Mitsubishi have treated Detroit Auto Show attendees to the unveiling of their Concept RA, an eco-friendly coupe concept. Devised as a showcase for Mitsubishi?s developing ?green? technologies the Concept RA is unfortunately, strictly a concept and a production version is not planned.
The Concept RA uses diesel power to achieve high-performance with low fuel consumption. The diesel engine is from the high-output high-efficiency clean diesel school of design. It is 2.2-litres in capacity, uses MIVEC variable valve control, piezoelectric injectors as well as a variable geometry turbo, to produce 150kW/200hp and 420Nm.
Power is run through Mitsubishi?s "next generation" Super-All Wheel Control (S-AWC) system that is comprised of Active Center Differential, Active Yaw Control, Sport ABS and Active Stability Control component systems, as seen on the Lancer Evolution X.
Lightweight materials are a feature of the Concept RA?s construction, with an aluminium space-frame being made from extruded aluminium sections, while the hood, front guards (fenders) and a number of other outer panels are made from impact-resistant and recyclable plastic resin.
Hopefully enough interest will be shown in this concept for Mitsubishi to consider developing a diesel powered production sports car in the not too distant future.
The MITSUBISHI Concept-RA continues a long tradition of sporty coupe concepts dating back to the 1972 debut of the Galant GTO R73-X show car, which showcased high revving, high output (200 hp) DOHC engine technology. Combining cutting edge drivetrain technologies with the latest clean diesel engine design, MITSUBISHI Concept-RA demonstrates that a thrilling performance machine and a sense of environmental responsibility need not be mutually exclusive concepts. The Concept-RA features a "next generation" Super-All Wheel Control (S-AWC) system that is comprised of Active Center Differential, Active Yaw Control, Sport ABS and Active Stability Control component systems, as equipped on the very capable Lancer Evolution. For Concept-RA, this vehicle-dynamics-enhancing, all-wheel-drive system is upgraded to include Active Steering and Active Damping Control elements to further improve driver control, as well as vehicle handling and stability. S-AWC integrally manages all of these systems to realize advanced levels of control over drive torque and braking, thereby improving traction, cornering and vehicle stability. This complex system of electronic traction and driveline control help create 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 output, low-emissions 2.2-liter 4-cylinder DOHC 16-valve turbo diesel engine. This engine features a MIVEC(1) valvetrain that offers continuously variable valve timing control as well as low and high speed camshaft profiles. The new diesel is equipped with piezoelectric injector common-rail direct fuel injection that allows a lower compression ratio and a VD (Variable Diffuser)/VG (Variable Geometry) turbocharger. The 2.2 liter clean diesel unit delivers a maximum output of 201 hp (150 kW) and maximum torque of 310 ft. lbs (42.8 kg-m). In an effort to comply with U.S. emissions standards (Tier 2 Bin 5 emission regulations), the diesel relies on a new catalytic converter system that utilizes diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC), NOx trap catalyst (NTC) and diesel particulate filter (DPF) technologies. When mated to a Twin Clutch-SST gearbox, the torque-rich diesel engine will help deliver sporty driving manners with a high degree of fuel efficiency.
MITSUBISHI Concept-RA makes extensive use of lightweight materials in its construction to help reduce vehicle mass for improved performance, fuel economy and safety. The athletic coupe features a new body structure that utilizes an aluminum space frame made from extruded aluminum sections and die-cast aluminum components, as well as the hood, fenders and other outer panels molded from impact-resistant and easily recyclable plastic resin.