Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Successful debut for the Lancer Evolution X Race Car [UK]

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Tuesday, 23 September 2008
~ Britcar 24hr Endurance, Silverstone - 20th & 21st September 2008 ~

* New Mitsubishi completes 24-hour endurance event on debut outing
* 400 BHP Lancer Evolution X race-car proves 100% reliable first time out
* Drivers and technicians delighted with car’s performance
The racing debut for the Works Mitsubishi Motors UK Lancer Evolution X in this weekend’s Britcar 24-hour race at Silverstone was hailed as a great success by the team, the brand new car completing the whole event without missing a beat.

Driven by James Kaye, Andy Barnes, Mark Lemmer and Jay Wheals, the team crossed the line fifth in class and 25th overall after covering a race-distance of 517 laps and 1,651 miles.
The first stint was driven by Kaye, who had to stay in place for almost an hour under safety car conditions following an accident involving other cars.

After two hours, in the first pit-stop, he reported that the car was running perfectly, and as the race continued into the night the Evolution’s lap times became more and more consistent and at one point the team climbed from its start position of 46th to a place inside the top 20. In fact, with the car running so well that the only maintenance required was the routine changing of tyres and brake pads.

Having survived the darkness hours, the team were now determined to make it to the finish and all four drivers did what was required to provide Mitsubishi UK with its first success on the track for many years, crossing the line to finish fifth in class and 25th overall.

At the finish, Team Principal and Ralliart General Manager, Paul Brigden said:
“We have achieved what we came here to do and I am delighted. The car performed so well – without any significant pre-race testing
– for all 24 hours. It’s a credit to the whole team: the engineers, drivers and pit crew.”

Lead Driver James Kaye was also pleased with the outcome:
“It’s a tremendous achievement that we’ve completed one of the toughest races in the UK calendar without any major problems. There’s great potential in the Lancer
Evolution X and I’m looking forward to being able to do some test and development work which will make it even more competitive.”

The three other drivers were also complimentary about the car:
“It’s great to drive and is very well built, with excellent delivery of power and forgiving handling”, said Andy Barnes.

Mark Lemmer commented:
“It’s an easy car to drive and, with a little more development, there is at least two-seconds a lap to be gained. It’s a great package.”

Jay Wheals, who was drafted in just a few days before the race said:
“I was able to get used to the car very quickly. It felt good from the word go and I had no problem adapting to four-wheel-drive.”
The team is now considering future events before the end of the year, details of which will be announced in the next few weeks.

More Pictures...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Iceland turns green, tests the i MiEV

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Mitsubishi Motors signs Memorandum of Understanding with government of Iceland regarding testing of i MiEV electric vehicle
Tokyo, September 19, 2008 — Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will today sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding fleet testing of its zero-emissions i MiEV electric vehicle with Iceland's Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism. Iceland has aggressive plans to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels; proposed testing of the electric car would begin during 2009.

The president of Iceland, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, is scheduled to test drive the car in relation to the MoU signing.

Since 1980, Iceland has been making inroads toward a shift to sustainable energy, and at present the nearly 100% of the country's electric power needs are met by hydroelectric and geothermal sources. Iceland has set high environmental targets, receiving global acclaim as a clean energy leader.

In Japan, the zero-emissions i MiEV electric vehicle is currently in fleet testing with seven electric power companies, and is currently in development for a 2009 launch.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mitsubishi Motors to evaluate zero-emissions i MiEV electric vehicle in New Zealand

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Mitsubishi Motors to evaluate zero-emissions i MiEV electric vehicle in New Zealand
— Cooperation planned with 100% sustainable power provider Meridian Energy —

i MiEV

Tokyo, September 16, 2008— Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC), in cooperation with its New Zealand subsidiary Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand (MMNZ), will show the zero-emissions i MiEV*1 electric vehicle in New Zealand as a preparatory step toward a possible future introduction to the local market and to create greater public awareness of electric vehicles.

The move will be carried out in cooperation with state-owned electric power company Meridian Energy, New Zealand's largest energy provider, which generates 100% of its electric power through renewable resources such as hydroelectric and wind generation.

