Wednesday, August 23, 2006

"Monster" confirms Suzuki's WRC HQ

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Speaking at Neste Oil Rally Finland, Suzuki motorsport boss Nobuhiro 'Monster' Tajima confirmed that the company's FIA World Rally Championship program will be based in Hungary, as it gears up for its entry into the WRC in 2008.

Suzuki's European base of operations is based in Hungary, as its customer Junior World Rally Championship programme and it is also the location for its largest European manufacturing plant.

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(photo and story: wrc.com)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Mitsubishi Motors Motorsports Neste Rally Finland Report

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MMSP
Neste Rally Finland Leg 3
10th Round FIA WRC 2006
20 August 2006


Jussi Valimaki
Finland’s Jussi Valimaki turned in a fine drive to clinch seventh place in the Neste Oils Rally Finland, which ended in Jyvaskyla this afternoon. After three days of flat-out driving, the 31-year-old Valimaki was delighted to take points on his home round of the World Rally Championship aboard the Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05.

Valimaki has already demonstrated the potential he and Mitsubishi offer earlier this season, with a sensational fifth place on Rally Italia, his debut in the Lancer. He also made the top 10 on the Acropolis Rally in June. Rally Finland, however, was the focus for Valimaki and co-driver Jarkko Kallioleppo this week. There was a strong Mitsubishi presence for this 10th round of the series, with Daniel Carlsson/Tomas Thorszelius and Juha Hanninen/Marko Sallinen also present in Lancer WRC05s. Carlsson was hoping for a repeat of the third place he managed when he drove a Mitsubishi for the first time on the Swedish Rally.

Daniel Carlsson/Tomas Thorszelius
Carlsson was immediately on the pace, blasting his Mitsubishi into an early fifth overall. Unfortunately for the Swede, his strong run in the car would come to an end on the final significant corner of the first leg. Carlsson said: “I went off on a right-hander and hit a tree. The car was quite badly damaged, too much to carry on in the rally. It’s so annoying, this was the last corner of the real stages today [leg 1], all we had left was the superspecial in Killeri. I had been happy with the car all day and my co-driver and I were looking forward to starting tomorrow and having another attack. It was my mistake, the car had run really well. I am so disappointed.”

Juha Hanninen/Marko Sallinen
Despite Carlsson’s retirement, Valimaki and Hanninen were both handily placed to move up the leaderboard through legs two and three in Finland. Hanninen, driving a World Rally Car for the first time, would not make the start of Saturday morning, however. He was excluded from the rally for not wearing the correct fireproof underwear in the stages.

This left Valimaki upholding the honour of Mitsubishi. He drove exceptionally well to play himself into a fight for sixth place with fellow Finn Janne Tuohino. Eventually Tuohino proved to be too quick for Valimaki, who delivered his trouble-free Lancer to the finish. Valimaki’s seventh overall and two World Rally Championship drivers’ points was his best ever result on an event he’s tackled seven times before.

Juha Hakkinen/Harri Kaapro
Valimaki said: “It’s a shame I couldn’t keep the fight going with Janne today, it was tough. I missed this rally last year, but really it feels like I haven’t been on some of these stages for 10 years. It’s not easy to remember all of the roads and you need to remember them very well when you are flying over the jumps. The rally was good, though. The car was fantastic – no problems. We had a puncture on SS16, but that was the only trouble.”

Rory Galligan/Greg Shinnors
Juha Hakkinen/Harri Kaapro and Rory Galligan/Greg Shinnors maintained Mitubishi’s presence in the Group N category, taking third and fourth in their Lancer Evolution IXs. The pair both impressed with competitive times throughout the event, but were unable to head-off the challenge from rally legend Markku Alen's son Anton and Sweden's Patrik Flodin. Both Hakkinen and Galligan enjoyed trouble-free runs in there Mitsubishis, with Irishman Galligan delighted with his performance on his debut in Finland. He said: "It's an amazing rally. The speeds here are quite incredible. I'm not pushing to the maximum, I'm trying to learn the roads and stay safe - we're here to make the finish, that's the priority. The only problem for us was a brief off on SS19 this morning, when we slid into a farmyard!"

