Vauxhall has introduced its Trailer Stability Program (TSP) on Astra hatchback and Astra estate models.

TSP has been designed to put an end to the dangerous high-speed swaying or yawing motion that can occur while towing a trailer.

When the system detects the beginning of a yawing movement, the electronics react by reducing the throttle and applying the brakes lightly to slow the vehicle. Should the yawing continue beyond three excessive movements, more intensive brake pressure is applied to steady the car and trailer.

TSP is activated as soon as the trailer hitch connector is attached, and works in conjunction with the ESPPlus system – standard on SRi and some Design variants and a compulsory fit with TSP – to assess data concerning the car’s behaviour.

This data is constantly processed and compared to the predetermined limits created during a two-year test period, during which Vauxhall engineers racked up tens of thousands of miles with differing trailer loads and speeds.

TSP is available as part of the optional Towing Pack, which also incorporates Hill Start Assist, Deflation Detection System, cruise control, a detachable tow bar and – on the estate only – automatic self levelling rear suspension. The Towing Pack costs £350 and is available on both Astra hatch and Astra estate starting with the 2005 model year, on sale in the UK in September.