Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Chassis Layouts

There are many chassis' now available on the market and a lot of these come with some abbreviations regarding layout that you may or may not be familiar with. Without getting too technical, here are some of the most popular or favoured layouts with regards to motor location.

(Image source: Drift Mission)


MS chassis

MS or Mid-Ship was the first type of chassis to roll out. Early drift cars were based off touring cars and then modified. Manufactures took these modifications and started developing drift chassis
A mid-ship chassis will have it's motor located between the front and rear axles. Anywhere in between whether it's closer to the front or the rear. You can read about the popular MST MS-01D here.

FM chassis

(Image source: Eagle Racing)

These quickly followed the MS chassis as the hobby started picking up. These would have the motor located in front of the front axle. Deemed to be popular at the time, these chassis' were very front end heavy and couldn't mimic all the drifting aspects of real drift cars but we're still very competitive.

Read about my R31-16FM here.

RM chassis

(Image source: Drift Mission)

A chassis with the motor mounted at the rear is referred to as an RM chassis. As per current trend, these are highly favoured due to the weight balance. With the motor behind the rear axle, traction at the rear could be easily achieved as the chassis would be rear weight biased. 


Some manufacturer's will refer to their chassis' as RM or FM even if the motor is located between the two axles. The reason for this is the emphasis on the position of the motor.

We have also seen creative ways in which the motor is mounted. Whether it's inline or transverse and the vertical positioning if the motor itself. With the rise in weight shift style chassis' and drift style, motors have been positioned higher up to add to the shifting of the weight to better mimic real drift cars.


I have had some experience with RM chassis' but have found them to be too rear end heavy for my drifting style. I'm not saying that the design is flawed and I'm not saying that my style is flawless, I just didn't get on with it too well. The chassis' that I run are mainly FM or at least MS closer to the front.

It's good to experience other layouts and designs but at the end of the day, if you can't work with it, don't force yourself too.

And as always, keep drifting fun!