With an exterior that brings over the full flavor of Lancer Evolution’s spartan road machine image and a better quality interior with a functional layout that encourages the driver to concentrate solely on operating his machine, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X will point to a new-age Evolution design that is as handsome and purposeful as it is functional.
Mitsubishi has previewed its upcoming Lancer Evo X with two show cars: the Concept-Sportback displayed at Frankfurt and the Concept-X, that was unveiled at Tokyo. While the Sportback is a hatchback, the Concept-X is a sedan and therefore even closer to the new Evolution X we’ll see in 2007. Built using a new platform co-developed with DaimlerChrysler, the Concept-X has a 122 cui turbo four engine producing 300 bhp, a twin-clutch transmission, a further-developed all-wheel-drive system, and lightweight, all-aluminum bodywork. Best of all, the design leaves the current car’s econobox roots far behind.
The main competitor for the EVO has been for several years the Subaru Impreza WRX STI. An exponent of Subaru’s involvement in the WRC the Impreza WRX STI is powered by a turbocharged and intercooled 152 cui DOHC boxer engine producing 300 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 300 lb-ft of peak torque at 4,000 rpm. Teamed exclusively to a 6-speed manual transmission, the engine can propel the WRX STI from zero-to-60 mph in under five seconds. Power is transferred to all four wheels by a sophisticated Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system with Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD) to optimize performance in all conditions.
A more distant competitor would be the Audi S4, also featuring 4WD, but fed by a naturally aspirated 344 bhp V8. It’s “Quattro” four wheel drive system is also a result of Audi’s former involvement in rally events, but it is nowadays more tarmac oriented. Unfortunately Audi’s luxury class services cost twice as much.
For the new EVO there will be made extensive use of aluminum in the roof, engine hood and other body panels. Chassis performance will be substantially improved with the introduction of Mitsubishi’s latest 4WD-based Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) vehicle dynamics control system. The incarnation of driving pleasure, this highly advanced technical specification will make EVO X a showcase on wheels for Mitsubishi Motors’ quintessential road performance technology.
As the Concept X shows we can expect a form with lines that are purposeful and handsome; a form that symbolizes the New Mitsubishi Motors Design while retaining the spartan performance image that defines the Lancer Evolution series.
The exterior design will be distinguished by its eye-catching oversized grille, the front visage borrows design cues from a jet fighter to hint broadly at the huge quantities of air it draws in and at the car’s road-hugging stability. The brand-identifying 3-diamond logo on the leading edge of the engine hood is another distinguishing element of the new-age Evolution design.
The interior will follow the simple and functional layout, put together in a design that encourages the driver to concentrate fully on operating his machine. The black keynote interior color will use silver counterpoints to impart the material look of aluminum and create a more dynamic and athletic looking interior space.
The chassis will use a ring-structure frame design, that will realize a significant increase in body stiffness, while the use of aluminum in the engine hood, trunk lid, fenders, roof and front and rear door panels will reduce weight. Reducing weight in the roof and upper parts of the body lowers the center of gravity, while weight reduction in the doors, engine hood, trunk and other peripheral elements reduces the moment of inertia for better steerability. Weight reduction, lowering the center of gravity and reducing the moment of inertia all contribute to better motive performance and better handling.
The Sport ABS system’s ECU uses information from a steering angle sensor that detects steering inputs as well as from lateral G and vehicle speed sensors to apportion pressure to each of the four wheels independently. The result is improved steering response under braking.
The Electronic Brake Force Distribution system optimizes allocation of braking force between the front and rear wheels. Increasing the pressure applied to the rear wheels when braking close to the limit, EBD reduces the load on the front wheels to realize better anti-fade performance. The system also compensates for changes in surface and vehicle load conditions to ensure predictable and consistent stopping performance at all times.
In the mechanical components department, MITSUBISHI EVO X will mate a turbocharged aluminum cylinder block MIVEC engine to a high-performance 6-speed auto-manual transmission.
It will also showcase Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) vehicle dynamics control technology. A further step up the evolutionary ladder of Mitsubishi Motors four-wheel drive traction and handling technology well proven in the Lancer Evolution and other series, S-AWC will realize cutting-edge levels of vehicle dynamics control. Based on Mitsubishi’s full-time 4WD system, as used in Lancer Evolution, that is built around ACD*3 and Super AYC*4 component technologies, S-AWC adds Active Brake Control, Active Steering System and Roll Control Suspension technologies to realize a fully integrated system.
Another addition will be the ACD (Active Center Differential), which incorporates an electronically controlled hydraulic multi-plate clutch. An ECU optimizes clutch cover clamp load for different driving conditions, regulating the differential limiting action between free and locked states. The result is improved steering response together with better traction. ACD will provide three modes - Tarmac / Gravel / Snow - to enable quicker control response for changes in road surface.
In good Lancer Evolution tradition standard Recaro bucket seats are expected, featuring Alcantara upholstery to keep occupants comfortable even on long journeys, while generous side bolsters featuring real leather accents will help hold passengers securely in place during spirited driving. The new seat configuration will also make it easier to slip in and out of the vehicle, while adding a touch of understated luxury.
The driver will be strapped in front of a racing-inspired new dark titanium color, three-spoke, height-adjustable Momo steering wheel. Aluminum accelerator, brake and clutch pedals will provide additional cues to the Lancer Evolution X’s high-performance roots. Rich, carbon fiber-style instrument, center and shift panels will further illustrate this is not your typical compact sedan - designed as much for rally-racing as everyday driving.
2007 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X
The On-Board Multi-Media System will complement the interior design in the way it will encourage a dialogue between driver and machine. A high-definition LCD monitor (featured on the Concept X) if available on the production version will provide a real-time display of vehicle and S-AWC operating status while also displaying on-board navigation system maps and DVD audio controls.
As part of Mitsubishi Motors’ "Best-Backed Car" program, all models 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 "Best-Backed Car" program also includes 24-hour emergency roadside assistance with free towing to the nearest authorized Mitsubishi Motors retailer for warranty-related repairs for five years/unlimited miles.
The hot sedan definition is about to see it’s tenth incarnation. Leaving behind the boxy-dull design, featuring a brand new chassis and being refreshed with the latest rally racing technology brought to public streets the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X is about to hit our harts in 2007. Let us hope everything will go as expected and every Evo’s fan itchy hand will get to overturn that “Momo” steering-wheel soon enough.