• Jan 13, 2008
click above for more high-res images of the Mitsubishi Concept-RA

It's a rare day when a concept makes us visibly wretch, but Mitsubishi did just that when it ripped the sheets off its Concept-RA. Maybe it was the ill-proportioned front fascia that took all the wrong cues from a Vector, or the generic styling of the rear three-quarter view, but overall, it left us cold, despite Mitsu's infinitely looped Daft Punk/Kanye West mashup.

Regardless, the Concept-RA uses some innovative materials (aluminum space frame and recycled plastic body panels) and we like the idea of an all-wheel-drive, diesel-powered sports coupe that sends 201 hp and 310 lb.-ft. of twist through Mitsubishi's S-AWC system. But beyond the powertrain underneath, we weren't impressed -- and the engine poking through the hood didn't help either.

Mitsubishi's press release plus video is posted in full after the jump and we've got our live gallery of images below.





PRESS RELEASE

The MITSUBISHI Concept-RA offers a unique interpretation of the sporty coupe. This two-seat pure coupe concept explores the transversely mounted, front engine packaging theme. Generous helpings of technology create a vehicle that combines exotic appeal, outstanding, fun-to-drive dynamics and heightened sensitivity for the environment

Design
Developed as a technological showcase for Mitsubishi Motors, the Concept-RA displays athletic sport coupe proportions wrapped in dynamic flowing lines that provide a powerful and compelling showpiece for the car's advanced, high technology features. Broad, muscular wheel arches house 21-inch wheels and lend graphic expression to the high degree of road control and tenacious grip afforded by the next generation S-AWC system. Meanwhile, an exposed engine cover highlights the presence of the car's high output, efficient, clean diesel engine design. The Concept-RA's inverted-slant nose and trapezoidal grille fascia reinforce Mitsubishi Motors' new design identity, albeit suitably revised to reflect the concept's sporty coupe attributes.

Concept-RA's deep red exterior hue graphically accentuates the coupe's fluid, muscular body lines, and offsets a matte black engine hood that helps impart the vehicle's strong mechanical flavor. The interior has been developed to show a fusion of tradition with leading-edge touches. The cockpit's wraparound control layout uses minimal visual instrumentation and optimizes the switch and control layout. This reduces the driver's physical and mental workload, allowing full concentration on driving. The interior also makes extensive use of fine-quality natural materials in a design that delivers the utmost control, confidence, and vehicle involvement to the driver.

Mechanical
The MITSUBISHI Concept-RA's Super-All Wheel Control driveline is a next generation all-wheel-drive system that adds Active Steering and Active Suspension control to the ACD_, AYC_, ASC_, and Sport ABS components that comprise the highly capable system used on the 2008 Lancer Evolution. Concept RA's S-AWC system integrally manages these components to realize advanced levels of control over drive torque, steering input, vehicle roll, and braking at each wheel, thereby raising traction, cornering and vehicle stability levels. Such capability affords Concept-RA intuitive, on-demand vehicle behavior that faithfully reflects driver intent by reacting instantly, under a variety of driving conditions, from everyday use to emergency avoidance situations.

MITSUBISHI Concept-RA is powered by a new, high output, high-efficiency 2.2-liter 4-cylinder DOHC 16-valve turbo diesel engine with MIVEC4. This clean diesel's MIVEC system incorporates valve lift control with low and high-speed cam profiles actuating the intake valves. A Piezoelectric injector, common-rail direct fuel injection system allows the engine to use of a lower static compression ratio. The new diesel showcases a VD/VG (Variable Diffuser / Variable Geometry) turbocharger whose internal vanes can control airflow over the turbine and compressor surfaces to produce optimum boost characteristics at all times. The efficient, low emissions diesel unit delivers a maximum output of 201 hp (150 kW) and maximum torque of 310 ft. lbs. (42.8 kg-m). For compliance with Tier 2 Bin 5 emission regulations in the United States, the clean diesel powerplant relies on a new catalytic converter system that combines a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC), NOx trap catalyst (NTC) and diesel particulate filter (DPF) technologies.

In an effort to reduce vehicle weight to improve fuel economy, vehicle performance and safety, MITSUBISHI Concept-RA features a new, rigid body structure using an aluminum space frame made from extruded aluminum sections and die-cast aluminum components. In addition, the engine hood, fenders and other outer panels made from lightweight, impact-resistant and easily recyclable plastic resin.

