As any drag racer will tell you, achieving the perfect launch is something of an art form. Or maybe it's closer to a religion to the people constantly struggling to find exactly the right RPM, clutch technique and number of prayers to the God of the Quarter Mile.
Naturally, having a computer take all the guesswork out of the process (cheating? Not if everyone else is doing it... and they are) makes everything more than a little bit easier. The Lexus LFA is the latest supercar to get the technology here in the States. But how does it work?
Glad you asked. Lexus' carbon fiber wonder-mobile is finally hitting the streets, and its handy-dandy owner's manual outlines the launch controll process rather nicely. Nicely, but not exactly easily... as you might expect from a factory-installed technology that is known to be rather stressful on drivetrain components. See what we mean after the break.
Photos copyright ©2009 Damon Lavrinc / Weblogs, Inc.
[Source: Lexus Enthusiast]
Lexus LFA Launch Control Technique:
When set, launch control enables the vehicle to accelerate from a standing start at 4000 rpm. Launch control uses overall optimized control that considers vehicle acceleration performance, stability and clutch durability. (Do not use launch control on public roads.)
Setting the system
1. Ensure that you are seated well back in the driver's seat with the seat belt fastened. Make sure that the passenger is also seated well back with their seat belt fastened.
2. Start the engine. Firmly depress the brake pedal with your left foot and release the parking brake. Continue to depress the brake pedal.
3. Select SPORT driving mode.
4. Select shift speed level 7.
5. Pull the "+" paddle shift switch to select 1st gear.
6. Pull the "-" paddle shift switch and hold it for 5 seconds. "LAUNCH" will be displayed on the meter.
7. Release the "-" paddle shift switch.
8. Depress the accelerator pedal firmly. Continue to depress the accelerator pedal. The engine speed will be automatically maintained at 4000 rpm. The vehicle is then ready for launch.
9. Release the brake pedal. The vehicle will launch forward.
Once the accelerator pedal is released completely, launch control will be canceled and SPORT driving mode will be engaged.
Start-off acceleration depends on how much the accelerator pedal is depressed.
* Launch control can not be set if the total mileage shown on the odometer is less
than 310 miles (500 km).
* Launch control can not be set until the engine and transmission are fully warmed up. Before using launch control, warm up the vehicle by driving it.
* Launch control can not be set if there is a malfunction in the engine, transmission, drive control system or other relevant systems.
* As launch control places a significant load on the vehicle's mechanisms,it cannot be used two or more times in succession. After using launch control, cruise at a normal speed for approximately 10 minutes to allow vehicle mechanisms to cool down.
* To protect the systems,the number of times that launch control can be used is limited. To check how many times launch control has been used on your vehicle, contact your Lexus dealer.