What Happens When You Push the Sport Button?

Your car gets sportier. Duh. Here's how it gets sportier.

speeding car
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So many choices—eco, normal, sport. So what exactly changes as you move over into "S" territory? That one button signals a series of adjustments throughout your car from the gas pedal all the way to the tires. Here's what's happening under the hood and what you'll feel on the road.

Your Car Responds More Quickly When You Hit The Gas

An electronic throttle in lieu of the cable linkages of the past means that throttle responses can be altered on the fly: a slower-acting throttle in Eco mode, or a sharper throttle in Sport—quicker to snap to attention when you step on the gas.

Your Engine Revs Higher

Working alongside the throttle is the transmission. In an automatic car, the transmission will adjust its pre-programmed shift points and hold gears for longer, allowing you to rev straight to the redline—and with paddle-shifted cars, it might not even shift for you at all. In a manual-equipped car, you always had the ability to do that yourself.

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Your Steering Feels Tighter

Here's where more high-end cars include more features to enhance the Sport mode experience. Press the button and the steering feel will change: add more resistance for that, weighty, sporty feeling, or add more assist for lightness around parking lots. Most cars have electrically-assisted steering systems, replacing the hydraulic units that are heavier, yet more responsive.

Your Handling Gets Sharper

Similarly, electronically-controlled dampers can firm up, in order to offer sharper handling, less body roll, and in turn, a stiffer ride. Electronic damping has been around since the 1990s, increasing pressure in the shock fluid to firm up your ride or relax it. While this has been previously available on exotic sports cars, the cheaper the technology gets, the more likely your next car will have electronically-controlled dampers.

Courtesy of Genesis

Your Traction Control Changes

Some Sport experiences will revise the point at which traction control will kick in, allowing you to have more fun. Or, they just might turn off traction control altogether. Good luck out there, bud. You're on your own.

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