Dorifuto! Understeer or Oversteer? Which is it?!

While peruzing Facebook at work one day, I came across this post by Car Meme’s:


Various comments were laughing at the post naturally, saying the “Ban Drifting” group was a troll group because of what was circled.

Apparently, the idea that understeering isn’t drifting is very popular amongst “car enthusiasts” if you want to call them that. In light of that, I became curiously entertained to the question, “what do people really think drifting is….oversteer or understeer?” After asking various friends who I felt had a great understanding of motorsport, the controversy still remains.

My explanation of drifting:

In it’s simplest and most naked definition, drifting is actually understeer. The drift may be initiated by oversteering the car in order to get the tail out, but controlling the car while the car is sliding induces understeer, therefore, it’s controlled understeer. The basic reason for this is because the car is pointing in the forward position at the exit of a turn (front of the car is pointing ‘forward’), while if the car oversteers, the car will be in the backward position (tail of the car is pointing ‘forward’).

The neutral position during the drift is defined as the car going completely sideways or perpendicular against momentum (the side of the car, or the doors pointing ‘forward’).

If the car is completely neutral, then how can you tell the drift is understeering? The answer for this would be at the exit (hopefully) as the car’s eventual state would shift to the forward position. If the car was in the backward position at the exit of the turn…well, one can imagine that the drift FAILED.

Hell…even it’s even explained in “Initial D”:


However, in leu of the above, there are also technical definitions of drifting, which can be found at your local youtube video database. “The Drift Bible” featuring Keiichi Tsuchiya AKA the Drift King, explains six different drift techniques:

Shift Lock
Power Over
Lift Off

You can watch the video here:

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