Ford driver Marcus Gronholm clinched his sixth Rally Finland win in seven years, taking a comfortable victory from this year’s World Rally Championship points leader Sebastien Loeb (Citroen). Third place went to Ford’s second Finnish driver Mikko Hirvonen.

The next round of the WRC is Rally Japan (September 1-3).

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(story and photos: MMSP)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Neste Rally Finland Leg 3

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Neste Rally Finland Leg 3
10th Round FIA WRC 2006
20 August 2006





Marcus Gronholm took an emphatic win on this weekend's Neste Oil Rally Finland, leading the event from the second stage, to mark the 50th win for a Finn in the history of the rally. Championship leader Sebastien Loeb finished second, having pushed Gronholm hard until he suffered a puncture and lost time on the second day, while Mikko Hirvonen completed the podium, in what he described as a dream result.

Prior to the event, the talk was of Loeb's chances of challenging for the win, on one of the three rallies has yet to tick off and the victory that would carry him into the record books, as the most successful driver in the history of the WRC.



Following a short superspecial at the Killeri trotting track on Thursday evening, the competition proper got going on Friday morning, amid heavy rain. Gronholm set the pace on the first three stages, with team-mate Mikko Hirvonen and Subaru's Petter Solberg clearly all revelling in the conditions. Loeb was fourth after the first loop of stages, but by a slim margin.

However, it was the fourth stage of the event where things would turn around; The rain began to fall just after Loeb started the stage, first on the road. Although Gronholm only dropped a handful of seconds, Loeb leap-frogged both Hirvonen and Solberg on that stage, to arrive at the first service just behind Gronholm in the overall standings.



And that, basically, is how the two leaders finished the event. The gap grew slightly on the second loop of stages when Loeb stalled at a tight hairpin but the main upset was on the second leg. Loeb had a puncture instantly when he hit a rock on the inside of a flat left-hander which wasn't in his notes. He had to complete the remaining 5km of the stage on the flat and dropped 30 seconds to Gronholm. At the end of the stage, he said that the fight for the win was over, since he didn't feel he would be able to close the now 40-second gap to the leader. He and Gronholm relaxed their pace from there on in and that's how they finished.



Behind them, Petter Solberg and Mikko Hirvonen were enjoying a good scrap on the first day, the Subaru team clearly having made progress with the Impreza WRC over the summer. Once Loeb had assumed second, Hirvonen and Solberg stayed well in touch with each other for the rest of the first leg and into the second day, which dawned damp but with no rain. They continued their fight until the first of the Ouninpohja stages. Solberg got sideways as he landed after one of the famous jumps and clipped a rock, launching his Impreza into a series of rolls, putting him out of the event.



Team-mate Chris Atkinson was also demonstrating the improved pace of the Impreza, with a series of strong stage times throughout the first day putting him fifth behind Solberg by the mid-point. However, he suffered a litany of problems from there on in, as his engine began to overheat towards the end of the first day and he lost all his gears except third on the second. Despite this, he remained upbeat and continued to demonstrate the team's gains on clean stages, eventually finishing the event 11th.



Henning Solberg was clearly enjoying his return to the WRC after an eleven-week lay-off since Greece. Despite a variety of brake problems, which started with a fluid leak at the rear, followed by losing the fronts and then another rear pipe failure, he brought his Peugeot 307 home in fourth place and was delighted with the result, matching his best result in the WRC so far.

One of the earlier battles looked like becoming the talk of the event, as Gigi Galli and Daniel Carlsson set about each other in a repeat of their performance in Sweden earlier in the year. They were separated by fractions of a second, until Galli spun later in the first day and couldn't decide which way he should be heading in the stage. This gave Carlsson useful breathing space but then, on the penultimate stage of the day, he went off the road, lost a wheel and retired, giving Galli a clean run.