1: Active Center Differential
2: Active Yaw Control
3: Active Stability Control
4: Mitsubishi Innovative Valve lift and timing with Electronic Control


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  • 28 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      OK i figured out what it needs. Some nice xenon headlights above the current ones. Not replacing them, just additionally.
        • 7 Years Ago
        yup, i think you've hit the nail on the head for the design of the next eclipse.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Damon Lavrinc: I accept the notion that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I find it highly questionable that you praised the Fisker Karma ("... we're totally crushing on it"), while you criticized the Mitsubishi Concept-RA ("... makes us visibly [retch] ..."). From the look of things, it would seem you are one of the supporters of Chris Bangle and his philosophy of flame-surfacing. Enough said.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Their new Slogan is "its GO time" and its onvious some of these styling cues gots to go! the sketch came out much better....i am slightlly disapointed, i was expecting it to be BETTER than the sketch..not this....anyways, still a concept, lets see what happens next with the prototype
      • 7 Years Ago
      I was waiting on the full reveal of this, overall I like it. The rear 3/4 view is a little odd but the rest is great. Obviously loose the black bonnet and get it body coloured.

      I've played around with the pictures in photoshop and this car looks ace in Silver, Black, Bright red and Yellow (better than these shots here).

      I only hope they actually MAKE it, and if it 'must' be an eclipse then they'd better import them to the UK, i'd prefer it as a follow up to the FTO (one of my cars), I have a thing for Jap Metal, being skint but liking decent looks,reliability and some performance i'm bound to.
      • 7 Years Ago
      the headlights look... less than desirable... for driving any distance at night considering their angle and the length of the bonnet.

      give it a normal hood, widen it up a bit with some better lines down the sides, make the rear as aggressive as the front, and I'd be all over it.

      I love the wheesl, door hinges (almost as nice as a Koenigsegg), and drivetrain, though.
        • 7 Years Ago
        wheels, rather...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Is the poster on crack? As a concept I think it looks good, I'd drive it right now.

      Its obvious that if this is the new styling direction for the eclipse (much better lookinf IMO) there some stuff that is going to be dailed back. The hood being #1.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I kinda like it. It's a concept - if it goes to production I'm sure it will get tamed down.

      I don't know why one author hates this car and another author called the Audi TTs beautiful. To each his own I guess.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Unreal.

        I simply cannot fathom how someone could not like this.

        I can understand that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder, and personal taste is extremely subjective.
        This is why people buy Honda Elements and Pontiac Aztecs, because they have absolutely no taste whatsoever.
        The author in this case is one of those.

        Plain and simple: If you don't like this Concept RA, you are wrong, and that's the end of it.

        I will be sad if Mitsubishi waters down this concept and releases it.
        I want one, right now, EXACTLY how it is shown.

        Who knows about the diesel, but if they were to take the entire Evo platform, and shove it into THIS body, then THAT would be a car I would gladly fork over $40K for.
        The new Evo MR?......not so much.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I like that Mitsu is actually considering a real 2 seat sportscar based on the Evo platform, however, I don't see three pedals in the interior shots. Listen up car makers: enthusiasts who actually buy impractical 2 seat sportscars really enjoy driving their machines which includes shifting ourselves. Don't force your dual clutch tecno-garbage on us. The majority of people who buy those types of transmisions leave it in full auto mode most of the time and aren't real enthusiasts who would buy this type of car.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I completely disagree with the poster. I think this car has a very original design, reminiscent of the European short racers (Porsche 914, for instance) of the early 80s. Wheels pushed out far to the corners, and a car that gives the impression of being smaller than it likely is. Aggressive stance visually attacking the road, and a rear that actually uses 3-box, rather than the rather 2-box look of previous Eclipse designs that have begun to look very long in the tooth.

      Now, if only Mitsubishi could build this with something resembling a degree of quality....
      • 7 Years Ago
      I thought the Audi TT cues in the interior of the EVO X were where it was going to stop, but no. Audi called, they want the R8 interior back. Ghastly, Unoriginal, color me unimpressed. The RallyArt is quite a bit more relevant/exciting.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I love it, 'nuff said...
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think this is Mitsubishi's way of trying to come out with a car to take the place of what the pre 2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse vehicles used to be and stand for, which I do applaud.
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