When I heard that the McLaren 720S had a “Drift Mode,” it sounded to me like a “stunt button” on a supercar. That’s not the case, though. Drift Mode isn’t even a thing. What the McLaren does have is Variable Drift Control. Here’s how it works.


The 720S is governed by a comprehensive suite of monitors and safety systems designed to optimize the way the car reacts to turns and slides. It can also be cycled through various stages of aggressiveness, basically removing “nannies” that cut power or apply brakes when the car’s computer detects a loss of control.

Variable Drift Control is wired into all that to act as a potentiometer for the entire system. More simply put–VDC is like putting a volume knob on the McLaren’s traction control system.

(Image Credit: Andrew Collins)

Theoretically, this should make it easier for drivers to let go of the car’s “safety net” gradually, rather than going from full-on to full-off and, probably, into the grass.


I think you’d need to spend more than an hour with VDC to fully appreciate its ability to be a tiered training system, but I sure bet it could keep you from embarrassing yourself next time you try and peel out of a parking lot.

Check out the video above to see what we learned.

Reviews Editor, Jalopnik | 1975 International Scout, 1984 Nissan 300ZX, 1991 Suzuki GSXR, 1998 Mitsubishi Montero, 2005 Acura TL

Share This Story

Get our newsletter