Canyon roads have immense and strange effects on different types of petrol heads. For some it’s all about the apex, pursuing the perfect corner, connecting each turn into a flow of smooth and beautiful curves from bottom to top. For others it’s a leisure cruise, enjoying the back and forth switches from left to right, taking in the sights and sounds of the cruise, simply following the road and not attacking it. For Chris Forsberg it’s something entirely different, although he envisions linking each turn together like any canyon carver, he does it the only way he knows how, which just happens to be sideways.
After all Chris Forsberg is no ordinary man, he happens to be a 3-time Formula Drift champion. Beating the likes of Tanner Foust, Vaughn Gittin Jr., and Fredric Aasbø is no easy task, putting a stamp on his place in the rankings and displaying his immense car control. What better way to show off than to rip up a canyon in a one shot, one take display of tire roasting glory. While we know Chris is a stud behind the wheel, it makes it even more exciting when you learn that his weapon of choice is a Nissan 370Z.
While I am a huge fan of the famous 350Z, the 370Z Never really did much for me. Sure it’s a great car, and it’s faster in every way than the previous 350, it just never had the ‘it’ factor. But Chris has a 370Z that even I can get behind, thanks to a little transplant work. Where a 3.7-liter V6 once sat, now houses a VK56 V8, the same 5.6-liter V8 out of the Nissan Titan pickup truck. Forsberg’s team built the new V8 with individual throttle bodies, giving it significantly better throttle response while laying down a whopping 800HP. It also has a unique nitrous setup that helps boost the total horsepower to well over 1000BHP, just what every drift car dreams of. All those ponies are delivered through a sequential 6-speed Quaife 60G transmission, fairly unique transmission choice for a drift car. Each of these modifications makes for much better control while slinging this tire shredder around. Speaking of tire destruction, the 370Z is sitting on some battle-scarred SSR wheels, wrapped in 245’s up front and 285’s in the back. That’s a fair amount of rubber, yet the V8 shows little sign of caring while it annihilates them into the pavement at over 130mph wheel speeds. While the engine and transmission are making it clear they have no intention of being subtle, the suspension is all about finesse. With a set of DG coilovers and a ton of custom fabrication, the Z now sports a 50-degree steering angle, the kind needed when you are pitched sideways at 50 mph.
California is gifted with beautiful canyon roads, ones that promote gatherings of people in all shapes and sizes including car enthusiast, bikers, and even cyclists. But the Onion Valley road in Cali is a particularly memorable trek, known for its peaceful atmosphere and gorgeous views. At least that’s what it’s like when Chris Forsberg isn’t in town. Watch below as Chris turns this scenic route into a smoke-fest, capturing one of the greatest one shot drift videos you will ever see.