FEAST your "i" on this Mitsubishi concept

Mitsubishi set its phasers to "taunt" during SEMA last week, shipping over an i prepared by FEAST to be part of the automaker's display in Vegas. The i, which I've yammered about a few times here at Autoblog, is Mitsubishi's super-stylish mid-engined kei car, and as such, it's forbidden fruit here in North America.

The FEAST i doesn't have any powertrain mods, keeping it's "keiness" intact, mechanically. Instead, the tuners went a little nuts on the car's appearance and gadgetry. This i is kitted, dropped and exhales through a dual exhaust from Blitz. The exterior graphics are typically overdone (this is a tuner showcase machine, after all, plenty of sponsors to serve). Interior trim panels and other details have been redone to add color and lighten things up a bit, while occupants can take in a DVD or boom their tunes thanks to the new Alpine A/V system.

Myself, I'd trade all the extra stuff just to have the i itself. It's so different from anything we have on the market here, all the attention-getter accessories loaded onto it seem superfluous.

(Gallery, press release after the jump)

[Source: Mitsubishi]

Mitsubishi i by FEAST
Click images to enlarge

Mitsubishi Motors' Evolander Concept Headlines A Strong Display Of Customized And Race-prepped Vehicles At The 2006 Sema Show

All-New 2007 Outlander gets EVO-ived, Race-prepped Raider Pickup debuts prior to competing in Baja 1000

October 31, 2006 -- LAS VEGAS --
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) addresses the tuner market by presenting an exciting new Evolander concept vehicle, the off-road race-ready Baja Raider truck, the Feast Audio "i" minicar, the LOUD-lander by Rockford Fosgate and several new Special Edition models at the 2006 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show.

"The Evolander builds upon the reputation that the Lancer Evolution sedan has built among tuners and car enthusiasts. Like the Evo, the Evolander boasts a forced induction engine, electronic all-wheel drive, and a tuned suspension that deliver on its Evo-ness," said Dan Sims, managing director of Mitsubishi Research and Design America. "A vehicle like Evolander, which blends Evolution-style design cues and sport SUV themes, might help inspire tuners to apply their wares to the compact SUV segment."

Headlining the marquee of Mitsubishi's SEMA display is the Evolander concept. This unique vehicle, created by the Mitsubishi Research and Design of America (MRDA) team in Cypress, California started life as a 2007 Outlander, which is an all-new addition to Mitsubishi's line-up that goes on sale in November. The creative minds at MRDA sought to infuse the Evolander concept with performance elements and design cues inspired by Mitsubishi's omnipotent, race-ready, super-sedan, the Lancer Evolution. An exploratory concept, the Evolander represents the design and engineering possibilities of what could be an Outlander Ralliart production model in the future.

For the Evolander, the output of the Outlander's 3.0-liter V6 engine (normally rated at 220 hp) swells to 300 hp with the help of an ATI/Roadrace Engineering Procharger system that uses a centrifugal compressor to produce 6 psi of boost. The increased power is fed through a 6-speed automatic transmission that is actuated by the same magnesium-alloy paddle shifters that will be equipped on the next generation performance model. The Evolander puts power to pavement using Mitsubishi's newest electronically-controlled AWD system offering exceptional, rally-car like roadholding in an SUV. The list of Evolander's dynamic enhancements also includes a Roadrace Engineering/Muellerized coilover suspension system that enhances handling to help dice corners with precision and exceptional control. The Evolander rides on lightweight 20-inch OZ wheels wrapped in high performance Yokohama Advan ST performance rubber. Brembo's new 6-piston monobloc-style brakes squeeze massive cross-drilled front rotors, and a set of cross-drilled rear rotors were added to help bring the vehicle to a swift, safe sudden halt.

The Evolander's exterior design follows along an "urban performance" theme, and shares several characteristics with the Lancer Evolution sedan. The Evolander's fascia design mimics that of the Evolution vehicles with its cavernous cooling and brake duct intakes and an aggressively vented hood. The Lancer Evolution also lends its iconic, rally-inspired, box flares to the Evolander, increasing the width of the vehicle at the fenders by 28 mm. The Evolander also features a more aggressive aerodynamic treatment, with lowered side sills, fender vents, a rear diffuser and a Ralliart rear spoiler that add a "sporty urban" look to the SUV.

The Evolander's stylish interior fuses sporting elements of Evolution with the technology features found on Outlander. Recaro Sport form fitting, reclining racing seats cradle and support driver and passenger helping improve a driver's seating position and vehicle control during aggressive driving. The interior still maintains full use of the 2007 Outlander's new 30 GB hard-drive navigation system (with 1200 song music storage capability), as well as the rear DVD entertainment system, and the eardrum-rattling Rockford Fosgate 650 watt audio system.

Baja Raider
The Mitsubishi Motors display at the 2006 SEMA Show also features the Baja Raider, a competition version of the Raider truck campaigned by DXR (Desert Xtreme Racing). The Baja Raider will compete in the SCORE Stock Mini category at the Baja 1000 (November 16th), which closely regulates the modifications that can be made to this relatively showroom-stock class of off-road race truck. For the Stock Mini class, rules require that vehicle's V6 drivetrains remain mostly factory specification while various other chassis modifications are permitted to the truck such as suspension and safety enhancements. Consistent with the class rules, the Baja Raider sports a rugged 3.7-liter V6 under the hood; the engine receives basic induction and exhaust enhancements to improve response. The Baja Raider's transmission and 4WD system relies on the same durable hardware found on a showroom Raider.

