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Mitsubishi recreates rally experience

Friday, March 30, 2012    

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ONE of the more popular attractions at the 2012 Scotiabank/ADA Motor Show was a merger between the virtual and the real -- the Mitsubishi Time Attack.

The crowd swelled, as scores of patrons waited in line to experience getting into the cockpit of a Mitsubishi Evolution X and navigate various stages of rally using a LED screen.

"I saw the system in 1997 when I attended the London Auto Show at Earl's Court. It was called the Skoda Experience," said Christopher McFarlane, sales and marketing manager at Stewart's Auto Sales.

McFarlane, a racecar driver, partnered with local video game store Str8 Games to give Jamaicans a first-hand feel of the rally experience. The game was launched November last year.

Players sit in the driver's seat of the Evolution X. However, the real steering wheel and pedals have been removed and replaced with those of a video game system. Drivers interact through a force-feedback Logitech steering wheel. Outside the windshield are two flat screen monitors — one displaying the virtual Evolution X via the PlayStation3 game Dirt and the other gives spectators an in-car view of the passengers. Audio is pumped through the car's audio system to add to the excitement.

"In the full system, we have higher quality audio equipment, and bass shakers under the seats that react with the game."

One thing was for sure — the fans of the Mitsubishi Time Attack didn't seem to mind the missing extras... judging from the length of the lines. In case you're asking, the Evolution X used for the game is for sale.

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