Saw a pro test driver comment that drifting a rear engine Ferrari with 50/50 weight balance is much harder than a front engine car with the same balance. Why would that be true?

Not sure what you mean by “drifting”, but rear engine cars tend to spin out during turns. The old air cooled Corvairs and VW Beetle being examples.

Can you tell us what he said in its entirety? I suspect that what you’re wondering about is out of context.

Seems like it would be hard to get rear and front engine cars equally balanced.

A Ferrari is hard to drift ? That will certainly influence my decision on weather to buy one or not.

A front-engine car with 50/50 balance has a high polar moment of inertia.

A mid-engine car with a 50/50 balance has a much lower PMI (that’s why they go thru the trouble of building them that way).

Like a figure skater pulling her outstretched arms in, a low PMI lends itself to a faster rate of spin. SO, while “drifting” a front-engine car results in a (comparatively speaking!) gradual yawing, the mid-engine Ferrari will want to “snap” loose–before you know it, you’re looking backwards!

Agree with meanjoe—a front-engine, RWD car is easy to break free and slide the back end (if you have the horsepower), and it is typically easy to control the drift with the throttle. A mid-engined car will tend to not break free as easy, but once it does, it’s like a hockey puck and difficult to recover, as it wants to rotate around its center axis. A friend has experienced this first hand with his Porsche. Fortunately only his pride was damaged.

Private mortgage insurance? Nah, my house is paid for.

Yeah, doesn’t have to be paid for. You just need decent equity in your house to avoid the mortgage insurance. In a sheriff’s sale, they want to make sure they can get out of it what is owed.

Now, why anyone would want to drift a car is beyond me. It means the rear wheels have lost traction, does it not? Not a good thing.

I think the attraction in drifting is that the car is just barely in control during the slides. Being on the edge buts still controlling where the car goes is the exciting thing.

I used to race local oval tracks when I was younger. The excitement of being close to the edge of losing control was very exciting. We had one bad “corner” where leaving paint on the old wooden wall was a badge of honor. Leaving a little paint and maintaining control was good…leaving a lot of paint and crashing was usually the sign of an amateur driver.

insert top gear videos of Lambos and Ferraris drifting on their track

For the “Walter Mitty” ,“Tokyo Drift” wannabe types.(look suprised when you wrap around tree.)

I usually get it out of my system in winter when I find a nice snow covered parking lot and drive sideways for a while in my RWD car. It’s a lot easier on the tires and drivetrain than doing it on dry pavement. And somewhat less likely to get you a reckless operation charge.

It’s all about the traction in most cars. The more traction, the harder it is to break the rear end free. Mid engine cars have better traction on the rear wheels with better weigh distribution. It’s not that you can’t make a mid engine Ferriari drift, it’s that you do it at a much higher speed. A car that can drift at low speeds, in some cases, is not a good handling car to begin with unless you are breaking traction withthe gas pedal on a powerful auto. . Of course, we talking about cas with the traction control/ stability control off. We are talking about rwd cars too. Oh, don’t forget the tires. A mid engine F car could very well have wider tires with better traction in the rear also. Other factors too.

You can’t say anything about a mid engine Privia vs a front engine Miata when comparing a tendency to drift. That’s why you have to be careful about all generalizations. Heck, wait for the next rain storm and put bald tires on the back and have at withthe little Mazda Pick up B2000.