Mitsubishi Motors and Meridian will launch a promotional tour of the country sometime after February 2009. Representatives from national and local government will be given the chance to drive the car, in order to spur discussions about possible subsidies as well as developments in infrastructure and marketing considerations.

MMC is currently working to bring the i MiEV electric vehicle to market in Japan during 2009. Because vehicles in New Zealand have their steering wheels on the right side of the car, the same as Japan, MMC will consider the country a likely candidate for early introduction of its zero-emissions electric vehicle if market conditions prove favorable.

*1 Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle


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* Preparing to contest the popular Britcar Championship
* Britcar Championship, 20th – 21st September, Silverstone
Mitsubishi Motors UK can confirm that it is developing a race-going version of its new Lancer Evolution X, with which it plans to contest the increasingly popular Britcar Championship.

The project is being run in association with Southampton-based vehicle importation and compliance specialists SVA UK, with the car driven by the company’s managing director and former BTCC regular James Kaye. It will run as a Mitsubishi works entry and appear in the official red and chrome Ralliart livery.

“We are pleased to be introducing a race-car programme for the Evo X”, said General Manager for Ralliart Paul Brigden. “Mitsubishi UK has not been involved with circuit racing for many years, so this new initiative is a great opportunity for us. Subject to the level of interest from competitors, we are also hoping to announce a one-make race-series for the Evolution X soon.”

The new car is being constructed by ADR Motorsport, the team which already builds and runs the two-works Mitsubishis currently competing in the British Rally Championship. However, ADR are no strangers to circuit racing, having been involved with a number of successful campaigns during the 1990s.

The first public appearance of the racing Lancer is scheduled for the weekend of September 20th & 21st , when the car competes for the first time in the Britcar 24-hour race at Silverstone, driven by Kaye and two other drivers who are yet to be named.

“As I’m yet to race this season I’m not only looking forward to getting back behind the wheel, but also driving the new Mitsubishi”, said Kaye. “It is anticipated that the engine will develop around 400bhp which, together with the Evo’s four-wheel-drive system and inherently good chassis, should make it a highly-competitive package.”

Following on from the car’s Silverstone debut, Kaye – who lives on the Isle of Wight and has a business based in Southampton - is planning to contest a full season in the 2009 Britcar Championship, plus other selected endurance events.

Mitsubishi UK are keen to point out that its venture into circuit racing will not affect any of its current or forthcoming rally campaigns.

Mitsubishi's 3rd world premiere mystery vehicle surfaces

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Mitsubishi's 3rd world premiere mystery vehicle surfaces

Mitsubishi Motors has released a teaser image of the front design for a mystery vehicle in there stable that will go on a worldwide premiere in the Paris Auto Show in October. The design of the front end clearly shows that it follows the general design of the current crop of Mitsubishi vehicles, the "jet fighter" design, giving the cars an angry, aggressive look.

Mitsubishi is know to debut 3 vehciles at the Paris motor show. First of which is the Lancer Sportback, and also it's Ralliart variants, both in sedan and hatchback forms. Second is the debut of the Racing Lancer MRX09 cross country rally machine Mitsubishi will use on their assault in the 09 Dakar. Third to debut is a car shown in the picture below.

However, spy photos of this mystery vehicle revealed it's going to be the newly redesigned Mitsubishi Colt.

*Spy photos by Autoweek

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Stephane Peterhansel wins PAX Rally Portugal!!

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Stephane Peterhansel wins PAX Rally Portugal!!
Newflash: Stephane Peterhansel [Mitsubishi] maintained a steady push to exert pressure on rally leader Carlos Sainz [Volkswagen] until the very final kilometers of the PAX Rally Portugal. Stephane's victory is also the Mitsubishi Montero MPR13's final victory, as the vehicle will be retired after this rally.Carlos Sainz who was leading by a wide margin, making it almost impossible for Peterhansel to catch up. However the Mitsubishi team pushed hard to maintain pressure on the Volkswagen driver, and pressure finally caught up with Carlos, who rolled his Racing Touareg 2, handing over the victory to Peterhansel.

