It simply is not, at least not in any meaningful way. LC, as designed, implements a high-performance and optimized launch similar to an F1 car, as BMW frequently states. Performing the same procedure on a US car does not yield anything resembling this. Again, US cars lack a LC that:
- Launches at 4,000 rpm or higher. The launch is fixed just above idle at 1600rpm.
- Can adjust its launch revs using the cruise control stalk
- Has automatic shifting at redline
You can call the thing US cars have launch control, but it bears little resemblance to what is offered everywhere else, and this would be an insult to BMW engineers that created it.
My suspicion is that the lame LC of the US model won't out-launch a simple step on the throttle. It's raining now, and I'm about to go to Aspen for a few weeks and won't have a chance to try out my new G-TechProRR to test this out until after New Year.
Overall, yes I agree it is crippled, but you do have launch control, but a somewhat downgraded one.
So, if after all the marketing and hype, YOU got a power button that did 403hp, would you consider this "somewhat downgraded?" In fact, the analogy might not even fully hold because my bet is that the US LC is slower than just mashing the pedal, so it might be more analogous to P375.
The US does not have launch control. It has something that BMWNA (not BMW AG) calls launch control as a lame CYA attempt, but it has ZERO performance value, is not what was advertized, and not what everyone else has. Saying that the US model has LC is doing as large a disservice to the English language as BMWNA did to the M5 by removing it.
If you read DerekFSU's posts in his drag racing experience, he did not use LC as it did a miserable launch. I bet this played a factor in him quickly reselling his car.
I know someone in a sales management position at BMWNA who's been there for 20+ years. I've left him a detailed mssg asking him to clarify this LC issue for the M5 & the M6. I'll post his response when I get it, hopefully clearing up the confusion w/this issue....
I feel for all of you who were sold a bill of goods that is now in essence defective; i.e. every description of the M5 available to prospective US owners of the E60 M5 mentioned that LC would be a feature found on US market cars. No-where was it mentioned that LC would be crippled and made essentially useless in the US market. I have read every review of the M5 that I could find, and every time, LC was mentioned to be the optimal way to extract maximum performance, as well as simply being incredibly 'cool'. For BMW to cripple the feature in US cars is without a doubt deceptive based on everything previously mentioned to US owners/prospective owners, (like myself).
Even LC at lower revs would be somewhat acceptable AS LONG AS the da-n car upshifts at red-line. My E46 M3 SMG II had the US 'detuned' LC that launched at 1800 rpm, BUT it still changed up automatically at red-line, and by all accounts, was as fast from 0-60 mph as the rest of the world cars. If the US M5 had a slightly de-tuned LC function because the warranty here is longer than other countries, but LC up-changed automatically at red-line, I believe the outrage here would be subdued. As it is, anybody here pissed off over this LC debacle has my sympathy.
In your place I would willing join a petition and/or legal action to have BMW return 'my' M5 to the as advertised product, even if it meant that the clutch warranty would be voided say after 30 LC launches.
Last point: for those who say, well a tuner will shortly release a software update to return full LC functionality, I say why should an M5 owner risk the loss of the BMW warranty coverage by enabling a feature, (LC), that BMW releases to every other market, and which was advertised as being available here.
I started a new post about a phone call I received from BMWNA - if a moderator wants to combine it please do but I wanted the board to not have to wade through this entire thread to see it. First off, I called BMWNA this morning and the first guy told me "NO LC ON US CARS". I explained that we have it (kind of) and wanted an explanation of why it was crippled. 10 minutes later I get a return phone call from another guy who reads me the operation instructions COMPLETE WITH 4K LAUNCH AND AUTO SHIFTING and wante to know what particular problem I was having. I say wtf it doesn't work this way and he's gets pretty clueless pretty fast. I told him go back up the flagpole, read this board and get me an explanation. Can someone please provide a name/number of the M US brand manager so I can call?