Thursday, August 28, 2008

Mitsubishi Outlander production at NedCar goes into full swing [NL]

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Mitsubishi vehicle production in Europe
Start of production of the Outlander in Born, Netherlands

* Strategy: even utilization of Mitsubishi car plants
* Planned volume: 30,000 units of the Mitsubishi SUV per year
* Market situation: consistently strong demand in Europe

Hattersheim, 28 August 2008. Eighteen months after the European debut of the new generation Outlander model in the spring of 2007 opens another chapter in the success story of the sporty SUV model: With the official ceremony started today the production in Europe Mitsubishi NedCar plant in Born, Netherlands.
The final preparations were running since September 2007, on 13 May 2008 started the pre-production and 1 August 2008 the regular production. Prominent guests at the opening ceremony on Thursday, the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Maria van der Hoeven and other government representatives. The host platform Osamu Matsumoto, director production of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, Tim Tozer, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors Europe BV (MME) and Joost Govaarts, President and COO of the NedCar plant.

According to tradition, one Outlander was donated to the "Bio-Kinderrevalidatie", which is a facility for mentally disabled children and operates in the past year a research and treatment facility in operation. Osamu Matsumoto and Joost Govaarts turned over the vehicle to the foundation's director Maarten Elsenburg.
NedCar: 30,000 per year Mitsubishi Outlander
The assembly of the Mitsubishi Outlander with Japan-made for European markets * specified module kits made with a capacity of 130 units per day and shift on a separate line in the hall of the production is no longer produced model Mitsubishi Space Star. Starting with this year ** is on the entire model cycle of the vehicle an average annual production of 30,000 units. The worldwide production of the Mitsubishi Outlander would be - along with 150,000 units from a full-capacity plant in Okazaki, Japan - a volume of 180,000 units per year.

With regard to economic production and a solid refinancing is staffed with 600 employees Outlander production at NedCar on optimal use of existing facilities designed to model changes had only been in body welding and final assembly plant and logistics are made, in addition, side parts of the body in NedCar's own stamping plant.

From a European manufacturing are only the first of PSA Peugeot / Citroen (2.2 DI-D) and Volkswagen (2.0 DI-D) delivered diesel engines and components of the aforementioned body outer skin; in the further course, however, the order volume of local Suppliers increased.

Successful management
The reason for the relocation - as Mitsubishi, 18 September 2007 announced - a uniform utilization of Mitsubishi car works *** without any possible bottlenecks due to the high demand for the Outlander in Europe and worldwide and also strongly demanded new-generation Lancer.

How successful the Mitsubishi Outlander, with its combination of attractive design, driving dynamics, space, variability and low consumption and CO2 emission levels and the brand known for the low price-value ratio in Europe, shows the sales statistics:

Middle-class SUV (January-May 20081) in Europe: 268,291 units sold (+ 8.3% vs. 247,784 units from January to May 20071):

* # 1: Volkswagen Tiguan
32,787 units (new)
* # 2: Toyota RAV4
Vs. 31,645. 44,860 units (- 29.5%)
* # 3: Honda CR-V
Vs. 29,177. 32,170 units (- 9.3%)
* # 4: BMW X3
Vs. 23,782. 28,717 units (- 17.2%)
* # 5: Suzuki Grand Vitara
Vs. 18,646. 25,271 units (-26.2%)
* # 6: Land Rover Freelander
Vs. 16,880. 16,647 units (+ 1.4%)
* # 7: Mitsubishi Outlander (new)
Vs. 15,271. 11,435 units (+ 33.5%)
* # 8: Nissan X-Trail
Vs. 13,810. 10,605 units (+ 30.2%)
* # 9: Chevrolet Captiva
Vs. 12,726. 13,049 units (- 2.5%)
* # 10: Hyundai Santa Fe
Vs. 11,349. 19,471 units (- 41.7%)

Sale rate increase of Mitsubishi Outlander in Europe: 75%

1) Source: Jato Dynamics (20 European countries)
Mitsubishi Outlander sales within the territory of MME paragraph (34 countries): 17,085 (Jan. - May 2008) vs. 12,007 units (Jan. - May 2007): +42,3%

NedCar: high quality and flexibility
In one for the automotive industry difficult business climate is the relocation of the Outlander for the European markets to NedCar a vote of confidence in the quality and flexibility of the plant as well as a further demonstration of the efforts of Mitsubishi, the efficiency of its global production *** continually improve.

By avoid potential production bottlenecks and sales loss of Mitsubishi Motors Europe and more than 30 national distribution companies, the desired and required sales volume of a model that is excellent throughout Europe adopted - aptly in a moment that the market for compact and mid-sized crossover SUV Tends models.

* In addition to Russia, Ukraine, Norway, Switzerland, Israel, Iceland, Macedonia and Croatia, the supplies from Japan.
** NedCar total production volume per year: 65,000 ± Colt + 30,000 Outlander
*** Mitsubishi utilization of production facilities worldwide: (financial year 2004: 62%, fiscal year 2007: 92%).