The PAX Rally Portugal has seen it's purpose being fulfilled. The rally promising intense action from start to finish, which is what exactly happened. The stages being few, the entire rally was fought until the very end. Mitsubishi wins the part 2 of the 2008 Dakar Series, while Volkswagen claimed victory in part 1.

The victory for Mitsubishi is sweeter as they retire a trusted and reliable rally machine, the MPR13. It will be succeeded by the MRX09 Racing Lancer in all future Cross Country Rallies and in the 2009 Dakar in South America.

Pictures and Full press release to follow later.

-= UPDATE =-
Official Press Release from MMSP



Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart Team’s Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret (France) profited from the shortened final stage of the inaugural PAX Rally to clinch a dramatic win this afternoon in Portimao, Portugal. The French crew were fastest on two of the five-day event's six stages and stole victory from the grasp of former WRC champion Carlos Sainz by a margin of 16 seconds after almost 800km of against-the-clock action.

There was further cause for celebration in the Mitsubishi camp thanks to Luc Alphand/Gilles Picard (France) who came third to round off the Dakar Series event and mark the Montero/Pajero Evolution's last competitive outing with a double podium.

A time-consuming roll on Saturday afternoon put team-mates Joan 'Nani' Roma/Lucas Cruz (Spain) out of contention for a top finish, but the Spanish pair's run was rewarded with sixth place overall.

After more than 10 hours of competitive driving through central and southern Portugal since Wednesday morning's start, Peterhansel and Sainz were split by just 31 seconds in the Spaniard's favour going into this morning's stage. When the first half of this test was neutralised because of a nearby forest fire, it looked practically certain that the Frenchman would have to settle for second place, but Sainz went on to make a mistake after the re-start and the Mitsubishi driver pounced on the opportunity to steal first place in a breathtaking finale!

"I know it's a cliché, but an event is never over until the finish line has been crossed, and today's result has shown yet again that nobody should never forget that," beamed Peterhansel after the rally. "Although Carlos made an error, we were in a position to profit from it because we refused to give up trying. We pushed hard all the way and tried to keep the pressure on him as much as possible... It's obviously nice to have won, but I am actually happier with the fact that this victory is an ideal way to mark the end of the career of the Pajero/Montero Evolution. It's been a super car to drive over the years and I owe it so much. This is the best possible way to say thank you for all that!"

"It hasn't been an easy week," added Peterhansel's co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret. "The conditions were very slippery throughout, especially when we were running first on the road. It was vital to stay totally concentrated from start to finish and not make any mistakes"

Osamu Nakayama (Japan), the President of MMSP SAS, was also pleased to see the Pajero/Montero Evolution take its score to 20 cross-country rally wins since its maiden appearance on the 2002 UAE Desert Challenge, a record which includes five straight Dakar wins between 2003 and 2007: "It's the perfect way to send this great car into retirement and hand over to the brand new Racing Lancer’ which is due to makes its official debut in October," he said. "I am very pleased to have included this rally in our programme. It was very well organised and gave Stéphane, Luc and Nani a chance to showcase their ability and commitment with the 2009 Dakar fast approaching. That was the aim of coming here and everyone has fulfilled their mission to the letter."

Luc Alphand/Gilles Picard (France) join Peterhansel in the top-three after hitting the ground running on Day 1 (Wednesday) to give Mitsubishi an early lead following the opening stage in the mountains near Castelo Branco, northeast of Lisbon. The second leg saw the French crew maintain their advantage from the threat of Carlos Sainz and the two drivers completed Thursday's action exactly level at the top of the provisional leaderboard. The switch to sandier terrain on Friday enabled the former WRC champion to go clear in front, while Peterhansel eased into second spot, but Alphand successfully defended his footing on the podium all the way to the finish, helped on his way by an assertive second quickest time on Saturday's SS5.

"This is a great result for the whole team, and Stéphane did a fantastic job," acknowledged the French driver. "The pace was incredibly fast all week and I am pleased with my performance. We didn't make any mistakes, our Pajero/Montero Evolution ran like clockwork and our reward is a podium finish and three top-three times from six, including victory on Wednesday's stage. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone in the team. They have done a remarkable job."

