Cars like the Ford Focus RS and Audi RS3 have dedicated drift modes that help the driver move sideways, but what if it could be even easier to turn your car into a smoke machine? Well, it could happen, provided there are electric motors instead of a combustion engine. Because apparently EVs weren’t already complicated enough, Mercedes is considering rolling out an autonomous drift mode in an AMG model without ICE.
To the surprise of many, this has already been done. Last February, the Toyota Research Institute programmed a Supra to burn rubber without any human intervention. The main difference here is that Mercedes is actively considering installing such a feature in a future electric AMG. In an interview with the Australian magazine Sale of carsthe automaker’s head of global vehicle development, Joerg Bartels, spoke about the unusual gadget.
“An automatic drift mode? Yes, of course. We could do that because we always know what situation the car is in. We have sensors for everything, so we know that. You have to have a lot of space for something like that and the only fact is that in addition to torque vectoring you would need wire drive as you may need to remove the steering [from the driver].”
Asked about the chances of implementing an autonomous drift mode in a car, Joerg Bartels strongly suggested it was a possibility: “Maybe it’s coming.” He went on to say that the rotating tank feature of the upcoming EQG (Electric G-Class) shows the benefits of having a four-motor setup. R&D top brass admitted that it’s not exactly a useful feature in the real world, but it does allow owners to brag about what their EVs can do:
“It’s something [tank turn] you would do and show your neighbour, but it’s not very useful in difficult conditions or during spirited driving.”
BMW M is no stranger to designing an electric vehicle that can turn in place, having recently shown off a modified i4 coupe with quad motors performing the same maneuver but with a heavy dose of CGI.
The Affalterbach homies are just getting started with electric performance cars, so far only showing the EQS 53 and the smaller EQS 43 and 53. The Vision AMG concept we saw earlier this year is a window into the future of a dedicated electric AMG.EA sports car platform.