The Electronic Stabilisation Program (ESP) helps make the vehicle easier to control in handling situations close to the limit. It reduces the danger of swerving and thus improves directional stability. ESP identifies the car's intended direction and response. It applies the brakes on individual wheels, thereby generating one-sided forces that help to keep the car moving in the desired direction. The program uses the Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), the Electronic Differential Lock (EDL) and the Traction control (ASR) system, and is permanently active.
The latest version, ESP 8.0 also offers a dry brake function. In adverse weather conditions, the system wipes water off the brake discs at regular intervals by applying the brake pads. This process goes unnoticed by the driver and reduces the stopping distance in wet weather compared with conventional brake systems.
ESP cannot override a car's physical limits. If a driver pushes the possibilities of the car's chassis and ESP too far, ESP cannot prevent an accident.