Despite an eloquent second fastest time on SS2 (Thursday), Joan 'Nani' Roma and Lucas Cruz (Spain) were forced to settle for sixth place following a roll on Saturday afternoon. Their car was undamaged but the incident saw the Spanish pair drop almost 10 minutes which ended their challenge for fourth place. "We pushed as hard as we could all week and I am quite pleased with our performance, although I would obviously have preferred to finish higher up the order," remarked Roma after the finish in Portimao. "We end the event strongly but this is above all a great result for the team and a tremendous morale booster as we put the finishing touches to our preparations for January's Dakar"

The final event on Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart Team’s 2008 competition programme takes the squad back to Portugal for the Baja Portalegre (Thursday, October 30 - Sunday, November 2). The sixth round of the FIA Cross-Country Baja International Cup will mark the debut of the brand new diesel-powered Racing Lancer’ which is due to spearhead Mitsubishi's assault on the 2009 Dakar in South America. A single car has been entered for Stéphane Peterhansel and his co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret.

"We've won today, and I couldn't have wished for a better way to say 'adieu' to the Montero/Pajero Evolution which has enjoyed an exceptional career," concluded Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart Team Director Dominique Serieys (France). "I think the main lesson to come out of this rally is the fact that our drivers are as mentally and physically strong as ever, and clearly extremely competitive, too. The priority for us now is to use the coming weeks and months to prepare thoroughly for the 2009 Dakar, and our programme includes an important test session with the new Racing Lancer in October before the Baja Portalegre."

Gallery of PAX Rally Portugal Final Leg and Awarding Ceremonies

Podium Positions
1. Stephane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cotrett [Mitsubishi] -Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution MPR13
2. Carlos Sainz/Michel Perin [Volkswagen] -Volkswagen Race Touareg 2
3. Luc Alphand/Gilles Picard
[Mitsubishi] -Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution MPR13

Friday, September 12, 2008

New Mitsubishi Outlander design spotted in the US

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New Mitsubishi Outlander design spotted in the US

Caught testing in the deserts of the US, presumably somewhere in California, where MMNA's Research and Design center is based (though the vehicle was probably registered in Michigan), is a new front end design for the Outlander. From all indications, the base body is either a 2.4L SE US model or could be a 30G Japan model. Very apparent in the front end is the "jet fighter" design that is unifying the current line of Mitsubishi vehicles starting from the early concept models of the Concept-X, to the Prototype-X, to the current production of the Lancer family including the current Evo X. Notable also is the very consistent design pattern for the front end with that of the the recently unveiled Concept-cX, a crossover concept that is to be further developed into production. Could this be the Concept-cX in production? Or perhaps a 2010/2011 Outlander Ralliart? It might be either of the two. My personal prediction is that this will be equipped with Mitsubishi's newly developed diesel engine, which is also due in 2010, and could be equipped with the dual clutch TC-SST transmission that's being utilized by the current Evo X and Lancer Ralliart.

Mitsubishi Concept-cX

A thing about diesel engines. This is the current focus of Mitsubishi's effort right now. They are working hard developing clean diesel technology. Very evident by their focus on the 2009 Dakar with a Racing Lancer entry that is powered by diesel. And the new crop of concepts like the Concept-cX, Concept-ZT, and Concept-RA that are all diesel powered.

So this indeed is a very interesting development. Stay tuned to this blog for more info.

Photo Credits to Automedia/Worldcarfans.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

PAX Rally Scrutineering

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The petrol-powered Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution – which has built up a uniquely successful record in the world of cross-country rallying - will begin its final competitive outing tomorrow (Wednesday) when the 2008 PAX Rally kicks off in Lisbon, Portugal.

It will be an emotional occasion for Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart Team and its three-driver line-up who have notched up no fewer than 19 wins between them.

The current MPR13 version will pass the baton later in the year to the brand new diesel-engined ’Racing Lancer’ which is due to make its debut on October’s Baja Portugal in the hands of Stéphane Peterhansel (France). Before then, however, Peterhansel and his co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret (France), plus team-mates Juan ’Nani’ Roma/Lucas Cruz (Spain) and Luc Alphand/Gilles Picard (France) will attempt to profit from the second event of the newly-created Dakar Series to end the current car’s career on a high note.

