Japan Has Yet Another Good Car Idea: PVC Drifting With Tiny Kei Hatchbacks

Yes, he’s spinning out. Screenshot via NoriYaro
Yes, he’s spinning out. Screenshot via NoriYaro

A few years back, a drift team in Japan that normally runs Toyota Corolla AE86s branched out into drifting minute kei car front-wheel-drive hatchbacks, easily purchased for about $300. The trick is PVC pipe pressed over the rear tires and, dammit, this is one of the best ideas I’ve seen in a long time.

Now, sliding front-wheel-drive cars is not new. Anybody with a cheapo Cavalaier in high school sticking lunch trays under the back wheels and holding up the handbrake will be familiar with the idea, as NoriYaro points out in his newest video.


But going full PVC is a much closer facsimile of how a rear-wheel-drive drift car breaks traction, transitioning between sliding and gripping up.

And it provides some real training that can be applied to regular drifting. Don’t forget that team K-Soul normally runs rear-drive Corollas, and says that it’s actually pretty good practice for tandem drifting, for getting used to chasing other cars and being chased.

Now, America has a lot of something quite like this. I know because I’ve done it: skidplate racing. You see it at Bowman-Gray in North Carolina for instance, and the idea is to replace the rear wheels with thick metal skis. That’s cheap, and fun, but also even more extreme than this PVC drifting. The way skidplate cars slide is near uncontrollable, and PVC drifting looks like it’s a much easier hill to climb, so to speak.

I want to see a lot more of this, and here. Now, where did that Yugo get off to?

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.


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Isn’t it just easier and cheaper to use fast food trays?