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.
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.
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.