehicle while maintaining speed. Vehicles are not judged based on time trials or speed, but rather on the completion of clean and exaggerated drifts, that maintain a reasonable rate of speed. Exhibition Drifting also includes techniques such as one hand drifting, or trying to open the door while drifting. (Exhibition Drifting is motorsports showboating at its best).

Hachiroku or AE86
Literally translated "eight-six," but commonly used as the name for the AE86, 1984-1987 Toyota Corolla GTS, which uses the DOHC 4-AG motor, rear wheel drive with limited slip differential.

Heel-toe shifting
A drifting technique in which the clutch is pressed with the left foot while the right foot presses the brake with the toes and the heel slides over to the accelerator to rev the engine up before downshifting the vehicle. This technique allows for smooth downshifting, without jolting the vehicle.

Limited Slip Differential (LSD)
Axle gearing that allows power to be transferred to the wheel with the most traction. Similar to posi-traction, which allows both power wheels to "lock up" and spin at the same time.

"Off-camber" describes the turns because the road slants away from the inside of the turn.

Over rotating a car while cornering. This may cause a vehicle to be on the verge of spinning out.

An American racing term for drifting that commonly refers to using excessive horsepower to cause a loss of traction resulting in a drift.

Japanese version of the Nissan 240SX. Q or K versions. K version comes with the SR20-DET motor, turbocharged and intercooled.

A loss of traction in a vehicle's front tires, caused by excessive speed in relation to a cornering angle, making a vehicle slide outwards during a turn.

Todd Cabell is the Car A/V Editor of