Sport Mode – you may have heard your colleagues who own cars mention this from time to time.
Does switching it on turn normal saloons into sports cars?
What Sport Mode does
In most cars, activating this drive mode causes the gearbox to hold onto each forward ratio a little longer (compared to the default programme) before changing up to the next gear.
This lets the engine rev higher and produce more power.
When the engine revolutions climb, the car feels more “powerful” and the motor sounds louder, too.
Therefore, the car feels somewhat “sportier”. But your engine’s power output remains similar.
Can Sport Mode do other things?
Yes. In certain sports cars, selecting this setting can also make the steering feel weightier.
If the car is equipped with adaptive dampers, the engine’s ECU (electronic control unit) will stiffen them for enhanced body control.
On vehicles with air suspension, the ride height may even be lowered to lower the car’s centre of gravity, thereby improving handling.
So, should I use it?
If you keep using this mode and driving aggressively, you’ll use more petrol.
You might wear out your tyres sooner, too.
For most drivers, this mode is used when you need to overtake.
If you’re an enthusiast, you’ll probably engage it when tackling a series of corners.
Will I damage my automatic gearbox when I skip gears using paddle-shifters?