(photo:vittoriosanguineti.it)

The irrepressible Italian complained all event of not finding the right balance between speed and safety, and once he was free of direct competition, he concentrated on developing his notes and brought his Pirelli-equipped and supported Peugeot 307 home in fifth place.

While Loeb was the only driver to realistically challenge Gronholm, his Kronos Total Citroen team-mates were having a tougher time. Both Dani Sordo and Xevi Pons were finding it difficult to establish a rhythm on the wet gravel stages. Sordo's chances were hampered when his windscreen wipers failed on the first day but the second day was better, on dry stages and he was up to fifth by the mid-point. However, his event was to end sooner than he wanted, as he took off over a jump and landed off the road and on a rock. Both crew were unhurt but that was the end of their Xsara WRC. Xevi Pons had already retired by this point, rolling on the same stage as Petter Solberg,


(photo: MMSP)

There was a good local derby developing between Jussi Valimaki in a Mitsubishi Lancer WRC and Janne Tuohino in a Citroen Xsara. Both were taking a while to come to terms with the best way to drive their respective cars but were exceptionally close throughout the event. In the end, Tuohino would just edge Valimaki out by less than a minute by the end of the event.



Jan Kopecky was having a tough rally in his privately-entered Skoda Fabia WRC. He suffered gearbox problems throughout the first day on his first attempt at the event. However, he kept his calm and spent the rest of the rally gaining experience and was rewarded with eighth place overall and a driver point.

Manfred Stohl finished the event in ninth place, a result that didn't match his effort. He suffered from a faulty intercom early in the event and then damaged his suspension and lost five minutes in the process on the first leg, finding it difficult to get back into a rhythm after that. Matthew Wilson was another driver to suffer with tyres - he took a heavy landing on the first leg and the tyre came off the wheel immediately, meaning he and co-driver Michael Orr had to stop and change the wheel. He then spent the rest of the event gaining experience and fine-tuning his notes on one of the toughest events in the calendar for a driver competing the first time. He went on to finish tenth.



In Group N, there was an excellent battle developing between Anton Alen, son of Markku and Patrik Flodin, both in Group N Subarus. They traded stage times throughout the event, swapping position more times than you could count. However, on the penultimate stage of the event, Flodin went into a ditch and had a spin, which cost him 40 seconds and his fight for the lead. He went on to finish behind Alen, with Juha Hakkinen third and Jouko Tiri fourth.

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Neste Rally Finland Leg 2

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Neste Rally Finland Leg 2
10th Round FIA WRC 2006
19 August 2006





If the issue on the first leg of the Neste Oil Rally Finland was the weather, it was rocks and rolls on the second, with several front-runners crashing out of contention while others saw their challenge disappear on a large boulder.

The first stage saw overnight leader Gronholm and second-placed Loeb resume their battle from the first leg, with Petter Solberg and Mikko Hirvonen also in the fight. All were on the pace straight out of the box and within fractions of each other, once again.



Chris Atkinson suffered early on though, as his Subaru Impreza lost all of its gears except third and he dropped down the order. However, he was to make it thorough the following two stages and back to service, where the team was able to replace the transmission ready for the afternoon stages.

However, it would be the following stage, the first of the split Ouninpohja stage that would claim the initial casualties. Xevi Pons was the first, rolling on the stage but he was soon followed by Petter Solberg. The Norwegian got sideways on landing from a jump and hit a rock, pitching his Subaru Impreza into a series of rolls. Both he and co-driver Phil Mills were unharmed but the car was destroyed.


(photo: Miika@forum.motorsport.com)

This promoted Henning Solberg to fourth but with the gap to Mikko Hirvonen ahead at almost 1min30sec, the pressure on the Finn was off. Dani Sordo had climbed to fifth and was clearly settling in to the fast gravel stages and setting about consolidating his manufacturer points position for the Kronos Total Citroen team.

