my two cents.
I vote no for it at least from my experience, it almost cost me my lowly 30,000 dollar mercedes. and it did cost me a differential and a transmission.
maybe porsche is better but mercedes system is horrid. now ill tell you the where and the how.
let me start by saying the ESP system electronic stability program is designed with the ability to apply rear brakes at will, and to turn off the fuel to the engine, (this is what it does in the on position.)
(now turn it off with the dashboard switch), and it can no longer starve the engine of fuel but still has full access to the rear brakes to prevent any type of wheel spin.
I have since learned that there is a way to tottally disable it with a bunch of key commands and moving the key while the car is off, but that takes out BAS, ABS and ESP and the car runs in a mode called (dyno rig test) which is just fine by me I re-arm my system now when it rains for highway driving (for the abs) but in all other dry situations i stay in rig test mode.
now onto the why i hate it.
lets deal first with my shatterd pinion gear, and the loss of my second gear in the transmission, the failure of the differential happend while in second gear. thus thrashing second gear pretty bad, the tranny did fail a few months and a few 1000 miles later but it was hard to get into second gear from the day the diff blew.
now the theory behind the why the ESP system caused the differential to fail. mercedes ESP system is horribly intrusive and comes on at the slightest hint that any of the 4 wheels are spinning at different speeds. the primary engagement is when either one of the rear two wheels spin at different rpm's, now i used to drive the car with the system "off" on the dash, so the car still had rear brake access, you could pull off of a light, and shift quickly from first to second gear, which would cause a chirp in a normal car, in the mercedes it involves the rear brakes kicking in while youve got it flat on the floor and some nosediving because of it. now multiply that times every time your a little hard on a shift, and you have an idea how many times the rear tires were braked while under full throttle. now picture the drive train, 150hp comming out of the crank shaft, moving into the transmission, then into the drive shaft, then into the differential. then into the axle ot the rear wheels, only now the rear brakes are enganged. now imagine the differential is the weakest link, physics say the wheels still have to turn otherwise something has to break, so even with the rear brakes the rear wheels still spin, although the load on the engine from trying to move the car and the wheels that now have tons of force on them the net result is that the car nosedives and you loose about 2 seconds of acceleration per blink of the esp light on the dash.
long story short esp is braking the rear axle while the engine is supplying maximum horsepower it dosent take a rocket scientist to figure out that this is a bad thing.
now we move out onto the track.
that first part the differential, and transmission only cost me 4500 dollars to fix, but now here comes the part where the system almost cost me the whole 30,000 dollar car.
at summit point main, in turn 1, and 2, I dive into turn 1 and turn in ive made it halfway into the turn im 90 degress to the front straight at this point and the car is set in the turn, just got out of balanced gas pedal, and start adding gas heading for the apex, with the goal being to get the car to start to slide a bit and help turn it for the apex, as tires make the most traction then. slip angles and that whole mess. now the rear steps out just where i want it, and the car points right for the apex, im new at it and maybe was giving it 95%, not quite at the limit for my line in the turn. then bam full rear brakes a nose dive followed by the rear of the car sliding out from under me by a foot or 2, (my instructor is screaming DON'T LIFT, DON'T LIFT)(to which i reply its the traction control!!)im coutersteering like mad the cars in basically a four wheel drift for about half a second then it hooks up just in time and i plow thru missing my apex by several feet but just thankful my car is still in once pieice. the tire wall isnt too far away and i had some good speed on.
long story short this system almost caused me to crash my car, its not smart enough to figure out when its needed and when its not. at least since i know how to hack my car now i can totally disable it. any car could benefit from a simple limited slip differential, and no dynamic stability control, which is really just dynamic put the car in an unusual attitude mode. I can see no benefit at all for the mercedes system. ABS sure, BAS sure, but ESP is a big fat NO!!
in most situations where ESP gets involved its already to late for a novice, and for a more experienced driver it takes away their control of the car. and still causes an accident, if I was at the limit id have been walking home.