- Jan 13, 2008
Detroit 2008: Ra-Roh! Mitsubishi unveils 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.
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
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.
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