How to activate launch control in the Volkswagen Golf GTI

Getting the most out of Volkswagen’s Golf GTI thanks to its built in launch control function

Reuben Van Niekerk
launch control
Volkswagen Golf GTI

In the wake of the launch of the new Volkswagen Golf GTI many enthusiasts have bemoaned that it can be rather tricky to engage the vehicles built in Launch Control programme.


The Launch Control programme is necessary for those drivers wanting to get the most out of the GTI’s 2.0 litre turbocharged engine, which produces 180kW and 370Nm and that transfers all its power to the road via a seven-speed DSG gearbox to the front wheels only.


Launching a powerful front wheel drive car can be tricky as one needs to ensure that you utilise the right amount of revs in relation to the amount of traction available, too little and the car will bog down, too much and the car will remain stationary in a cloud of tyre smoke.


The launch control system of the latest Volkswagen Golf GTI has been programmed to optimise a variety of vehicle settings ensuring that the GTI gets going at an optimum rate, time after time.  


How to activate launch control

In order to activate the launch control the driver needs to go through the following steps:

  • Enter the infotainment system and select vehicle.
  • Swipe across to brakes and select brakes.
  • Within this menu you are given three options regarding the level of traction control.
  • Select ESC off and confirm your selection.
  • Thereafter, select sport mode from the driving mode selector.
  • Shift to Sport S1 via the gear selector.
  • Hold the brake with your left foot and push the accelerator to the floor with your right foot, without releasing the brake.
  • A launch control program active notification will pop up on the dashboard.
  • Engine revs will remain constant as the engine builds boost pressure.
  • When ready, release the brake, hold on and enjoy.


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