At Mitsubishi Motors, we understand that performance is about much more than 0-100km/h times. A car’s performance encompasses everything from how smoothly the transmission changes gear, to how efficient and green an engine’s operation is. Performance is also measured by how good the driving experience is, how confidently and safely the car handles corners and deals with adverse road conditions. That’s where features such as our All Wheel Drive come in, which gives our cars entertaining dynamics as well as a big safety bonus. And because we’ve engineered awesome performance machines like the Lancer Evolution, we know that performance is also about using lightweight aluminium technology to reduce weight and improve handling balance. 





    Mitsubishi Motors has always employed an unconventional approach to solving problems, and MIVEC is an excellent example of that. MIVEC stands for Mitsubishi Innovative Valve-timing Electronic Control system, and it is a brilliant solution to an age-old problem. An engine’s camshaft determines the ‘breathing’ characteristics of the engine, or how the air and fuel flow into and out of the combustion cylinders via the valves. The problem is, the cam profile for good low-rpm torque, fuel economy and emissions is different to the cam profile needed for good high-rpm power and torque output. Historically, engine designers have sought a compromise, ending up with cam profiles that aren’t ideal for either high or low rpm operating mode. The result is an engine that delivers either greater low-rpm torque or more high-rpm power, but not both. The MIVEC solution is to provide a range of cam profiles, so that the engine can ‘breathe’ optimally at every part of the rev range, with seamless transition between cam settings.

    Some of our engines provide variable cam profiles. So at low engine speeds, a mild (low lift) cam setting provides a smooth, stable idle, lower emissions and increased torque, while as engine speed rises the cam lobes provide increasingly higher valve lift and duration. That means a greater quantity of air flows into the combustion chamber, which increases power and torque output at higher engine speeds. The result is a better driving experience, as the torque and power are spread more widely across the rev range.

    MIVEC technology, which is used right across the Mitsubishi engine range from three to six-cylinders, also reduces emissions and improves fuel economy. In short, MIVEC provides a win-win solution.


    The latest Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution employs Mitsubishi Motors’ most sophisticated turbocharged 4-cylinder engine to date. Taking advantage of the huge amount of knowledge that we’ve gained through successful campaigns in the World Rally Championship, this engine is our cleanest, highest performance road-going unit ever, despite its massive power. The new 4B11 series engine produces 295PS at 6500rpm in standard tune, as well as a healthy 366Nm of torque at 3500rpm. Mitsubishi Motors’ aim for this new engine was to improve performance while also reducing harmful exhaust emissions, a seemingly contradictory set of goals. To reach these goals, engineers applied Mitsubishi Motors’ MIVEC technology, which enables variable valve timing on both intake and exhaust cycles. This allows ideal valve timing for overall engine speed to improve performance, fuel economy and exhaust emissions. In addition, low and middle-speed torque response is dramatically improved by reducing pressure drops in the intake and exhaust systems by revising the turbocharger specifications. The new engine is also a good deal lighter than the engine it replaces – by employing aluminium die-cast construction for the engine block and a direct-acting valve train that removes the need for balancer shafts, engineers were able to reduce engine weight by a significant 12.5kg. Also, with improved cooling efficiency it was possible to further advance the ignition timing and consequently to reduce fuel consumption.

    Another important measure to reduce exhaust emissions whilst maintaining high performance is the use of compact fine spray fuel injectors and optimised fuel line pressure. This enables improved fuel atomisation while maintaining the necessary fuel flow rate for delivering high-power output. Combined with a high-performance metal exhaust catalyst, these measures have dramatically reduced the new Lancer Evolution’s exhaust emissions compared with Lancer Evolution IX. And a higher-efficiency alternator has also been adopted for improved fuel economy – despite weighing 100kgs more than its predecessor, new Lancer Evolution attains a fuel economy equivalent to or higher than that of the Lancer Evolution IX. Enthusiasts, though, will be encouraged to learn that the 4B11 engine offers an even better driving experience. An optimally shaped turbocharger compressor wheel, a straight type intake system and large diameter exhaust all conspire to provide throttle response that is up to 18% faster than the previous Lancer Evolution engine.

    4B11 engine was even ‘nominated’ for the engine of the year awards in 2008.


