Only a few short years ago a car was considered “fast” with a horsepower rating that would seem downright sheepish today, which is why more and more cars are getting launch control.
The latest to the party is the 2013 Shelby GT500 its 662-hp V8 — maybe more oophm than the average $50,000 cur buyer knows what to do with. After all, that’s pretty much the same price point as a top-end BMW 3 Series.
Granted, the 300-hp Bimmer is more about bells and whistles whereas the Mustang is about burning tires, but for 2013, Ford is letting drivers tone the raging roar down a bit for better acceleration. That might leave a few Mustang fans scratching their heads, but it’s pretty simple.
Launch control can be accessed through the new Track Apps system or via a button to the left of the steering wheel. Drivers can set their desired speed in 100-rpm increments from 3,000 to 4,500.
From there, all that’s left is to depress the clutch pedal and step on the gas. Release the clutch and almost instantly, the car rockets off at your desired rev rate.
Essentially, it takes most of the practice and skill out of a good drag launch by letting the computer think for your feet. Blasphemous as that might sound to someone who actually uses a clutch pedal regularly, it’s just one of many ways cars are successfully dumbing down what you need to know in order to drive.
Still, with such crazy power figures threatening to take the car’s live rear axel for a joyride, having something to calm the beast might not be such a bad thing.