Modern all-wheel drive performance cars are starting to get something that’s being referred to as “Drift Mode”. Essentially, what it is is a mode that allows the rear end to step out a little bit and do some simple skids, it is not some magical mode that helps you become every person in Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift. Cars like the Ford Focus RS and now even the Mercedes-AMG E63 have these so-called ‘Drift Modes’ and it’s starting to become a trend.
So at a recent press event for the new 2017 Audi S3 in Durham, North Carolina, and Audi exec was asked if it would come with a Drift Mode. Apparently, that exec didn’t take well to that question, rolling his eyes. According to Audi, the brand isn’t interesting in doing any sort of drift mode anytime soon. The reason is that Audi has spent a lot of time and money making the Quattro all-wheel drive system as grippy and stable as possible. Audi is about grip and traction, not slidey hooliganism for children.
While many enthusiasts find that approach to be a bit dull and lacking in excitement, it’s the approach that Audi has always taken. While BMW and Mercedes-AMG are about tail-happy fun, Audi is about blistering speed and tenacious grip. So a drift mode sort of counter-acts the brand’s philosophy. Also, Audi doesn’t want its high-paying customers to accidentally kill themselves using a ridiculous mode that they likely won’t know how to use.
Personally, I’m happy Audi won’t be indulging this idea. Drift modes are for children who want to pretend to be able to drift in front of friends. Audi is better than that and it showed it by not giving in to the current trend, as another premium German brand has.