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Many automakers are now offering a dedicated ‘drift mode’ on their performance vehicles, but Audi refuses to buy into the juvenile trend. The German automaker said late last year that it wouldn’t put a ‘drift mode’ on any of its cars and recently doubled down on the stance when speaking to Motoring.com.au.
“No drift mode. Not in the R8, not in the RS 3, not in the RS 6, not in the RS 4,” said Stephan Reil, Audi Sport’s development boss.
Audi’s not interested in drift mode as it doesn’t really jive with the brand’s image. The automaker is known the world over for its refined all-wheel drive systems, so it’s easy to see why it wouldn’t want its cars strapped with a system that promotes sliding all over the place. Drifting is a rather slow way to get around a racetrack, as well, further pushing the brand away from ‘drift mode’ type features.
“I don’t like them,” Reil added. “I do not see the reason for them. We do not see the sense in sitting there burning the back tyres. It’s not fast.”
“It’s much faster the way we do it, and drifting also does not really suit the architecture of our cars.”
Audi’s disdain for drift mode doesn’t mean the brand is anti-fun, however. Audi Sport’s cars have an ESP Off setting that neutralizes the traction and stability control and allows drivers to perform all the drifts they want, just don’t expect the electronic systems to step in and save you when you run wide or the vehicle swaps ends.
“You can do it yourself with the ESP off, if you hold it for three seconds,” said Reil.
“Then it will not intervene for you even when it (the car) is fully out of control, because that’s what you asked it not to do.
“You wanted the full control by pushing that button. You got it.”