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Just your average Hot Pursuit or Death Race. Nothing to see here, folks, move on--

HOLY FREAKIN' COW!! Did you see that car? Only it wasn't a car, but it's tearing up the road all the same?!

Sure enough, that high-performance vehicle is not an automobile, but something else entirely: perhaps a train, or a main battle tank, or a mech even. Alternatively, the speed demon is certainly a car, but not one you'd normally expect to see applying scientifically precise sinusoid pathing to Main Street. But this is an Action Movie, of course we're going to ignore things like friction, momentum, torque, engine efficiency, so on and so forth. The Action Hero earned his driver's license in Breakneck Speedsters, and it's class E for 'everything'.

In mundane hands, this baby would get twelve miles to the gallon, a horrible turning radius, and Jello Jiggler handling. But with Multi-Track Drifting, our racing pro is pulling hairpin turns, running the slalom around lightposts, ditching the cops (in actual ditches no less), making a beautiful mess of things in general.

Examples of Multi-Track Drifting include:


Anime and Manga

  • The Trope Namer is Densha de D, an Affectionate Parody of Initial D using trains instead of cars. Towards the end of one race, Takumi shifts his train to roll down both sets of tracks on a corner at high speed, intentionally spreading his train across two sets of tracks to minimise the risk of flipping over sideways from the forces involved. A shocked Keisuke blurts out the infamous line.
    • A parody of this parody was done by an Image Board artist, with Yoshi using the outside of a turn to fire off multiple powerslide turboes. The phrase in this example is "Multi-turbo drifting!"
    • The line has pretty much become a somewhat minor meme used as a way to describe a "drift" in a thread between one topic and another, especially if they go back and forth.
  • In anime, the conventional battle tank is often on the losing side. Presenting the "snub tank", the subcompact version, which usually features improved speed and handling, and a short main gun that's no less powerful. Likely originates in Dominion Tank Police.
  • The Tachikoma in Ghost in the Shell:Stand Alone Complex are very fast spider tanks, so you know they are fast and agile. But some of the stuff they pull off puts spiderman to shame.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO and Igloo 2, the Hidolfr and RTX-440 Guntanks are machines that are in scale with the mobile suits they fight against. Given that, they're much faster and more agile then they appear. An example being the Hidolfr pivoting on its axis while moving forward.


  • The particularly memorable "tank chase" from Goldeneye is one of the stronger examples, with James Bond chasing after the Damsel in Distress in a "Model T" (a Russian T-series heavy tank, that is). Extra style points for lifting a memorial statue, sticking it in an overhang, and crushing some cars on his tail. That the guy he's chasing is in a small Soviet-bloc car just makes it even more awesome.
  • The Italian Job (2003 remake) features some particularly shiny Mini Coopers navigating through buildings like some parkour maniac. The cars used were heavily modified to withstand the highly atypical driving conditions.
    • The original version, with Michael Caine, has even better Mini car-fu of this nature, including a scene where the cars can be seen driving over the roof of the local Fiat factory.
  • The souped-up steam train from Back to The Future Part III.
  • Herbie in Herbie Fully Loaded, most especially the final NASCAR racing sequence where the anthropomorphic Volkswagen was seen climbing onto the fence above the wall, trying to avoid being trade-painted.


  • One of Jurgen's many talents is driving a forty-ton Salamander scout tank like a sportscar. Pray you aren't in the way if he realizes he's running late, because the Commissar is never allowed to be late.
  • The 50,000 ton Land Battleships of the eponymous Bolo series are noted to be able to hit 200 miles per hour on flat terrain. 'Flat' in this case being anything less bumpy than the average mountain range.

Tabletop Games

  • Unless you're dealing with a 316-ton super-heavy battle tank, Warhammer 40000 doesn't have very strict rules governing vehicle movement, so as long as you don't exceed the speed limit your Land Raider can zig-zag around those barricades and pull a sicknasty 180 at the end of its move.

Video Games

  • The titular Metal Slug is your familiar anime-inspired snub tank, capable of jumping over lesser military machinery (the bomber pilots certainly didn't expect to be attacked from above), and ducking under rounds from other tanks.
  • The Landmaster from the Star Fox series does the barrel roll too, Slippy.
  • Golden Eye 64 has a version of the tank chase; noteable for 007 being able to roll over dozens of guards without affecting the performance of the tank at all. Squish squish.
  • The 1986 strategy game Roadwar 2000 allows the player to modify his street gang's vehicles to turn on a dime, even buses and tractor trailers.
  • The little-known racing game Treadmarks is about off-road-racing, heavily-armed, powersliding... tanks.
  • The recent flight-combat game Tom Clancy's HAWX gives the player the ability to drift fighter jets in mid-air. However, the ability differs from jet to jet. Slowpokes like the Mi G-21 Fishbed can barely hold a drift, while the SU-37 Terminator can flip in mid-air.
    • Note that in theory, with some rather specific modifications and particularly thrust-vector engines (which are currently available technology seen on the F-35 and the F-22, for example), this is entirely possible.
    • Not to mention the way stalling is illustrated in the game, which has planes dropping like a rock the second the airframe loses stable velocity. Bwha?
      • That's when the flight controls are set to the basic, arcade-like mode. When it's in Advanced mode, the plane pretty much stalls and holds in place in mid-air for a few seconds until speed increases, which is even worse.
  • Metal Gear Solid 3 has a multi track drifting scene featuring the precursor of the Metal Gear--the Shagohod, which can go at high speeds by using two gigantic augers and a rocket booster. It arguably makes less sense than any of the Metal Gears that follow it.
  • Grand Theft Auto games: especially in San Andreas, where you can use a dump truck, an Abrams, a truck with trailer, and even a train if you derail it in the right place.
  • Despite being a game that makes strenuous efforts toward realism to the point where its engine has been used for actual military training simulations, Operation Flashpoint lets you pull this off in any tank, assuming you can reach a sufficiently high speed, due to tank treads apparently having significantly less grip than they do in Real Life.
  • Nie R lets you drift... while riding a boar. Yes, the hoofed animal. Yes, it is awesome.

