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From Renault's new Alaskan bakkie to the latest models at the Frankfurt motor show bound for SA.

Electric cars in SA

The debate on whether or not Electric Vehicles (EV) are viable in South Africa rages on.

Evo takes flying lesson off dyno

2010-12-15 07:13

HEART OF THE MATTER: Mitsubishi’s 2-litre turbocharged Lancer Evo mill. Infinitely tuneable. Just be careful setting it up on a chassis dyno though.

What would petrolheads do without the rolling chassis dynamometer, that rite of passage and reality check for the ambitions of many a performance-tuned automobile?

Unlike the more accurate – and undoubtedly safer, yet infinitely more boring – engine dynamometer, the chassis version takes a car right up to its peak simulated performance by having the wheels spin at maximum geared speed.

Whereas very little can go wrong with an engine dynamometer – you just need to keep the airflow going to prevent overheating – the chassis version is practically an accident waiting to happen, especially when running a high-performance all-wheel drive vehicle on it.

Witness then the unfortunate state of affairs to befall this Mitsubishi Lancer Evo owner in America's unofficial 52nd state, Puerto Rico.

Keen to verify if the latest modifications to his car really yield the claimed 330kW, the Evo owner set up his car for a peak power output run.

RATCHET STRAPS UNBREAKABLE?

Traditional logic dictates that fastening down a high-performance car on a dynamometer with simple ratchet straps will prevent it from launching off the rolling platform, even when there is 330kW at play.

Unfortunately, like anybody who has had a ratchet strap fail to secure a fridge properly when moving house can attest, these canvas and metal devices are not unbreakable.

As the Evo runs up to its power peak the car's sophisticated all-wheel drive system starts apportioning torque in all the wrong places (due to an incorrectly balanced car posture) and simply launches the Mitsubishi off the dynamometer and on to one of the support posts.

Damage? Well, a ruined left door, damaged undertray and vanquished pride.

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