The suspension revisions will allow the Baja Raider to maintain a swift pace over the harsh terrain of the Baja peninsula. The front suspension's travel is maximized and dampened with the help of King Customs 2.5-inch coilover racing shocks and triple bypass racing shocks to help control wheel travel over the harshest terrain. At the rear of the Baja Raider, the truck's solid rear axle is supported by King custom 3" triple-valved race shocks, Deaver racing leaf springs and Mastercraft limit straps.

A tireless attention to detail is evident in the Stock Mini class Baja Raider which is the result of about 1200+ man-hours of preparation. Tireless also describes the behind-the-wheel iron-man effort we can expect to see from DXR's Dan Fresh who will drive the entire length of the Baja 1000 course without a co-driver. With 10 years of competition under his belt, Fresh is no stranger to the rigors of desert racing and has enjoyed several class championships as well as previous success in the Baja 1000. "The Baja 1000 is about as grueling a challenge as off-road racing can offer," said Fresh. "That desert certainly tests equipment, it is also a contest of skill, preparation, determination and guile. There are no easy victories in the Baja, and we feel can be very competitive with the Baja Raider."

LOUD-lander by Rockford Fosgate
Simply put, LOUD-lander is the world's loudest Outlander. Harnessing 2700 watts of total system power through 18 speakers, LOUD-lander practically weaponizes a vehicle's "sound system." Rumor has it that at full song the LOUD-lander's sonic fury is capable of loosening dental fillings and deforming contact lenses. This epic audio system relies on five amplifiers (two 450 watt units and three 600 watt units) to power twelve Rockford Fosgate Punch P162S 6 3/4 inch speakers and six Rockford Fosgate Punch P215S4 15" sub woofers. Both the speakers and the subwoofers are constructed using a molded polypropylene cone mated to a stamped steel frame for improved durability, deep, consistent bass and high performance. The LOUD-lander's awesome power is enhanced with a Rockford Fosgate 3Sixty.2 Interactive Signal Processor that helps provide outstanding clarity and sound definition for this Herculean compact SUV audio system.

Direct from Japan to the SEMA show floor, the FEAST "i" minicar shows how exciting the diminutive "kei" class of vehicles can be. The "i" is powered by a turbocharged 660cc, 3 cylinder engine, as specified by vehicle class limitations. Output on the FEAST "i" is estimated at about 70 hp, which is directed to the rear wheels through a four-speed automatic transmission. It is the unique rear-midship engine placement of "i" that allowed designers to maximize the interior space upon the vehicle's rather long 2550 mm wheelbase. Despite exterior dimensions (3300 mm long by 1400 mm wide) limited by vehicle class constraints, the "i"'s intelligent packaging design affords interior space for four adults with while maintaining class-leading handling, safety and urban manueverability. The innovative design of the "i" minicar has already earned several awards in Japan including the prestigious "Good Design Grand Prize 2006" (awarded by the Japanese minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry) which awards the most significant design across all of Japanese industry, not merely automotive.

The FEAST "i" receives exterior enhancements such as ROAR front spoiler, air dam extension, side sills, and rear air dam. A FEAST designed carbon fiber hood and vinyl decal kit finish off the unique exterior of the "i".

In addition, the FEAST "i " is equipped with a BLITZ dual outlet exhaust system that provides a baritone rumble for this tiny vehicle, and the car's ride and handling is also enhanced for better cornering with the addition of a Blitz Super Flex Suspension kit.

With an interior that looks more like the cockpit of a small spaceship than a passenger car, the FEAST "i" offers drivers a unique and futuristic operating space. The interior surfaces (door panels, center console, etc.) feature a custom pastel interior finish, as well as numerous new speaker locations that are connected to an Alpine audio system. The Alpine head unit is mounted in a custom dashpod and an Alpine equalizer is mounted in a custom center console. A Panasonic center monitor resides in a custom built dash-top mounted centerpiece, and additional LCD monitors are located in a custom-built package tray/speaker enclosure at the rear of the vehicle. A pair of Recaro seats and steering wheel round out the interior enhancements.

Eclipse Sport Edition and Endeavor Special Edition
Mitsubishi's SEMA display will features two special trim levels of current models we might see in showrooms in the very near future. The Eclipse Sport Edition is revised with several exterior enhancements such a chin spoiler, a larger rear wing, and a graphic package. With 19-inch wheels and the aero kit, the vehicle displays a more athletic stance. The Eclipse Sport edition's interior has been restyled with a black and terra cotta color scheme.

The Endeavor Special Edition applies "V.I.P.-look" themes to Mitsubishi's mid-sized SUV, the made-in-America Endeavor. A unique billet aluminum grille, a very deep hue of black, deletion of roof rails, subtle use of chrome finish, a rear roof edge spoiler, and larger 20-inch wheels complete the dramatic exterior look of this Endeavor. The vehicle's interior is revised with an upscale treatment thanks to a two-tone, black and cream door panel and seating surface treatment with cream stitching.

Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. is responsible for all manufacturing, finance, sales, marketing, and research and development operations of the Mitsubishi Motors Corporation in the United States and Canada. Mitsubishi Motors sells coupes, convertibles, sedans, sport utility vehicles and pickups through a network of approximately 540 dealers. For more information, contact the Mitsubishi Motors News Bureau at (888) 560-6672 or visit media.mitsubishicars.com.

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