Mercedes-Benz CLC 200 Kompressor 2008 Review

September 24th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

mercedes-benz-clc-200-kompressor-fq

The road to Port Waikato is a special mix of long straights, smooth sweeping bends, and tight blind corners that are perfect to test what a car is really like. Especially a sporty coupe like the CLC 200. To get there you have to travel forty-five minutes south of Auckland.

A quick stop by the cheese shop at Mercer gave me the opportunity to try some cheese that had aged nicely. And that’s really what this Mercedes has done. It’s based on a platform that’s at least seven years old, but fortunately that platform was fairly sound to begin with. Add to it some updated electronic trickery, a new engine range, a revised interior (but not the latest C-Class one) and the latest C-Class styling with its harder edges and you get the entry point to the Mercedes-Benz rear-wheel drive experience.

I’m not going to try to decipher Mercedes’ extensive selection of brand monikers, but just when you thought they’d exhausted every combination of letters, what was the outgoing C-Class Sports Coupe has now become the CLC.  At a shade under sixty-grand with the Evolution kit as standard ($10,000 cheaper than the outgoing model) you can join 320,000 other owners worldwide who have plumped for the sporting pretensions in its previous guise as the Sports Coupe.

Our 200 Kompressor test car develops 135kW, up 15kW from the previous model, and consumes 8.4l/100km, down 0.6l. It sports a 1.8-litre supercharged engine (not a 2-litre as you’d expect from the model name), and will do the dash to a hundred in a respectable 8.6 seconds (though it feels slower because of a less than sprightly take-off while the supercharger gets going.)

Any modern sports car must feature a manual mode, and the CLC 200 does, with paddles on the steering wheel for the five-speed auto, or the ability to flick the gear lever left and right. There is a sport mode as well which changes down earlier and up later.

The biggest change in driving dynamics, though, comes with the new direct steer system. It is based on speed-sensitive powering steering, giving a variable rack ratio which changes with steering angle. The system minimises the requirements for huge steering inputs, and can make the car’s reaction time quicker in the case of taking evasive action.

The interior environment includes two-tone leather fully electric front seats, functional rear seats (often not the case in a coupe), and a smattering of alloy inserts on the dashboard.

Mercedes’ intuitive speed limiter/cruise control is included, but as always, the stalk is where the indicator should be, and the indicator stalk is too low.

Manoeuvring is made very easy with the Star Trek-esque proximity sensor Parktronic readouts on the dash and in front of the rear window, representing the front and rear of the car respectively.

Dual climate control is standard, as is a reasonably comprehensive trip computer and crisp 6-disc audio system.

Thrown in to the safety list are the usual ABS/EBD combination, traction control and ESP, and acres of airbags.

We’ve tested several cars in the C-Class range, including the excellent C220 CDI, which is undoubtedly a class above the CLC 200, but is also $13,000 more. But, there is a C200K, which at $69,900 ($10,000 more) could represent a step in the right direction as you’ll be getting all the best from the excellent C-Class range.

Don’t get me wrong — the CLC 200 is quite a good car. It has solid underpinnings and if all you are going to do is gentle driving around the city or on the highway, you won’t be disappointed with its road manners, comfort and interior appointments. Push it on the tight and twisty stuff, though, and you’ll wish you had a proper C-Class with its much more composed ride and involved drive.

Click through to the next page to read the full specifications of the Mercedes-Benz CLC 200K.

Price: from $59,900 (based); $64,100 as tested with panoramic sunroof

What we like

  • Much better quality interior than the previous model
  • Optional sunroof is worth it
  • Comfortable drive
  • Realistic price

What we don’t like

  • Rear visibility
  • Lethargic on take-off

Technical Data: Mercedes-Benz CLC 200 KOMPRESSOR

Engine

No. of cylinders/arrangement 4/in-line, 4 valves per cylinder
Displacement cc 1796
Bore x stroke mm 82.0 x 85.0
Rated output kW 135 at 5500 rpm
Rated torque Nm 250 at 2800-5000 rpm
Compression ratio 8.5 : 1
Mixture formation Microprocessor-controlled petrol injection with hot film air mass measurement (HFM), compressor supercharging

