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The design and implementation of adaptive controllers for a sensorless synchronous reluctance drive system with direct torque control is proposed. Two adaptive control algorithms, which include adaptive backstepping control and model-reference adaptive control, are proposed to improve the performance of a sensorless direct torque control synchronous reluctance motor drive system. A digital signal processor, TMS320-C30, is used to execute the rotor position estimating technique and the adaptive control algorithms. The system shows good transient responses, good load disturbance responses and good tracking responses. Several experimental results validate the theoretical analysis. The advanced controller design for a sensorless synchronous reluctance motor drive with direct torque control is proposed.