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mitsubishi Motors launches "DIAMANT" used car program [DE]

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Mitsubishi Motors [Germany] launches "DIAMANT" used car program

»Marketing of certified used cars under its own label
»Concentrated package of support measures for trade
»Mitsubishi Motors cooperation between Germany and the MKG Bank
Hattersheim, 25 August 2008. The sales partner of Mitsubishi Motors Deutschland GmbH (MMD) can now in the marketing of Mitsubishi used cars on a comprehensive package of support measures access. This is the new Mitsubishi "DIAMANT" used car program led by MMD in cooperation with the MKG Bank, the financing partner Mitsubishi and Mitsubishi dealers' association has been developed.

The accompanying measures to support the sale of used vehicles are very extensive and range from an extensive training and coaching directly from the participating companies on the provision of useful computer tools for the sales processing up at subsidized rates for the sale of so-called "Langstehern" by MKG Bank. Advantages in financing the purchase, uniform advertising and Signalisationsmittel, support for Internet presence in Europe and a valid used car warranty (CarGarantie) are other important elements in the "DIAMANT" working partners at Mitsubishi marketing process will be extremely helpful.
At this launch have 155 Mitsubishi partners (of a total of 680 distribution partners nationwide) immediately for participation in the "DIAMANT" used cars strongly. "250 qualified Mitsubishi used car dealers should, in any case," Holt shares Bernd Large Forth, who as head used car sales at Mitsubishi Motors Deutschland GmbH for the program is responsible. Together with Wilfried Gollub, sales manager at the MKG Bank, he gave a few days ago with the idea of the program at the Mitsubishi car dealership in Frascoia Kappelrodeck the official launch.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

FIA awards Official Group N homologation to the Mitsubishi Lancer X

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MITSUBISHI LANCER Evolution X Gains FIA Group N homologation

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation submitted to the Federation Internationale de L'automobile (FIA) papers on the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X (chassis type CZ4A) for Group N Official homologation, receiving that recognition on August 1st 2008. The FIA Group N Official homologation number is "N-5718."
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, the competition model equipped with the turbocharged MIVEC engine, acquired official recognition from the FIA for Group N homologation. It is expected that the high-powered FIA Group N machine will be active in rally competition including in the FIA Production Car world Rally Championship (PWRC), FIA regional championships, and a variety of domestic championships in the future.
RALLIART INC. (President: Masao Taguchi) "In an attempt to improve our Mitsubishi-running entrants' convenience, we have published on our website a new "Group N Information" section, with homologation and competition information etc. on all models from the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI onwards. As for the homologation information and rules, these are the officially recognized versions. There are also details on obtaining the car, and a sample of the official rulebook has also been published. In the near future, information on parts and additional officially recognized parts (VO) information for Group N vehicles that this company sells will be introduced onto the site.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mitsubishi's MRX09 "Racing Lancer" Competition Debut

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22 August 2008

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) and its motorsport unit MMSP have developed a new cross-country rally car, the turbodiesel "Racing Lancer" which will be entered Baja Portalegre / Portugal.

The team's 2008 calendar also features selected rounds of the inaugural Dakar Series, the FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup and the FIA international Cup for Cross-Country Bajas with the tried and tested Pajero/Montero Evolution.
In parallel to its competition activities, Team Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart is also furthering the development of the new "Racing Lancer" with the clear objective of winning the Dakar in 2009.

As officially revealed, the team's latest cross-country rally car will be powered by a new turbocharged diesel engine which has already been put through its paces in a specific version of the Pajero/Montero Evolution on the following races: the Central Europe Rally (the first event of the newly-created Dakar Series), the Rali Transiberico (second round of FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup) and the Baja Espana (round three of the FIA International Cup for Cross-Country Bajas).

Competing at rally speeds against the sport's leading teams has enabled the team to gather a vast amount of valuable data which could not have been obtained through testing alone. Hiroshi Masuoka (Japan) has competed twice with the turbocharged Pajero/Montero Evolution and is typically enthusiastic about the newcomer's potential: "The diesel version is overwhelmingly easy to drive thanks to its tremendous torque which is available over an even broader rev-band," says Masuoka. "It outperforms the petrol-powered car in terms of controllability over challenging terrain, as well as when accelerating out of corners and along high-speed straights. With the right set-up it would be comfortably faster."

Joan 'Nani' Roma (Spain) drove a Pajero/Montero Evolution, with the new turbodiesel grafted into it, on the Rali Transiberico. He reported that he had to adapt his driving style to the new engine's torque characteristics. Roma succeeded in posting three fastest stage times on the Portuguese event and actually led at one point, speaking volumes for the potential of the new engine.

This experimental car covered more than 8,000km in testing and competition, and the engineers in charge of the program have profited from this opportunity to develop a new suspension geometry designed to cope with the different weight distribution and torque characteristics associated with the new turbocharged diesel engine. They have also worked on a new engine compartment layout which is aimed at ensuring better cooling for the engine and auxiliary components. Technical improvements to the turbocharger have produced improved response at low revs, as well as more power at high engine speeds, while reliability has also been enhanced.