"This rally is essentially an opportunity for the drivers and the team to stay match fit as our 2008 programme draws to an end and the countdown to the 2009 Dakar begins," notes Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart Team Director Dominique Serieys (France). "Apart from the fact that this is the Pajero/Montero Evolution’s final event and we would like to mark the occasion with a top result, there is no pressure on the drivers to bring back development information. They will therefore have a free hand to push as hard as they like, even though we are fully aware that they face some very stiff competition this week."

The PAX Rally marks the team’s second visit to Portugal this season following Luc Alphand’s victory earlier in the year on the Rali Transiberico, an event which also saw Nani Roma collect the first stage wins for the diesel-powered Pajero/Montero Evolution MPR14 interim car.

"I led the Transiberico for a short while before hitting mechanical trouble in May, so I will be out for revenge this time," warns Nani Roma. "That said, you only need to look at the entry list to realise that it won’t be easy against our rivals’, but we will keep up the fight all the way to the finish. I’ve competed in Portugal often enough now to have a good feeling for the terrain and I love the stages. I can’t wait to get started…"

Luc Alphand is equally fired up by the prospect of an exciting battle over the next few days: "The rally begins with the longest stage of the week, so it will be vital to hit the ground running and find a strong, quick pace straight away. A good rhythm calls for confidence in your car and the three of us know the Pajero/Montero Evolution by heart. I am clearly familiar with the terrain and that’s obviously a bonus, but then most of the front-runners have been here several times before. The entry list reads like a who’s who of cross-country rallying, so I think we’re in for a tremendous rally."

Like his team-mates, Stéphane Peterhansel is delighted to be back in Portugal and he, too, led the Transiberico early on. "Portugal is ideal territory for cross-country rallying," he observes, "and much of the route will be familiar, although the exact stages are kept secret until just before the start. Those to the north tend to be rocky, but the terrain will become sandier as we head south towards the Algarve region where the Dakar prologue was held two years ago. It’s going to be a technically challenging event, but very enjoyable, too. The weather for the Transiberico was horrible, so let’s hope today’s sunny conditions hold all week."

Competitive action begins tomorrow (Wednesday) and will take crews northeast from the Portuguese capital to Castelo Branco via a 223km stage which covers similar terrain to that seen on the Rali Transiberico. The route will then bring competitors south to Sunday afternoon’s finish in Portimao on the Algarve coast after a total distance of 1,583km, including 829km divided into six stages (one per day, plus two on Friday).

Monday, September 8, 2008

Four Racing Lancers in Mitsubishi's bid for the 09 Dakar in Diesel Category

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Mitsubishi Motors Corporation and its motor sport unit, the Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart team, in association with its partners Repsol, Valeo and BFGoodrich - will enter the new, turbodiesel 'Racing Lancer' in next year's Dakar Rally which will take competitors through Argentina and Chile from Saturday January 3 until Sunday January 18, 2009.

The Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart team is poised to kick off its first full season using turbocharged diesel power with a four-car entry on the 2009 Dakar. The team's bid will be spearheaded by its latest cross-country rally car, the new Racing Lancer.

The four-car driver line-up is the same as that which has represented the team on this annual cross-country rally since 2005, namely Stephane Peterhansel (France), Hiroshi Masuoka (Japan), Luc Alphand (France), and Joan 'Nani' Roma (Spain).

The 31st Dakar Rally will see the event switch to fresh territory in South America where Mitsubishi's foursome will be looking to secure not only its first-ever victory with a diesel powered car, but also the company's 13th success - including a run of seven successive wins since 2001- at this event.

The Racing Lancer will be officially unveiled on Thursday October 2 at the 2008 Paris Motor Show (Paris Expo, Paris, France) which opens to the public from Saturday, October 4 until Sunday, October 19. It will be displayed alongside the 'Lancer Sportback' upon which it is based and which is due to go on sale across Europe this autumn.


Following deterioration in the security situation in West Africa, which has traditionally served as backdrop to the Dakar, the event organisers have chosen to switch to the South American continent for next year's event.

