A Volvospeed Public Service Announcement
To: All Volvospeed Members and Visitors
Subject: Do Not Try Handbrake Drifting in Your AWD Volvo
In an All-Wheel Drive (AWD) Volvo, power is sent to the rear wheels whenever one of your wheels loses traction, detected by a difference in rotational speed among the four wheels. This is basically true for both viscous coupling and HALDEX-equipped vehicles. Because of this, trying to throw the handbrake (also known as a parking brake or emergency brake) can damage the powertrain if you have a Viscous Coupling system.* Don't let this happen to you. Don't try to drift by using your handbrake. In fact, you probably shouldn't do it even if you don't have AWD. Because I'm pretty sure it's illegal. Like... about 60% sure. And it may damage your handbrake even if you don't have AWD or aren't stepping on the accelerator.
This has been a public service announcement from VS Legend.
On Haldex** vehicles with a manual transmission, depressing the clutch while the handbrake is applied could eliminate the risk of powertrain damage.
But the handbrake on a Volvo is still not designed to be used in this way; damage to the braking system is still possible.
Volvospeed is not responsible for you being an ass and using the handbrake for any purpose other than parking, nor am I.
* Haldex systems are allegedly supposed to be disengaged when the handbrake is engaged.
** Per the discussion below, this probably will not help with viscous coupling-based systems.