The "Racing Lancer" took part in two one-week test sessions in Spain and Morocco towards the end of June following its unveiling earlier in the month. With the basic performance package now confirmed and initial teething problems cured, the team is taking advantage of the considerable experience obtained with the Pajero/Montero Evolution to accelerate the new vehicle's development.

Continuing the build-up to the 2009 Dakar, the team has entered three petrol versions of the Pajero/Montero Evolution for Portugal's PAX Rally, the second event of the newly-created Dakar Series (Tuesday September 9 - Sunday September 14). The three cars will be driven by Stéphane Peterhansel (France), Luc Alphand (France), and Joan "Nani" Roma (Spain). The outing will enable the team to carry out work on the suspension and tires which will be carried over to the Racing Lancer.

The Racing Lancer itself will undergo further testing in Morocco between the end of August and the beginning of September, as well as over the latter part of October. Each test will last approximately two weeks and the car will cover some 4,000km each time. Following its extensive development program, the Racing Lancer will make its official debut on the Baja Portalegre / Portugal, round six of the 2008 FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup (Thursday October 30 - Sunday November 2). The car will be in the hands of Stéphane Peterhansel, the Dakar's most successful competitor with a total of nine outright wins - on two and four wheels - under his belt.

Mitsubishi MRX09 "Racing Lancer" Gallery

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mitsubishi Outlander is Top Safety Pick for IIHS [US]

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New crash test results: 4 small SUVs earn Top Safety Pick; good ratings for hybrids, but the Jeep Wrangler is poor in side test

ARLINGTON, VA — Automakers are improving the crashworthiness of their vehicles and quickly installing side airbags and electronic stability control, an important crash avoidance feature, on more models. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently completed front, side, and rear crash test evaluations of 8 small SUV models. For the first time, every model the Institute tested comes equipped with electronic stability control as standard equipment.

Institute ratings of good, acceptable, marginal or poor are based on results of front and side crash tests plus evaluations of seat/head restraints for protection against whiplash injury in rear crashes. The best performers, earning the Institute's Top Safety Pick award, are the 2009 Ford Escape, 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander, 2008 Nissan Rogue, and 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan. These 4 models earn good ratings in all 3 of the Institute's evaluations, and all are equipped with standard electronic stability control and side airbags. The Escape's ratings also apply to the hybrid version, which is sold as the Mercury Mariner and Mazda Tribute as well as the Escape.

Consumers now have multiple hybrid SUVs earning Top Safety Pick to choose from. Others include the midsize Saturn Vue and Toyota Highlander, which the Institute evaluated earlier.

"In the latest tests, the Tiguan's performance is a standout," says Institute president Adrian Lund. "It sailed through the front and side crash tests without a single downgrade for structure or measures of injury likelihood recorded on the dummy. This is 1 of 4 models in this group that afford superior crash protection in their class. This is a huge change from just 5 years ago when most small SUVs were rated either marginal or poor in our side test, and standard side airbags and electronic stability control were rare."

Electronic stability control is important because it can help drivers avoid many crashes. It helps drivers maintain control in the worst situation — loss of control at high speed — by engaging automatically when it senses vehicle instability and helping to bring a vehicle back into the intended line of travel, often without the driver knowing anything is wrong. This feature lowers the risk of a fatal single-vehicle crash by about half. It lowers the risk of a fatal single-vehicle rollover crash by as much as 70 percent.

Designs change to address crashworthiness in side impacts: The Institute's frontal offset crash test, which began in 1995, drove major design changes in vehicles to do a better job of protecting people in the most common kind of serious crash. In the mid-1990s, few vehicles earned the top rating of good in the frontal test. Now nearly every vehicle is rated good for frontal protection. Since the Institute began its side tests in 2003, manufacturers have been following the same path, changing their vehicles to improve protection in serious side impacts.

An exception is the 2-door 2008 Jeep Wrangler, which was tested without its optional side airbags. The previous version of the Wrangler, in which side airbags weren't available, earned a rating of marginal for protection in side crashes, and the new model performed even worse, earning the lowest rating of poor. A new problem was that the driver door opened during the impact. This didn't significantly affect the movement of the dummy during the test, but an open door in a crash could lead to partial or complete ejection of occupants.

"Most vehicles are being improved," Lund says. "We've rarely seen a vehicle go in the wrong direction and get a worse rating after it has been redesigned."

The Wrangler and Chevrolet Equinox, also a 2008 model, are the only 2 vehicles tested this time around without standard side airbags. The Jeep Patriot does have standard curtain airbags, but additional torso airbags designed to protect an occupant's chest and abdomen are optional.

When side airbags are optional, the Institute's policy is to test without the option because this is how most of the vehicles will be sold. A manufacturer may request another test with the optional airbags if the automaker reimburses the Institute for the cost of the vehicle. General Motors didn't request a second test of the Equinox, also sold as the Pontiac Torrent. After completing tests of this group of vehicles, the Institute learned that curtain airbags will be standard in the 2009 Equinox. This vehicle will be tested later this year.

"Since they didn't ask us to test the 2008 Equinox with its optional side airbags, we have to assume it means GM didn't expect it to perform much better, even with the option," Lund points out.