The 2009 rally is due to start in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires on Saturday, January 3 before striking south to the South Atlantic resort of Puerto Madrine. The route will then head west over the dusty trails up and over the Andes Mountains.

Competitors will benefit from a rest day in the historic Chilean Pacific port of Valparaiso on Saturday January 10, with competition resuming the following day, taking them north to the Atacama Desert, then back across the Andes and into Argentina again. After a stopover in Argentina's second-biggest city, Cordoba, the 9,000km loop will end with the official finish in Buenos Aires on Sunday January 18.

Although precise details of the itinerary have yet to be released, the total stage distance is expected to amount to approximately 6,000km, with non-paved surfaces - including sand - accounting for 90 per cent of this figure.

The maximum number of entries has been set at 560, including 275 motorbikes and quads, 200 cars and 85 trucks.

The Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart team is directed by Dominique Serieys (France), himself a previous Dakar winner with the Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero as a co-driver in 1993. The technical side of the operation is directed Thierry Viardot (France) with the support of engineers from Mitsubishi Motors.

Efficient organisation can make the difference between victory and defeat on the Dakar. The Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart team's logistical operation - which includes looking after the movements and needs of the team's 15 vehicles and 65 staff members - is the responsibility of David Serieys (France).

Two T4 6x6 vehicles carrying mechanics, tires, and spare parts plus equipment will follow the same itinerary as the competitors, ready to intervene should one of the four Racing Lancers encounter a problem. In addition to the race trucks, the team's fleet consists of 8 SUVs for the transport of personnel and management staff, 5 T5 trucks also carrying tires, spare parts and equipment. These vehicles follow via an alternative route.

Two of these SUVs will be cross-country 'Pajero Sport' models, which is due to go on sale, this autumn, across the ASEAN nations, the Middle East, Central America, Oceania, and Russia.

The Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart team's line-up for the 2009 Dakar is Luc Alphand/Gilles Picard (France), Hiroshi Masuoka/Pascal Maimon (Japan/France), Stephane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret (France) and Joan 'Nani' Roma/Lucas Cruz (Spain).

Luc Alphand took up motor sport following a glittering career in Alpine skiing which saw him win the 1997 World Cup. He made his Dakar debut in 1998 and joined Mitsubishi in 2004, winning the event outright two years later in 2006 with Pajero/Montero Evolution.

Hiroshi Masuoka took wins in the Production class on the 1990 and 1994 Dakar events before making the move up to the discipline's premier category in 2000. He took successive outright wins on the event with the Pajero and the Pajero/Montero Evolution in 2002 and 2003.

After securing six Dakar wins on motorbikes, Stephane Peterhansel switched to four-wheelers in 1999 and joined Mitsubishi in 2002. Driving the Pajero/Montero Evolution, he added three further Dakar successes to his record in 2004, 2005 and 2007, earning himself the nickname 'Monsieur Dakar'.

Like Peterhansel, Joan 'Nani' Roma came to four-wheel competition after a successful career on motorbikes. He was the European Enduro Champion in 1994 and first contested the Dakar in 1996. After winning the motorbike category outright in 2004, he switched to four wheels the following year, competing in a Mitsubishi. A year later, he took part in the 2006 Dakar as part of the works squad and finished third in his Pajero/Montero Evolution.

The motor sport department of Mitsubishi Motors and MMSP both contributed to the development of the Racing Lancer which complies with the Group T1 regulations of the FIA (motor sport's international governing body: Federation Internationale de l'Automobile) introduced in 2002. The firm's latest cross-country rally car, which has been designed to take onboard the new super production regulations when they come into force in 2010, has benefited extensively from the experience acquired with the Pajero/Montero Evolution.

The development of the turbo-diesel engine began in April 2006 before being grafted into a Pajero/Montero Evolution for testing purposes in June 2007. Development of the body began in August 2007 and the first Racing Lancer was completed in June 2008. This car was put through its paces during one-week test sessions in Spain and Morocco, as well as over typical cross-country rally terrain in France. Based on the data collected during these tests, further sessions were organized in Morocco at the end of August/early September plus another two weeks in October prior to the Racing Lancer's debut on the sixth round of the FIA Cross-Country Baja International Cup, the Baja Portalegre (Thursday, October 30 to Sunday, November 2).

