Tuesday, July 10, 2007

New Mitsubishi to get dual-clutch transmission, stability control

Dale Jewett
Automotive News Europe
July 10, 2007

The next generation of the high-performance Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution sedan will have a dual-clutch automated manual transmission and an all-wheel-drive chassis upgraded with stability control.

The new sedan, the tenth generation in the Evolution series, will go on sale this autumn, Mitsubishi Motors said today.

The new Lancer Evolution's form follows the Concept-X vehicle shown at the Tokyo auto show in 2005 and the Prototype-X that debuted at the Detroit auto show in January.

Quick shifts

The new car will be equipped with a six-speed transmission that Mitsubishi calls Twin Clutch SST. In the transmission, the odd-numbered gears are fixed to one input shaft, and the even-numbers gears are fixed to a second shaft. Electronics activate the clutches for gear shifts, either automatically or at the driver’s command.

The advantage of the dual-clutch transmission is the better fuel economy of a traditional manual transmission without the need for the driver to step on a clutch pedal.

The Mitsubishi transmission works similarly to other dual-clutch transmissions, such as the Direct Shift Gearbox transmission used by Volkswagen. BorgWarner supplies the VW unit. BWM is also using automated manual transmission technology, and Ford Motor is working on a similar technology.

The Mitsubishi transmission will be equipped with three shift modes -- normal, sport and s-sport. The sport and s-sport modes hold each gear longer for higher engine rpms, and also change gears faster.

Mitsubishi did not name the supplier of the transmission.

Sure-footed chassis

The all-wheel-drive system of the current Lancer Evolution uses anti-lock brakes, an active center differential and a yaw control for high performance. For the next generation, Mitsubishi will introduce stability control.

The stability control uses sensors in the steering wheel and the wheels to compare the driver’s intended path with the car’s actual path. If the car is headed for an understeer or oversteer condition, the system applies brake pressure at one or two wheels to correct the car’s path.

Mitsubishi will market the system as Super All Wheel Control.

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