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Race-cars and super-cars have plenty of power, and sometimes this can be a handful to manage when accelerating quickly away from a standstill.  There is some special technology that new muscle cars now have which enables optimum power and traction for the best fast getaway.  The better the launch control system, the faster the getaway.  So how does a decent launch control system work?

Launch control is a clever piece of technology which acts electronically to balance the optimum ratio of power with enough traction so as to get the car moving forward from a standstill with minimal wheel spin.  The quickest getaways come from the best systems that control the colossal levels of optimum power under hard acceleration with the amount of wheel spin.  Wheel spin under hard acceleration suggests that the tyres are unable to grab at the road because of excessive torque reaching the driving wheels.  Too much torque and power results in the tyres losing grip on the road, and there is a lack of forward motion at this point.  Launch control systems, electronically, allow an input of an optimum amount of engine revs that will provide enormous but not too much power at the driving wheels.  A rapid and defined engagement of the clutch also occurs so that a mistimed human clutch progression is nullified.  Electronically managed wheel spin, at take-off, results in smoother, quicker acceleration.

One part of the launch control system includes the many sensors and computers that are constantly calculating the amount of torque available at the drive axles.  If the computer recognises that there is too much power available at the axle which would make the wheel spin, then the power is electronically adjusted in minute timeframes – as small as milliseconds.  Launch controls systems are quite complex as they even take into account things like tyre temperature, tyre pressure, road surface and engine temperature; all of which are variables that can affect the desired rapid fast getaway.  Even when driving quickly, there are also traction control systems that use torque vectoring and individual wheel braking to spread the torque evenly between the driving wheels.  Numerous supercars are now All-Wheel-Drive (AWD), so the torque vectoring occurs evenly between left-to-right wheels as well as front-to-rear wheels.

With ever increasing levels of power becoming available for race cars and supercars the need for better launch control in fast getaways, and torque vectoring when cornering, is all the more necessary, particularly when striving to get an edge over the competition.  A successful launch will propel a supercar or race car to big high speeds in a matter of seconds, and once the launch has been completed the on-board computer switches the launch control system off, passing the control over to the traction management system and also back into the hands/decision of the driver.

You’ll also find that aspects like downforce are very important to gaining traction when accelerating fast from a standstill and at high speed.  Supercars like the BMW M4 and Porsche 911 have active aerodynamics which changes the rate of downforce according to the speed, thus keeping the car hugging the road as much as possible for better traction and control.

The sheer pleasure of acceleration is even better experienced with important management control systems like Launch Control and Traction Control being employed.  These sophisticated systems are also what push the buying prices of supercars upward – as you would expect.