The Performance Traction Management software built into the new Z/28 Camaro has a couple of neat tricks, most importantly the ability to tell when all four wheels are off the ground. Why would it want to know this? Well, in the case of road-course competition, it’s inevitable that a driver will enter an over-the-top rise and launch into the air; with standard traction control, that would slow down lap times as the software would pull back the engine RPM and subsequently slow the car slightly upon landing.
The Flying Car Mode built into the Z/28’s software acts a bit differently, according to Chevrolet Performance Engineer Bill Wise, who explains in the video the finer points of how Chevrolet goes about managing these situations in this particular car. Instead of knocking down the horsepower when all four wheels are off the ground, the Performance Traction Management system measures ride height with sensors mounted to the suspension. When they detect the wheels are off the ground, the software actually maintains power to the drive wheels to keep the speed up when the car comes back to earth.
Wise goes on to discuss how the PTM software would typically pull too much torque after determining that all four wheels had been off the ground, but thanks to the Flying Car logic the system was responsible for a five-second decrease in lap times around the Nürburgring in Germany – an eternity in road-course racing. The Z/28 is designed to excel and be the ultimate track-capable Camaro on the road course, and the Flying Car Mode software is just one of the reasons it does exactly that, running a quicker lap time around the ‘Ring than the Porsche 911S and Lamborghini Murcielago LP640.