The Racing Lancer is based on a new multi-tubular steel frame. The team has taken particular care to minimize weight, while the additional space freed up by the longer wheelbase - a decision based on the regulations due to come into force in 2010 - has enabled the gas tank to be positioned lower in the car and has consequently brought down the centre of gravity. Handling has also been improved thanks to the new location of the spare tires which ensures enhanced control of the moment of inertia.

Mitsubishi Motors's design department was responsible for the body styling which uses carbon panels based on the design of the Lancer Sportback. The design was finalized after validation of the new car's aerodynamic performance in a wind tunnel.

The powerful 3-liter V6 diesel engine features a two-stage turbocharger which positions a small and large turbine configuration on each side of engine, working with both the small and large turbine according to engine revolution and load.

Peak torque is 66.3kgfm (650Nm), while maximum power currently stands at 280PS (206kW), although this figure is expected to increase as development work continues. The cooling system of the intercooler is positioned at the rear of the car and is fed by the characteristic roof-mounted air scoop.

The V6 engine is fed through a manual Ricardo five-speed sequential gearbox engineered to cope with the high torque delivered by the powerplant. The Racing Lancer's permanent four-wheel drive transmission features the same self-locking differential as that used for Pajero/Montero Evolution.

Both the front and rear suspension systems feature extensively revised geometry and are both based on a double wishbone layout with coil springs, anti-roll bars and uprated BOS dampers which can be adjusted through a broader range. The car runs on BFGoodrich's new low-energy 245/80-16 cross-country rally tires and OZ aluminum alloy wheels (16x7JJ). The vented 16-inch brake discs are coupled with six-piston Brembo calipers.



ENGINE MODEL 6-cylinder Turbodiesel 24-Valve with dry-sump oil system
FUEL SYSTEM Common rail high pressure injection
MAXIMUM OUTPUT 206kw (280 PS), 650Nm (66.3 kgfm)
TRANSMISSION 5-speed 'Ricardo'-type, sequential shift gearbox and mechanical gear selection
4WD SYSTEM Full time, mechanical center diff lock
FRONT DIFF 'Ricardo' self-locking differential
REAR DIFF 'Ricardo' self-locking differential

SUSPENSION - FRONT Independent, double wishbones, coil spring
SUSPENSION - REAR Independent, double wishbones, coil spring and anti-roll bar system
DAMPERS 'BOS' fully-adjustable damping
STEERING Power-assisted rack & pinion
WHEEL STROKE 250 mm front and rear
BRAKES 'BREMBO' Front and rear Ventilated discs with 6-piston calipers
WHEELS 'OZ' aluminum (7JJ x 16)
TYRES BF Goodrich (245/80 - 16)
OTHER Aeronautic steel multi-tubular frame, Honeycomb body floor and carbon fiber body

Measures in favour of the environment
Team Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart will be taking a range of measures to reduce its environmental impact for the 2009 Dakar.

The competing Racing Lancers will feature advanced diesel technology, including high pressure injection and low compression ratios. The cars will run on a fuel mix that includes biodiesel*1, a carbon-neutral*2 alternative fuel, while green plastic*3 has been employed for several components including high frequency consumption parts as front bumper corners, mud guards, etc.

Repsol sees the arrival of diesel power for the Racing Lancer as an ideal opportunity to bring its latest research developments into efficient fuels in general and non-food sourced biodiesel in particular to the table. The Spanish-based oil and gas firm's efforts in this field contributed to its recent nomination as a 'Gold Class' company in the Sustainability Yearbook 2008 compiled by Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Sustainable Asset Management (SAM), an independent company tasked with conducting the annual assessments for the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

Valeo green technologies' experience of automotive systems and electronics proved invaluable during the development of the 'Racing Lancer's' cooling system which uses the UltimateCoolingTM architecture. Valeo's input also concerned the LED daytime running lights, rear lights and roof-mounted stop light which are more efficient since producing less heat, consume significantly less energy - and therefore less fuel - and are longer lasting.

