The electromechanical parking brake has little in common with a conventional handbrake. It is resistant to wear, its braking effect is permanently constant and it cannot lock up.
The electromechanical parking brake comprises the parking brake, starting-off aid and emergency braking functions. It is activated by pulling a lever on the centre console, which replaces the conventional handbrake lever. When you drive off – provided the driver's seat belt is fastened – the parking brake is released automatically. The control unit for the electromechanical parking brake determines the selected gear, accelerator position, engine speed, torque, direction of travel and the vehicle’s angle of inclination. It uses this information to prevent the vehicle from rolling back when starting on an incline.
The brake can only be released manually if the foot brake is depressed at the same time. In the event of an emergency braking manoeuvre with the parking brake, the vehicle can be braked considerably more effectively than with a conventional handbrake because the system communicates with the anti-lock braking system (ABS) and electronic brake force distribution (EBD) via the electronic stabilisation programme (ESP).