New Corvette Z06 Will Get Crazy Launch Control

Technology / 20 Comments

Think of it like BMW's drift analyzer for drag racing.

Traction and launch control systems have gotten incredibly good. McLaren's is so good that you can basically tell your Artura how much you want to drift, nail the throttle, and feel like a hero. With 670 hp on tap, the new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 will need some similarly advanced traction and launch control to ensure no one ends up becoming uncomfortably close with their local flora and fauna.

At a conference at the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Corvette Chief Engineer Josh Holder said that the new Z06 will have a similar system. More than that, it'll be totally customizable. In essence, it'll work a lot like the highly variable T/C system you get on race cars, only for launch control. Numerous settings will allow for different levels of "slip," or wheelspin, at launch.

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For now, it appears to simply be called "Custom Launch Control." It exists separately from the Z06's traction control settings, too. Chevy says the system will "allow the driver to choose the launch aggressiveness to match available tire traction." It sounds to us like you'll have to suss out how much grip the car has on your own. Regardless, owners will be able to use the system by specifying two categories before a launch: engine speed and slip.

For the first, Holder said that during launch control, the Z06 will automatically adjust torque outputs based on the selected RPM. In other words, if you select X,XXX rpm, the car will calculate how much torque is needed at that given engine speed to get it going as best it can, which is where the second category comes in.

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From there, the computers sort out how much wheelspin you've allowed for, and once detected, will cut torque accordingly. In summary, the fastest launch on a grippy surface can be achieved by setting slip as low as possible, and engine speed as high as possible.

Holder said the system should offer some benefits for owners, but it's really more of a toy than a means to extract meaningful performance from the car. However, it could have some great applications for drag racing. Prepped surfaces like the ones you'd find at your local drag strip often mean more grip, something you'd be able to account for with the custom launch control feature.

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