Power transfer

Transmission Five-speed automatic transmission
Ratios Final drive

1st gear

2nd gear

3rd gear

4th gear

5th gear

Reverse

3.07

3.95

2.42

1.49

1.00

0.83

3.15

Chassis

Front axle Three-link suspension, McPherson system with coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers, stabiliser, anti-dive
Rear axle Multi-link independent suspension, coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers, stabiliser, anti-squat and anti-dive
Braking system Hydraulic dual-circuit brakes with brake booster, stepped master brake cylinder, internally ventilated disc brakes at the front, solid at the rear, drum-type parking brake at the rear, ABS, Brake Assist, ESP®
Steering Rack-and-pinion power steering
Wheels 7.5 J x 17 (front), 8.5 J x 17 (rear)
Tyres 225/45 R 17 (front), 245/40 R 17 (rear)

Dimensions and weights

Wheelbase mm 2715
Track width, front/rear mm 1505/1476
Overall length mm 4452
Overall width mm 1728
Overall height mm 1405
Turning circle m 10.77
Boot capacity* l 310 — 1100
Kerb weight acc. to EC kg 1480
Payload kg 470
Perm. Gross vehicle weight kg 1950
Tank capacity/reserve l 62/8

Performance and fuel consumption

Acceleration 0-100 km/h s 8.6
Max. speed** km/h 210
Fuel consumption comb. (acc. to ADR 81/01) l/100 km 8.4
CO2 output g/km 195

*acc. to VDA measuring method

** electronically limited

Words and photos Darren Cottingham

echnical Data: Mercedes-Benz CLC 200 KOMPRESSOR

Engine

No. of cylinders/arrangement 4/in-line, 4 valves per cylinder
Displacement cc 1796
Bore x stroke mm 82.0 x 85.0
Rated output kW 135 at 5500 rpm
Rated torque Nm 250 at 2800-5000 rpm
Compression ratio 8.5 : 1
Mixture formation Microprocessor-controlled petrol injection with hot film air mass measurement (HFM), compressor supercharging

Power transfer

Transmission Five-speed automatic transmission
Ratios Final drive

1st gear

2nd gear

3rd gear

4th gear

5th gear

Reverse

3.07

3.95

2.42

1.49

1.00

0.83

3.15

Chassis

Front axle Three-link suspension, McPherson system with coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers, stabiliser, anti-dive
Rear axle Multi-link independent suspension, coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers, stabiliser, anti-squat and anti-dive
Braking system Hydraulic dual-circuit brakes with brake booster, stepped master brake cylinder, internally ventilated disc brakes at the front, solid at the rear, drum-type parking brake at the rear, ABS, Brake Assist, ESP®
Steering Rack-and-pinion power steering
Wheels 7.5 J x 17 (front), 8.5 J x 17 (rear)
Tyres 225/45 R 17 (front), 245/40 R 17 (rear)

Dimensions and weights

Wheelbase mm 2715
Track width, front/rear mm 1505/1476
Overall length mm 4452
Overall width mm 1728
Overall height mm 1405
Turning circle m 10.77
Boot capacity* l 310 — 1100
Kerb weight acc. to EC kg 1480
Payload kg 470
Perm. Gross vehicle weight kg 1950
Tank capacity/reserve l 62/8

Performance and fuel consumption

Acceleration 0-100 km/h s 8.6
Max. speed** km/h 210
Fuel consumption comb. (acc. to ADR 81/01) l/100 km 8.4
CO2 output g/km 195

*acc. to VDA measuring method

** electronically limited

Lorinser beefs up the Mercedes-Benz SL500

September 22nd, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

Mercedes-Benz SL500 Lorinser fq

SL originally stood for Sport Light. Cars have got heavier and heavier as manufacturers have improved both safety and the interior comfort. Lorinser, though, has attempted to take back the driving pleasure implied in the letters SL wth its SL500.

The front is shaped by a new spoiler bumper that is characterised by three giant openings with racing grill inserts as well as a blade shaped spoiler hung below in the middle. The integrated end-to-end lip flows seamlessly into the widely flared Lorinser fender. Its slanted, larger air inlets represent the aura of the original even more strongly than the already successful series version.

