MythBusters (2003) s15e06 Episode Script

San Francisco Drift

Jamie! Hi, dolls.
Oh, my god.
Where to, jamie? To the hotel, and step on it.
Jamie says "step on it," I say, time to break out the drifting moves.
'cause apparently, drifting is not just slicker.
ooh! - Ooh, girl! - It's quicker.
Aah! Oh! Whoa! Well, here we are.
That was quick but sloppy.
You could use some lessons.
Hold on.
I'm coming.
-- Captions by vitac -- Captions paid for by discovery communications You know what drifting is, right, jamie? Yeah, it's a style of racing Where they spin the rear wheels And are able to slide around on corners, going sideways.
You know, it's funny.
That's the one thing That I can think of That we haven't actually been trained to do with cars.
Well, that ends right now, Because this entire episode is devoted to drifting.
Later, we're gonna power-slide into a parking space.
But first, we have a myth on the docket That drifting is actually faster than regular race driving.
Time to break out our racing gear.
The perfect drift Requires a precisely timed sequence of moves.
The engine's revved The handbrake momentarily engaged, And the power applied.
Then by steering into the slide And keeping the throttle floored the kinetic friction Of the spinning tires supplies the centripetal turning force.
But is it actually quicker, or does it just look slicker? To find out, it's driver training with a difference.
Our drifting instructor today Is professional driver conrad grunewald.
He's been racing for 15 years, The last 10 of them in the formula drift series, And he's gonna show jamie and I a little bit About what's what when it comes to drifting.
Before the guys take the wheel, The lesson begins with a demonstration To get a feel for what the drift is all about.
Cue the joyride of a lifetime.
Conrad, I can tell already This is gonna be pretty high on the brown pants index, Watching you come up here.
I think you'll be fine.
He's right about the brown pants, though.
all right, jamie.
You ready? all right.
Okay, let's fly.
Here we go.
Oh, my god! Whoa! Holy! Yeah, baby.
That's what I'm talking about.
That's a little taste of, uh, a drift car.
What do you think? That is -- that's insane.
But, uh, I do think I need some earplugs or somethin'.
What? With jamie suitably impressed And four tires already totaled, It's adam's turn to calibrate the brown pants index.
All right, adam, do the best you can to pay attention To how I move the steering wheel And what I'm doing with the gas pedal.
All the movements are gonna be quick but subtle.
All right? All right.
Here we go.
oh, my god! Holy crap! Whoo! Hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo! Oh, she is a pro! This is awesome! Whoo-hoo-hoo! Wow! That's a thing! I have to admit, I didn't pay attention To anything you said To pay attention to.
I was just sort of along for the ride.
That was crazy.
All of my driving training Is about not allowing to happen What this is all about.
keeping your car From losing its tension with the road.
This is about maintaining that.
I absolutely can't wait to get behind the wheel.
With the demo done and dusted, First up for actual hands-on instruction Is the hyneman.
About 20% of what we're gonna do is with timing, And that's with the steering wheel inputs And what we're doing with our foot on the throttle And/or the brake.
Oh, too much.
The other 80% of what we're doing is really your eyesight.
Way too much throttle.
Way too much.
All right.
Keep your eyes focused where you want the car to end up, Not necessarily where you're going.
Even with intensive tuition Clutch handbrake and turn the wheel.
It's an incredibly tricky technique to master.
Ugh! Darn.
Jamie's attempting To simultaneously lose traction but maintain momentum I lost it.
Let's give it another try.
Through a full 90-degree turn.
Brake, brake, brake, brake! Spinning out and losing control is not ideal.
Little more practice.
This is intense.
But our drifting debutante Eventually dials it in.
And here's how.
Okay, haul on the gas.
That's it.
But what is the technique? Stick with it.
Basically, as you approach a turn, You drop the clutch And floor the throttle, so you rev up the engine.
Yeah! Nice work, jamie.
That was a really nice turn.
Then when you release the clutch, There's a huge surge in power Which makes the wheels spin so fast, You lose traction, and the back end swings out.
Yeah! Hard on the gas.
That, believe it or not, is the easy part.
The hard part is holding the drift Rather than wiping out.
Nice job, man.
Nice job.
That's what I'm talking about.
And that means a delicate combination Of throttle, steering, and bit of a handbrake, And what can I say? It takes practice.
Back to earth.
I was in outer space.
With jamie looking like a pro, It's finally time for adam to take a turn behind the wheel.
Or is it? Well, things have changed.
It has started to rain, and the rain Is gonna cause us a real problem.
