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Chevrolet details Camaro Z/28's "flying car" airborne traction control

by Justin King

System avoids reducing torque when car lifts off the top of a hill, improving track times.

Chevrolet has detailed its "flying car" mode used by the to maintain torque when the car goes airborne.

Without specialized logic, the car misinterprets the free-spinning wheels as a loss of traction with the road surface. It reacts by engaging traction control and cutting torque to the wheels, slowing the car when it finally comes back into with the track.

"[The Camaro's Performance Traction Management system] uses torque, lateral acceleration and rear-axle wheel slip to define the amount of traction control required, but when the car clears a rise on the track, it normally wants to decrease torque to increase traction," said Chevrolet engineer Bill Wise.

To avoid unnecessary intervention from the traction-control system, the flying logic also reads output from the ride-height sensors. When the suspension is fully extended, indicating airborne conditions, the traction-control is temporarily disabled until the car has returned to the ground.

Wise suggests the flying-car logic shaves approximately five second off the Z/28's Nürburgring lap time, which is claimed to be four seconds faster than the Camaro ZL1.

Aside from the flying mode, the Z/28 features a wide range of track-focused hardware. The company suggests it is capable of 1.08 g in cornering acceleration, while the 7.0-liter LS7 engine is tuned to produce 505 horsepower and 481 lb-ft of torque.

The 2014 Z/28 is set to arrive in showrooms later this spring, with a $75,000 price tag (including destination fee) that commands a significant premium over the ZL1.

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