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Mitsubishi Concept-RA Unveiled…Does this Give a Hint of the Next Eclipse?

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Mitsubishi has released two photo renderings of the Concept-RA that is going to be unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in January. We can only hope that this concept is going to provide hints of what the next Eclipse is going to look like.

Most of us remember the first and second generation Eclipse with its low slung styling turbo engine and available all-wheel-drive. Everyone loved that car, but today the Eclipse has morphed into an overweight, V6-powered, boring coupe. The Concept-RA could change all of that if Mitsubishi wants to.

The styling of the concept evokes those warm feelings of the earlier generation Eclipses. The car is also built on an aluminum space frame and most of its body panels are made from recyclable plastic resin which is impact resistant and helps keep the vehicle’s weight in check. A 2.2L turbodiesel which features Mitsubishi’s MIVEC valve timing technology, as well as direct injection and piezoelectric injectors features a little over 200 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. All of that power is sent to the ground through the cars four wheels using Mitsubishi’s new Twin Clutch SST transmission.

With almost every automaker developing new RWD sports coupes let’s hope that this concept means that Mitsubishi is finally going to fix the Eclipse and return it to its roots.

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PRESS RELEASE:

Mitsubishi Motors new “MITSUBISHI Concept-RA” to receive global premiere at 2008 Detroit Motor Show

Tokyo, November 27, 2007 – Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) and Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. (MMNA, based in Cypress California) will premiere MITSUBISHI Concept-RA to the world at the 2008 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS or the Detroit Motor Show). MITSUBISHI Concept-RA fuses a passion for dynamic, exciting driving with a heightened sensitivity for the environment thanks to clean, efficient high performance diesel power. The 2008 NAIAS runs from January 13 to 27 at the Cobo Center in Detroit and opens to the general public on January 19.
MITSUBISHI Concept-RA shows that thrilling performance and environmental responsibility need not be mutually exclusive concepts. This coupe concept features the Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) vehicle dynamics control system driveline and the Twin Clutch SST automated manual transmission used in Lancer Evolution*1, is powered by a new high-output, high-efficiency clean diesel engine.

*1: Lancer Evolution X in Japan

The MITSUBISHI Concept-RA S-AWC driveline adds Active Steering and Active Damping control to the ACD*2, AYC*3, Sport ABS*4 and ASC*5 component systems that comprise the system used on Lancer Evolution. S-AWC integrally manages all of these systems to realize advanced levels of control over drive torque and braking, thereby upgrading traction, cornering and vehicle stability. All this adds up to intuitive, on-demand vehicle behavior that faithfully reflects driver intent under all driving conditions, from everyday use to emergency avoidance situations.

MITSUBISHI Concept-RA is powered by a new high-efficiency, low-emissions 2.2-liter 4-cylinder DOHC 16-valve turbodiesel engine with MIVEC*6 continuously variable valve timing control. With piezoelectric injector common-rail direct fuel injection that allows a lower compression ratio and with a VD (Variable Diffuser)/VG (Variable Geometry) turbocharger, the clean diesel unit delivers a maximum output of 150 kW (204 PS) and maximum torque of 420 Nm (42.8 kg-m). For compliance with U.S. emissions standards (Tier 2 Bin 5 emission regulations), the engine relies on a new catalytic converter system that brings together diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC), NOx trap catalyst (NTC) and diesel particulate filter (DPF) technologies. The new diesel engine will deliver exciting driving manners with a high degree of fuel efficiency.

For improved crashworthiness and to reduce vehicle weight MITSUBISHI Concept-RA features a new body structure using an aluminum space frame made from extruded aluminum sections and die-cast aluminum members, as well as engine hood, fenders and other outer panels made from high impact-resistance and easily recyclable plastic resin.

*2: Active Center Differential
*3: Active Yaw Control
*4: Sport Antilock Brake System
*5: Active Stability Control
*6: Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control system