The thing is that if conrad's car is able to do What you just saw it do on dried pavement, On wet pavement, where we've lost about 50% of our traction, That 900 horsepower behaves more like 2,000 horsepower, And it's gonna be hard to control it.
But that doesn't mean we're totally done drifting.
No, no, the plan all along was for conrad To give jamie and I lessons in drifting in his car, And then to help us transfer that knowledge To a car we can do more mythbuster-y things.
We've always planned to bring our own car in, And now it's just time to bring it up a little bit earlier.
All right! Oh! That wasn't auspicious.
hey, man.
You want to, uh, show me some ropes About how to do some drifting in this thing? Yeah, let's do it.
You want to give it some gas And look where you want it to go.
It may be a world away from conrad's supercar, But to drift, this more mythbuster-y motor Requires the same technique, which is just as difficult.
Part of what conrad is teaching is you start going in a circle, Gun the engine a little bit to break it free, And then kind of feather it, Keeping it exactly that same r.
Too much.
You did everything right.
Just that the timing was off.
And then if you don't control it just right, You go too far, and you end up going backwards And stopping just like that.
Look that way.
oh! It's a tricky task to master.
Little too much.
Little too much.
Adam takes a while to get a grip On letting it slide.
That's it, that's it.
Really good.
Off handbrake.
Ah! Very good, grasshopper.
nicely done.
I have to tell you, This is one of the most fun things I have ever learned on this show.
Yeah! That was the best one yet! Maybe it's because it's so hard to get right.
That feels good.
Wow, the whole world changed shape there For a second.
Doesn't it? Maybe it's that when you get that 180 right Because you've shifted into gear And you're starting to give the gas, And the wheels start to spin out And you're looking at the spot to your left, And you're spinning around it And you're attached to it by a chain Wow, what a -- what a showoff.
that was pretty good.
It's just -- it's a rush.
Have I made that clear? Good speed.
Clutch handbrake.
Turn the wheel.
It's been a long, hard training day.
Tough on the tires and tough on the trainees.
Back off, back off, back off.
Back off.
Slow down.
But after 12 hours of intense instruction Ohh.
Nicely done.
Where did that come from? Holy.
Dude, that was great.
Our dynamic duo are ready to delve into the myth.
If we're going to get to the meat of this story, And that is whether drifting is better than driving, We're gonna have to deconstruct the drift, Set up some courses, and see if that is, in fact, Looking like the case.
Coming up The car carnage reaches a crashing crescendo.
And later, can you really power slide a parallel park? Oh! Welcome to the dry part of our episode.
Now jamie and I have gotten educated In the rudiments of drifting.
Yeah! Nice work, jamie.
But now it's time to bump that up a level And do some actual testing.
So we have abandoned the runways of alameda, california, And come to california's central valley To this beautiful dry runway.
Uhh! That's it.
This is a former n.
Testing station.
But for right now, let's just call this Adam and jamie's "mythbusters" drift testing facility.
How does that sound? It's time to trash some more tires! In pursuit of the myth that drifting Is the fastest technique for taking a corner, The guys set up for a timed trial.
Let me run you through our course.
We're going to be trying to be gathering consistent timings With three metrics -- The first and foremost being entry speed.
We are always going to be crossing The starting line of our turn at 45 miles per hour.
When the car crosses the start line I click.
We'll be doing two kinds of turns.
One -- drifting, and the other -- nondrifting.
And when he crosses the finish line, I click again.
And it's just that easy.
Here we go.
Turn test.
And 321.
Yep, first up, with a consistent entry speed Here comes 45.
How fast can adam get through 90 degrees Oh! Without drifting? Well, uh, that could have been better.
You're gonna have to back up.
Oh, look, it sprung right back.
There's your problem.
Well, that was Not my best turn, But I gotta dial into this.
This is the first time I've driven this thing.
It's gonna take me a few tries Just to get the comfort and feel.
oh! Boom! Well, there goes our car.
I'm actually a little surprised.
I thought adam would ease into it Until he got the right feel for that corner, But, uh It seems like he's not.
Here I come.
It's an inauspicious start.
Pull it to the outside.
But from there on in Yeah! Adam dials it in and nails the corner How was that? 4 seconds.
In a consistent time.
4 seconds.
4 seconds every time.
So now it's time for adam to try And do the course while drifting.
This might get interesting.
Here we go.
Let's drift again.
Remember, for the myth to be confirmed 4045.
Adam must rip through the right angle in less time.
Initiating the drift.
There is a lot going on in order to Drift through this 90-degree turn.
