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Can you REALLY tell a difference in Sport Mode?

  • Yes, positively

    Votes: 42 93.3%
  • Yes, maybe

    Votes: 1 2.2%
  • Not sure

    Votes: 2 4.4%
  • I don't think so

    Votes: 0 0.0%
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I hope there is a difference I keep pushing the bottom馃槀 I really like sport mode it is a perfect array of adjustments not to aggressive but just right.
 

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I hope there is a difference I keep pushing the bottom馃槀 I really like sport mode it is a perfect array of adjustments not to aggressive but just right.
I agree, although I'd like mine just a little more aggressive. Working on it. :cool:
 

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I personally think the best way to make this car feel more aggressive is definitely to get the transmission tuned more aggressively.
 

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To play in the snow, I assume? 馃ぃ
Well, yes, but I turn it off on snow even if I'm not hooning about. I find our TC to be a nervous Nelly, it likes to kick in even if it's just raining. On snow, forget it, it cuts power even under light throttle; with TC off, I don't have any issues.
 

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Well, yes, but I turn it off on snow even if I'm not hooning about. I find our TC to be a nervous Nelly, it likes to kick in even if it's just raining. On snow, forget it, it cuts power even under light throttle; with TC off, I don't have any issues.
That reminds me, there's actually a rain/snow table in the PCM that controls some of the engine settings (there might be multiple such tables). I have no idea if that ever gets used or not, but the table exists. I just don't know if it's a holdover from the F-150 or something, or whether the car senses bad road surface and uses that table (and possibly other similar ones) somehow.
 

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I'm old-school, I don't trust electronic nannies in the snow. Just give me full control and I'll handle it. The worst parts about TC/SC is that it makes the car unpredictable.
 

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Is it wise to use sport mode on top of a tune given the tune typically switches out shift points?
There are different shift point tables in Sport than in Drive. So it all depends how your tuner sets up your PCM. They could even make Sport shift like Drive if they wanted. It's all configurable.
 

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There are different shift point tables in Sport than in Drive. So it all depends how your tuner sets up your PCM. They could even make Sport shift like Drive if they wanted. It's all configurable.
Would be cool if you could have it so pushing the sport button turned on your tune and taking it off set everything back to factory.
 

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I do the opposite - leave it on when it's dry because with AWD it doesn't really kick in, but off if it's snowing.
I think it does. it keeps your tires from spinning when launching aggressively. I think you might be thinking of the little light in your dash which I believe is when stability control kicks on. I dont think there is any way to know when Traction control comes on. I could be mistaken. I normally only see the yellow flashing light with squigly lines when im sliding a little on really aggressive accel in a corner or sliding on ice or snow.
 

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Would be cool if you could have it so pushing the sport button turned on your tune and taking it off set everything back to factory.
Yeah the main problem I see is all your base calculations and everything are all the same in either mode. I've only seen a few things that are accessible that are different between Sport and Drive, and you can change those but it's basically stuff like shift points and pedal.

Then there's other stuff like the EPAS that behaves differently in Sport than Drive but I don't know of a way to configure the difference. That's not PCM though.
 

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I think it does. it keeps your tires from spinning when launching aggressively. I think you might be thinking of the little light in your dash which I believe is when stability control kicks on. I dont think there is any way to know when Traction control comes on. I could be mistaken. I normally only see the yellow flashing light with squigly lines when im sliding a little on really aggressive accel in a corner or sliding on ice or snow.
I just checked the manual, hoping to find the exact right answer, but it's hilariously useless and sometimes uses "stability control" and "traction control" interchangeably. So instead I'll just provide my own experience.

Prior to this winter I had the OEM Goodyears on my car and they were pretty worn down. On my way to work there is a light where I turn right onto a major divided road with a high speed limit so usually as I straighten the wheel I go WOT. In the rain the YSL light (yellow squiggly lines) illuminates and the computer cuts power. With the TC switched off via the left IPC screen, the light does not turn on and the computer does not retard power - my tires don't even slip, they just grip and go, so the traction control seems rather overzealous.
 

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Got a few inches of snow last night so I went out to uhh... research the safety of this vehicle's electronic systems.

As expected, TC wouldn't allow any wheel spin, period. Trying to accelerate with it on would result in the computer cutting power. I have no idea why this is needed with an AWD car.

With TC turned off, SC remains on (unfortunately). I also had Sport mode on, shifting manually. This is where things get interesting. I'm going to use the term "use" to encapsulate overall driving style - throttle input, steering input, weight transfer, braking.

So... Under light "use" the SC doesn't need to do anything - this is an AWD car on snow tires so the traction is phenomenal.