The second of the two Ouninpohja stages, which were formerly a single test but had to be split to reduce the average speed, was to prove decisive, however. A rock the size of a football on the inside of a flat left hand corner caused the problems. First to suffer was Sebastien Loeb. He hit the rock and it immediately deflated his tyre and he lost 30 seconds to Marcus Gronholm in the stage. Gronholm also hit the rock but unlike Loeb, got away with it - his tyre remained inflated despite a hole in the wheel rim and he made it to the end of the stage with no time loss.

With their performance so close and such a time loss, Loeb said the fight for the win was effectively over and from there on in, he, Gronholm and Hirvonen established an almost identical pace that would keep them on the ball but ensure they reached the end of the event.



Kosti Katajamaki also fell foul of the rock, the impact pushing his suspension up through the bonnet, while a host of Junior World Rally Championship crews suffered as well.

The next stage saw the drivers holding station, no-one risking anything but stage 14 would cause more woes for the Kronos team. Dani Sordo, who was still improving and gaining invaluable experience, slid wide on the approach to a jump and the car landed off the road and on a rock. Both crew were shaken but OK but the same couldn't be said for the car, which was going no further.

The second run through part two of Ouninpohja was a subdued affair, again no-one pushing too hard.



Following a visit to the service park in Jyvaskyla, the crews headed for the longest stage of the event, the 40Km Moksi-Leutsu test. Many of the drivers complained that their tyres were moving around too much on the long stage, as result of heat build-up but it didn't cause any major issues. Henning Solberg had yet more brake problems in his Peugeot 307WRC; the team had got his front brakes working after the first loop of stages but now, he'd lost a rear brake pipe and would eventually end the day with no brakes at all.



Chris Atkinson's day didn't get any better either. His Impreza's power steering failed in the long stage and he lost time, and no doubt some weight, as he wrestled the car through the test. He lost a further 2min30sec in the process to end the day 13th but was philosophical, pleased that the team appears to have made progress with the car's development.

There was a final sting in the tail for Loeb - he complained of not being able to keep his car in a straight line under braking on the penultimate stage and this allowed the gap between him and Gronholm to grow, to just over a minute, sealing his position, as far as he was concerned.

However, Mikko Hirvonen may have other plans. He said that he would target Loeb's second place on the final day of the event.



Further back in order, Henning Solberg and Gigi Galli ended the second leg with just over a minute separating them, Galli following Solberg home. Behind them, the closest of the front runners are Janne Tuohino in a Citroen Xsara WRC and Jussi Valimaki in the sole remaining Mitsubishi Lancer WRC. They were within seconds of each other all day and end with Tuohino just 20seconds ahead of Valimaki, the latter still learning how to drive the car.

In Group N, Anton Alen, son of legend Markku and Patrik Flodin were having a titanic battle, with national honours at stake; Finland against Sweden respectively. They were another pair who traded times all day, a second here and a second there. They eventually returned to parc ferme with Flodin 10.7sec behind but with four stages to go, it's still to play for.

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Neste Rally Finland Leg 1

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Neste Rally Finland Leg 1
10th Round FIA WRC 2006
18 August 2006







The first full leg of this year's Neste Oil Rally Finland saw Marcus Gronholm return to parc ferme as overall leader, as expected. While many expected championship leader Sebastien Loeb to be close to Gronholm, what was unexpected was just how close; after almost 150 kilometres of competition, the Frenchman holds second place just 12 seconds behind Gronholm. Fellow BP-Ford driver Mikko Hirvonen is a fine third, a further 31.5seconds back.



Heavy overnight rain continued into the first stage of the day and as a result, running first on the road wasn't as much of a disadvantage as it usually is on the fast and flowing gravel tracks.