I've got to choose a specific spot And at that spot Pull on the "e" brake just a little bit While pushing on the clutch And then steering against the turn So that I slide into it and then give enough gas So I can come back out of it.
I need a couple more to get scientific about this.
That's it.
I'm at 45 miles an hour.
This is perfect.
I'm going to do itNow! Yeah! Damn, that feels good! Whoo! Ha ha ha! What did I get? 4 seconds.
Well, I've done my runs.
Yeah! Whoo! And while I had some mishaps here and there, I did get two really nice fast times -- One in drifting, one without, and they were identical so while I know it's too early to call, The fact already seems That even though it looks cooler, It might not be looking good for drifting as a myth.
So far, not so good.
But the hyneman's up next.
Can he beat his control time 4 seconds.
Nicely done.
When he tackles the turn with a perfectly timed drift? Go.
He starts to turn there at the stanchion, And boom! Well, that didn't go as planned.
All right, so the goal is not to hit those things.
Yeah, I understand.
Okay, cool.
Well, I have to say it's kind of strange to throw the car Into a state of slide right when you're facing something That you're about to impact.
It is something that you sort of naturally don't want to do.
Yeah, that's bad right there.
That's bad.
We have a special technique for that.
it's called tape.
It's all happening so fast.
It's hard to say, like, okay, turn exactly now.
Frankly, I think I would take a lot of practice Before I could get through this at a maximum speed.
that's bad.
The, uh, right hand suspension arm is totally bent Like an inverted "v" Where the other one's totally straight.
Well, that -- maybe that's why I can't make it through those curves.
Wait a minute.
I think you're confusing causality and result.
Didn't you hit the thing right there? Oh, no, that couldn't have been me.
Couldn't have been.
Has to be you.
That's the cue for more less-than-subtle Running repairs.
Never happened.
And a new angle of attack.
With a 90-degree left-hand turn under our belt, It's now time to add a real wrinkle to this, And that is a 180-degree turn inside a 2-lane road.
A complete reversal of the direction of momentum Is the ultimate turning test.
But there's a tweak to the planned protocol.
Before we destroy that little car, We figure, I'll just take over the straight driving.
Adam will do the drifting, And we'll do our comparisons that way.
So first up Well, here we go.
The 180 straight up.
Let's log some data! Jamie lays down a series of controls.
Into the turn.
Give a little goose out.
Yes! That's it! That's it! And boom! Clocking a consistent benchmark.
8 seconds like clockwork.
Ah, literally like clockwork.
Well, jamie's done his straight runs On the 180-degree turn.
I'm about to try and drift the same thing.
All right, here I come.
Drifting 180.
I'm looking for one really good one.
That's what I want.
yeah! Whoo! Yeah! Whoo-hoo-hoo! Damn, that feels good! That felt beautiful! It looked good.
How was it for time? 9 seconds.
9 seconds! I don't think I'm gonna do much better than that.
I think it was perfect.
I felt like an action movie hero, man.
That was awesome.
It looked cool and felt great.
But cold hard data doesn't lie.
It appears that drifting is not faster, Which I'm, frankly, totally astonished by, Because if you look at jamie's 180 in regular driving And my drifting 180, I swear That mine looks like the faster run, but it's not.
It was slower by a half second in my best of all runs.
Yeah! It's not looking very good for this story.
But drifting's not done and busted just yet.
Coming up Adam and jamie go head-to-head Street racer style.
At this point, We've established a foundation of knowledge About what exactly drifting is Holy! And how it works.
But the one thing that we haven't done is take the car Through a regular driving course, And so that's what we're gonna do next.
All right.
Let's go.
Now we want to put all of our experience Into a full and complete test.
This is our starting line As sort of an urban driving environment Full of twists and turns.
Both hard and soft, easy and difficult I love this game.
And put drifting to the test against regular driving.
Yee-haw! This is our course that we feel provides a really good balance Of twists and turns And both standard and exciting driving maneuvers To make this test fun but also experimentally valid.
Now there's nothing to do but to drive.
Jamie's up first.
Now it's time for me to run the course With straight driving as fast as I can.
We'll take my best time And compare it to adam's best time While he's drifting.
Go! Sounds exactly like that When jamie leaves for work every morning.
To clock his fastest time, Jamie will take as many laps as he needs.
2 minutes.
Go! Using more traditional racing techniques In direct contrast with drifting Come on! Yeah! That was beautiful.
Jamie maintains traction, Clips each apex, And accelerates through the corners, Fast and smooth is the goal.