Additional distinctive elements of the side line are the new side skirts that are also characterised in the rear part by large air openings. In addition, its contours take in the swing of the doors and bring the SL optically nearer the ground in combination with Lorinser’s lowering.

Wide tyres and light-alloy RS 9 wheels provide a theme that is carried through to the rear of the car: while the Mercedes-Benz series model tends to appear rather simple here, the Lorinser spoiler bumper draws a great deal of power from its strong contours. The observer here not only immediately notices the diffuser inset with sporty grille, but also the sculpturally moulded semi-gondolas. They house the end tips of the exhaust system with their four openings.

Drivers that aren’t satisfied with potent series engines can soon look forward to an optimisation from Lorinser engineers.

Mercedes-Benz S 400 BlueHYBRID – petrol/electric luxury

September 18th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

Mercedes-Benz S400 BlueHYBRID fq

Mercedes-Benz is launching its first passenger car model equipped with a hybrid drive system in mid-2009 – the S 400 BlueHYBRID. With a modified 3.5-litre, 220kW (299hp) V6 petrol engine and a compact hybrid module producing an extra 15kW (20hp) it’ll be one of the world’s most economical luxury saloons with a spark-ignition engine. The NEDC combined fuel consumption is 7.9 litres per 100 kilometres, which beats the V8-powered Lexus LS600hL’s 9.3l/100km. It also makes for the world’s lowest CO2 emissions in this vehicle and performance class – just 190 grams per kilometre. These exemplary figures go hand in hand with assured performance. The new S 400 BlueHYBRID is the first series-production model to be equipped with a particularly efficient lithium-ion battery specially developed for automotive use.

It is based on the S 350, and features an extensively modified drive train. This encompasses a further development of the 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine, an additional magneto-electric motor, the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission specially configured for the hybrid module, the necessary operating and control electronics, the transformer and a high-voltage lithium-ion battery.

The compact hybrid module is a disc-shaped electric motor that also acts as a starter and generator. The system offers a double benefit, as it both helps to save fuel and increases driving enjoyment. This is partly due to the booster effect of the electric motor, as it powerfully backs up the petrol engine with a maximum additional torque of 160 newton metres during the high-consumption acceleration phase, giving a total of 385Nm of available torque.

The hybrid module also has a comfortable start/stop function, which switches the engine off when the vehicle is at a standstill – for example at traffic lights. When it’s time to move off again, the electric motor almost imperceptibly restarts the main power unit. This likewise makes a contribution to fuel economy and environmental protection: because the engine restarts first time, and practically instantly, emissions are also minimised during the starting phase.

When the vehicle is braked the electric motor acts as a generator, and is able to recover braking energy by a process known as recuperation. The electric motor supplements the braking effect of the petrol engine and the wheel brakes to deliver a smoothly progressive braking action. The recuperated energy is stored in a compact yet highly efficient lithium-ion battery in the engine compartment, and made available when required. This complex system is managed by a high-performance control unit, which is likewise located in the engine compartment.

Major advantages of the lithium ion battery over conventional nickel/metal hydride batteries include a higher energy density and better electrical efficiency, together with more compact dimensions and a lower weight.

The S 400 BlueHYBRID accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 7.2 seconds, and reaches an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h. The S 400 BlueHYBRID betters the NEDC fuel consumption of the conventionally powered S 350 by up to 2.2 litres per 100 kilometres. CO2 emissions are reduced by 21 percent.

Mercedes-Benz ConceptFASCINATION reinterprets shooting-brake

September 12th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

Mercedes-Benz ConceptFASCINATION fq

Mercedes-Benz has released pictures and details of its ConceptFASCINATION design study. With unconventional proportions it manages to pull off sporty, elegant and practical at the same time. It features wood, aluminium and smoked glass in the luggage compartment, which incorporates a refrigerated compartment and a humidor as well as offering a large load space.

Mercedes’ two objectives of ConceptFASCINATION were to provide a high level of practical usability and to create a coupe which appeals to the heart with fast, thrilling lines. In developing this design study, Mercedes-Benz has given fresh impetus to the long-established (although now rarely seen) “shooting brake”, a vehicle category with its own distinctive charisma.

The design study’s elongated body is dominated by the dynamic front-to-rear sweep of its lines which gives it a dynamically charged look, evoking movement even when the vehicle is stationary. This impression is emphasised by the long, frameless, side-window line which creates a continuous arc from front to rear, uninterrupted by a B-pillar.

