Mitsubishi owners past and present can tell you all about the excitement and enjoyment you feel at the wheel of the manufacturer’s cars. Their interior comfort and performance play a role in this on or off-road satisfaction, and the technology Mitsubishi has developed aims to enhance the experience. The innovations and advancements below are just some of the ways the carmaker strives to help you enrich every single mile of motoring.
Four-wheel drive (4WD) isn’t a new system, but Mitsubishi’s three separate versions are among the most sophisticated. Electronically controlled 4WD enhances the ride through three modes which can be selected to suit the conditions and your individual preferences. Each mode is engaged with a single touch of the drive mode selector located conveniently on the centre console.
Twin Motor 4WD, fitted to the Outlander PHEV, couples two powerful front and rear motors. This highly responsive arrangement delivers the accelerating power of a large displacement engine but without the emissions output and reduced efficiency.
Super Select 4WD II offers four driving modes which you can shift between instantly when mobile. Reduced fuel consumption is the benefit of selecting rear-wheel 2WD, while direct drive 4WD is ideal for tackling rocky or muddy terrain.
AWC has been born out of Mitsubishi’s 4WD developments and involvement with the unforgiving Dakar Rally race. The technology maximises the tire capacity of all four wheels to heighten the vehicle’s traction, cornering and braking ability alongside its handling responses. A three-pronged approach enables the carmaker to realise this aim of high performance and alert handling.
Four-wheel vertical load control is a combination of a rigid body, aluminium roof panel, large diameter tyres, four-wheel independent suspension, and optimised weight distribution. Four-wheel driving/braking force distribution control incorporates systems of Active Centre Differential (ACD), Active Yaw Control (AYC), electronically controlled 4WD, Active Front Differential (AFD), and stability control function (ASC). Four-wheel slip control brings together stability control function (ASC), Active Skid and Traction Control (ASTC), an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Sport ABS.
S-AWC takes the concept of AWC to another level. Like AWC, it manages the driving and braking forces at each wheel for predictable handling in virtually all situations. There are three separate S-AWC set ups that are fitted depending on the model purchased. The variant inside the Outlander SUV adds advanced torque vectoring capabilities which sends torque to the left or right of both axles to correct oversteer or understeer.
S-AWC in the Outlander PHEV uses Twin Motor 4WD, AYC and drive modes of Normal or 4WD Lock. The system fitted to the Lancer Evolution replaces an Active Front Differential (AFD) with Active Centre Differential (ACD) and Active Yaw Control (AYC). It also offers operating modes of Tarmac, Gravel and Snow to alter the car’s set-up to suit each surface.
Mitsubishi’s Active Centre Differential (ACD) follows the manufacturer’s philosophy of driving pleasure by delivering a stable and safe ride. The technology controls the differential limit between both axels and channels the most appropriate amount of driving force to each wheel. The base distribution is fixed at 50:50, and the system controls the changing amount of force between ‘free’ and ‘locked 4WD’ limits. Information on wheel speed, steering wheel angle, engine torque, brake pressure and yaw rate are all monitored by the technology to maintain optimum traction and handling as the conditions change.
AYC is responsible for manoeuvring the vehicle in the way you intend whenever you steer or accelerate. It monitors your behaviour and combines this information with details on steering angle, yaw rate, torque, wheel speed and braking pressure. By controlling the vehicle’s ‘yaw moment’ the system enhances its agility and stability through corners. Models such as the Outlander, Outlander PHEV and Lancer Evolution benefit from AYC and the effortless control it brings.
The arrival of the MIVEC Turbo engine signalled a step forward for Mitsubishi driving dynamics and increased excitement for buyers of models fitted with the unit. Power and torque have both been increased, with maximum torque available at a lower rev range to achieve more potent acceleration.
Mitsubishi highlights the low weight of the unit as one of its most significant features. Another highlight is a change to the intake and exhaust layout which means the exhaust could be relocated from directly under the powertrain. The engine could be positioned lower as a result, which lowers the vehicle’s centre of gravity and sharpens the handling. This new intake/exhaust set-up has the added advantage of optimising the valve timing settings for higher engine output and lower fuel consumption.
INVECS-III is Mitsubishi’s continuously variable transmission system which delivers smoother up and down gear changes alongside improved fuel economy. It selects the most suitable gear ratio based on road conditions. Unlike a conventional automatic gearbox there is no hesitation as the system shifts up or down. Some Mitsubishi models include a six-speed Sport mode as part of the INVECS-III system which adds paddle shifters behind the wheel. They allow you to change gears manually to better engage with the vehicle and its movements.
Twin Clutch SST boasts the economy and enjoyment of a manual gearbox with the simple usability of an automatic. The conventional manual clutch and shift operation is replaced by an automatic dual clutch which moves up and down to each gear ratio without interfering with the transfer of power. This quickens the vehicle’s acceleration for extra thrills in the driving seat, while the smoothness of gear changes boosts the enjoyment for everyone on board. Fuel economy also improves noticeably to reduce your fuel expenses.
A technological advancement that all Mitsubishi motorists experience is aerodynamics. The streamlined shape of its cars is both visually appealing and helps to reduce drag which in turn improves performance. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and wind tunnel testing allows Mitsubishi to tweak the shape of its vehicles, minimising drag and channelling cooling air into the engine for optimised output. These developments help the Mitsubishi Mirage to achieve the best drag coefficient in its class.
A test drive of any Mitsubishi model is the best way to understand the ways in which the automaker enhances the driving pleasure for its customers. To sample the driving dynamic of your preferred vehicle please make an enquiry with Birchwood Mitsubishi in Eastbourne.