Earlier today our partners over at TheCarConnection.com gave you their top five features every new car should have (more here). However, as you might have guessed, most new cars are missing these “key” features, that is unless you are looking at the new 2012 Ford Focus and its numerous class exclusive features. The article, specifically this comment, “And the ability to turn off traction control gives skilled drivers more control in everything from racing to breaking loose a car stuck on ice…” sparked a thought. The feature that most new cars are missing is an Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) kill switch.
Now some of you are probably asking yourself, why would you want to disable the ABS? As alluded to in the TCC article, skilled drivers sometimes want to disable the traction control for more control. Yes, we said MORE control. Their example, breaking a car free when stuck in ice or snow. Building on that example, just the other day when we had six or more inches in Denver, Col., I slide my way through an intersection in a neighborhood. Before anyone jumps to judgments, no I wasn’t speeding, talking on the cell phone or doing my hair. However, I did happen to hit ice and the ABS engaged and instead of stopping the car, it seemed to actually speed the car up.
2010 Detroit Auto Show
This phenomenon isn’t unheard of, which is why the 2010 Ford F150 Raptor has a different setting for off-road and snow that will actually lock the wheels during a full force stop to bring the vehicle to a halt. This is why I ask, why don’t we have a ABS off switch in new cars just like we have (or should have) a Traction Control off and Vehicle Skid Control off switch? This is the biggest pet peeve of mine when driving in winter conditions or taking a car to the racetrack. Does anyone know why we can’t turn some of these “safety” features off, especially if they don’t create a safe driving experience?
Leave us your comments and let us know what you think on the subject. If you tell them, the feature may come.