The muscle car wars have entered a new era with the recent crop of performance vehicles. Horsepower levels over 400 now the norm; indeed, you can’t be taken seriously as a muscle car without at least 400 ponies galloping under the hood, though this does present a bit of a problem. See, most people who can afford these kinds of cars have little or no experience handling that kind of power.
The problem is only exacerbated when you consider cars like Chrysler’s line of SRT8 vehicles, most of which make around 470 horsepower and 470 ft-lbs of torque. That is why we believe the rumors reported by AllPar that Chrysler is considering implementing a Launch Control system on all of its SRT8 models to help reign in that power, and put it to better use than just smoking the tires.
Launch Control is becoming increasingly common on upper-echelon muscle cars. The 2013 Shelby GT500 has a launch control system, as does the Camaro ZL1. Granted, both cars have more horsepower than any of the SRT8 models (662 horsepower for the Shelby, 580 horsepower for the ZL1), but that doesn’t make the SRT8 vehicles any easier to launch at the track. Launch Control works be simply revving the engine to optimal RPM’s, and then unleashing all that power when the driver releases either the clutch (manual) or brake (automatic).
AllPar reports that a steering wheel-mounted Launch Control system could debut on the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8. Eventually, Launch Control should filter down through the entire SRT8 lineup, including the Charger, Challenger, and Chrysler 300.
One thing we can’t help but consider; if Chrysler is implementing Launch Control on next year’s SRT8 models, is that an indicator of a bump in power? We don’t want to jump the gun, but as we already pointed out, the SRT8 models are kind of falling behind the competition in pure power numbers. Launch Control could be a good excuse to increase performance, don’t you think?