Loeb and Gronholm set about each other from the first, superspecial stage and no-one else set a fastest time on any of the nine stages that made up the first leg of the event. As the crews headed for the second running of the Killeri superspecial stage, they each had four wins apiece, with Gronholm taking honours on the second spectator superspecial.

Gronholm flew on the first three stages of the day, to build an 11sec cushion to team-mate Mikko Hirvonen as the crews returned to service for the first time. Hirvonen was clearly enjoying the event, running in his neighbourhood while Petter Solberg was third, in the Subaru Impreza which was clearly living up to his and the team's expectations of improved pace. Loeb was fourth and still in touch, despite admitting to taking longer to wake up than Gronholm had over the first loop.



However, things would change on the first run though the 36km Vellipohja stage. The rain began to fall almost as soon as Loeb set off, running first on the road, and followed him through the stage. He had the best of the conditions and behind him, Gronholm dropped 2.5 second, not enough to unduly worry him. However, both Hirvonen and Solberg dropped time, Solberg on tyres too soft for the conditions and Hirvonen feeling he was overdriving the car. The result was Loeb leap-frogging both Hirvonen and Solberg to claim second by the end of the stage.

And that's how it stayed for the top four for the remainder of the day, with the gaps between them remaining largely unchanged until the last forest stage, when Hirvonen's engine stalled on the start line and Solberg closed the gap to less than ten seconds.



Behind them, Chris Atkinson was enjoying as much of a return to form as Solberg, despite also taking too soft a tyre on the long stage. However, an overheating engine cost him time on the second run through the long stage and he dropped one position, behind Henning Solberg in the Peugeot 307. Atkinson put in consistently quick times all day, a further demonstration of the gains made by the Subaru team.



Dani Sordo, who put in such an impressive performance the weekend before in Germany, was having a tougher time in Finland. He was finding it difficult to adapt to the extremely slippery conditions and it didn't help when his windscreen wipers failed on the third stage of the day in heavy rain. He still went on to finish the first leg in seventh place. Xevi Pons, in the third Citroen Xsara was another driver not feeling at home on an event which demands experience in the best conditions, let alone when it is as slippery as today and he ends the leg in 12th.



Gigi Galli and Daniel Carlsson began the day looking like they were going to have a repeat of the battle they enjoyed in Sweden and were never more than fractions of a second apart over the first three stages. However, Galli had a big spin on the first of the long stages and when he came to rest, wasn't sure which direction he should be heading in and lost time as a result. He got the feeling back for the following stages though, although he was now playing catch-up. Carlsson, on the other hand, didn't seem happy with the handling of his Mitsubishi Lancer WRC and eventually, went off the road in the penultimate stage and lost a wheel, handing Galli eighth place.

Jussi Valimaki
(photo: MMSP)

Jussi Valimaki was another driver using the Mitsubishi this weekend and was settling in well. However, he landed after some of the early jumps too hard and ended up with a stiff neck and his co-driver a sore back, reminiscent of last year's event. However, he ends the first leg in ninth just ahead of fellow Finn, Janne Tuohino in another Xsara WRC. He complained of intercom failure all day and had gone through two sets of helmets by the end of the day trying to resolve the problem.

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(story: wrc.com / photos: wrc.com)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Neste Rally Finland - 10th Round FIA WRC 2006

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Neste Rally Finland
10th Round FIA WRC 2006
18-20 August 2006
Official Website: http://nrf.akk-motorsport.fi/en
Time Zone: GMT +3





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Mitsubishi Galant 2007 (US) arrives at dealerships

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New 258-HP Galant Ralliart To Spearhead Restyled 2007 Galant Model Line



Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) has introduced the new high-performance 2007 Galant Ralliart model at the 2006 Chicago Auto Show. Powered by a 258-hp 3.8-liter V-6 engine and equipped with sport suspension, 18-inch wheels and exclusive exterior styling and interior features, the new Ralliart model spearheads the restyled Galant midsize sedan line for 2007. The new Galant models arrive in Mitsubishi dealerships this summer.

