By now, we’ve already been immersed in the traction control technology that is now prevalent within the auto industry. In this episode of Mercedes USA’s AMG Driving Academy Performance Series, professional driver and AMG Driving Academy instructor, Nick Kunewalder, introduces us to ESP - Electronic Stability Program - technology and the three corresponding advanced traction control settings: On, Sport, and Off.

Each setting has a different effect on the handling of the car and Kunewalder. When the ESP is turned ’on’, the computer doesn’t allow the car to break a whole lot of traction; at a certain point in this set-up, the computer will instantaneously take over by refusing to let the car slide no matter what the driver does.

The ’Sport’ mode allows the driver to push the car a little harder with a much later computer assistance compared to when the ’ESP’ is turned on. There might be a little rotation, but once the computer recognizes it, it begins to add that stability program.

Lastly, when the ESP is completely disabled, the car is completely at the mercy of the driver with no electronic traction assistance whatsoever.

All three have their pros and cons unique to themselves. It’s just a matter of figuring out what set-up applies best to what situation.


Source: Mercedes USA

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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  (399) posted on 08.3.2011

I had watched this video before from a different article. By the way, I am amazed with how ESP works. This is pure science, but I think the move of the car must still be based on the driver.

  (248) posted on 08.3.2011

Agreed. The ’on’ and ’sport’ mode don’t have any appeal to me. It feels like driving a typical sports car. The third setting which is the s ’off’ mode that makes a smokey burn out is more fun and exciting. And I think this is where the line technique will apply.

  (242) posted on 08.3.2011

Wow! Electronic Stability Program makes the drifting more precise and hassle free. However, based on the three advanced traction control settings, I would choose the ’off’ mode. Well, what’s more fun than seeing a smokey tyres! And I think that’s makes the driving experience more exciting!

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