Details on the Lexus LFA Launch Control


Silver Lexus LFA

Although we’ve known for some time that the Lexus LFA is equipped with Launch Control, details have been far & few between. This system, which optimizes fast starts off the line by holding the transmission at a higher RPM, is essential for racing and providing the best track times.

Now, with the first production models now reaching customers around the world, finding out the specifics on any LFA feature is made much easier by simply referring to the owner’s manual — here’s what it has to say about Launch Control:

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

Start-off acceleration depends on how much the accelerator pedal is depressed.

Usage restrictions

  • 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.

No question, all limits placed on the Launch Control are necessary and fully in line with other supercar manufacturers. This is a system that places a lot of stress on the transmission, and these controls will prevent any permanent damage.

(Although the Launch Control upper limit isn’t specified, I have it on good authority that the maximum is well above the range of normal usage — especially given its little use outside of the track. At the very least, it will avoid situations like this from happening again in the automotive press.)

Update: Edited for clarity.

[Source: Lexus]

Comments


  • MIKE DELORCA

    Aa one enthusiast mentioned—-”THE WORLD IS NOT READY FOR THIS CAR”. Truly a masterpiece of art and technology. Krew thank you for such valuable and interesting information. Also, I must comment on the silver photo of the LFA shown—-what an amazing angle shot. This clip needs to be offered as a screen saver—it is my favorite shot so far. Thanks again !

  • http://www.facebook.com/LexusandThePursuit WorldofLuxury

    I’m confused… so is double clutch better or worse for launch control systems?

  • Evn

    “Although the Launch Control upper limit isn’t specified, I have it on good authority that the maximum is well above the range of normal usage”

    This is expected considering the LFA is a track-bred car, the mechanisms were built to handle race track conditions that majority of these cars will never see. Hopefully we don’t see any GT-R like breakdowns due to launch occur.

  • 05RollaXRS

    That is awesome. Now with launch control system LFA can hit 0 – 60 mph in 3.1 – 3.2 seconds easily. 4000 rpm is great for very aggressive launches. The computer also allows to maximize power while retaing the most traction.

    Krew: single clutch and double clutch are roughly the same on the clutch since only one clutch is used at launch time. Remember Nissan GTR was blowing up all of the dual-clutch transmissions and Nissan was voiding the warranty for using launch control system.

  • toyotaclassics

    MIKE DELORCA wrote:Aa one enthusiast mentioned—-”THE WORLD IS NOT READY FOR THIS CAR”.

    And neither is my bank account. If this car was released just a couple of years later then it would be a outright buy.

  • toyotaclassics

    05RollaXRS wrote: Remember Nissan GTR was blowing up all of the dual-clutch transmissions and Nissan was voiding the warranty for using launch control system.

    The problem with the GTR “launch control” was that they did not limit the RPM. People were reving the motor to near redline and letting the car go. Hence the tranny problems. Their 2010 fix and ECU upgrade for the 2009′s limited the RPM to 4 or is it 3500 rpm on launch and disabled the “launch control” altogether if the tranny temps too high. That seemed to have solved the problem.

    The embarassing aspect is that all other “supercars” had that progammed in right from the start but Nissan somehow didn’t.

    If the lambo, ferrari and LFA allowed a clutch dump at redline their transmissions would like disintegrate after a few launches.

  • iCyCo

    I had no idea Launch Control was so limited is use. When reading the article I was like ‘this is bad’ why is this system so limited as I thought it was something that could be used as seen fit. Then I read the comments, and was enlightened that it seems to be a top notch system. Kudos Lexus. Thanks guys

  • RollaXRS

    @toyotaclassics: That is not true. GTR’s ECU did not allow launch control at more than 4000 rpm. The only other way could have been neutral dropping, which GTR’s ECU did not allow. Still the trannies were getting blown up until Nissan disabled the launch control system altogether.

    Launch control is awesome. The LFA SHOULD rip a 0 – 60 mph in 3.1 – 3.2 seconds and 1/4 mile in 11.1 – 11.3 seconds easily without any issues with a proper way to launch and traction.

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    iCyCo wrote:I had no idea Launch Control was so limited is use. When reading the article I was like ‘this is bad’ why is this system so limited as I thought it was something that could be used as seen fit. Then I read the comments, and was enlightened that it seems to be a top notch system. Kudos Lexus. Thanks guys

    I edited the post for clarity, all Launch Control limits are in line with other super car manufacturers. :-)

  • jesseps

    I cant stand launch control. If I want my car to do 0-100 km/h in 3.3 secs, I shouldn’t have to use the launch control, it should be setup that way.

  • RollaXRS

    @jesseps: Because launching a car frequently destroys the powertrain. It is hard on the clutch, driveline, transmission. Everything.

    It is a safety net to let the car cool off for 10 minutes before allowing another launch. I am sure Lexus perfected the launch control and still wanted to make sure LFAs don’t end up blowing up their engines.

    Nissan GTR is the perfect example of why launch control system can lead to catastrophic results.

  • http://TLE Shane From Australia

    Launch Control or no Launch Control – just strapping myself in for a casual grandpa, Sunday drive in the car would put a permanent smile on my dial.

  • http://facebook.com/flyerno1 Seung Min Yu

    ** Comment removed **

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    Hi Seung Min Yu,

    Hate to remove your comment, but unfortunately, non-public Toyota documents can not be published without permission. Let me check into this first. :-)

  • 05RollaXRS

    I really hope Lexus will create some demonstration videos of Lexus features including launch control system where they will demonstrate it and maybe some official stats with launch control would be great 0 – 60 mph, 1/4 mile etc.

  • jerryntom

    @RollaXRS: maybe tats why they didn’t let the magazines used the launch control during test runs….