Hyundai Made a Drift Bus

Mihir Maddireddy
Photo credit: Hyundai Australia via YouTube

From Popular Mechanics

  • Hyundai in Germany posted a joke image of an iMax people mover decked out as an M high-performance vehicle.
  • Hyundai Australia took up the challenge and built the thing as a drift bus.
  • Now the iMax N is actually competing in a drift challenge in Sydney, Australia, under the #DriftBus moniker.

Two words that never go together—but should—are "drift" and "bus." When was the last time a soccer mom or dad did a sick burnout in a school parking lot after picking up their kids in the family minivan? Hardly ever. Hyundai Australia has remedied that with a true drift car made out of the iMax van, and it's competing at the World Time Attack Challenge in Australia this weekend.

The Australian skunkworks project started after Hyundai Germany, purely as a prank, posted a doctored picture of a Hyundai iMax people mover looking like it had been given the Hyundai N sporting treatment. Hyundai Australia and went to work after the results of a poll confirmed what should have been evident all along—people want a fast and fun minivan.

Thus, the real iMax N was born. In place of the standard mill, it was given a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 that chucks out 402 horsepower and 409 lb-ft of torque. All of that power is bestowed on the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. The drift bus also got a new differential, electronically controlled suspension damping, 19-inch wheels wrapped in some serious rubber, and a cacophonous dual-mode exhaust.

The Aussies didn't leave the interior alone, either, with sport seats for the driver and front passenger, an N-series steering wheel, and leather- and suede-trimmed seats for those in the back. They should've put barf bags back there to save the seats in the all too likely event of a sick passenger, but sacrifices had to be made. It should be noted that a perfect 50/50 weight balance is only achieved with all eight seats occupied, so bring friends.

Photo credit: Hyundai Australia

Unfortunately, the iMax N Drift Bus won't see production, and the iMax doesn’t make to our shores, so it's not like we can make our own drift bus. If you’ve ever wanted to see a fully loaded van lap a racetrack and go sideways, this video could be your chance. Don't be sad that it'll never see production, just be happy that it happened. Or go back to wishing for a Hellcat-powered Pacifica.

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