Mitsubishi will introduce a double-clutch gearbox on the Lancer Evolution X, sources say.
The supersaloon is set for launch in a year, which should make Mitsubishi the first manufacturer to respond to VW's pioneering transmission. BMW and Porsche are among the car makers who are also working on rival gearboxes. DSG stands for direct-shift gearbox.
It has twin clutches, which enable two gears to be selected simultaneously. While one gear is engaged, a second cog – either up or down, depending on whether you are accelerating or braking – is pre-selected but its clutch is disengaged. When the time comes to change gear, the second clutch is engaged, activating that gear, while the other clutch disengages the previous gear.
The driver can make the changes manually via wheel-mounted paddles, or allow the auto mode to change gear for him. Not only is the gearchange seamless and faster than a manual shift, but it also saves fuel.
VW claims it developed the DSG 'box in-house, assigning a sizeable chunk of its 9000 R&D employees to the project. It was launched on the Audi TT V6 in 2002, and has since spread across VW group cars. That gives VW a five-year head-start, assuming Mitsubishi does manage to play catch up in 2007.
No word if the transmission was developed in-house or, more likely given Mitsubishi's resources, with a supplier. Sources still expect Mitsubishi to offer a regular manual transmission, alongside its wannabe DSG. The Evo X's 2.0-litre turbo engine will generate 300bhp in its base form, although Mitsubishi's UK importer is expected to offer higher power FQ versions.