Chrysler didn't request another test of the Wrangler with the optional side airbags, but this automaker did request a second test of the Jeep Patriot with optional torso airbags. When tested with the standard curtain airbags only, the Patriot earned the second lowest rating of marginal. While the curtains did a good job of keeping the driver and rear passenger dummies' heads from being struck by the barrier or hard structures inside the vehicle, forces on the driver dummy indicated that rib fractures and internal organ injuries would be likely in a real-world crash of this severity. In the second side test of the Patriot with the optional seat-mounted torso airbags, this vehicle's rating improved to good.

Revamped Escape is a winner: This small SUV was re-engineered for the 2009 model year. Among the changes are modifications to the frontal airbags and safety belts plus structural changes to improve occupant protection in frontal crashes. The new Escape improves from acceptable to good in the Institute's frontal offset crash test. A new seat design improves the rear crash protection rating from acceptable to good. Side airbags, optional before 2008 models, now are standard.

Occupant protection in rear crashes generally is improving as automakers strive to earn Top Safety Pick awards. More seat/head restraints are doing a better job of protecting people from neck injuries. The Outlander, Rogue, and Tiguan as well as the Escape earn good ratings for their seat/head restraint designs.

Institute research has found that neck injury rates for drivers of vehicles with seat/head restraint combinations rated good are 15 percent lower than for drivers of vehicles with combinations rated poor. Designs that need improvement are those in the Chevrolet Equinox, Jeep Wrangler, and Suzuki Grand Vitara, all of which earned the second lowest rating of marginal.

How vehicles are evaluated: The Institute's frontal crashworthiness evaluations are based on results of 40 mph frontal offset crash tests. Each vehicle's overall evaluation is based on measurements of intrusion into the occupant compartment, injury measures recorded on a Hybrid III dummy in the driver seat, and analysis of slow-motion film to assess how well the restraint system controlled dummy movement during the test.

Side evaluations are based on performance in a crash test in which the side of a vehicle is struck by a barrier moving at 31 mph. The barrier represents the front end of a pickup or SUV. Ratings reflect injury measures recorded on two instrumented SID-IIs dummies, assessment of head protection countermeasures, and the vehicle's structural performance during the impact.

Rear crash protection is rated according to a 2-step procedure. Starting points for the ratings are measurements of head restraint geometry — the height of a restraint and its horizontal distance behind the back of the head of an average-size man. Seat/head restraints with good or acceptable geometry are tested dynamically using a dummy that measures forces on the neck.

Mitsubishi Motors at the 2008 Moscow Motor Show [RU]

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Mitsubishi Motors lineup at 2008 Moscow Motor Show
Tokyo, August 20, 2008— Mitsubishi Motors Corporation will unveil the new Pajero Sport*1 SUV at the Moscow Auto Salon 2008 (The Moscow Motor Show) to be held at the Crocus Expo in Moscow between August 26 and September 7 (opens to the public on August 29). Mitsubishi Motors will display a total of 15 models at the show. Joining the Pajero Sport on stand will be concept cars including the MITSUBISHI Concept-RA*2 sport coupe concept, the MITSUBISHI Concept-cX*3 compact SUV concept, and the MITSUBISHI Concept-ZT*4 which truly is the embodiment of Mitsubishi Motors' three key value of Driving Pleasure, Safety and Environmental Responsibility - as well as the fast-selling Lancer*5 sport sedan.

*1 Montero Sport in South America, Nativa in Latin America and Challenger in Australia.
*2 Road Alive
*3 Compact + X (cross) over
*4 Z (ultimate) + T (tourer)
*5 Galant Fortis in Japan

