The Prodrive and Xtrac designed gearbox used by the Subaru World Rally Team in the all-new Subaru Impreza WRC2008 has been shortlisted for the prestigious Powertrain Innovation of the Year Award at Professional MotorSport World Expo, an annual industry show for motorsport professionals.

The Impreza World Rally Car’s gearbox is a six-speed unit that utilises Prodrive’s electro-hydraulic paddle-shift system. It is the only gearbox within the World Rally Championship to retain an H pattern layout similar to that common amongst road cars.

This layout makes gear changes faster than a sequential unit, at around 12 milliseconds per shift, and means that drivers are able to select any gear at any time, allowing greater flexibility of use and recovery through block-shifting.

It is the latest evolution of SWRT’s long-established rally-proven technology: the first all-new gearbox in ten years. It was borne from 18 months of intensive CAD design followed by three months’ testing on SWRT’s in-house dyno before being introduced to the Impreza WRC2008 for further in-car shakedown and systems testing before its competitive debut on the Acropolis Rally in May.

All of the once-external oil lines have been internalised within the casting in this latest iteration, and simplicity rules as it is now formed from a total of two main castings rather than five. This contributes to it weighing in at a significant nine kilograms lighter than the previous gearbox of the Impreza WRC2007.

Now in their third year, the awards will be presented during the annual Professional MotorSport World Expo in Cologne, Germany from November 11-13. 

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