Launch control in the automotive world is an electronic or computer controlled feature on many performance
oriented vehicles which assists you to launch your vehicle from a standstill with a combination of adequate power
and minimal wheelspin.
How launch control works is by having a preset RPM (rev per minute) or allowing you to set a suitable
RPM while the vehicle is stationary so as you prepare to pull off you can press the accelerator right down and
the computer uses the engine and transmission to control the revs allowing
the car to pull off at the specified RPM.
Controlling the RPM maintains a smooth and powerful launch while minimizing or preventing a loss of
traction. Its sort of like using a manual transmission to bring the engine to a high
rev before releasing the clutch but the computer does it with more precision than a human could.
The vehicle accelerates quickly as the revs and boost is already built up. When the vehicle reaches a
pre determined speed set by the manufacturer the launch control setting switches off automatically and the
vehicles operates as normal.
To set up the feature your vehicle should be stationary with the engine idling, while in neutral you press
the accelerator and set your RPM, in some vehicles you will not need to do this as an RPM is already set, you then
select drive and use the or engage the sport or sport plus setting, apply both the
accelerator and the brakes, quickly release the brake pedal
and you're off.
Some matters of concerns with launch control -
Launch control is now becoming a frequent feature on vehicles with
automated manual and dual clutch transmissions and many 0-60 mph times
have been improved with this feature.
- Launch control should only be used after the engine has reached it's optimum operating temperature so don't use
it first thing in the morning as you start the car.
- The vehicle should not be idling or reving for long while launch control is engaged, a few seconds (less than 15)
is all that's required to launch the vehicle once activated.
- This advice may vary by marques but its not a good practise to constantly accelerate using the launch control
over a short period of time as it may damage your transmission.
Some vehicles have two 0-60 times issued by their marques, one using the standard launch method and an improved
time of several hundred milliseconds using launch control.
Although launch control is common on dual clutch transmissions it can also be found on manual transmissions such
as the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.