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The Role of All -Wheel Control (AWC)

Performance, reliability and safety are three attributes that are core to the Mitsubishi Motors brand, and AWC plays a key role in all three of these attributes.

Safety technologies and systems can broadly be broken into Passive Safety and Active Safety. Passive Safety refers to elements of the vehicle that help to protect occupants during a crash such as:

  •  Mitsubishi Motors' Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution
  • (RISE) unibody
  •  Seatbelts
  •  Airbags
  •  Safety glass

Active Safety is generally used to refer to technologies that assist in the prevention of a collision. This includes technologies such as:

  •  Four Wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  •  Brake Assist System and Brake Override System (BAS, BOS)
  •  Active Stability Control (ASC)
  •  Traction Control (TCL)
  •  All-Wheel-Control (AWC)

AWC isn’t one technology but rather a suite of technologies designed to provide different levels of performance advantages, depending on the vehicle and the segment in which it competes. With four distinct AWC systems, Mitsubishi Motors is the recognized leader in the development of advanced all-wheel drive technologies.


The most affordable vehicle in the Mitsubishi line-up with AWC is the RVR. The AWC system employed by the RVR is similar to the system used in the Outlander ES & LS. It uses an electronically controlled series of clutches to direct torque from the front axle to the rear axle when slip is detected. AWC as used in these applications has three settings:

  • 2WD – for economical driving on normal dry roads and freeways
  • 4WD AUTO – for enhanced traction, high speed stability and predictable handling
  • 4WD LOCK – for driving in slippery conditions such as on snow-covered roads or sand when slip is anticipated and maximum traction is required

The most sophisticated AWC system offered in the Mitsubishi line-up is found in the Lancer RALLIART (and Lancer Sportback RALLIART). Unlike the system found in the RVR, the front to rear torque split is managed by the electronically controlled hydraulic clutches found in the Active Center Differential (ACD).

In addition to containing the clutches responsible for managing the front to rear torque split, the ACD also contains a helical Limited Slip Differential (LSD). The LSD constantly biases torque to the front wheel that has the most traction. Under straight-line acceleration, power remains evenly split between the front wheels. When accelerating out of a turn, the LSD directs power away from the inside wheel and toward the outside wheel. A mechanical LSD performs that task for the rear wheels. The net result is a vehicle that allows the driver to accelerate earlier out of a turn and exit at a higher speed, without losing traction.


Super All-Wheel Control builds on the Mitsubishi Motors AWC technology with the addition of torque vectoring capabilities. The Outlander GT features S-AWC with torque vectoring capabilities at the front axle. The Active Front Differential (AFD) manages the left/right torque split, directing torque to the outside front wheel when understeer is detected. This reduces understeer and enhances the dynamic handling capabilities of the Outlander GT. As with conventional AWD systems the front to rear torque split is managed by the electronic coupling in the rear differential.

The benefits are:

  • Improved cornering performance
  • Improved stability
  • Enhanced road performance

Q. What is torque vectoring?

A. Torque vectoring is the ability to send the torque from left to right. This is done to manage understeer or oversteer – without applying the brakes (as done with stability control). It is just one more way that our vehicles have been developed to deliver a superior driving experience.


The Super All-Wheel Control system utilized in the Lancer Evolution represents the pinnacle of Mitsubishi Motors' all-wheel drive technology. The Active Front Differential (AFD) of the Outlander GT is replaced by two stand-alone technologies – the Active Center Differential (ACD) and Active Yaw Control (AYC). The ACD found in the Lancer Evolution manages the front to rear distribution of torque based on available traction. It also features an integrated helical limited slip front differential which directs torque to the front wheel with the most available traction.

AYC also plays a key role in the enhanced performance capabilities of the Active Stability Control and Sport Anti-Lock Braking systems, increasing braking force on the inside wheel during understeer and on the outer wheel when oversteer occurs. The braking force control feature of the AYC system works in concert with the torque transfer capabilities to deliver enhanced cornering performance and vehicle stability. The net result is seamless and effective control of the vehicle whether the driver is accelerating, decelerating or turning.

The Lancer Evolution offers three operating modes:

  • Tarmac – Provides a rear bias for improved performance under optimal conditions.
  • Gravel – Splits torque equally to ensure balanced handling characteristics under lower traction conditions.
  • Snow – Provides a front bias for more forgiving handling characteristics under slippery conditions.