Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi cars

It wasn’t that long ago when Mitsubishi was a household name among American auto buyers. Unfortunately, the company’s stature and sales figures have both torpedoed to the point that rumors of the company leaving the US market aren’t being treated as ridiculous blasphemy anymore, but more as an increasing possibility.

Gone were the days when the Japanese brand could sell 200,000 vehicles a year without even trying. Back in 2002, they sold 354,111 of their vehicles, but today, the company’s trying hard to even push 50,000 sold models.

So with the way Mitsubishi is going these days, pulling out of the US market isn’t as crazy as it once was. That is, until you talk to Osamu Masuko, the president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation. When asked if the company is ready to leave the US market behind, Masuko flatly responds: “It never enters my mind.”

On the contrary, according to Masuko, Mitsubishi is aggressively planning on quadrupling its sales volume by 400% to 200,000 vehicles. Of course, that part is easier said than done, but the company is confident that by coming out with new products like smaller and more fuel efficient cars, as well as electric vehicles, Mitsubishi could turn around their fortunes.

It remains to be seen how this will all play out, but in the end, we’re all rooting for Mitsubishi to rebound from the current mired state they’re in. It may not be as popular as it was, but with a lot of work – and some luck, too – Mitsubishi can still regain their footing in the American market.

Source: Autonews

Mitsubishi has announced the addition of a new model to their Outlander line-up: the new 2011 Outlander Sport. On the US market the new model will be offered in two trim levels: ES and SE, and both in 2WD and 4WD versions.

The 2011 Outlander Sport is powered by a 2.0-Liter inline-4 engine that delivers a total of 148 hp @ 6000 rpm and 143 lb.-ft. of torque at a lower 4200 rpm. The SE model comes with a Sportronic ® Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and the ES version gets a 5-speed manual gearbox.

The list of standard equipment includes air conditioning with pollen filter, cruise control with steering wheel mounted controls, tilt & telescopic steering wheel, power windows and door locks, remote keyless entry, and a 140-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with steering wheel controls and 4 speakers. Adding to the stereo components are the digital signal processor, equalization control, and speed compensated volume.

Updated 09/15/2010: The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport will go on sale at a price starting from $18,495 for the base version and going up to $26,795 for the top model. The 2011 Outlander Sport is available in four simple and well-equipped drive train combinations and can be optioned with both the premium package and a 40GB HDD navigation system with real-time traffic, music server and backup camera.

Press release after the jump.

Posted on by Bryan 4

We all know that Mitsubishi is having some trouble with their American car line-up and we also know that it’s due to have some serious work done to it. It seems while part of that work is a global small car, the other part is the deletion of a few well known vehicles, at least that’s what Autoweek believes.

The aging machines, the Galant and the Eclipse , won’t be getting any new updates until 2012, as the company looks to create a new global small car. Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket. With those models gone, that would leave the Japanese automaker with only the new small car, the Outlander Sport and the i-MiEV to bring to its already small lineup.

We have all known about this small car for a while now and we can guess what it will feature upon its release. Under the hood will probably be a 1.0-liter or a 1.3-liter four-cylinder motor and for the company’s sake, we hope that America loves the small car by its release in 2012 or 2013, because an engine that big won’t sell well in a power obsessed culture.

We’re still not sold on the idea of dropping a few of the core models because what will dealers have to sell to people? The Outlander and the Lancer are good vehicles, but their sales aren’t that impressive, and the small car and the i-MiEV might not be what Americans are looking for.

Source: Autoweek
Posted on by Bryan 13

So, entry-level sports cars aren’t good enough. You make too much money to be seen in a Mazda MX-5 or a normal Ford Mustang . Your successful self needs something powerful and exciting. Well, there is plenty of choices in the market.

To be as precise as possible, there is actually an overwhelming amount of choices in the market, with each car being a little different. There are German performance coupes, American muscle, and Japanese street rockets. These machines have the same sort of mind-bending power, but the way each puts that power down is as different as Apollo and the Space Shuttle.

Due to that reason, we had a hard time putting machines like the Dodge Challenger in same category as the Porsche Boxster . How can you compare two machines that are so vastly different? Sure, we could have, but it just wouldn’t have worked. So, after the jump we have three - even though the title says ten - different top fives. The price cap is $60,000.

We broke it down like this. At the top we have four-door performance machines that use amazing power with epic grip and practicality. Then we have the coupes. Don’t get these coupes mixed up with the Corvette-type coupes because these European cars are tuned for a mixture of speed and cornering ability. Finally, we have the American straight road muscle. Cars that run the quarter miles as naturally as a sports analyst getting a prediction terribly wrong.

Hit the jump to read the lists.

Posted on by Bryan 3

You might not like him and you might not watch his show, but car guys know that Jay Leno is a huge petrol head. In this episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, Leno takes a look at the new CamberTires. We aren’t quite sure what to make of these new wheels, but one thing is for certain, they’re different than anything you will find on most cars.

The inventor of the tire, John Scott, visited with Leno in his most recent episode. He attempted to convince Leno and his viewers that the new tire will increase grip, reduce tire wear, and improve handling. Only one way to find out.

