Can an Upgraded Differential Improve the Drift Capabilities of a Toyota Supra?

April 4, 2024

A Toyota Supra is already a powerhouse on its own, but can an upgraded differential potentially improve its drift capabilities? This inquiry has been a topic of discussion among several car enthusiasts and mechanics alike. To delve into this, we’ll be discussing the key components that contribute to a car’s drift capabilities: the LSD (Limited Slip Differential), the role of different kits, and the impact of other performance-enhancing parts such as the clutch, wheel, valve, gauges, brake, power, oil, steering, and engine.

The Impact of Upgrading the LSD (Limited Slip Differential) on a Supra

Limited Slip Differential (LSD) plays a critical role in smoothing out your car’s performance. Originating in the realm of motorsport, LSD became a standard component for high-performance vehicles like the Toyota Supra. It essentially allows for a balance of power distribution between the rear wheels. This means that if one wheel starts to slip or lose grip, the LSD will automatically distribute more power to the other wheel.

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When you replace the standard LSD with an upgraded one, you can potentially improve the drift capabilities of your car. One popular option for upgrading is the Torsen (torque-sensing) differential. The Torsen LSD can manage the power sent to each wheel with higher precision than a conventional LSD.

In the context of drifting, the differential’s function is paramount. An upgraded Torsen LSD can improve your Supra’s drift capabilities by offering more predictable and precise control during slides. The way it manages power between the wheels can help you maintain a continuous drift without oversteering or understeering.

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Role of Performance-Enhancing Kits

Performance-enhancing kits are a way to significantly improve the drift capabilities of your Supra. These kits typically include performance upgrades for the clutch, wheel, and brakes.

A high-performance clutch, for instance, can handle higher power levels. This will provide you with better control over power transfer, which is vital when drifting. Upgraded wheels can offer better grip, which can increase the traction and stability during a drift.

Furthermore, brake kits can provide your Supra with the stopping power it needs when handling high-speed drifts. They can also offer enhanced heat dissipation, ensuring your brakes remain fully functional even under extreme conditions. An upgrade in brake performance can be a significant factor in your car’s overall drifting performance.

Understanding the Role of Engine Performance

Engine performance plays an essential role in determining how well your Supra can drift. Upgrading various engine components such as the valve, gauges, power, oil, and steering improves the overall performance of your car.

Upgrading the valve can improve the engine’s airflow, resulting in increased power and efficiency. Gauges are instrumental in monitoring your engine’s performance and ensuring it’s running at optimal conditions. Upgrades to the power, such as installing a turbocharger, can significantly increase your car’s horsepower, providing more thrust for drifting maneuvers.

Quality oil is crucial to ensure that your engine runs smoothly. Superior oil can provide better lubrication, reducing friction and improving engine performance. Lastly, steering is a fundamental aspect of drifting. Upgrading your steering system can provide more precise and responsive control, enabling better handling during drifts.

The Influence of Differential Oil

The type of oil used in your differential can have an impact on your Supra’s drift capabilities. Differential oil lubricates the gears in your differential, reducing friction and preventing overheating. High-quality differential oil can ensure that your differential operates smoothly, increasing its lifespan and improving its performance.

It’s essential to choose a differential oil that’s suitable for the specific demands of drifting. Drifting places a lot of stress on the differential, so you need an oil that can withstand high temperatures and pressure. High-performance synthetic oils can deliver superior protection and performance compared to conventional oils. They resist breakdown at high temperatures and maintain their viscosity under extreme pressure, ensuring that your differential continues to function optimally during drifts.

Involvement of the Rear Differential

The rear differential is a key player in a Supra’s drift capabilities. The rear differential’s main function is to allow your Supra’s rear wheels to rotate at different speeds, which is crucial when drifting.

When you’re drifting, the inner wheel needs to rotate slower than the outer wheel because it has a shorter distance to cover. The rear differential makes this possible. An upgraded rear differential can provide more responsive and smooth handling, improving your car’s drift performance.

In summary, upgrading your differential can indeed improve the drift capabilities of your Toyota Supra. However, it’s not just about the differential. Other components, including the LSD, performance-enhancing kits, engine performance, differential oil, and rear differential, also play critical roles in enhancing your car’s drifting prowess. Each of these components contributes to the overall performance of the vehicle. Thus, a comprehensive approach, which includes upgrading these components, can yield the best results.

The Effects of Additional Upgrades on Drifting Performance

Having discussed the critical role of differentials, LSDs, and performance-enhancing kits, it’s also crucial to consider other components that can enhance the drifting capabilities of a Toyota Supra. These include, but are not limited to, bolt kits, fuel injectors, connecting rods, and sway bars.

A bolt kit is an essential upgrade for any high-performance vehicle like the Supra. These kits ensure that all parts and components are securely attached, reducing the risk of any parts coming loose during a drift.

In terms of power, performance, and fuel efficiency, fuel injectors play a significant role. Upgraded fuel injectors can ensure optimal fuel delivery to your Supra’s engine. This can result in a more powerful and responsive performance, which is invaluable when drifting.

Connecting rods connect the pistons to the crankshaft. Upgraded connecting rods can handle higher RPMs, reducing the risk of engine failure during high-speed drifts.

Finally, a sway bar reduces body roll during sharp turns, providing more stability and control while drifting. An upgraded sway bar can significantly enhance the Supra’s handling and drift capabilities.

In addition to these, other performance-enhancing parts can also be upgraded as per your requirements and preferences. These include piston sets, air filters, and even brake rotors.


In conclusion, the Toyota Supra’s drift capabilities can indeed be improved by upgrading the differential. An upgraded LSD, such as the Torsen differential, offers more precise power management between the wheels, improving control during slides.

Performance-enhancing kits provide additional upgrades for the clutch, wheel, and brakes, offering improved grip, control, and stopping power. Engine performance upgrades can boost power, efficiency, and control, while high-quality differential oil ensures smooth operation of the differential.

Moreover, by upgrading the rear differential, you can achieve more responsive and smooth handling. Additional enhancements like bolt kits, fuel injectors, connecting rods, and sway bars also contribute to improving your Supra’s drift performance.

The journey to improving the drifting capabilities of your Toyota Supra is multifaceted, encompassing various components of your vehicle. Therefore, it’s crucial to take a comprehensive approach and consider all possible upgrades. While each upgrade on its own might only provide incremental improvements, collectively, they can significantly enhance your car’s performance and drifting capabilities.