Real Life

  • Averted in the case of hopped up Shawn Nelson, who after rampaging through suburban San Diego, got his stolen M60 Patton stuck on a freeway median when he tried to cross over into oncoming traffic.
  • An episode of TopGear involved Jeremy Clarkson in a Land Rover Sport attempting to outmanoeuvre a Challenger 2. He failed. The episode showcased the tank's smokelaunchers, manoeuvrability, speed and ability to handle rough terrain. And it was awesome.
    • It should be mentioned he "survived" for 5 minutes against a tank with both a speed and terrain advantage by outsmarting the crew.
    • It should also be mentioned that they were having to target him with the main gun rather than using the machine gun.
      • To be fair, one suspects they weren't trying that hard. Given the range on one of those tanks, they'd probably just have sniped him from three fields over in battle conditions...
    • They also did a similar thing with a Lotus Exige versus an Apache helicopter gunship - racing around the confines of the track, trying to get missile lock. They weren't allowed to use the chin cannon or pop up from miles away and use the hellfire rockets, that would have been unfair...
    • Top Gear has also done such wonders as racing piled up cars with the top steering and the bottom accelerating and braking, MPVs (people carriers), camper vans (RVs) and buses. And they were all awesome.
    • Another notable episode featured an attempt to drive a Transit Van driven around the Nurburgring in ten minutes.
  • During WWII, LT. Richard Candelaria was dogfighting in his P-51 Mustang with a skilled German pilot in am Me109. With the German flying circles around him and latched on his tail, Candelaria tries a risky maneuver, kicking his Mustang's tail around so the German would overshoot him. His plane does the equivalent of a short spin in the air and shoots down the German plane. Although he's not spinning in the air per-se, it still qualifies as an unconventional tactic. Eat your heart out, thrust vectoring.
    • Of course, making flying machines spin in strange maneuvers has been around since WWI, with the little Fokker Triplanes being extremely agile for their time.
    • In the Dogfights documentary series, one WWII pilot had the trick of simultaneously pitching down and yawing, turning his whole plane into one huge, unstable, airbrake. In the same series, one US pilot in Vietnam had perfected an exploitation of the Phantom jet's flat spin failure mode, putting his plane into a flat spin for a few seconds at a time to WTF his enemies and forcing overshoots by losing airspeed, then quickly recovering to normal flight on their tails.
    • The P-51's maneuver is actually a tactic you're taught in flight school called a slip. It's used in civilian aviation to either drop altitude quickly (like maybe you're too high above a runway to land) and quickly recover, or keep your plane traveling straight in a crosswind. Yes, it also acts as an airbrake and you can recover from it really, really easily (you enter it by yawing one direction and rolling slightly the opposite; you exit by releasing the controls). Pilots during WWI would use slips to strafe targets air and ground, in addition to the aforementioned "let the Messerschmitt pass right by" use during WWII.
  • Europeans race trucks. Not pickups, but semis. It is loud and awesome. Youtube clip.
  • In real life, unfortunately, no train driver can pull off the above moves using conventional trams and tracks... ...Or can they?
    • If your car's going slow enough, and you time the switch correctly, and the two tracks run parallel to each other... sure you can. At speed, you'd just derail.
  • The Germans love to show off the mobility of their Leopard 2. Just search for it on youtube.
    • You can cross a 3,5m wide trench by driving into it and just digging through the other side to get out again, but it's a lot easier to just jump over it.
  • The Americans have done a couple of Tank drifting Goodness in Iraq with their M1 Abrams and Canadians tanker have pulled their share of tank drifting in Afghanistan with the aforementioned Leopard 2.
  • Russian T-90 tank isn't called a "Flying tank" for nothing. Its demonstrations often include climbing high obstacles without losing speed, often flying several meters after that... Firing the cannon during landing is optional.
  • 1 HP drifting. Old-school. No, I mean horse-and-buggy old-school...
  • Scandinavian Airplane Drifting!
  • Unsurprisingly popular with golf carts.
  • In order to land in heavy crosswinds, most professional pilots, especially airline pilots, are trained to fly their planes in at insane angles. See here and here.
    • If you try to fly in a straight line in a heavy crosswind, you end up flying wing-first kinda automatically. The real trick is the landing, as the pilot has to right up the plane immediately as it touches the ground, lest it rolls off the runway.
    • The B52 was designed with this in mind with its gear able to adjust to landings with ridulous amounts of yaw. A feature that was considered top secret for many years.
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