There’s more to drifting than a Fast and Furious sequel without Vin Diesel. It’s a popular form of motor sport and a vibrant automotive subculture, and outside of that, it’s just plain cool to watch. Even skeptics will find something to appreciate after watching the best drifting videos on the web.
The goals of drifting are to get a car sideways, keep it under control, smoke the tires, and — sometimes — play “follow the leader” with other cars. Just about anybody can break the rear end loose, but maintaining a proper line without wrecking the vehicle altogether takes skill, patience, and poise.
The internet is full of drifting videos, and we’ve gathered 15 of our favorites here. They’re a great place to start if you’ve never seen drifting before and want to see what the fuss is about, but they’re also an extremely addicting form of procrastination. You’ve been warned.
Tandem drift on the Ebisu Circuit
Drifting was invented in Japan, and the Ebisu Circuit remains one of the country’s most legendary drift courses. This video of a tandem drift shows why. The cars get close together in an elegant dance while producing glorious amounts of tire smoke. While it is technically a racetrack, this part of the circuit has almost no runoff, leaving drivers little room for error.
#Battledrift — Vaughn vs. Daigo
It’s a battle royale between two top professional drifters: Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Daigo Saito. Gittin’s weapon of choice is his usual Ford Mustang, while Saito slides around in a Lamborghini Murciélago. An abandoned Russian village and a gaggle of Japanese Dekotora trucks serve as a cool backdrop and obstacles, respectively.
Hoonigan Black Friday
Here’s one to replay during the holiday season. It features drifting pros Chris Forsberg and Ryan Tuerck in a pair of V8-powered Nissan 370Zs, doing their thing in the abandoned Hawthorne Mall in Los Angeles. The cars get unbelievably close together in some of the tandem moves, a level of precision made all the more challenging by the immense clouds of smoke coming off the rear tires.
A staple of drift competition is when drivers get their rear bumpers as close to a barrier as possible without actually ripping them off. Ryan Tuerck took this to the next level by making the barrier mobile. In this video, a Ford Crown Victoria sporting highway guardrails sets off on a track, and a mob of drift cars plays a game of automotive tag with it.
Motorcycle vs. Car Drift Battle 2
This one shows that motorcycles can drift too. The storyline may be a bit hokey, but the action certainly isn’t. The setup involves two mischievous motorcyclists, who get chased by a Buford T. Justice-wannabe “cop” in a Ford Mustang. The result is a lot of sliding around on two wheels and four.
“Mad” Mike Whiddett drifts New Zealand’s Crown Range
This one has it all. Red Bull pro drifter Mad Mike Whidett pilots a sweet Mazda RX-7 through some epic scenery in New Zealand. There’s plenty of tire smoke, a wailing Wankel rotary engine, and a helicopter. What more could you ask for?
Ken Block’s Gymkhana videos mix drifting with rally and stunt driving, but there’s definitely enough sideways action to warrant a mention here. The entire series is worth watching, but the latest installment in particular features some great stunts as well as Block’s awesome Ford Focus RS RX rally car.
Ferrari F40 snow drift
As one of Ferrari’s rarest and most acclaimed supercars, the F40 is probably not the kind of vehicle most would consider drifting on any surface, let alone snow. But that didn’t stop Red Bull from orchestrating this stunt, which shows a very different side of this pedigreed exotic.
The Drift Alliance at Gridlife Atlanta
The “Drift Alliance” (drivers Vaughn Gittin Jr., Chris Forsberg, and Ryan Tuerck) sure knows how to do synchronized drifting. Watch their three-car formation snake around Road Atlanta, shadowed closely by a very dedicated camera-car driver.
Drift All Stars — Follow The Leader
BMWs mix it up with an assortment of Japanese cars in this European drifting video. The action is intense and gritty, and the trackside vantage point gives a great impression of the speed these cars achieve while going sideways. Plus, who doesn’t love red tire smoke?
Ken Block’s Climbkhana
Many people know of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, but many more people know of Ken Block’s infamous Gymkhana videos. So what do you get when you mate a terribly dangerous 14,115-foot ascent with non-stop drifting? This is Climbkhana. Ken Block ushers his 1,400-hp Hoonicorn V2 race car around precarious curves, almost dies, but ultimately conquers the mountain unlike any before him.
Moving target drift — Tuerck’d slide ride
Lower production quality, way more silly, but definitely creative — this video from Network A pits the Drift Alliance against Ryan Tuerck’s “slide ride.” Four drift cars maintain coordination while slapping the sides of a Crown Vic in a simple yet fun-to-watch game of tag. Sure, some of the cars get a little mangled, but it’s impressive regardless.
Tanner Foust street drift — Mulholland
This one’s been out for a while now — before Tanner Foust had ever heard of Global Rallycross or Top Gear America — but it’s still fascinating to watch over and over again. A 600-hp Scion TC sliding around one of the most famous ‘fun-roads’ in the world is pure entertainment gold.
Making a burrito with a car — Matt Powers
Sometimes the title just says it all. Pro drifter Matt Powers slides his super-powered ride around the Streets of Willow race track, bursting bags of burrito ingredients all over the place. At some point, Powers is even eating a burrito while making one with his car — it’s burrito-ception!
Formula Drift Seattle 2015
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to attend a Formula Drift event, this video gives you a pretty awesome picture. While the actual drifting is exciting to watch, we particularly like the editing and camerawork that keeps the pace of the video high.
Update: Hide your tires! We’ve added five drifting videos to the list.