The revised styling of all 2007 Galant models is highlighted by a sophisticated new front-end treatment. Interior design and materials have been enhanced, and ride and handling have been refined to provide greater comfort and a more engaging driving experience. Standard side curtain air bags have been added to the comprehensive safety package, which also includes advanced front air bags with occupant sensors and front seat-mounted side-impact air bags.



"The 2007 Galant Ralliart makes a resounding statement about Mitsubishi's "Driven to Thrill" performance and design with its a bold, modern, and a uniquely Mitsubishi interpretation of what a midsize performance sedan should be," said Dave Schembri, executive vice president for sales and marketing for Mitsubishi Motors North America. "The Galant Ralliart shows the direction that we're taking both the Galant -- and the brand."


Capable of accelerating from zero-to-60 mph in about seven seconds, the 2007 Galant Ralliart will challenge some of the best sport sedans while delivering renowned Mitsubishi value.

New Styling, New Choices



All Galant models for 2007 are identified by an updated, more sophisticated front end design featuring a new grille with chrome surround, plus a new front fascia and new bumper. The rear bumper fascia is also revised in line with the front appearance. The Galant Ralliart is distinguished by a sport mesh grille two-tone color bumpers, color-key side air dams, 18-inch alloy wheels and Ralliart badges. Its front end also stands apart from other Galant models with projector-style four-bulb ellipsoid headlamps.

With the arrival of the Galant Ralliart for 2007, the GTS model assumes a more luxury-leaning role in the lineup, in place of the previous LS model. The Galant DE and ES models are powered by a 160-hp MIVEC-enhanced 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine teamed to a four-speed automatic transmission with Sportonic(R), which enables manual shift control when desired.
Ralliart: A Complete Grand Touring Performance Package



Galant Ralliart has the heart of a high-performance GT car - the Mitsubishi Eclipse GT, to be precise. Its 3.8-liter V-6 produces 258 hp at 5,700 rpm and 258 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,500 rpm, making it one of the most powerful import brand sport sedans in the segment. The Mitsubishi Innovative Valve Timing Electronic Control system (MIVEC) helps optimize power and engine efficiency across a broad engine speed range. As an example of MIVEC's benefits, the large-displacement V-6 is already producing 220 lb.-ft. of torque at just 2,000 rpm, giving the Galant Ralliart "right now" off-the-line response.



The Galant Ralliart V-6 is matched to a new five-speed automatic transmission that features Sportronic. The GTS continues with a 230-hp version of the 3.8-liter V-6 and also gains the new five speed automatic transmission with Sportronic.

The Galant Ralliart features its own, higher-rate springs and dampers and is exclusively equipped with a 21-mm rear stabilizer bar. The Ralliart's 235/45R-18 all-season tires are mounted to 18 x 8-inch 7-spoke aluminum alloy wheels.



Inside, Galant Ralliart combines exclusive design and luxurious equipment, including standard perforated leather-trimmed seating surfaces, heated front seats, an automatic climate control system, a power glass sunroof with sunshade and Homelink(TM) transmitter with auto- dimming rear view mirror. Aluminum pedals and Micro-delta print accent panels further distinguish the Ralliart interior.

Galant Ralliart Ready for Driving - and "Driving Music"
Mitsubishi is the first auto manufacturer to factory-install the Rockford Acoustic Design(TM) premium audio system, making it standard equipment on the 2007 Galant Ralliart. This high-end audio system - one of the most advanced on the market - provides AM/FM/CD/MP3 playback capability, including a 6-disc in-dash CD changer. The linear 8-channel amplifier produces 360 watts continuous at less than 0.02% THD. A dedicated channel drives each loudspeaker for the ultimate in sonic control. Silk dome tweeters mounted on the leading edge of the dash produce a natural multi-dimensional soundstage. Digital Signal Processing optimizes output to provide user-selectable listening environments, including "Normal," "Studio," "Club" and "Concert."

