Launch control is one of the coolest recent technologies in the automotive realm. Push a button, follow a procedure, and you'll be rewarded with the best acceleration that a computer can be programmed to achieve. It's simple, and it works.

That said, a computer can sometimes be beaten by a skilled driver. In the video below, Car and Driver outlines the proper way to activate and use launch control in a 2014 SRT Viper, resulting in a 4.2-second run to 60 miles per hour and a quarter-mile time of 12.1 seconds at 125 mph. Not bad. But it can be improved. Drastically.

Follow along as the crew from C/D explains the finer points of a proper drag-race launch, and find out just how much time launch control leaves on the table by watching the video below.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 50 Comments
      ferps
      • 1 Year Ago
      launch control is programmed for clutch preservation and reducing warranty claims, not for the fastest time.
      Hazdaz
      • 1 Year Ago
      That's a pretty massive drop from 4.2 seconds.
      nigelmgb
      • 1 Year Ago
      I dunno, but I believe this young man deserves a raise.
      deman1134@gmail.com
      • 1 Year Ago
      I have experience driving turbo maximas and i think i could beat this time, definitely, its an awesome ride bit with the six speed i could kill it, give me a chance id take that into the 11's
      deman1134@gmail.com
      • 1 Year Ago
      F launch control id say 11.6 would be my time based in past experience and on a closed track would murder a zr-1 and this side or and ariem atom ya all me, try it, il show any gt3 wat they should achieve
      Nathan
      • 1 Year Ago
      lol Viper.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      RevenantDC5
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm not surprised that a Chrysler developed launch control can be beaten. Launch control was developed by companies with the prowess to execute it, when no one was requiring it of them but engineers knew they could do it. Chrysler wanted to add it as a "me-too" feature, but lacks the engineering skill to pull it off. Not unlike the Downhill Assist Control in their recent Jeep efforts.
      deman1134@gmail.com
      • 1 Year Ago
      easy i could crack 12's oh ya those gear changes were inefficient
        deman1134@gmail.com
        • 1 Year Ago
        @deman1134@gmail.com
        if you want to beat that time you do what top gear (uk) does and have me drive it and we'll take care of that
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      zizixx89
      • 1 Year Ago
      They need the 7 speed DCT in order to be faster 3.3 secs could be the 0-60 but noo they want to use the slow manual
      tarheel91
      • 1 Year Ago
      Launch control is usually designed with repeatability in mind. Perfect launches send a lot of shock through the drivetrain. Something's going to break way quicker with those 3.5s 0-60s. The Viper's launch control has to work within the scope of its warranty.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @tarheel91
        [blocked]
          tarheel91
          • 1 Year Ago
          Gotta love that expert engineering you're providing. There's no such thing as "strong enough." It's a matter of fatigue and how many stress cycles you can withstand. A general rule of thumb is doubling the stress means 1/10th of the life. "Building it stronger" means adding more weight for rotating components, not an ideal situation. Product design is ultimately an exercise in optimization. They're trading off durability of weight, and finding that optimal point is what engineers are paid for.
          john96xlt
          • 1 Year Ago
          Ok, since your engineering expertise are so much better than anybody at SRT's, why don't you go and show them how it's done?
          elanjacobs
          • 1 Year Ago
          Here's a better idea, go away.
          john96xlt
          • 1 Year Ago
          To a middle aged housewife like yourself? Naww.
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