Mitsubishi Super Shift Transmission

Nowadays, the automotive engineers have access to a wide range of incredible technologies, therefore each year car manufacturers amaze us with new models packed full of sophisticated features. But 30-40 years ago, the auto industry, despite limited diversity of technical solutions at that time, also was able to deliver cars with wondrous design peculiarities, For instance, everyone who had a chance to get behind the wheel of Mitsubishi Mirage (1-st Gen) could have been amazed to see 2 transmission control levers instead of one. In this article, we will take a closer look at the famous (in its days) gear shifting technology designed by Mitsubishi.

The Super Shift transmission, also known as Twin-Stick, is a manual gear shifting solution designed by Mitsubishi in the late ‘70s. This solution found application on several Mitsubishi models, which were produced mostly in the ‘80s. This unit is notable for some design peculiarities: this 2WD unit has 8 forward gears. Moreover, the design of this manual is complemented by the overdrive unit, unusual feature for a stock car of this type. This gearbox was designed on the basis of a standard 4-speed manual unit to be applied on the 1-st Gen Mirage model, the carmaker’s 1-st FWD vehicle.

Super Shift transmission used in the Mitsubishi Chariot

Mitsubishi engineers wanted to lower the center of gravity of the car as much as possible, thus they decided to position the gearbox below the level of the engine crankshaft. In addition, it was necessary to force the main gear to rotate in the right direction, as it was impossible with the existing layout. Thus, Mitsubishi engineers came up with the idea to apply an additional idler/lay shaft. This solution forced the axle drive gear to rotate in the right direction, but also to place lower all heavy components (shafts with clutches and the main gear). It was then realized that the idler/lay shaft could be implemented as a separate 2-speed gearbox, which would be actuated by a 2-nd shift lever placed near the main gear stick inside the cabin.

A standard 4-speed mechanism was complemented by a 2-speed “high-low” selector, which, in turn, efficiently split each of the four gears in two. As a result, the Twin-Stick unit had 8 forward gears and 2 rev gears. In fact, this technology was not something new for the automotive industry, as the same mechanism had been widely used in heavy-duty applications before the Mitsubishi solution.

Take a look inside the Super Shift transmission

In passenger cars equipped with this gearbox, the additional lever was marked as 'Power' for the lower range, and 'Economy' for the higher range. In some cars the 2-nd stick was as marked with a star icon for the lower range and 'E' (economy) for the higher range. When driving on the road, the engaged mode was highlighted on the dashboard.

In practice, it was almost impossible to use all forward gears sequentially, as the shifting process would require too many movements with two levers, therefore owners of cars equipped with this gear shifting technology used the low 'Power' mode most of the time to ensure better dynamics, while only shifting to the E mode when driving with constant speeds along the highway.

Similar gear shifting technology implemented in Subaru Forester

It is interesting to note that this gear shifting concept is implemented in some Subaru cars. This remarkable technology became a part of history in 1990, when Mitsubishi decided to shut manufacturing of the Tredia and Cordia models.

Finding quality transmission insights and reliable information is not an easy task for transmission specialists who are often either busy with transmission repairs or have their hands covered in oil after a transmission fluid change. All in all, we may be exaggerating a bit but finding these materials is a timely process indeed. We at have got it covered for you! There is a lot you can learn about transmission problem solutions and new transmission models being launched, we also try to interview transmission industry professionals so they can share some of their experience and stories with our readers. We have also included what we find to be events of interest for anyone related to the transmission industry: you check dates, venues, profile and more details on the upcoming industry events. We have got food for thought that you need!

You can add your own material at If you want to share a story related to your business or if you want to highlight some industry news and introduce it to fellow specialists, we encourage you to submit your material to us by contacting us through the contact form or this email:

Latest articles

March and April usually are busiest for the car industry - but certainly, the coronavirus pandemic has acted as the game changer. The UK and USA have suffered a nearly 50% loss of new car sales against the March 2019 results. Big European countries - Spain, France, Italy - have seen a 70-85% decline in the sales of new cars.

European Auto Group, the automotive tuning company from San Antonio, Texas, has already amazed the automotive world with its unique transmission swap projects (such as 2020 Toyota Supra and Ferrari 430 Scuderia). Art Bartosik, the head of EAG, has recently announced that his team plans to embark on the manual swap for the Mercedes-AMG GT.

Nowadays, there is still no ideal solutions on how to transmit torque from the engine to the drive wheels — actually, there’s not even a universal agreement on the best location for the switching mechanism that controls the ratio changes.

Share this page with your friends