Mercedes-Benz C-Class: Slide in style with this RWD drift machine
Records are meant to be broken is how the age-old adage goes, and petrolheads have clearly taken a liking to it. Not too long ago, evo India set a record for India’s longest drift, and it’s only a few months down the line that the record has been bettered by this one of a kind drift-spec Mercedes-Benz C-Class. This build has just set a record for going sideways for a record time of 19 minutes and 20 seconds, and here’s what makes it tick.
Mudit Grover is the man responsible for this tricked-out W203 C-Class, and the reason behind the build was simple. He is already building two more drift cars ― an E36 and an E46 BMW M3, and the RWD C-Class would be the machine on which he would be honing his craft of drifting while his other drift builds are being worked on. Mudit bought this particular car sight-unseen, and when he did acquire it, it required a new clutch ― but other than that, the W203 was the perfect base to start off his drifting fantasies. But first he had to deal with the issue of weight.
To get the C-Class to go sideways easily, Mudit had to lower the amount of weight that the engine was lugging around, and that was achieved by stripping the cabin and getting rid of all the doors and even the boot lid, with the panels being replaced by fibre alternatives. There was a lot that had to be done on the mechanical front as well, and the first of those tasks was welding the rear differential to ensure that both the rear wheels spun at the same speed when going sideways. This aided in maintaining controlled slides. Mudit also ported the supercharger and got a new pulley for the supercharger made for the C-Class’ 2-litre ‘Kompressor’ petrol engine to make more boost.
The exhaust was also changed to allow the engine to breathe better, along with a custom tune from GT Tunerz in Delhi. Mudit mentioned that when he first got the car, it made only enough power to do donuts in first gear, but with the power now bumped up to approximately 180bhp (this car hasn’t been dyno’d yet), it has more than enough power to bonfire the rear tyres off in slides. Interestingly, all this power is put down to the rear wheels via the stock 6-speed manual transmission with a stock clutch pedal, and Mudit says that these components are more than capable of taking this level of abuse.
To make the C-Class more suitable to drifting, the suspension setup was swapped to coilovers, the bushes were replaced by units made from polyurethane, and the suspension gets adjustability for the toe angle at the rear as well. There’s also a hydraulic handbrake now added to initiate the massive drifts we talk about. As for the braking setup itself, Mudit has gone for a fresh set of OE brake pads and stock discs as they are more than capable for his needs. The important bit for drifting however are the tyres, and Mudit keeps experimenting between tyre sizes according to the grip conditions. At the front, this C-Class runs 195/55 R16s while at the rear it gets 205/55 rubber, though the size of the rear tyres can vary.
What makes this C-Class so cool however is watching it with opposite lock dialled in, going sideways with the rear tyres set alight. A four-door, oval-eyed, Mercedes-Benz sedan is the last thing you might honestly expect to see going drifting, but this W203 clearly proves you wrong as it drifts with ludicrous ease. At the recent Launch Control event in Delhi, Mudit was testing out the drift setup on his C-Class and it was during this time that he realised how well the car was performing. Unlike a modern AMG, there’s no drift mode or electronics to help you slide better ― it’s all down to the skilled hands behind the ’wheel, and this C-Class lends itself to the art of sending it beautifully. It was this ease of driving it on the limit that prompted Mudit to just keep on going during his drift run, keeping an eye out for the cones, and it was only when he finished his first run that he realised that he had been drifting for more than 11 minutes, setting a new national drift record.
However, Mudit admits that the first run was done on a lark. The tyres themselves barely had any tread on them during the first run, and deciding to take things up a notch, Mudit swapped the tyres for the best set that he had at the time. Once again, the rear tyres of the C-Class were being smoked away to glory as Mudit continued to slide the car with elan, with the pictures even showing sparks from the rear wheels as they were clearly subjected to this hardcore abuse. All those efforts did ultimately pay off however, as when the car finally straightened out, Mudit had set a new national record of India’s longest drift, for a duration of 19 minutes and 20 seconds, validated by the India Book of Records, leaving him elated no doubt.
Mudit tells me that in other countries, drifting is considered as one of the easiest forms of motorsport, and it is a discipline in itself, one that he certainly aims to promote in our country by means of project cars like these and showcasing their true abilities. Which makes this great news, with not only many more potential drift records on the cards in the near future for us to watch out for, but also some offbeat yet insanely cool drift cars such as this W203 showing us the art of sliding in style!