1. Pajero Sport (for Russian market)
Features that distinguish Pajero Sport include a new tough and durable "ladder frame" that provides a platform for outstanding performance under the most stringent off-road conditions and Mitsubishi's highly acclaimed Super Select 4WD system, based on the company's All Wheel Control philosophy. Inside, Pajero Sport achieves class-topping quietness while the comprehensive cabin appointments and practical innovations provide a reassuring and comfortable interior space.
(1) Design
Pajero Sport's exterior design was developed around the idea of "Cool & Hot" proportions. Its elegant styling makes it look perfectly at home around about town (cool) while its high SUV stance suggests how capably Pajero Sport can deal with all-terrain conditions (hot). The new design melds together a distinctive off-roader silhouette and dynamic lines crafted to create a form that projects a sense of speed. Front over-fenders accentuate the surface-hugging fat tires and macho rear blister fenders add a dash of muscular tenacity, serving to make the body look wider and impart a reassuring sense of safety.
Inside, Pajero Sport stays true to the "Cool & Hot" concept. A functional and intuitive center panel is centrally located in the dashboard for a sporty and in an expansive structure that adds to a sense of roominess. The use of two-tone coloring tied to the door trim contributes to creating a coherent interior space distinguished by its clean, unbroken surfaces. Features that serve to enhance levels of functionality and quality appearance include the use of soft-touch seat upholstery and a combination of high-tech brightwork and elegant wood-grain inlays.
(2) Packaging
The new Pajero Sport moves one size up over its predecessor with an overall length of 4695 mm (compared with 4620 mm for the old model); overall width of 1815 mm (1775 mm); overall height of 1800 mm (1730 mm); and wheelbase of 2800 mm (2725 mm).
With an approach angle of 36° (against the Pajero Long model's 36.6°), departure angle of 25° (25°), ground clearance of 215 mm (225 mm) and ramp break over angle of 23° (22.5°), Pajero Sport boasts obstacle clearance angles, an indicator of a vehicle's off-road capability, and ride height on a par with the world-renowned off-road icon, the Pajero.
(3) Engine
Pajero Sport is powered by an intercooler-turbocharged 4M41-type 3.2-liter diesel unit using a vibration- and noise-reducing common rail direct injection system. The power unit produces maxima of 120 kW (163 PS) / 3500 rpm and 343 Nm (35.0 kg-m) / 2000 rpm.
Common rail fuel injection system
The common rail direct fuel injection system uses a tube that branches to supply ECU-controlled injector valves which each feed fuel into individual cylinders. The extremely high injection pressures used ensure very high combustion efficiency, thereby reducing NOx emissions and the noise and vibration typically associated with traditional diesel engines.
(4) Transmission and driveline
Pajero Sport comes with a 4-speed Sport Mode automatic transmission or a 5-speed manual gearbox. The model uses Mitsubishi Motors' All Wheel Control-inspired Super Select 4WD driveline, which enjoys high acclaim for its reliability and go-anywhere capability. The system feeds maximum drive torque to the wheels with the most grip, for competence on all road surfaces. Pajero Sport is available with an optional rear differential lock that eliminates the speed differential between the rear wheels to help the driver extract his vehicle when bogged down.
(5) Body
Pajero Sport's body sits on a new ladder-frame chassis that realizes very high levels of body strength and durability while the use of impact-energy absorbing deformation beads in the frontal frame sections and other safety-enhancing elements also improve crashworthiness. Bending and torsional rigidity in the new ladder-frame are 100% and 50% (respectively) higher than before, significantly reducing vibration transmitted to the body. The stiffer frame also improves vehicle's reliability in off-road use as well as improving handling and ride comfort when driving on tarmac.
(6) Suspension, wheels and tires
With a double-wishbone coil spring configuration at the front and a 3-link coil spring arrangement at the rear, Pajero Sport's suspension delivers well-mannered stability and handling characteristics when on tarmac together with maximum tire/surface contact when driving off-road. Pajero Sport is offered with a choice of two sizes of tire: 265/65R 17 (larger) or 265/70R 16.
(7) Brakes
16-inch ventilated disc front brakes deliver sure-footed stopping power and accurate brake feel. The rear wheels use 11.6-inch leading trailing drum brakes.
(8) Utility and interior equipment
The front seatbacks recline fully to provide a flat surface together with the rear seats. The rear seats boast a generous 150 mm slide travel, allowing various configurations for occupant and luggage spaces: either maximum legroom, load carrying capacity or something in between.
Pajero Sport's soft seat upholstery is stain- and water-repellent. This plus its waterproof luggage space floor make it the ideal vehicle for outdoor leisure pursuits as well as for everyday use.
(9) Audio systems
Pajero Sport is available with an audio system that comprises a CD (MP3) player and AM/FM radio tuner, a 420 Watt amplifier and 8 speakers. The tweeters are mounted in specially designed doors enclosures and with punched metal mesh grilles deliver sound of outstanding clarity. Steering wheel-mounted controls allow the driver to operate his audio system without having to take his hand off the wheel.

Illustrating the fact that fun-to-drive performance and environmental responsibility need not be mutually exclusive concepts, the MITSUBISHI Concept-RA's driveline features the S-AWC vehicle dynamics control system used in the Lancer Evolution*6 together with new Active Steering and Active Damper systems. These systems are integrally managed by the S-AWC system to realize vehicle behavior that faithfully reflects the driver's intent and inputs. MITSUBISHI Concept-RA also uses Mitsubishi Motors' Twin Clutch SST automated manual transmission and is powered by a new high-efficiency, low-emission 2.2-liter 4-cylinder DOHC 16-valve clean diesel engine. With a VD/VG (Variable Diffuser / Variable Geometry) turbocharger producing optimum boost characteristics at all times, the power unit delivers a maximum output of 150 kW (204 PS) and maximum torque of 420 Nm (42.8 kg-m).
For compliance with Tier 2 Bin 5 emission regulations in the United States and Post-New Long Term Regulations in Japan, the clean power unit uses a new catalytic converter system that brings together diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC), NOx trap catalyst (NTC) and diesel particulate filter (DPF) technologies.
*6 Lancer Evolution X in Japan


The MITSUBISHI Concept-cX mates a high-output, high-efficiency 1.8-liter clean diesel engine to Mitsubishi Motors' Twin Clutch SST transmission to deliver the highest levels of driving and environmental performance. This compact SUV soft-roader concept offers superior levels of utility and practical performance, a driving position that enhances visibility, and the split tailgate already well received on the Outlander.


