02-04-2000, 10:28 AM
My A6 4.2, which is currently on a boat somewhere in the North Atlantic, will have ESP. I believe that ESP has been standard on A8s. If so, has anyone had interesting experiences with it? All I recall is an enthusiastic report from a Norwegian 2.7T owner.
Kirk Kiloh, who is president of the Kansas City chapter of the Quattro Club. He had an opportunity to drive Audis with ESP at the Seefeld, Austria driving school in January. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, and perhaps he would give you permission to post his reply on this site so everyone can share in his first-hand knowledge.
Gary @ Ronal
02-04-2000, 02:58 PM
I posted a simplified explanation of the ESP program, having recently driven the A4Q 2.8l Manual at the A4 Forum at this site.
If you'd like a more detailed description, you can call me if you'd like.
Or email me then I can answer individually.
02-06-2000, 12:24 PM
I wrote to Kirk as you suggested. He replied with this:
"By the way, feel free to post it if you want to. At the Audi Ice Driving
School, we got to drive 2000 Euro A4 2.8 Quattros with ESP and ABS (of
course). We drove on what was basically a groomed, flooded and frozen meadow
at about 1,500 meters above sea level. We did a variety of exercises with
and without the ESP. Audi had installed special switches with which the Audi
Techs (on site at all times) were able to enable and disable the system,
depending on the dynamics of the exercise.
The exercises we did without the ESP required that the cars be induced into
full slides, which, of course, they were teaching us to become familiar with.
We learned how to maintain some of these slides using car control techniques
and we learned how to recover from some in the same way.
By the way, in addition to the aforementioned switches, there was a dashboard
on/off button for the ESP. However, with that switch, the ESP automatically
returned to the "On" selection, every time the car was started and everytime
a preset amount of continuous ABS braking was induced. The special switches
simply caused the enable function to be uninterrupted.
At the end of the two day school, we were treated to a crudely timed "race"
amongst the thirty or so Quattro Club Students, during which it was our
option to have the ESP enabled or disabled. I chose to disable the system,
and finished in second place by 5 hundredths. I found that they had setup a
corner or two that were most quickly negotiated by rotating the car in a
quick slide, instead of being "driven around". I think I was right, as first
place had the ESP disabled, too.
What I found was that the ESP was an "oversteer initiator". That is to say,
it manipulated the engine management system, the ABS braking at any one
corner and the differential distribution to induce the most confidence
inspiring and "easiest to deal with" state of oversteer. It was pretty
amazing, too! You simply could not get the cars to rotate with ESP engaged.
Well, we couldn't at the speeds we were permitted to carry into the different
exercises. Perhaps it would be a different story all together at, say, 160
kph!!??! It is a car slowing, control expanding system, and from what we got
to do with it, it really seems to work well. It sounds pretty funky, when
the engine starts cutting out, and the brakes start doing that ABS
thing...independently! But it does work!
In summary, I suppose the system isn't bad to have on board, but I've been
driving for 30 years without it. I don't know how expensive an option it is
on your A6, or on any Audi, but I can imagine it's not cheap. Also, it is
all programmed with some kind of factory parameters, which I'm sure someone
will manage to exceed. What happens then? And there's the question of
reliability. Of course, it's a Quattro, so reliability usually is a strong
02-09-2000, 06:39 AM
No, this is actually one of the many US A8 myths. ESP, homelink, heated steering wheel, and the phone kit are some of the things that are discussed in the owners manual and sales literature but aren't actually there. If you want to actually get these features along with the directions on how to use them you need to buy one of the other German Models (or possibly an A6 for less money). From the recent press on the TT it looks like Audi has taken heat over the ESP, which is possibly why you will be getting it on your A6.