What Does The S Mean In A Car? What Does It Stand For?

The letter S on a car’s gearshift represents “Sports mode,” which gives the driver a more sporty feel.

This mode adds a few extra features to your driving experience, increasing your car’s performance compared to your standard drive mode.

What Does Sports Mode Do?

You may have noticed that one of the dashboard buttons says “S” or “sport mode.”

If you’re wondering what that button does, it is that it gives multiple benefits to your engine, suspension, and transmission. 

Those advantages may include:

1. Increased acceleration 

If the car is in Sport Mode, it will allow the engine to accelerate faster than a standard-mode vehicle.

2. Increased throttle response 

When in sports mode, your car engine will have a more “sensitive” throttle that opens faster, which improves acceleration responsiveness. 

3. Increased RPM

When the transmission shifts gears in Sport Mode, your engine will extend its automatic shift and revs higher.

This process happens because the engine keeps the gears engaged until the engine reaches a higher rpm.

4. Increased in torque and horsepower 

Your torque and horsepower increase when your RPM increases. So when you switch to sports mode, your revs increase, resulting in more horsepower and torque.

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5. Stiffer suspension 

When you change to Sport Mode, the suspension stiffens and sometimes drops.

As a result, allows your car to maneuver more quickly through corners, making it ideal for drivers on paved surfaces and fast interstates.

6. Tighter steering 

Sport mode increases steering resistance for a sportier and more weighted feel.

It gives the driver more feedback about what the wheels are doing and makes the steering wheel more responsive.

Cons of Using Sports Mode

When you switch to Sports mode, you allow for more fuel consumption, which may not be the most cost-effective option.

Also, abusing this mode for an extended period may cause your engine to wear out faster than you think.

Yes, modern engines are built to withstand a lot of abuse, but it’s still worth noting that activating Sports Mode will put more stress on your engine.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the “S” mode feature useful? 

The “S” feature is more useful when you intend to drive at higher speeds and accelerate more quickly.

For example, when climbing a steep hill or having an emergency.

Is it possible to shift from D to S while driving?

Yes, you can change from D to S while driving. However, it would help if you only did this when necessary. Overly misusing this may cause damage to your vehicle.

Does sport mode make my car faster?

When you shift to sports mode, you allow more fuel injection, causing higher RPM. As a result, you will have better acceleration and speed when stepping on the gas pedal. 

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However, driving in sports mode consumes more fuel because your vehicle is likely to stay in gear for longer periods and rev higher.

Is it better to drive a car in sports mode?

It is entirely up to you. If you’re willing to waste more fuel for a better driving experience, driving your car in sports mode can be better.

Do all modern cars come with Sports Mode?

Not all modern cars have a sports mode feature, but there are a lot of modern cars that come with it.

As a result, this feature isn’t limited to sports cars; sedans and SUVs can also have this feature.