The Concept-ZT raises the bar both in terms of running and environmental performance. The sedan uses a high-output, fuel-efficient 2.2-liter clean diesel engine mated to Mitsubishi Motors' Twin Clutch SST (Sport Shift Transmission), and employs MMC's plant-based Green Plastic range of interior trim.
Concept-ZT features an array of advanced active safety technologies, including pre-crash safety and a lane-drift warning system, as well as technologies that actively support the driver in his operation of the vehicle including all-around multi-monitors and a parking assistance system. A pop-up hood also contributes to Concept-ZT's high level of crashworthiness.
With the addition of front E-LSD (Electric control - Limited Slip Differential), ABS and ASC to an electronically controlled 4WD S-AWC system, the MITSUBISHI Concept-ZT which truly is the embodiment of Mitsubishi Motors' three key value of Driving Pleasure, Safety and Environmental Responsibility.

Mitsubishi Motors lineup at 2008 Moscow Motor Show
Model No. on display
(Press days)
No. on display
(Public days)
Pajero Sport 1 2 New model. Global unveiling.
Prototype-S 1 1 Show car.
Exhibited at 2008 Geneva Motor Show.
MITSUBISHI Concept-RA 1 1 Show car.
Exhibited at 2008 Detroit Motor Show.
MITSUBISHI Concept-ZT 1 1 Show car.
Exhibited at 2007 Tokyo Motor Show.
MITSUBISHI Concept-cX 1 1 Show car.
Exhibited at 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Pajero Evolution 1 1 Show car.
2008 Dakar Series model.
Outlander XL
(Dakar Series support car)
1 1 Show car.
2008 Dakar Series support car.
Outlander in Japan.
Lancer 1 1 Galant Fortis in Japan
Lancer Evolution 1 1 Lancer Evolution X in Japan
Outlander XL 1 1 Outlander in Japan
Galant 1 1 Built in North America
Pajero 1 1
L200 1 1 Built in Thailand, Triton in Japan
Colt - 1 Built in Europe
Total 13 15

Mitsubishi Pajero Sports 2nd Generation Gallery

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ford Focus RS WRC08

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Ford has unveiled the new look of their WRC Car, the Ford Focus RS WRC08, in Rally Deutschland (Germany). The new front design reflects the new look of the 2008 Ford Focus RS production model which is due to be marketed soon. The new WRC car also had some improvements made with the engine. FIA regulations require that a a World Rally car has to be based on production model. The Ford Focus RS is the performance version of the passenger vehicle, and will join the ranks of the Lancer Evolution and Subaru Impreza STi.

Photos below clearly show the exterior changes made to the Ford Focus RS world rally car.
Ford Focus RS WRC07 at the 08 Rally Finland

The New Ford Focus RS WRC08 at the 08 Rally Deutschland

2009 Ford Focus RS

2008 Mitsubishi L200 Raging Bull [UK]

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Thursday, 14 August 2008

* Enhanced specification (colour touch-screen sat nav, cruise control, 420W sound system, chrome exterior styling)
* £3,000 off automatic and £2,200 off manual transmissions

Phil Vickery’s Raging Bull Beats the Crunch
Following the success of the L200 Raging Bull Double Cab pick-up last summer, Mitsubishi has announced a new updated, higher specification version of this popular Special Edition. The second-generation Special Edition continues the relationship with the ‘Raging Bull Performance Gear’ brand and England’s Rugby Captain, Phil Vickery.

Like Vickery, the vehicle is set to lead the charge in Mitsubishi’s forward line-up in Mitsubishi’s ‘Beat The Crunch Sale’ campaign with incentives offering Raging Bull with free automatic and overall discounts of up to £3,000.
Product Information
The new L200 Raging Bull offers improved levels of specification over the previous version, benefiting from the following standard equipment:

* Smartnav satellite navigation
* Sat nav coloured touch screen and map representation (NEW)
* Cruise control (NEW)
* Raging Bull leather seats with colour-stitched logo
* 17” alloy wheels
* Bluetooth hands-free phone system
* 420 watt ‘power’ sound system (NEW)
* Raging Bull door entry guards
* Colour keyed front resin guard with chromed ‘teeth’ inserts
* Chrome rear bar with integrated step (NEW)
* Chrome sports grille
* Chrome front and rear light bezels
* Chrome fuel filler cover, tailgate handle cover and inner door handles (NEW)
* Raging Bull decals
* Privacy glass

The new L200 Raging Bull also adds new colours to the line up, with Cosmos Black and Graphite Grey being added to Aztec Red in the range.

Pricing and ‘Credit Crunch’ Support
As well as the improvements to appearance and specification, the new L200 Raging Bull
offers outstanding value for money.



‘Credit Crunch’ Support

After ‘Credit Crunch’ Support

L200 2.5 DI-D Raging Bull M/T




L200 2.5 DI-D Raging Bull A/T


(inc. free auto)


Note: Cosmos Black and Graphite Grey (pearlescent paint) incur a £300 plus VAT charge.

