The following YouTube video shows a GM engineer describing and showing demonstration videos of the upcoming launch control system to debut in the 2010 Corvettes. The launch control system will modulate the engines torque 100 times per second to give the driver the optimal amount of traction on a full throttle start.
The new system will be available across the entire Corvette lineup from the base model to the ZR1 as long as it’s equipped with the manual transmission. The presenter takes a couple of obvious jabs at Nissan’s launch control system in the GT-R, stating that you can launch your Corvette using the new system and still be covered under warranty.
To use the launch control system, the driver puts the car’s traction control system into competitive mode and pushes the gas pedal to the floor. The system holds a predetermined RPM based on which engine is in the car. When the driver quickly releases the clutch, the launch control modulates engine torque 100 times per second to obtain the best launch given the conditions.
GM’s testing of the system found that just about any driver can achieve very consistent times on par with that of a skilled driver’s best efforts. The car in the test videos is a Z06 which ran 0-60 MPH in 4.2 seconds without launch control and bog off the line. The 2nd video shows a hard launch with a lot of wheel spin that did 0-60 MPH in 4.1 seconds. The 3rd video shows a professional driver running 0-60 MPH in 3.6 seconds without launch control. The last video shows a launch control run performing a 0-60 MPH run in just 3.65 seconds which can easily be repeated over and over again without worrying about too much or too little throttle on the on the launch, or burning up the clutch in the process.
With the horsepower wars still raging and power levels going well over 600HP across many modern day sports cars, we’re pleased to see that launching these cars can be somewhat manageable and safe for the average driver these new technologies, as long as the ability to turn everything off still exists to give the driver full control when desired.