What Launch Control is and how it works

Launch Control is one of the sports options of the car

Most drivers, if they have heard about such function on cars, as Launch Control, but do not fully understand what it is.

What is the need for

Meanwhile, in motorsports, some time ago, it was very much in demand, and even now discussions about its application on sports cars do not cease.

Why Launch Control is needed

At the dawn of motorsports the standard of excellence of racers was their ability to start quickly, without losing traction on the ground, as “slipping” them at high speed led to a significant loss of time at the start.

Launch Control in your car

The installation of electronic units on cars that allowed to hold the optimal starting speed, excluding slippage of the wheels, with a fully recessed “gas” pedal, saved drivers from the need to improve their skills. In essence, Launch Control is the same master of the start, but in an electronic form.

How Launch Control was created

Launch Control was created after engineers at Renault learned how to receive signals from their car’s sensors at a remote location in 1985 and transmit information that optimized the operation of individual systems. Two-way telemetry had further contributed to the development of electronics, including electronic units that controlled the optimum speed at the start.

As electronics evolved so rapidly that it completely overshadowed the skill of the drivers, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) was forced to prohibit the use of Launch Control in Formula One races. After a while it allowed their use again, and in 2004 it was banned again, but this time for reasons of accessibility to these competitions for not rich teams, as the development of new electronic systems requires a significant financial investment.

Today, these systems are permitted and very popular in competitions on short, quarter-mile competitions – “drag wrestling”, in which a delay at the start, even for hundredths of a second, leads to a loss in the race. They are also in demand among the participants of amateur car racing.

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How Launch Control works

The operation principle of Launch Control is the influence of an electronic unit on the ignition system, injection and throttle valve, creating an intermittent supply of spark on the cylinders, reducing the fuel supply and closing the throttle to the required value, which allowed to reduce the engine speed to the optimal start, and the plugs, while not filled with gasoline.

The control system allows you to adjust the starting revs depending on specific conditions: the condition of the pavement and tires, suspension settings and a number of other factors.

How Launch Control works

It is disabled by two sensors – speed control and clutch pedal position. As soon as the rider releases the clutch and the vehicle takes off, the engine instantly reaches maximum rpm.

Launch Control in production vehicles

Since Launch Control was originally designed to be installed on sports cars, the system has long been available on powerful, sporty cars with manual transmissions.

The automatic transmission was not suitable for this, because the powerful load during jerky starts could destroy it.

With the advent of robotized, mechanical DSG boxes, with two clutch frictions, which allowed the automatic shifting of gears by means of electronic units, the situation with the installation of sport starts on engines has changed. Many Skoda Octavia and Volkswagen Tiguan models are equipped with such a box, but Launch Control is put only on turbocharged engines.

M models of BMW, Porsche 911, Porsche Panamera Turbo, made in Germany, are also equipped with sport start systems.

There are cars with Launch Control also from Japanese manufacturers. Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X MR with a robotized transmission and Nissan GT-R are equipped with such systems.

Unlike sports cars, the driver of the production car does not have the right to choose the best start speed – it will make the automatics, he only has to squeeze the “gas” and release the “brake”. But for this will have to remember the skills of driving a car with manual transmission, because the left foot will need to hold the brake pedal, and the right to press the gas pedal.

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In cars of serial production

Before you start it is necessary to switch off the directional stability system, otherwise the car can drift.

There are not many opportunities to use Launch Control system in daily life, but it will be very useful during preparation and realization of amateur competitions on motor racing and in “drag wrestling” on serial automobiles.

Launch control: what is it in a car

Many owners of domestic and imported cars have heard of such a concept as lunch control. But few know that this function is useful for cars used for driving in everyday life, and simply indispensable for racing cars. And even fewer car owners know what Launch Control is, how it works and how to use it.

What is Launch Control in a car

Launch Control is an electronic system used in the device of sports (racing) and production cars, with the purpose of appearance of “impetuous start”. Using Launch Control allows you to effectively control a number of car functions: the injection system, ignition, throttle.

launch control

Launch Control has not been used in mass-produced vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission for a long time. This was due to the negative impact of high-speed starting on the automatic transmission. Launch Control began to be actively installed in cars after the creation and use of a dual clutch transmission on production cars. As a result, drivers of production cars have gained the ability to start quickly in urban conditions or on country roads.

Now Launch Control is installed on the cars of a number of famous world brands:

  • BMW – the M series of cars;
  • Porsche – model 911 and Panamera Turbo;
  • Mitsubishi – model Lancer Evolution X MR;
  • Nissan – GR-T model.

How does lunch control work?

The principle of functioning of the Launch Control system is based on the ability of the car’s engine to retain torque with the throttle open and the clutch depressed to the maximum. At the moment when the engine reaches a large number of revolutions, the driver stops holding the pedal (button) on Launch Control. This removes the RPM limit and instantly increases torque.

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In racing cars, the driver has the ability to manually control the number of revolutions before the car starts. But the drivers of production cars are deprived of such an opportunity – car manufacturers, wishing to protect the transmission from damage, set the parameters of lunch control, as a result of which the number of revolutions is controlled in automatic mode.

Read also : What is MacPherson suspension and how it works.

How to activate the launch control and how to use it

Depending on the model of the car, the procedure may differ, but usually in order to use the lunch control, the driver of the car will need to do the following:

To turn off the stability control system

  • warm up the engine and gearbox to operating temperature;
  • set the gearbox to manual or Sport mode;
  • switch the system of dynamic stability control of the car to the off mode;
  • put your left foot on the brake pedal, push it to the maximum;
  • put your right foot on the accelerator pedal, push it to the maximum;
  • wait for the engine speed to increase to a value of 3,500-4,000 rpm;
  • slowly release pressure on the brake pedal with your left foot, while keeping pressure on the gas pedal with your right foot.

The above sequential actions will cause the car to start. At the same time the upshift will be automatic as long as the accelerator pedal is in the “pressed to maximum” position. The starting vehicle will accelerate rapidly. The speed increase will continue until the vehicle reaches its maximum possible speed or the driver reduces the pressure on the gas pedal.

When using the lunge control system, it is important to follow the following rule. After an extreme start, the car needs to drive at least 5-10 km in standard (calm mode). This will allow all the nodes involved in the car’s motion system to cool down.

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It is recommended to use the Launch Control system in the warm period of the year (May-September) and when driving the car on a good and dry road surface (asphalt or concrete). Using the Launch Control system in other conditions (climatic and road) can cause engine and all transmission mechanisms wear, as well as reduce the level of controllability of the vehicle.

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