Mitsubishi’s recently announced sale to help consumers beat the credit crunch also adds incredible offers to the line-up with dealers offering £2,200 excluding VAT customer discount on manual derivatives and automatics at the same price as the manual, representing a total customer saving of £3,000 excluding VAT.2

The new Raging Bull is available immediately and show units are already with dealers across the UK.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Honda starts leasing FCX to customers, including Jamie Lee Curtis

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American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced that its second FCX Clarity customer, Jamie Lee Curtis, took delivery of the vehicle on July 31, 2008. Curtis and husband Christopher Guest are the second of approximately 200 customers who will begin leasing the vehicle in the United States and Japan over the next three years.

"I really wasn't expecting it to be so luxurious," said Curtis. "It's luxurious, luxurious, luxurious! I love the interior layout, design and access to controls. It is user-friendly and very modern."

Actress and children's book author Curtis and her husband, filmmaker Guest, live in Santa Monica. They have owned other alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles and continue to seek out ways to live and advocate a greener lifestyle.

Ron Yerxa and Annette Ballester, Santa Monica residents, took delivery of the first FCX Clarity on July 25, 2008.

The FCX Clarity is a next-generation, hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle. Significant advances over Honda's previous generation FCX include a 25 percent increase in combined fuel economy to 72 miles/kg-H2* (74 mpg GGE ) and a greater than 30 percent increase in driving range up to 280 miles*. Propelled by an electric motor that runs on electricity generated in the fuel cell, the vehicle's only by-products are heat and water, and its fuel efficiency is three times that of a modern gasoline-powered automobile.

2009 Honda FCX Clarity Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicle [US]

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Honda unveiled the FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show, announcing plans to begin limited retail marketing of the vehicle in the US, starting summer 2008.

The FCX Clarity is a next-generation, zero-emissions, hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle based on the entirely-new Honda V Flow fuel cell platform, and powered by the highly compact, efficient and powerful Honda V Flow fuel cell stack. Featuring tremendous improvements to driving range, power, weight and efficiency - and boasting a low-slung, dynamic and sophisticated appearance, previously unachievable in a fuel cell vehicle - the FCX Clarity marks the significant progress Honda continues to make in advancing the real-world performance and appeal of the hydrogen-powered fuel cell car.

"The FCX Clarity is a shining symbol of the progress we've made with fuel cell vehicles and of our belief in the promise of this technology," said Tetsuo Iwamura, American Honda president and CEO. "Step by step, with continuous effort, commitment and focus, we are working to overcome obstacles to the mass-market potential of zero-emissions hydrogen fuel cell automobiles."

American Honda plans to lease the FCX Clarity to a limited number of retail consumers in Southern California with the first deliveries taking place in summer 2008.

Full details of the lease program will be set closer to launch, but current plans call for a three-year lease term with a price of $600 per month, including maintenance and collision insurance. American Honda is also developing a service infrastructure that provides customers with the best balance of convenience and the highest quality of service. When the FCX Clarity requires periodic maintenance, customers will simply schedule a visit with their local Honda dealer. American Honda will transport the vehicle to their fuel cell service facility, located in the greater Los Angeles area, where all required work will be performed. At the completion of the work, the customer will pick up their car from the dealer.

How It Works
The FCX Clarity utilizes Honda's V Flow stack in combination with a new compact and efficient lithium ion battery pack and a single hydrogen storage tank to power the vehicle's electric drive motor. The fuel cell stack operates as the vehicle's main power source. Hydrogen combines with atmospheric oxygen in the fuel cell stack, where chemical energy from the reaction is converted into electric power used to propel the vehicle. Additional energy captured through regenerative braking and deceleration is stored in the lithium ion battery pack, and used to supplement power from the fuel cell, when needed. The vehicle's only emission is water.

Honda V Flow Fuel Cell Platform
The FCX Clarity's revolutionary new V Flow platform packages the ultra-compact, lightweight and powerful Honda V Flow fuel cell stack (65 percent smaller than the previous Honda FC stack) in the vehicle's center tunnel, between the two front seats. Taking advantage of a completely new cell configuration, the vertically-oriented stack achieves an output of 100 kilowatts (kW) (versus 86kW in the current Honda FC stack) with a 50 percent increase in output density by volume (67 percent by mass). Its compact size allows for a more spacious interior and more efficient packaging of other powertrain components, which would otherwise be unattainable in a sleek, low-slung sedan.

The FCX Clarity boasts numerous other significant advances in the performance and packaging of Honda fuel cell technology, compared to the current-generation FCX. These include1:

· a 20-percent increase in fuel economy - to the approximate equivalent of 68 mpg2 combined fuel economy (about 2-3 times the fuel economy of a gasoline-powered car, and 1.5 times that of a gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle, of comparable size and performance);

· a 30-percent increase in vehicle range - to 270 miles;

· a 25-percent improvement in power-to-weight ratio, in part from an approximate 400-pound reduction in the fuel cell powertrain weight, for superior performance and efficiency despite a substantial increase in overall vehicle size;

· a 45-percent reduction in the size of the fuel cell powertrain - nearly equivalent, in terms of volume, to a modern gas-electric hybrid powertrain;

· an advanced new lithium-ion battery pack that is 40 percent lighter and 50 percent smaller than the current-generation FCX's ultra-capacitor; and

· a single 5,000-psi hydrogen storage tank with 10 percent additional hydrogen capacity than the previous model.

