Is a Miata A good Drift car?
This shouldn’t be much of a surprise, but the Miata is a great drift car. It’s RWD and doesn’t need much to be a competent for a beginner drifter. You can weld the diff and grab a set of drift knuckles and you’re pretty much good to go.
Can You Drift A Stock Miata?
Like mentioned above, the stock na/nb miata is pretty close to being a drift car out of the box.. but will likely require a LSD or welded diff. You’ll also probably want drift knuckles and coilovers. Finally, a hydraulic handbrake will top off a budget build. That said, you can “drift” a stock Miata. (wet pavement helps, lol)
How to Drift a Miata
You’ll want to learn the basics of drifting. Miatas don’t have a bunch of power, so you’ll need to learn how to keep momentum. Learning how to initiate the drift with a clutch kick can be extremely useful with lower power cars like the Miata.
Miata Drift Parts
Here are the basics needed to build a drift Miata.
Miata Drift Knuckles
Drift knuckles change the geometry of your front suspension, allowing you to have more steering angle. Many will also change your steering geometry to eliminate bump steer. A side benefit, will be the ability to have significantly more front camber than the stock suspension allows.
Most knuckles will require you to send your stock knuckles or to pay a core charge.
Here are a few of the best drift knuckles:
- DriftKnuckles.com – Unicorn Angle Kit ($500 + $200 core charge)
- Zerek Fabrication – Service or Product ($220-360+)
- Fabulous Autolab – Drift Knuckles ($265-295, $60 refund for cores)
- Gutentight Racing Knuckle Modification ($375)
- Destroy or Die – Super Knuckles ($485)
- Unicorn Racing Designs – Angle Kit ($620)
Extended Lower Control Arms
These will typically allow you to adjust your camber, give you more camber than stock, and have more wheel clearance for extreme wheel angles.
Here are the top miata lower control arms for drifting:
- Unicorn Racing Designs ($430)
- Destroy or Die ($413)
- IRP (~$1200)
- Zerek Proam Angle Kit ($1485)
The stock e-brake on the Miata is barely able to keep a car stopped on flat ground, let alone be usable to initiate a drift at speed! There are many universal hydro handbrakes and Miata specific mounting plates / brake lines.
- Chase Bays Hydro Handbrake ($229.99-289.99)
- Chase Bays Hydro Handbrake Line Kit ($219.99)
- Destroy or Die Brake Line Kit ($85)
- Zerek Fabrication Handbrake Mounting Plate ($85)
- Kyostar Handbrake (See Price)
- Wilwood Handbrake (See Price)
LSD / Welded differential
If you’re serious about drifting, you’ll want to be able to get the power down to both tires. This requires either one of the factory limited slip diffs. Here is a guide to the years/models that came with an LSD from the factory.
Most people run nicer and wider tires in the front. Typically 205/50/15 or so.
On the rear, whatever tires you can get cheap in the 185/60/15-195/35/15 range.
Miata Drift Setup
Here is the basic drift setup for a Miata. These are good ballpark modifications and settings to get going with your new drift build.
Check the coilovers post for more recommendations here. In general, you want a quality coilover that won’t break under the abuse of drifting and the ability to adjust ride height.
I’ve seen two schools of thought:
- Softer than Racing Spring Rates: This helps the front grip and gives you more feeling in transition.
- Significantly stiffer Rear Spring Rates: This helps the low power car initiate and maintain drifts.
Again, I’ve seen everything from, “Run stock bars” to “Throw a stiff rear sway bar on it.”
This will likely come down to power level and personal preference. It’s totally fine to start out with the stock sway bars.
Miata’s are plagued with quite terrible bump steer when lowered at all from stock ride height. A set of steering rack spacers will fix this issue.
Miata Drift Alignment
You’ll likely want somewhat significant front camber, and moderate rear camber. You shouldn’t need to change toe. Ride height will be determined by wheel fitment and steering geometry.
Miata Drift Builds
v8 drift miata
Check out this incredible youtube playlist:
JDM drift miata
One of my favorite videos, a Miata only drift day at Nikko Circuit.
Cummins Drift Miata
This thing sounds so ridiculous.
Formula Drift Miata
Look at this wild triple rotor MX-5 drift car.
Miata Drift RC Car
Check out this rad little RC miata with working pop-up headlights!
“Every day that I can work on my Miata, drive my Miata, or even think about my Miata is a good day.”— Dylan Howell, Only Miata
What a fun write up, looks definitely more fun than my Subaru STI ha! Great resources and videos too! Well done!
I think I want to buy a Miata, and try this….what could go wrong…