Trying to race like this Is actually a new experience for us, And in this case, with my skill, And with that car I'm as fast as I'm gonna get.
Here it comes.
It's gonna be a good time.
yeah! That's what I'm talking about.
Now if this myth is true, Drifting should allow me to ride this course much faster.
I'm not talking like 1 or 2 seconds.
I'm talking like 5 to 10 seconds.
That's what we're looking for -- a nice, big difference Between these two types of runs.
Unlike jamie, adam is all about the drift.
As he hits each corner, he flicks out his rear end.
And powers through the slide Or not.
He did a 360.
That's not good Not unless you wanna do a 360.
See, that's the thing.
You start to slide.
You lose traction Whoo-hoo-hoo-hoo! If you're not really good.
You lose control.
crap! That's the problem.
Despite dialing in the drifting Adam makes at least one major time-sapping error On every lap.
To accurately test the myth, He needs one mistake-free run to compare with jamie's control.
All right, sir, I'm in place.
Starting in 321.
Whoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo! Whoo! I'll bet that was good.
I'll just bet that was good.
That was 154 and a half.
Dude, I matched your time! You did.
Boom! So adam completed his stylish sideways lap, But in a final analysis, simply failed to go faster, Meaning the myth is dead and buried Unless Cue our professional race driver.
If conrad can't, no one can.
Adam and jamie, count it down.
I'm ready to go.
Go! That sound just makes me so happy.
What's immediately clear Is that conrad's killing it.
His drifts are bigger, better, and louder.
He's squealing a little more than you were.
that is as it should be.
But how does This more talented technique time out? how did we do? 2 minutes flat.
So you think that's about as fast a drifting run As you can do? I think that's about it.
I don't know if I can push any harder than that.
That was a pretty sideways run.
Dude, that's a result.
That's beautiful.
Thanks, conrad.
All right, thanks, guys.
Appreciate it.
Conrad couldn't have completed A classier lap than that, and he was 6 seconds slower Than the straight driving control.
It's a conclusive result, but there's an anomaly.
Right about now you're probably wondering why My best drifting time was actually faster than conrad's, And simply put, it's because conrad is a better drifter.
He's spent more of his time with his tail end swinging out, Moving sideways into the turns the way you're supposed to When you're properly drifting, and strangely, That meant that I went faster.
All right, it's time to call it.
Where do we stand on the myth That drifting provides a significant speed advantage Over race driving? Well, it didn't look good in the beginning, And it doesn't look good now.
I'd say it's busted.
I think it's handily, cleanly, and every way busted Like our car.
how much further we gotta go? Just up till there.
Till the commercial break.
Yes, there we go.
Oh, here comes the commercial break.
On the other side of this break, The mythbusters break out the movie moves Oh, so close! To test hollywood's idea Of parallel parking.
I think I might have hit something.
Now that we've shown that drifting Is not necessarily a faster way to race, I had an idea that maybe there is something That is quicker to do with drifting.
What's that? Parallel parking.
Parallel parking.
You mean, like, with real cars On either side of the parking space? Yeah.
That can get expensive.
Now clear investigation of the slipping and sliding And racing and speeding would be replete Without an investigation of parallel parking -- The bane of everybody's driver's test.
You gotta pull up alongside the car and turn the wheel According to some formula your mom told you.
No, no, no.
The action movie hero Has a totally different way of parallel parking.
They drive at speed towards the parking space, Slam on the brakes, Powerslide perfectly right into the space they want.
Now jamie has been practicing out on the open tarmac.
That was really cool! And he feels like he's got it dialed in.
yeah! Yeah! There we go.
So we've got a little parking space right here, And he's gonna put his practice to the test to see if it works.
All right.
Here we go.
I don't know how this is supposed to be done, But what I'm doing is getting up to the right speed, Throwing the wheel over, pulling the handbrake Oh! So close! Breaking free of the rear wheels With that handbrake That was better.
But then stopping with the foot brake At exactly the right time.
Well, there's no room for error on this thing.
Rush hour.
You want the space before anyone else steals it.
It's gonna be yours! You're gonna take it! You're gonna own it! Own it! Here it comes! Oh! Yeah! Beautiful! Yes! You were literally, like, kissing the cones On the other side.
That is what I'm talking about.
I'd say the evidence is pretty clear That this car was not parked in a normal fashion.
You can tell by the linear black marks on the pavement That the driver must have brought this in at speed And hit the rear brakes, swinging the rear end of the car Exactly into position against the curb If you catch my drift.
That's a great start, and it's seemingly as simple As the movies would suggest.