FCX Clarity Design
More than just a fuel cell vehicle - the FCX Clarity speaks to Honda's vision of the future of automobile design and performance freed from the constraints of conventional powertrain technologies. The FCX Clarity's four-door sedan platform features a short-nose body and spacious cabin with comfortable accommodations for four people and their luggage. Major powertrain components - including the electric motor, fuel cell stack, battery pack and hydrogen tank - have been made more compact and are distributed throughout the vehicle to further optimize space, comfort and total vehicle performance.

Advanced Materials and Components
In keeping with its theme as an environmentally-advanced automobile, the FCX Clarity features seat upholstery and door linings made from Honda Bio-Fabric - a newly-developed, plant-based material that offers CO2 reductions as an alternative to traditional interior materials, along with outstanding durability and resistance to wear, stretching, and damage from sunlight.

Designed to appeal to forward-thinking customers seeking the ultimate in zero-emissions, alternative-fuel vehicle performance, the FCX Clarity is also equipped with a full compliment of advanced safety, comfort and convenience features, including a state-of-the-art navigation system with hydrogen station locations, backup camera, premium audio, climate-controlled seats and Bluetooth™ connectivity.

Other improvements, such as shift-by-wire, electric power steering (EPS), and a newly-designed instrument panel with an easy-to-read hydrogen fuel-consumption display, further improve its customer appeal and ease of operation.

CO2 Emissions
The FCX Clarity's only emission is water. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions come only from the production of hydrogen, which varies by source; however, well-to-wheel CO2 emissions using hydrogen reformed from natural gas - the most widely used method of production today - are less than half that of a conventional gasoline vehicle. With the production of hydrogen from water by electrolysis, CO2 emissions can be further reduced and ultimately approach zero if the electricity used for electrolysis is generated using solar, wind, water or nuclear power.

Honda has developed its own solar cells, with half of the CO2 emissions in the production stage compared to conventional crystalline silicon cells; and has begun mass-production and retail sales of this technology in Japan for both commercial and residential use.

Fuel Cell Leadership
Based on its vision of, "Blue Skies for our Children", Honda has worked for forty years at reducing the environmental impact of the automobile, including efforts to reduce emissions, boost fuel efficiency and, now, many industry-leading efforts to advance the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle - a technology and fuel that Honda believes may hold the ultimate promise for a clean and sustainable transportation future. Honda's pioneering achievements in this area include the first EPA and CARB certification of a fuel cell vehicle (2002); the first lease of a fuel cell vehicle (2002); the first fuel cell vehicle to receive an EPA fuel economy rating (2002); the first cold-weather customer (2004); the first and still only individual retail customers (2005, 2007); and the first and still only fuel cell vehicle to be eligible for a federal tax credit.

Monday, August 11, 2008

New-look Focus rally car to break cover in Rallye Deutschland

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8.8.2008 - New-look Focus rally car to break cover in Rallye Deutschland

Ford will debut the latest evolution of the record-breaking Focus RS World Rally Car in Rallye Deutschland (14 - 17 August). The car that won the manufacturers' title in the FIA World Rally Championship for the past two seasons, and recently claimed a landmark 100th consecutive points finish, has been upgraded ahead of the first asphalt round of the series since January.

The 2008-version of the Focus RS includes front style changes as well as engine improvements. Style changes to the grill area reflect the looks of the recently-previewed Focus RS road car. A new turbo and crankshaft will increase the range of power available.

2009 Ford Focus RS [UK]

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Ahead of its official launch in early 2009, the new Focus RS made its world debut at the 2008 British International Motor Show. Ford has a long pedigree of producing performance cars for real driving enthusiasts and the new Focus RS is no exception. Before it turns a wheel, the car exudes the presence, sporty style and lowered, ‘meaner’ appearance of a genuine Ford RS. The overt styling details are mixed with subtle revisions to create a planted, powerful stance and the promise of a thrilling drive. The new Focus RS is definitely a sight worth seeing.

Personality and performance
Following in the footsteps of its predecessor, the new Focus RS comes with bold styling inside and out and outstanding driving dynamics. At the heart of the new Focus RS is a specially developed version of the turbocharged Duratec 2.5-litre 5-cylinder engine. Significantly revised for high performance, this power plant is targeting an impressive power output of 300 PS and over 410 Nm of torque, contributing to an outstanding power-to-weight ratio.

Technical highlights
The new Focus RS is rammed with a range of state-of-the-art technological features that deliver a formidable driving experience. For starters, the vehicle’s steering system has been re-tuned for a sharper response and precision feedback. The car is also equipped with an innovative front suspension system known as a ‘RevoKnuckle’, which is designed to reduce unwanted steering disturbance and torque steer. This new system enables power to be delivered through the front wheels and eliminates the need for a weighty all-wheel-drive arrangement. Other driving developments include a 40 mm wider track for greater stability, unique 19’’ wheels, 235/35 low profile tyres, revised springs and dampers and uprated brakes.