Mitsubishi’s answer to off-road driving comes in 3 flavours; the Pajero, the Triton and the Challenger. They are all very capable vehicles with some obvious differences. However, somewhere between the engine and the wheels, there is a key element that Mitsubishi has included on all of the 4wd options of these 3 vehicle models. And they call it the Mitsubishi Super Select 4wd system. The super select 4wd System is different from the Mitsubishi All Terrain Technolgy (MATT). MATT incorporates systems such as Active Stability Control, Traction Control and ABS, whereas the Super Select 4wd system allows you to select your driving mode based on the terrain you’re driving on.
The Super Select 4wd system provides you with 4 driving options to suit terrain and road conditions. Note that some of the models listed above are also available in a 2wd configuration. Super Select 4wd is obviously not available on 2wd models. However, MATT is.
Super Select 4wd driving options
Mitsubishi Super Select 4wd offeres 4 driving options. SuperSelect II is basically the same. These are:
- 2H – Two wheel drive, high range. In this mode, the front wheels are completely disengaged from the drive train. All engine power is directed towards the rear wheels. This mode is said to be the most fuel efficiant and causes the least wear and tear on the vehicle’s drive-train. It is recommended for use on dry, good quality, sealed roads
- 4H – 4 wheel drive, high range. 4H connects the front wheels to the drive train through a viscous coupling unit. This means that there is no physical connection between the engine and the front wheels, but power is delivered to the front wheels to assist with traction on wet or slippery roads. This mode is recommended for use in slippery conditions on sealed roads, or on good quality tracks. It can be used on dry, sealed roads with no adverse impact to the drive train. It is possible to change from 2H to 4H and back again while the vehicle is in motion. When changing from 2H to 4H, the engine must not be powering the wheels. I.e. the vehicle must be coasting.
- 4HLc – 4 wheel drive, high range, locked centre. Locking the centre differential forces even power to be delivered to both the front and rear wheels. The advantage of this is that it provides significantly greater traction in more serious off-road situations. However it’s very important not to dirve on sealed roads in this mode. Locking the centre also will prevent the front and rear wheel from spinning at different speeds. When a vehicle is turning, the rear wheels will travel less distance than the front and will therefore need to spin more slowly. If the centre is locked and forcing the front and back to turn at the same speed, then the drive train can ‘wind up’. Rotational tension is placed on components and over time will rapidly cause damage. So it is critical to never use 4HLc on terrain where the tyres are unable to slip (such as roads). It is possible to change from 4H to 4HLc while the vehicle is in motion.
- 4LLc – 4 wheel drive, low range, locked centre. This mode is the same as 4HLc except will provide greater torque for situations that require it. This mode can be used for steep climbing and decending or for slow driving where precision and power are required. As with 4HLc, it is important not to use this mode on good quality road surfaces. The vehicle must be stopped to move between 4HLc and 4LLc.
In addition to these 4 modes, some models are fitted with a rear differential lock, that is available in 4HLc and 4LLc modes only. It is recommended that the vehicle be stopped when engaging the rear differential lock. Having said this, the vehicle can be in motion when activating the rear diff lock, however locking will not actually occur until the vehicle is travelling slower than 6km/h.
The rear differential lock forces both rear wheels to spin at the same speed regardless of traction. With an unlocked differential, if one wheel loses traction then power will be directed to that wheel. This results in a loss of forward momentum. Locking the differential will ensure that the wheel that maintains traction will continue to recieve engine power and will drive the vehicle forward.
However it is critical not to drive the vehicle on quality sealed roads. When turning, the inside wheels will spin slower than the outside wheels. Locking the differential will prevent this and will cause windup and eventual damage to the vehicle.
When changing between 4wd modes, indicator lights on the dash board will flash to indicate that the mode has been selected, and will stop flashing when the mode has been activated. On occasion it can take some time to move between the different modes.
Super Select II 4wd System
Providing the same functionality, the Super Select II system is controlled via a twist dial on the dashboard rather than a gear lever. Additional features are the downhill assist button, the 4wd mode button and the electronic park brake.