Rhomboid headlamps which are set against a grey background reveal technical details of the light units which feature the latest LED technology as well as C-shaped fibre-optic inserts which serve as discreet running lights.

The bonnet of the design study has pronounced contours with a central ridge which picks up the V-shape of the front end and continues it along the vehicle body. A single-louvre radiator grille with the central Mercedes star makes a very dominant brand statement.

To give more light and a feeling of space, there’s a large panoramic glass roof.

The interior is inspired by the world of equestrianism. Recalling the look and feel of a saddle, thick, dark leather covers the aluminium centre console which, like a bridge extending from the front to the rear, spans the space between the four individual seats and translates the taut lines of the exterior to the interior of the vehicle with minimalist elements. This leather also covers the upper section of the dashboard while its supple, flowing character means that it also lends itself to enhancing the look and feel of the door armrests.

Contrast is provided by light, fine nubuck leather which is used for the other surfaces and the four individual seats as well as by the deep-pile carpet with heavy fibres. The seat centre panels are covered in strong, high-quality fabric. Trim strips in American walnut with a fine chrome surround complete the portfolio of materials.

It is powered by the new four-cylinder diesel engine which features BlueTEC and AdBlue technology and develops 204 hp from a displacement of 2.2 litres.

Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG 2008 Review

August 5th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

mercedes-benz-c63-amg-f

As a child I was fascinated by dinosaurs. I had plastic models and lots of books. It’s amazing that after 25 years I can still vividly remember specific pictures — the Allosaurus standing over a half-eaten sauropod carcass, and the Ankylosaurus defending itself against a marauding pack of theropods.

What reminded me of this was the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG’s muscular and predatory stance. The bonnet’s two power bulges are like ossicones on the skull of a prehistoric carnivore. It’s a refined, intelligent and lithe meat-eater that will make short work of the lumbering herbivores that cake our roads. In fact, this Merc is so rapid that you could drive through a whole geological era in about 25 minutes.

The pumped-up bodywork differentiates the C63 AMG from lesser models. Starting at the rear, it’s not the prettiest, but it does have quad AMG sports exhausts that sit astride a three-finned diffuser-style rear apron. Move a little around to the side and you begin to get a peek at the flared front wheel arches that terminate the bold, forward-sloping waistline crease. These wheel arches form a neat circumference for the 18-inch AMG wheels, low profile tyres and gigantic 360x36mm cross-drilled brake discs at the front (rears are 330x26mm). Six pistons grip the discs at the front, and four at the rear.

There may be a smattering of 6.3 badges around the car (the front fenders, boot lid, and on the rev counter), but this car’s heart is a 6.2-litre AMG-built 336kW powerhouse featuring a build plate by the engineer that assembled it, and a staggering 600Nm of torque — enough to strap the continents together and reform Pangaea.

As you would expect on a car of this calibre, everything is adjustable electronically, including the steering wheel’s position both telescopically, and up and down. The seats have at least several hundred thousand ways of adjusting them, including two lumbar supports and adjustable lateral support. And you can have the C63 AMG remember up to three seating positions. These AMG buckets held my latissimus dorsii firmly, making me feel more involved and integrated.

Time to press the big silver start button and see what apocalyptic fury erupts from under the power bulges. Roaring into life the AMG mill immediately reminds you why its 6.2 litres of V8 strikes fear into the crankcases of lesser engines. Select your desired gearbox mode from Comfort, Sport or Manual (whereby you’d use the paddles or gear lever to change the seven-speed gearbox), and give chase.

It’s like being hit from behind by a charging Stegosaur, the roar builds until the gearbox almost seamlessly changes up. You’re at the legal speed limit in 4.5 seconds, but you just want to carry on going and test how far around the 320kph speedometer that needle will go.

Brake heavily and the C63 downshifts while electronically blipping the throttle to match the revs — it sounds great, and it works. Turn into the corner and it bites hard. The C63 changes direction like a hungry Velociraptor who has set his sights on a nimble morsel that’s hell-bent on escaping.

The steering is a bit sharper than other Mercedes’. I think it could have been even sharper, but it is a good compromise that allows relaxed cruising, or confidence when pressing-on.

