The Five Wildest Cars of Formula Drift

Formula D(rift) is the premiere drifting series in the U.S., featuring a talented roster of drivers and of course, their crazy super high-output machines built specifically to skid in a controlled and stylish manner. Let's take a look at five of the craziest vehicles seen sliding around during the last season, from a 1,000-horsepower four-cylinder Toyota Corolla to an E46 BMW with a Chevy LSX V8 shoehorned in.

Papadakis Racing Corolla

Source | Formula DRIFT

Papadakis Racing Toyota Corolla

Formula D isn't usually known for small engines. However, that didn't deter California-based Papadakis Racing from building a monster of a Toyota Corolla, which originally debuted at the New York International Auto Show two years ago. Team driver Fredic Aasbo operates the vehicle, which still utilizes a four-cylinder, although the similarities to the original model end there.

Displacement has been bumped up to a healthy 2.7 liters, with direct-port nitrous and a Borg Warner turbocharger adding to the list of modifications. Covered in Rockstar Energy Drink and Nexen Tire graphics, the bright yellow Corolla — sitting on 18-inch Motegi MR406 alloys and RS-R custom coilover suspension — assisted Aasbo in securing four podium finishes in its inaugural season.

Bridges Racing Viper

Source | Formula DRIFT

Bridges Racing Dodge Viper

Bridges Racing's weapon of choice is a car that is normally found burning rubber in a straight line rather than sideways. Behind the wheel of the Dodge Viper for the last six years is Dean “Karnage" Kearney who is no stranger to piloting V10 beasts like this one. The Viper recently underwent a significant overhaul and is sending in excess of 1,400 horsepower to the rear thanks to dual Garrett 4088 turbochargers, bespoke camshafts, new pistons and rods and more.

A partnership with title sponsor Oracle Lighting is made evident via vinyl branding and the signature demonic purple headlamps.

Napoleon Motorsports Camaro

Source | Formula DRIFT

Napoleon Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro EL1

Napoleon Motorsports holds the distinction of having the most unique, and environmentally friendly, Formula Drift entry. Rather than an internal combustion engine, the Chevrolet Camaro EL1, piloted by Washington State native Travis Reader, utilizes an electric motor mounted near the rear axle, with nearly half a ton of batteries up front. The electric powerplant is good for 515 horses, which is modest compared to today's standards but it boasts a tarmac-tearing 800 lb-ft of torque.

Not much of the exterior is original anymore except for the front bumper and roof. Other OEM body panels have been swapped out for lightweight carbon fiber replacements crafted by Anderson Composites. A lot of the suspension is Napoleon's own design, but BC Racing stepped in to supply the shocks.


Source | Formula DRIFT

Race Tech Services BMW 3 Series

When the race-engineered Chevrolet LSX engine is mentioned, the image it conjures up is usually something domestic, and fast. Very fast. Formula D competitor Alex Heilbrunn and his BMW E46 have at least that latter quality covered in spades. Race Tech Services (RTS) helped him squeeze the aluminum 7.4-liter mill — complete with a RTS high performance block, Comp Cams and JE Pistons — into the E46. A Whipple 4.5-liter supercharger bumps up the horsepower and torque to a whopping 1,000-plus and 1,000 lb-ft, respectively.

Managing all that power is an ACT clutch and an RTS four-speed dog box transmission. Other highlights include Enkei NT03+M aluminum wheels wrapped in Nitto NT05 rubber, Sparco bucket seats and harnesses, and Wilwood four-pot brakes all around.

Federico Sceriffo Ferrari

Source | Formula DRIFT

Federico Sceriffo Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano

Ever wonder what a Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano screaming around a track sounds like? If the answer is yes, you need to get to a Formula D event to experience this Italian exotic drift missile, built and owned by Federico Sceriffo. To be fair, running a stock V12 (mated to a Holinger sequential gearbox) and aluminum chassis, the supercar is surprisingly well suited to the sport right out of the box. However there's a supplementary 100-shot of nitrous fitted, and the upper and lower control arms are modified to allow maximum lock during a drift.

OZ Racing is responsible for the 20-inch rollers with Öhlins handling the the coilovers. Believe it or not, the 599 once had twin superchargers installed, but Sceriffo opted to have them removed to reduce overall weight.

Which one of these crazy Formula D cars is your personal favorite? Let us know in the comments below.

Last updated June 9, 2020