Sadly, we don’t get to see Jay trying these tires out. Instead, he uses a test driver to take a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution around some tight curves to see how they work. Maybe it’s insurance reasons or timing issues, but we are pretty sure that Leno would have been more than happy to test out the tires himself. Or maybe he is just waiting it out to make sure the tires are safe before trying them out himself. Either way, enjoy the video!

The special edition Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution SE made its world debut just a few days ago. Now, the GT Channel has put together a promotional video of the car that will go on sale in the fall of 2010 and will be placed between the MR and GSR models.

The new Lancer Evolution SE gets an ultra-high performance suspension package, two-piece Brembo front brake rotors with remarkable stopping power, and Mitsubishi’s lightning-fast Twin Clutch-Sportronic Shift Transmission (TC-SST). It was also receive a small, less conspicuous lip spoiler. The exterior will be distinguished by brightly illuminating HID headlights and a choice of four colors - Graphite Gray, Wicked White, Phantom Black, and Octane Blue. On the interior it gets heated cloth RECARO seats and exclusive "SE" badging to round out the Lancer Evolution SE’s unique packaging.

Posted on by Bryan 11

The idea of the electric car is nothing new. It has actually been around for quite some time. In fact, according to a few new rumors and The Telegraph, the first electric car idea came from way back in 1884 with a vehicle created by British inventor Thomas Parker. The electric car, in theory, is one of the greatest ideas to ever hit the automotive world. No emissions, no instant torque, and no obnoxiously loud noise, plus there is little chance that a fire could occur in the event of a wreck. So what went wrong?

Well, as great as the idea was there are a few problems that hamper the car’s progress. The batteries have to be special and rather heavy; no double A is powerful enough for a moving vehicle. Modern cars weigh a lot and they need to be able to travel at high rate of speeds on the motorway, so the batteries need to be strong and luckily, there are a few companies working to make these machines possible.

Japanese automaker Nissan will soon release the Leaf, a pure electric vehicle that will surely change the way we think about modern cars, especially for city use. The Leaf isn’t the only electric car in the world. There are few others you might see roaming around the world’s many streets in a few years. These include the Mitsubishi i-MiEV , the Mini E , and the Smart ED . These are all real cars that you won’t be able to buy if you live in America, at least not yet. They have passed crash tests and offer the same sort of features that you will need in order to go on a road trip.

Hit the jump to read on.

Posted on by Bryan 9

A civil war has erupted in the automotive world and it’s all thanks to the Japanese. This has nothing to do with baseball, sumo wrestling, or the World Cup. It doesn’t even have anything to do with Honda and Toyota Toyota , the two biggest car companies in the Asian country. This is a battle of the younger persons car; two rally machines that have been fighting for years.

In the left corner we have one of the most prolific rally cars of all time, the 2010 Subaru WRX STI . Not quite sure what all those letters stand for but it’s bound to be something with speed or rally in it. The STI has been refreshed time and time again and it has always lagged behind the Mitsubishi in terms of sales and track performance. Yet, that hasn’t stopped them from releasing this new version and making it that much better.

In the right corner we have the 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X and you guessed it, this is the tenth version. The Lancer Evolution is a definite boy’s toy. It’s hard on the blacktop, dull and boring inside, but all that doesn’t mean anything. It’s this cars rally heritage that makes it so good where it matters.

So, which Japanese rally car takes the champagne and which will win in TopSpeed’s epic battle, the STI or the EVO?

Mitsubishi has added a new special edition to their Lancer Evolution X line-up. Called the SE, the new model will go on sale in the fall of 2010 and will be placed between the MR and GSR models.

The new Lancer Evolution SE gets an ultra-high performance suspension package, two-piece Brembo front brake rotors with remarkable stopping power, and Mitsubishi’s lightning-fast Twin Clutch-Sportronic Shift Transmission (TC-SST). It was also receive a small, less conspicuous lip spoiler. The exterior will be distinguished by brightly illuminating HID headlights and a choice of four colors - Graphite Gray, Wicked White, Phantom Black, and Octane Blue. On the interior it gets heated cloth RECARO seats and exclusive "SE" badging to round out the Lancer Evolution SE’s unique packaging.

Under the hood there will be an all-aluminum 291-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged and intercooled engine mated to a six speed dual clutch TC-SST gearbox, which allows the driver to choose between three modes: Normal, Sport, and Super-Sport.

Press release after the jump.

Posted on by Bryan 9

Mitsubishi and Toshiba have just announced a new partnership, aimed at developing lithium-ion batteries for vehicles.

Toshiba, a maker of electronic goods, has been making a few inroads into the automotive industry as of late. The most recent piece of news came when the company announced that it would build electric motors for Ford in June.

The company is now in a partnership with Japanese automaker Mitsubishi, according to Bloomberg. Yuki Murata, a spokesperson for Mitsubishi said the automaker has not yet decided if they will actually use the batteries.

The spokesperson also mentioned that if testing goes according to plan, the company will use the batteries. He pointed out that Toshiba has been working on batteries for a year and it will finish up testing before they approach the automaker to create a formal usage agreement.

This new agreement could help Mitsubishi catch Toyota and Honda in the development of electric cars, as the automaker has yet to produce anything that can rival the Prius or theCR-Z.

Source: Bloomberg

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