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What We Learned from the MYTHBUSTERS Drifting Special

How did Adam and Jamie wrap up this short new season of MythBusters? By getting fast and curious about drifting!

Warning, I am going to spoil the results of these myths. You’ve been warned!

The Myths

MB#6_PIC1Is drifting faster than regular race driving?

After receiving some instructions on how to drift from a pro drifter, Adam and Jamie each made timed runs on a 90-degree turn, a 180-degree turn, and a full course to see if drifting was faster than plain old driving. Hollywood sure makes it look that way.

MB#6_PIC2Can you drift into a parallel park?

The flashiest way to park your car is to throw it between to cars with handbrake in hand. But can it reliably be done?

The Results


As it turns out, drifting is just as fast if not slower than regular turning. But why? Think of the car as a vector, that is to say, a point with some speed and direction. When drifting around a corner, is the car’s speed increasing, or is the vector pointing in pretty much the same direction at the same speed? Add this to the fact that you have to get that flicked car tail under control after a drift and you have a similarly fast if not slower technique.


This is all about precision. Though Adam was unable to fling the limo into the space, their experienced racing driver did it on his first try. I hope he took his kids to prom like that.

What We Learned

Kinetic Friction: In physics, there are two kinds of friction: static and kinetic. Static friction is the force that tells you how much of a fight a surface will put up if you try to push a non-moving object over it. Kinetic friction tells you how much resistance to motion a surface will give to a moving object.


This episode marks the end of the first season since Tory, Kari, and Grant’s departure. I hate to keep bringing that fact up, but it seems to be always on the fan’s mind. That might tell us something.

The new direction of MythBusters is gorgeous. It looks great, the production values have gone up, and the science gets featured much more in each episode. I can’t help but think that the budget to make those changes came from the build team’s salaries. Even so, each episode of this new season was consistently entertaining, even if it lacked a bit of the heart and levity that the old team brought to the show.

They may have taken a different path, but I’ll still follow the duo. MythBusters is still nothing less than the best science show currently on TV.


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IMAGES: Copyright Discovery Communications; Screenshots and video used for the purposes of education, considered fair use.

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  1. billteeth says:

    I agree with George. The drifting special was completely forgettable. I couldn’t shake the feeling that we are watching Adam and Jamie have fun, no matter how boring it was to the viewer. 

  2. Kevin says:

    I have to disagree with George. To me, this feels more like the “old school” Myth busters than the previous seasons. I love the change. 

  3. georgekaplin says:

    Something about this new season was just….off. Still fun to watch, but all the traits that made it fun for me were gone. I miss the build team, but more than that it lost its home-made feel. It felt over produced, over staged and the omnipresent music was TERRIBLE. 
    Adam was really great, but Jaime seemed to be reading lines all the time.
    It felt like a glossy TV show. Not hanging out with friends doing crazy experiments.