But at 90 degrees, they're only halfway there.
Here we go.
And he's off.
Hollywood would have us believe The full 180 is just as easy.
Well, there's a reason they call them bumpers, right? Maybe not, but adam ain't done yet.
Here I go.
40 miles an hour.
40 miles an hour.
Well, there we go.
There we go.
There we go.
There we go.
Oh! Oh, so close! So close! Now I feel like I'm making progress.
Now I feel like I'm making some progress.
Oh! Totally make this work! Hey! Beautiful! Whoo-whoo-whoo! Good job.
Awesome! Give me some! Awesome! Whoo! Uhh! If only there was a horn, I would honk in celebration.
Here, sound guys, could you give me a horn? Thank you very much.
It was a thing of balletic beauty.
But it's time for a dose of reality.
Well, it's one thing to try and do A 180 parallel parking job with cones surrounding you.
It's another thing to do it into a real parking space With real cars around you.
For adam to get in here that speed doing a 180, Well, if he makes it, it's only gonna be by a hair, So it's almost a guaranteed impact.
With that in mind, we're gonna have him in a helmet With a neck guard Like going into battle.
With a 4-point harness, with shin guards, Snug as a bug in a rug.
Everything that we can possibly do to keep him safe.
Not only will a mistake mean a major impact -- The space itself is tighter.
Now how will this nonchalant movie maneuver Stand up to this level of real world detail? Okay, adam, on your mark.
Here we go.
Oh! I'm fine! So close.
Rats! That wasn't quite the slide rule slide Adam was after.
But unlike his car, he's undamaged And raring to go again.
All right, adam.
On your mark.
This is your last dream, little baby.
Here we go.
Give it everything! Let's go! aah! I keep seeing the cars, and I was not steering towards them As like a natural survival mechanism.
'cause, really, you don't wanna steer into cars.
So I thought on this run, I just gotta ignore the cars, Ignore that the cars are there.
And I totally succeeded at that part.
Well, that's a good thing.
You got a little more of the car into slide.
I'd say you were up to about 50%.
I can't park this car, dude.
Yeah, it's tight.
I don't blame you.
This movie-inspired parking procedure Was purportedly a pushover.
In fact, it's more like an accident waiting to happen.
But that's not gonna stop our high rollers From taking this myth to ridiculous lengths.
Back at crows landing, The course deserves a fitting finale -- A drifting master class.
For your viewing pleasure, ladies and gentlemen Conrad grunewald.
With the course marked out in cones Yeah! Jamie and adam Were clearly on course for a confirmation.
Hey! Although with a smaller space and cars in place Oh! It wasn't nearly as simple.
I have to say as the skill collectors Jamie and I have been all our lives, This episode holds a special place in my heart.
This is one of the coolest things we've ever -- Hey, I think it's time to bump it up a little.
What do you mean, jamie? Time to raise the stakes.
Raise the stakes how? Oh, no.
Let's see you parallel park this beast.
It just got real.
Well, the bad news is that big old cars like that Are basically like driving boats.
They got crap for suspension.
They're spongy.
They're all over the place.
They're anything but a precision driving machine.
But the good news is that things like anti-lock brakes And stability control and electronics didn't exist When they made that car, So between the two of those things, I'd say it's a toss-up whether Adam hits the mark spot-on or not.
Because the guys are not allowed To damage the vintage limo, The parked cars are played by foam cutouts.
Okay, adam, are you ready? I'm as ready as I'll ever be.
32Wish me luck.
Oh, he's going too fast.
Told ya.
I think I might have hit something, like another car.
Good as new.
Time for take two.
oh! Well, a few attempts in, and I'm doing abysmally.
I just hope the limo lasts long enough For me to get this right.
Too fast.
Like I said, too fast.
Well, after the last crash, we've reset as best we can.
We're gonna give him one more try.
Okay, adam, one more time.
You can do it, buddy.
That was terrible.
That was terrible.
Did you order a limo?! I'm here! I think it's time we brought in an expert.
Conrad, you're up.
All right, jamie.
I'll give it a shot.
I call this maneuver prom night.
Wow! That was amazing! That was astonishing! That was beautiful.
Thanks, adam.
Nice work.
Thanks, jamie.
Can be done.
No, it can be done.
I just can't do it, but it can be done.
And so concludes the "mythbusters" crash course In street racing.
2 cameras -- $600.
18 tires -- 3,600 bucks.
One secondhand car -- 3 grand.
Ohh! Yeah! Spending all day drifting Whoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo! Priceless.
Give me some!