In a further step along the evolutionary path for transmissions, Mitsubishi has announced that it will be selling its Outlander SUV with the option of a Twin-Clutch SST gearbox, the same one currently found in the EVO X.
The high-performance gearbox will initially be offered in 2009 as an option on the Outlander 2.2 Di-D with other models expected to follow. Rather than ferociously fast gearchanges designed to shave tenths off of track or strip times, the SST will be fitted to the Outlander to take advantage of its inherent efficiency.
The six-speed Twin Clutch SST can be switched between fully automatic and manual shifting modes, as well as Sport and Normal modes. A set of steering wheel mounted paddle shifters allow gears to be changed sequentially by the driver. The SST that will be fitted to the Outlander will also feature Hill Start Assist that sees the brakes automatically engaged when the vehicle is starting from a standstill on a hill.
The benefits inherent in a twin-clutch gearbox include virtually no power loss between gear changes, along with improved emissions and fuel economy when compared to an automatic gearbox. In the case of the diesel Outlander, the SST is expected to further enhance its already frugal nature and improve the vehicles performance.
Are we witnessing the last days of the hydraulic automatic transmission, as manufacturers chase every last drop of efficiency? Modern twin-clutch gearboxes can offer the best of both worlds, with manual and fully automatic modes being available. You may not want to be the person paying to have one fixed out of warranty, but get used to seeing more and more of them appear as an option on new models.