Monday, 18 February 2008

What do you mean, no reverse gear?

Mitsubishi has announced some of the details that have gone into the Lancer Evolution X to make it the most advanced of the Evo line. These include the rather improbable fact that the Evo X has no reverse gear and spoilers in the wheelarches. Both these facts suggest someone is having a joke at our expense but, on closer examination might actually make sense.

The lack of reverse gear doesn't mean the Evo will only go forwards but it does mean that there is no dedicated reverse gearset. An idler gear on a separate shaft engages with 1st and 3rd gears to give reverse. Mitsubishi claim this saves weight.

Within the wheelarches Mitsubishi has incorporated a lip around the curve of the wheel to minimise turbulence. Given that the airflow within the wheelarches can cause serious problems with drag and lift Mitsubishi are to be praised for trying to address the problem.

Evo X 2

Other aerodynamic tricks include vents behind the front wheelarches to allow hot air to escape, as do vents in the bonnet. There is also an air intake vent in the bonnet to allow the engine to breathe.

Evo X 2

Clever details are something of a Mitsubishi speciality. Careful planning means lightweight sound damping foam has been employed only where necessary. The glazing is designed to reduce the transmission of solar heat by 60-100%. The glass also cuts out the transmission of ultra violet but does not reduce the amount of visible light entering the cabin. The headlights incorporate extra beams that come on when the steering is turned to light the way around corners.

Evo X 3

Perhaps the most important detail, however, is the fact that Mitsubishi are offering a fixed-price deal for the Evo's first 3 services. Just £400 covers the cost and includes the initial 1,000 mile oil change. Given the high maintenance reputation of previous Evos that has to be a good thing. Unless, like the wheel arch spoilers and lack of reverse gear, that too is an elaborate wind up.

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