The Lancer WRC05s automatic clutch and gearshift have already proved successful during testing and this system will see ‘paddles’ adopted on the steering wheel for changing gear, an active gearshift system that negates the need to use the clutch.
Development work is on-going with the center differential and although the aim is to have this ready for Monte-Carlo, the most likely date for the new component is Rally México, in March. Active front and rear differential prototypes have yet to undergo testing and, according to development results in the first quarter of the year, may or may not be implemented into the Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05, especially as this active system will be banned in 2006.
In 2004, it was ascertained that gear ratios needed to be improved and longer ratios will be adopted for first, third and fourth gears, anticipated from Rally New Zealand onwards.
"Our target is to finish all the development work for the Lancer WRC05 within the first six months of the season," stated Fornaris. "Then we can really focus on results, podium finishes and our championship aspirations for 2006."
One of the other most significant changes to the Mitsubishi Lancer World Rally Car will be that it will run on Pirelli tyres for the first time.
"We have started testing with Pirelli and are very impressed with their professional approach and the facilities it is putting at our disposal," added Mario Fornaris. "We are in the process of learning the tyre range and adapting the Lancer WRC05 to optimize their performance, but from the first results I believe there is big potential with our new partner. We will take advantage of Pirelli’s strong points and, in the spirit of our technical partnership, will help Pirelli to improve its tyres feeding them with our car data. Working together on the tyre development is very important for us."Published 7 December 2004