MMSP will benefit from the latest BFGoodrich-developed ''All Terrain'' tire (245/80-16) which boasts both versatility and durability. It is ideal for the sort of mixed, hostile terrain and long competitive distances found in cross-country rallying in general and on the 2009 Dakar in particular. The BFGoodrich's ''All Terrain'' 's characteristics and new dimension ensure low rolling resistance, as well as a more comfortable ride. It also stronger with a view to shrugging off the risk of punctures.

*1 Biodiesel: an alternative fuel made using vegetable matter (non-food vegetable matter in this case).
*2 Carbon neutral: total carbon dioxide emissions across the full lifecycle are offset by carbon dioxide absorbed during the production process. In the case of biofuel, vegetable matter absorbs CO2 through photosynthesis as it grows.
*3 Green plastic: carbon-neutral vegetable-based resins employed instead of oil-based resins.

More action for Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart Team in Pax Rally Portugal

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Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart team's fourth competitive outing of the 2008 season marks a return to the extreme west of the European continent for the inaugural 'Pax Rally em Portugal'.

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) and its motorsport unit MMSP have entered three Pajero/Montero Evolution MPR13s for Luc Alphand/Gilles Picard (France), Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret (France) and Joan 'Nani' Roma/Lucas Cruz (Spain). They are the same three crews who formed the team's triumphant line-up on last May's Rali Transiberico which was won by Luc Alphand with his co-driver Gilles Picard.

Pax Rally is the second contest to figure in the newly created Dakar Series. It fittingly features a return to Lisbon where entrants had gathered just after the New Year festivities for the start of the 2008 Dakar, only to see the annual African classic cancelled at the last moment.

Shortly after this disappointing blow, the Dakar organisers (ASO) announced plans to introduce a new cross-country rally series which officially kicked off with last April's Central Europe Rally. Mitsubishi's Stéphane Peterhansel led for much of this event through Hungary and Romania, but was dislodged from top spot shortly before the finish of what turned out to be one of the closest cross-country events ever.

The five-day Pax Rally promises to be just as thrilling, with Mitsubishi fielding a trio of Pajero/Montero Evolutions for what will be one of the final participation of the discipline's most successful petrol-engined prototype.

Scrutineering for the Pax Rally will take place in the centre of Lisbon on Tuesday September 9, with competitive action beginning the following morning over mixed terrain similar to that encountered during the Transiberico.
Following an overnight halt in Castelo Branco to the northeast of the country's capital and close to the Spanish border with 230km of selective section, the second stage will bring competitors back to the Lisbon region with 220km, while the third day will take the form of a loop, twice of 100km to the east of the Lisbon. The penultimate leg will see survivors strike south towards the Algarve with 170km of selective section and which takes in some of the territory that hosted the early action of the 2007 Dakar. The event finishes in Portimao on Sunday September 14 following a relatively short loop 65km through the challenging bush and scrubland of Portugal's southern tip. The total distance of the PAX Rally will be 2,144km including 885km competitive section.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Mitsubishi Outlander 2.4L Japan (model 2009?) with new side skirt

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Mitsubishi Outlander 2.4L Japan (model 2009?) with new side skirt
Mitsubishi Motors Japan has updated the 2.4L version of the Outlander to include a new side skirt. The new version (v3) of this side skirt design is basically the same in form with the version 2 of the Outlander side skirt seen in Peugeot 4007 and Citroen C-Crosser, and later appeared in the 30G Outlander in Japan and 08 Outlander SE in US, with the exception of the chrome accent on the upper half, and a new feature is a flared extension in the front bottom part. Obviously, these are all aimed at addressing the issue of excessive side splash that the rear fender flares are getting, and the subsequent paint damage to it. Will this design make it to the 09 MItsubishi Outlander in the US? We will wait and see as things clear up. But you will hear (or read) about it first at paxtech.blogspot.com and outlander.freeforums.org. Stay tuned!

Additional medium-res photos available at: http://outlander.freeforums.org/mitsubishi-outlander-2-4l-japan-2009-with-new-side-skirt-t207.html