If I was to build a C64 AMG, the changes would be minor. Wider wheels at the back would prevent the traction control light from blinking while you’re in third. There would be a glove box that would fit more than just a glove. And, the transmission tunnel wouldn’t get unbearably hot while you have the heater activated.

So, if I had the spare cash, I think I would seriously consider buying one. This is the Mercedes that’s aimed at the younger affluent buyer. You can see the intent in the bulging wheel arches and carefully positioned vents, and it’s all backed up by the performance; the driving feel is engaging, and the interior comfort is exceptional; and the Logic7 surround sound system will challenge the interior plastics of cars parked next to you at the lights.

Externally it’s the perfect C-segment size; internally the driving position is great, but there’s a dearth of interior storage (perhaps the wealthy don’t carry ‘stuff’ around with them).

But that’s a minor quibble. Spotting a C63 AMG will be like hunting for fossils in Utah — you know they’re out there, but it’s not like they’re everywhere, and when you do find one, you might just get that rush of adrenaline. Of course, owning one is like being the T. Rex, hunting the plains and asserting your dominance in the food chain.

Click through to the next page to view the specifications of the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG.

Price: from $154,000 (as tested with optional intelligent lights pack $154,900)

What we like

  • Everything about it reminds you of why its 6.2-litre V8 is so phenomenal  (and sounds better than the 4-litre V8 in BMW’s M3)
  • Sensible proportions
  • I would buy one
  • Comand APS sat nav/Bluetooth phone system

What we don’t like

  • Transmission tunnel gets very hot when the heater is on — you can’t rest your leg against it. Mercedes is currently investigating.
  • The wealthy obviously don’t need much interior storage
  • I know I whine on about this (C220 and C320 CDI are the same), but I don’t like the dashboard plastic

Active bi-xenon headlamps

Airbags for the driver and front passenger

Aluminium trim panels on dome, doors and centre console

Anti-theft alarm system with IR interior motion sensor

Acceleration skid control (ASR)

Armrest with roller-top compartment

Electrically adjustable and heated exterior mirrors

Electric tilting/sliding glass sunroof

Outside temperature display

Brake Assist

ADAPTIVE BRAKE system with hill-start assist

Through-loading facility and armrest with double cup holder, load securing and 1/3:2/3  split-fold rear seat backrest

3-stage ESP®

Intelligent Light System with Hadlamp Assist

Power windows (4)

Belt tensioners and belt force limiters for the front and outer rear seats

Air-conditioned glove compartment

Black roof liner

Steering column electronically adjustable for height and reach

Lighting package

Front fog lamps

Tyre pressure loss warning system

ELCODE locking system with infrared/radio remote control

Sidebags for driver and front passenger

Bag hooks in the boot/luggage compartment

Cruise control with SPEEDTRONIC variable speed limiter

Front seats electrically adjustable for height and backrest angle with memory function

Leather selector lever

Tinted glass

Windowbags

Central locking with crash sensor

Sidebags in rear

Harman Kardon LOGIC7® surround-sound system

THERMOTRONIC comfortable automatic climate control system with three-zone air conditioning

Bluetooth connectivity

COMAND navigation, including 6-disc DVD changer and LINGUATRONIC

PRE-SAFE

KEYLESS-GO

Engine

No. of cylinders/arrangement     V8

Valves per cylinder     4

Displacement (cc)     6208

Performance

Rated output (kW/hp at rpm)[1]     336/6800

Rated torque (Nm at rpm)[1]     600/5000

Top speed (km/h)     250[2]

Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s)     4.5

CO2/Fuel

Fuel tank capacity (l)     66

Fuel consumption (combined cycle)[3]     13.4

CO2 emissions combined (g/km)[3]     319

Dimensions & Weights

Turning circle     11.75

Kerb weight (kg)     1730

Tyre size, front     235/40 R 18

Tyre size, back     255/35 R 18

Words Darren Cottingham, photos Darren Cottingham and Jessica Mills


Revised Mercedes-Benz A-Class boasts environmental credentials

July 21st, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

mercedes-benz-a-class-2009-fq

From March 2009 an ECO start-stop function will be available on the A 150 and A 170 with manual transmission and the three-door A 160 CDI will benefit from an optional BlueEFFICIENCY package which improves fuel consumption of the Coupe by more than 11 per cent, to 4.4 L/100km. Independent experts have awarded the A-Class with the internationally valid environmental certificate already held by the C-Class and S-Class.

