Drivers will be able to fully disable the ESP in the Golf R and GTI models, plus all Sciroccos

Volkswagen has equipped its most potent Golf GTI and R models and its entire Scirocco range with a new ESP system that allows the driver to fully disable electronic aids.

VW has responded to criticism from media and customers that said the models were not adjustable or sporting enough, were too sensible compared with rivals and did not allow the driver full control of the vehicle.

Read Autocar's VW Golf R first drive

All 2012 model year Sciroccos and Golf GTIs and Rs built from May will be fitted with the new system and will reach showrooms from July. The new ESP set-up is a two-stage system that controls traction control and braking. Pressing the ESP off button once will disable the traction control, while holding it in for more than three seconds will fully disable both traction control and electronic braking systems.

The system will only cut back in should the driver press the brake pedal in the middle of an ‘emergency’, be it if control of the vehicle is lost by the driver or if they want the car to straighten up by itself. If the brake pedal is not depressed by the driver the ESP system will remain inactive.

Read Autocar's VW Scirocco R first drive

The new ESP system is a standard fit to all Scirocco models, plus the Golf GTI and R, and is available for no extra cost over the standard car. There are no plans to fit to the Polo GTI at this stage however.

Mark Tisshaw

See all the latest VW reviews, news and video

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron UK review
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    First UK drive finds the facelifted A3 Sportback e-tron remains a first-rate plug-in hybrid that is packed with tech if a little short on driver appeal
  • Citroen C11.2 Puretech 82 Furio
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    Citroën's city car gets a new sporty-looking trim level, adding visual adornments, but no premium for the 1.2-litre Puretech triple we're driving
  • Mercedes C350e Sport
    First Drive
    28 September 2016
    Petrol-electric C-Class is a surprisingly well-priced alternative to a diesel but not the greatest example of the new ‘PHEV’ breed
  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka