With ESP off and a 4,000-4,250-rpm launch, the Rabbit can generate a useful amount of wheelspin for a sporty getaway. The gearing is not optimized for a 0-60 run as 2nd gear tops out at only 54 mph. Also, most of the torque and horsepower are used up by 4,000 rpm so there's little point in running the tach to redline. There's a definite coarseness to this and every other five-cylinder engine that makes it sound reluctant to rev.
The brake feel is better than the stopping distances would indicate. There's quite a lot of suspension windup under full ABS that releases at a standstill when the pedal is released and the rear of the car drops about 6 inches.
With ESP off, the Rabbit feels heavy but well controlled on the skid pad. Unlike the previous Golf, the inside rear tire stays on the ground. Once I learned about the yaw delay in the slalom, I could really get the Rabbit to dance around the cones. While it may look unbalanced, ultimate control was always there and I could always reel the car in from pretty crazy roll/yaw rates.