The Rockford Acoustic Design(TM) premium audio system is also available for Galant ES and GTS. Mitsubishi's partnership with Rockford began in 2006 with the Rockford-Fosgate(TM) Punch audio system offered in the Eclipse coupe (and now standard in the 2007 Eclipse Spyder).

The good sounds continue in Galant Ralliart with the standard SIRIUS(TM) satellite radio package with six months' free subscription. This package, too, is available for the ES and GTS models. A new DVD navigation system with 7-inch touch screen is available as a factory option on the Galant Ralliart and GTS models.



Galant Ralliart without the optional navigation system features a standard 4.9-inch color LCD display that provides outside temperature and a compass, as well as a trip computer with fuel mileage information, a door alarm indicator, maintenance recorder, and calendar. The display also provides an interface that allows owners to customize many of the vehicle's interior functions.

Robust Platform for Sporty Driving



Mitsubishi designed all Galant models to provide a sporty driving experience. Tweaking the body structure for greater rigidity enhances ride and handling in all Galant models for 2007. For the Ralliart model, the enhanced structure provides the ideal base for the exclusive sport suspension tuning and 18-inch alloy wheels with low-profile tires.

The proven MacPherson strut design front suspension system attaches to a sub-frame with a large, rigid cross member for responsive handling and reduced noise, vibration and harshness. The low-mounted, multi-link rear suspension features stiff hydro-formed cross members that minimize flex and help reduce road noise.



The Galant DE and ES models ride on standard 16-inch wheels with 215/60R16 tires; the GTS steps up to 17-inch alloy wheels with 215/55R17 tires. Ralliart and GTS models feature a standard tire pressure monitoring system, which is included in the optional Sport Package for the Galant ES model.

All Galant models are equipped with four-wheel disc brakes, with the GTS and Ralliart featuring larger front discs. The Ralliart in addition features larger rear discs. An anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) is standard on all Galant models, except the DE.

Enhanced Refinement for 2007



Galant provides a roomy midsize package with 101.1 cu. ft. of passenger space and a generous 37 inches of rear legroom - more room than the MazdaSpeed 6 or Volkswagen Jetta GLI sport sedans. For 2007, new door trim, a new knit-fabric headliner, new steering wheel design and chrome trim details convey a more upscale appearance. New seat trim and color choices provide a warmer interior feeling than before.

Premium Comfort, Great Value
Customers can infuse the Galant ES with some of the style and comfort of the V-6 Galant models by ordering the optional Sport Package and Premium Package. The Sport Package adds head-turning style with 16-inch alloy wheels, dark bezel halogen headlamps, crystal covered ellipsoid rear lamps, and a color-keyed rear spoiler. Inside, the package equips the ES model with the Rockford Acoustic Design premium audio system and the SIRIUS satellite radio package with six months free subscription.



The ES Premium Package brings in leather-trimmed seating surfaces, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, power glass sunroof with sunshade, auto-dimming rear view mirror with Homelink transmitter and additional trim details. The Sun and Sound option package for the Galant GTS essentially combines those two packages and adds an anti-theft alarm.

All Galant models are built at Mitsubishi's manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois, which also builds the Eclipse coupe and Eclipse Spyder and the Endeavor sport-utility vehicle. Mitsubishi cars and sport utility vehicles are backed by a comprehensive new-vehicle limited warranty that covers the vehicle from bumper to bumper for five years/60,000 miles. In addition, the powertrain is covered by a 10-year/100,000 mile limited warranty, while body panels have a seven-year/100,000 mile anti-corrosion/perforation limited warranty.

The program also includes 24-hour emergency roadside assistance with free towing to the nearest authorized Mitsubishi retailer for warranty-related repairs for five years/unlimited miles.

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