||11-03-2013 11:33 PM
First off, big trucks don't engine brake. At least, not like your car does. We're talking about an engine that is about to explode when it hits 3,000 RPM's and a TON of weight behind it. They do use 'jake brakes' though, which stay at the same RPM (no downshift needed) but use a series of valves to basically turn the engine into a giant (and noisy) air compressor to give it the resistance needed to actually slow the truck down and prevent overheating the brakes.
Second, in sport mode, it's not a normal car. Normal, every day driving is for normal, every day mode. Sport driving is for... well you can take it from here!
And yes, it's the way it's programmed, and for 'sport' driving, it's the way it SHOULD behave. Keeping the engine revs up and in the powerband so the power is there instantly, should you need it. Just hit the accelerator, and go.
Finally, engine braking is something people have done, even in small cars and even on motorcycles (nearly all motorcycles are manual transmission) for a long time. Personally, I think brakes are cheap and a piece of cake to change. BUT, some people like to engine brake. Engine braking is not generally to 'increase' your braking performance. The brakes applied to the drive wheels will stop a lot harder than the engine will. Engine braking is to ease up on your brakes. It IS useful on long, steep grades (like coming down a mountain), to keep your brakes from overheating and/or rotors from warping. If you select the right gear you should be able to maintain a more/less constant speed with minimal throttle inputs and no brake while going down a steep grade.