Scion’s professional drift racer, Ken Gushi, was on hand during the Scion FR-S press preview to show us the capabilities of the company’s new rear-wheel-drive performance car. As part of the program, journalists were put in the passenger seat for a lesson in drifting as Gushi gracefully flung the car around a wet skidpad. I gotta tell you, Ken makes it look easy. Under his care, the FR-S carved wide arcs and made smooth transitions from one opposite-lock drift to the next as if it were grasped by the hand of God. During his slides, he made constant minor adjustments to the steering, accelerator, and brakes to keep the car on its magical sideways trajectory.
After that, I was set free on the course with an FR-S to try it for myself. When I got into the driver’s seat, I discovered it’s a lot easier to make a mistake and spin the car than it would seem. I, like many other drivers, have taken my car to snowy parking lots and slid around for fun, so I have some experience in this area. But it takes a real master to smoothly dance a car around in a figure 8. Maintaining a slide without losing it is challenging. And forget about swinging the rear end from one controlled opposite-lock drift into another. That requires a ton of practice, and more time than I had with this FR-S. After a couple minutes of getting to know the car and some experimentation, I found the sweet spot and was able to do a few good tail slides.
Okay, disclaimer time: This was a closed course, and I was under the watchful eyes of Scion employees and one of the best drift racers in the world. On this closed course, all I had to worry about was killing some orange cones and slightly embarrassing myself. While it can be fun to take your car to wet/snowy parking lots and drive like you’re in an action-movie chase scene, reckless driving (even in a parking lot) is dangerous and frowned upon by local authority figures. Don’t do this. You don’t want to wreck your car or get ticketed, fined, and/or arrested.
Still, it was a lot of fun!
Here’s the video: