Mitsubishi Evolution X, and Stunning new Lancer

Mitsubishi Evolution X Small Image

Auto Express (UK) have a news item about the new Mitsubishi Evolution X, which will be on show in Japan in October. They have an image of the new car, as well as an image of the 2007 Lancer concept.

The design is particularly striking, considering that the current Lancer models are rather bland. It will be interesting to see if Mitsubishi carry over much of the radical design into production.

UPDATE: from the Bangkok Post:

"Mitsubishi will preview the next-generation Lancer saloon at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month after showing a hatchback teaser in Frankfurt in September.

Called Concept-X, the four-door prototype will be disguised as the Evolution X featuring an array of new technologies to stand out in the compact (C-segment) car class.

The sensuous and dynamic proportions of Concept-X remain faithful to those found in the Sportback Concept five-door hatch including the trapezoidal front grille ultra-sleek headlights.

As seen in these first pictures, the Evo X may get quad tail pipes like in the M cars of BMW, rear air diffuser and spoiler to aid windflow and unique side sills.

However, the show car's flashy 20-inch wheels shod with racey 255/35 tyres may be replaced with smaller rims and thicker tyres in the interest of ride comfort.

According to sources at Mitsubishi, the production versions of both the four- and five-door Lancer due in 2007 should get the same family face.

While many other manufacturers have been using this strategy like in the two body derivatives of the Ford Focus and Mazda 3, Honda has done otherwise.

While the five-door Civic has gone radical with an extra-modern package when it was premiered in Frankfurt, the four-door variant due in Tokyo this month has a more conservative and evolutionary appearance.

``We need to clearly identify ourselves with a new and consistent brand image,'' said a Mitsubishi source. ``We don't want to be considered as a maker of dull cars anymore. Take the Triton pickup, for instance.''

Using a new global platform and engines shared with the Chrysler group of brands, the Concept-X gets a generous 2,650mm wheelbase length. Overall length is 4,530mm, width 1,830 and height 1,470 for a competitive package in its class.

A new technical highlight is the transmission. The six-speed auto-manual system is most likely to be offered in the next-generation Evo X.

The Concept-X is powered by the Evo IX's 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that can produce anywhere between 250-330hp depending on market requirements.

However, a source says this engine is becoming dated and may not be used in the Evo X. Instead, the base inline-four block could be the new 2.4-litre which will first be used in the new Outlander.

The second-generation Outlander (Motoring, Aug 22) also makes it world debut in Tokyo, shares the same basic underpinnings with the new Lancer and will form the basis of two new SUVs to be sold by Peugeot and Citroen late next year.

The Concept-X also highlights the use of aluminium on the roof, bonnet, boot, fenders and door panels to reduce weight and lower centre of gravity to benefit roadholding. Such lightweight materials are expected to be reserved for the range-topping Evo X only.

The same goes for the improved versions of vehicle dynamics control. Apart from full-time four-wheel-drive and active yaw control, new features are active brake control, active steering and roll control suspension.

Like in the current Lancer, the successor will use front strut and rear multi-link suspension."