The Aston Martin V8 Vantage is an immensely popular car for drifting, and there are a couple of good reasons for this. The V8 Vantage has a smaller frame compared to other Aston Martin models, as it is a 2-seater that comes in the form of a convertible roadster or a hatchback coupe. This makes the V8 Vantage light and agile, and it handles like a dream. With a 4.7 Litre V8 engine that produces 430 horsepower and 345 lb-ft of torque, this car has a lot of power in a small package and makes for a fun drive on the open road. Along with its mechanical prowess, this car also has a stunning exterior with elegant curves, which makes it a perfect choice for drivers looking for a classy, yet powerful base model for drifting.
Of course, Aston Martin didn’t intend for this car to be a dedicated drift machine, so there are a couple of modifications that need to be made in order to make this car drift-ready. The recommendations below will ensure that your Vantage is more than ready to go sideways.
For any driver looking to drift, the first thing to consider should be the vehicle’s suspension. Since drifting puts a considerable amount of strain on your suspension, it is a good idea to upgrade your springs at the very least. If you can afford to get coil-overs, then you’ll be even more prepared. An upgraded suspension system can better manage all of the shifting weight that occurs during a drift. This will translate to better performance and it will lessen the wear on your vehicle. You should also invest in rear and front sway bears, which will prevent your car from tipping over.
Another critically important component to drifting is the state of your car’s tires. This is another area of the vehicle that takes a beating after successive drifts. Fortunately, you only have to worry about your two front ones, which should be high-quality racing tires. As for the back two tires, you only need well-worn tires with less grip.
The wear on your vehicle’s tires is directly related to the physics of drifting itself. As you begin to drift, your rear tires generally slide from side to side. While you’ll temporarily lose control, you’ll regain it at the end of the drift. All of your traction should be focused on the front of your car, which you will need to maintain control.
If you’re looking to save money on modifying your tires for drifting, you may actually be able to get worn-out tires from a local mechanic. This means you add free tires for the back, which frees up money for nicer, race-worthy tires in the front.
Combine that temporary loss of control with the high speeds that are required in drifting and the risk level goes up considerably. This is why it pays to invest in better brakes. With performance brakes, you can stop much more suddenly and smoothly if you need to. Upgrade to high-quality rotors and brake pads, which you can get from aftermarket parts specialists, such as Enjuku Racing, which focuses on drifting components for a variety of makes and models. Also consider stainless steel brake lines, which won’t expand under the heavy stress of drifting.
There are a couple of ways to improve your V8 Vantage’s performance to make it better suited to drifting, which requires responsive acceleration and high speeds. You can imagine that your Vantage already has these specs covered, but you can go a little further if you really want the best performance out of your vehicle.
The first place to start is your intake and exhaust. At the very least, pick up a performance air filter for improved intake. In terms of exhaust, upgraded catalytic converters provide a huge boost in performance for their value.
To optimize your wheel spin, make sure that your transmission is manual. Also, a limited-slip differential (LSD) improves traction at high speeds. If you need a boost in power, you can’t go wrong with a supercharger or a turbocharger. Finally, a performance computer modification will improve acceleration and throttle response.
Drifting is not without its risks. If you invest in a roll bar or roll cage, you will be protected if your car does flip over. Also get yourself a helmet, and take some time on the track to get to know your vehicle and how it handles in a drift. Enjoy and be safe!