Under medium "use" where traction limits are exceeded, the SC likes to keep it safe. What I mean is that it'll let you slide just a little bit before saving your behind. I'm actually impressed with how well it works in that it doesn't just shut you down hard the way the TC does, but instead it gently (for lack of a better word) brings you back down to sanity. It doesn't just cut power from under you, it uses the brakes to subtly straighten the car out, whether you want it to or not. There are times when that's all nice and safe but there are also times when I wish it would let the car slide so I could use the power, AWD, and tires to dig myself out of the slide.

With heavy "use" where I got really aggressive the SC mostly stayed out of my way. Basically with heavy throttle it allowed me to slide around and even do axial donuts. The problem is that if you're coming sliding around a corner you don't always have your foot welded to the floor and the SC doesn't let you feather the throttle - as soon as you back off from WOT (or close to it), it kicks in and straightens you out.


Key takeaways:
  • Traction Control is a total buzz kill and is completely unnecessary.
  • Stability Control makes this car very safe and very easy to hustle along.
  • You can have a ton of fun in a big open parking lot.
  • This is not a rally car that you can slide around corners - it won't allow that.

One last comment about winter driving specifically. I've said it before and I have to say it again, AWD + snow tires defies physics. It's like entering a cheat code in a video game. It's a combination that allows you to drive through several inches of snow as if the pavement is dry.


 

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The Explorer has a terrain management system (extra lines of code) that switches how the RDU locks up to shift power, changes shift schedules, etc... I've learned and found that the Sand mode is best for digging out of slushy stuff. Sand mode disables traction control, uses an aggressive pedal mapping ratio (more sensitive than sport), and a more aggressive shift schedule that keeps RPMs up. During straight line driving in snow, let's say you are in moderate to low traffic and just driving in snow (I-94 in a snow storm as an example), the Snow mode or regular drive w/ Traction Control helps keep your car stable as possible. When you are trying to dig away, the traction control can be too aggressive and bogs it all down.

That said, when I've tried to dig away at a light in the Fusion Sport with traction control disabled, the back end starts to first slide around like a RWD car.
 

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Very impressive research, @LeVeL ! ;) Sounds like stability control is a lot less heavy-handed than traction control.

By the way I checked my manual for my 18, and it says only stability control applies the brakes, of the two. Traction control will cut power, but stability control will cut power and/or apply brakes as needed. That makes sense to me, given what they're each supposed to do.
 
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I'm curious what's going on here and might try this some time just for kicks. But here's the thing I keep thinking about:

Traction control isn't stability control. Remember, stability control is always on no matter what, as someone else mentioned above. That's going to selectively hit your brakes (as well as reduce power) as needed in stability-compromised situations (flying around a slick road in a corner, or similar).

Traction control is going to reduce power to wheels where slipping is occurring. To my knowledge, traction control doesn't apply the brakes. It's just cutting power on traction loss. Think getting moving on snow, for instance.

And of course, none of the above is intended to save someone driving unsafely. You still have to drive.

Anyhow, if I'm correct, I would expect similar or better mileage with traction control on, and similar or reduced mileage with stability control on (the latter being mandatory, of course, so you can't turn that off through any ordinary means).
18 Sport, everyday I pull out of a driveway that goes up to sidewalk, then bump going over it, then drop down, then angle down to state highway. The entire up and down is one foot over a 15 foot distance.
Normal setting, I can't pull out without almost getting hit because the car puts on the brakes. Too much traffic to go slow.
TC off, I can floor it and pull out like a boss. To me this sounds like Stability is off.
I have the Forscan equipment and want to make TC off the default.
 

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Since I just replaced my instrument cluster with the Lincoln MKZ cluster so Lincoln Drive Control became available to me finally, I wanted to update this post since my situation with the suspension stiffness has changed noticeably.

There is now a rather large, instead of subtle, difference in my car between the "Drive" and "Sport" modes for the suspension. Previously, there was a noticeable difference, but it was still fairly subtle. However, when replacing my instrument cluster, I observed that the default Drive mode on my car seemed to be "Normal". After enabling Lincoln Drive Control, my Drive-mode suspension is very soft now, much softer than it ever was previously. It's a very smooth drive, great for highway cruising or just relaxing. When I hit the Sport button, everything tightens up fairly dramatically into Sport mode, and since my suspension is so soft normally now, it's very noticeable.

I wanted to mention this, in case someone is wondering what they can do to increase the difference. If your car is like my 2018, you might notice more of a difference if you change to the MKZ cluster and enable Lincoln Drive Control with normal drive in "Comfort" mode, like I do.

The caveat here is that I bought my car used, so maybe that's why my car appears to have been in "Normal" mode in Drive, previously. I'm not sure. All I know is that now there's a very large difference between the two modes.
 
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