Today at Detroit Auto Show, Mitsubishi unveiled the Prototype X, the concept version of the 2008 Lancer Evolution X.
Although clearly based on the new Lancer and sharing its distinctive shark-nose grille opening, Prototype X features a unique front end, rear fenders, decklid and an aluminum roof. Making a maximum-performance statement, Prototype X looks the part of the street-wise sports machine with its boxed fenders, aggressively sloping hood with integral air scoop, 20-inch alloy wheels with massive brakes and the high-tech LED turn signals in the sideview mirrors.
Under its muscular skin, Prototype X showcases an all-new 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and a new electronic all-wheel-drive system called Super-All Wheel Control (S-AWC). Prototype X also previews a new automated manual transmission with paddle shifters. This sequential gearbox promises to offer fast driver controlled shifts, and the convenience of a fully automatic mode with no performance compromise.
Inside Prototype X, deeply contoured bucket seats are upholstered in high-grip Alcantara. An electronic lap counter hints at the car’s weekend club racer capability, while the red LED light band that spans the doors and the dash surface might suggest a customizing idea to future customers. The user technology in Prototype X previews what will be available for the next Lancer Evolution. While not all design features and content seen on Prototype X will make it to the production vehicle, the design seen in sheet metal will carry through.
Next-Gen Evolution Power and Handling
The engine powering Prototype X is a turbocharged version of the new aluminum 4B11 2.0-liter DOHC MIVEC engine used in the 2008 Lancer. It will yield the highest power rating ever in an Evolution model.
Prototype X is equipped with the automated manual transmission with magnesium steering wheel paddle shifters that will be available on the next Lancer Evolution. This new transmission will offer lightning fast, paddle-shift actuated shifting when desired, along with offering a fully automatic mode. For stick shift purists, the next Lancer Evolution will still offer a conventional 5-speed manual transmission. With the 4B11 turbo engine’s stronger torque performance, a 5-speed will provide optimal acceleration response.
Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC)
The next Lancer Evolution, while still providing the levels of engine performance that appeal to this model’s loyal core customers, will expand dynamic capability with the new Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) system. In Prototype X, this next-generation system combines an Active Center Differential (ACD) with an Active Yaw Control (AYC) rear differential and Active Skid Control (ASC). With exciting performance assured, Mitsubishi will be able to equip the upcoming Lancer Evolution to be a markedly better car for everyday driving.