The design has been revised and new technical developments have further enhanced levels of safety with crash responsive lighting and adaptive brake lights.  The car is even more comfortable as a result of new interior materials, with improved adjustment and support in the seats.  All models have new infotainment systems with Bluetooth connectivity, and the engines are now more fuel efficient as a result of three new BlueEFFICIENCY models.

The ECO start-stop function lowers fuel consumption and exhaust emissions by automatically switching off the engine during idling phases.  ECO start-stop will be available from spring 2009 for the A 150 and A 170 when twinned with the five-speed manual transmission and will both be badged BlueEFFICIENCY.  When travelling at low speed, the driver only needs to shift the manual transmission to neutral and apply the brakes. The engine is then switched off, and the ECO display appears in the instrument cluster.

The recycling concept of a vehicle is also considered.  95% of the A-Class can be recycled so already meets the EU regulation coming into force from 2015 and renewable raw materials are used during production including the use of flax, olive stones, cotton, coconut fibre, wood veneers and abaca fibres.

Drivers of the A-Class can now opt for active park assist.  This system which operates up to 25 mph scans the road to identify suitable parking spaces for the car. Once a suitable space is found the driver has the option to park.  By engaging reverse they accept the identified space and then just need to accelerate and brake.  Active park assist takes over the steering and automatically manoeuvres the car into the parking space. The parking space only needs to be 1.30 metres longer than the A-Class, there is currently no other car able to park automatically in such a small space.

The car also has Hill Start Assist, which prevents it from rolling backwards when the driver moves from the brake pedal to the accelerator when moving off on an uphill gradient.

Smart start/stop technology to be introduced

July 15th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

The Smart fortwo range will have start/stop technology form October in Europe, and is expected to follow in other areas soon afterward.

The already efficient Smart is said to show an 8% improvement in fuel economy when fitted with start/stop technology.

This new technology stops the engine when the vehicle is stationary and re-starts when the driver presses the accelerator. Whether we will see this new system or the forth coming Smart diesel in New Zealand reamains to be seen.

Mercedes-Benz unleashes the ultimate SL

July 14th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

benz-sl65-amg-black-f

Mercedes-Benz is launching an exclusive new model designed to perform equally well on public roads and on the race track. Based on a highly modified and lightened version of the company’s revered SL roadster, the new SL65 AMG Black Series coupe features a carbon-fiber fixed roof, front fenders, hood, trunk lid and front and rear aprons. With all these super-strong, lightweight parts, plus the absence of retractable roof hardware, the car is more than 550 pounds lighter than the standard SL.

The already formidable 6.0-liter AMG V12 engine has been modified to produce more than 650 horsepower and a staggering 738 pound-feet of torque. Its twin turbochargers are 12 percent larger, passages for intake air and the turbo wastegates have been modified, and the intake air intercooler is 30 percent more efficient. The result is zero-to-60 mph acceleration of only 3.8 seconds, and an electronically limited top speed of 198 mph.

Integrated within the trunk lid, a rear spoiler automatically raises nearly five inches whenever the car reaches about 74 mph, creating downforce on the tail of the car at high speeds. From the rear, the most eye-catching feature is its new carbon-fiber apron with air diffuser ribs. Hidden within it is an active cooling system for the final drive and 40-percent locking differential.

AMG has developed a fully adjustable sport suspension for the new SL65 AMG Black Series. Adjustable coil-spring struts provide a proven motorsports solution that allows fine tuning of shock absorber jounce and rebound, ride height and wheel alignment.Spring links camber struts, push-pull rods and wheel carriers have been specially developed for this vehicle. Track width is nearly four inches wider on the new Black Series car. A three-stage ESP feature provides outstanding driving dynamics. With ESP on, the system senses understeer or oversteer and applies the brakes on one wheel to counteract the slide. In the “ESP Sport” mode, the driver can purposely slide the car to its limit of control before the system reacts, while in “ESP off,” the system is fully turned off.