    Mitsubishi Motors’ Twin Clutch Sport Shift Transmission (TC-SST) is a highly advanced gearbox that offers quicker gear shifting than a conventional automatic transmission along with fuel consumption that is just as good as that offered by manual transmissions. Apart from the steering wheel-mounted paddles, the TC-SST appears just like a conventional automatic: there are two pedals and a centre-console mounted gearshift.

    However, the six-speed TC- SST gearbox has no torque converter making it more efficient than a normal automatic. Instead, it uses two clutches, one to engage the gear in use, the other to pre-select the next gear required. That way, when the command for the next gear is given either by the driver or, in automatic mode, by the on-board computer, the change takes place instantaneously. One clutch connects to an odd-number gear set, i.e., the 1st, 3rd and 5th gears and the other to an even-number gear set, i.e., the 2nd, 4th and 6th gears. Either of these two clutches is used at any given time to connect power to a selected gear. Before the working clutch is switched from one to the other, the control system determines the gear to be used next and engages that gear (pre-shift gear engagement). The system then disengages the first clutch and engages the second clutch at the most appropriate time while controlling the engine torque so that the gear shifting will take place smoothly and the transmission of engine torque is not interrupted. The system allows for incredibly fast gear changes, superior to that of manual transmissions. And compared with automatic transmissions and continuously variable transmissions using torque converters, the TC-SST gives less feel of slip and offers more direct response to accelerator inputs comparable to manuals. Fuel economy and off-the-line acceleration performance are comparable to or actually better than those offered by manual transmissions.

    Automatic mode – activated when the gear shifter is in ‘D’ - leads to seamlessly smooth gear changes. When the driver moves into manual mode, either by using the steering wheel paddles or moving the gear lever into its manual plane, the shift quality is both quicker and smoother than any human could manage. In addition to offering both manual and automatic gear selection, the TC-SST also offers three distinct driving modes, operated by a button located behind the gear stick.

    In ‘Normal’ mode, gears are changed as smoothly as possible at relatively low revs, to maximise comfort and economy. ‘Sport’ mode is ideal for spirited country driving and both quickens the shifts and raises change points. The ‘S-Sport’ (Super-Sport) mode is really intended for purely sporting environments like race tracks and offers up the fastest conceivable shift times while letting the engine reach peak revs between changes, never falling below 4500rpm in automatic mode.

    For a more natural driving experience, the TC-SST allows the vehicle to ‘creep’ much the way an automatic transmission with a torque converter does.  The TC-SST control unit accomplishes the ‘creep’ in coordination with the engine control to prevent engine stalls. The control unit also acts to reduce the torque transferred through the clutch to the minimum while the driver is applying the brake.  This helps to improve fuel economy and reduce clutch engagement shock that would result from shift lever operation.

    But at the heart of it, this gearbox is about performance. The TC-SST allows the driver to achieve the quickest possible acceleration from rest by removing human error and therefore consistently improving acceleration times. So if you can imagine the smoothest automatic gearbox and the quickest manual you can think of in the same car, you have an idea of what Mitsubishi’s TC-SST gearbox can achieve.

    That icon of performance, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution uses the TC-SST to tremendous effect, but vehicles like our upcoming new Outlander 2.2 DI-D will also  benefit from the high-quality, smooth gear change quality that is the hallmark of the TC-SST.





    Aluminium combines high strength with ultra-light weight, which makes it the ideal material for use in the construction of a high-performance car like the new Lancer Evolution. The roof, bonnet, front fenders and front and rear bumper beams of the Lancer Evolution are made out of aluminium. This results in a lower overall vehicle weight, which is good for reducing fuel consumption and, consequently, exhaust emissions. Another crucial benefit for a super high-performance car like the Lancer Evolution is that the use of aluminium moves the mass of the car between the front and rear axles for more balanced handling, as well as keeping the centre of gravity as low as possible. This approach is part of the reason why the Lancer Evolution’s brilliant handling dynamics have become so legendary.

    But it isn’t just our high-performance models that benefit from the use of this lightweight material. Our Outlander crossover vehicle and Pajero also employ aluminium in the construction of their roof and bonnet respectively. And as with the new Lancer Evolution, this reduces vehicle weight as well as lowering the centre of gravity, which in turn reduces body roll through the corners. 


    Mitsubishi Pajero 200PS 3.2DI-D
    The latest model Pajero benefits from an upgraded 3.2-litre common-rail diesel with 200PS and 441Nm of torque. These impressive figures give the Pajero best-in-class power and torque outputs. With a 0-100km/h figure of 9.4 seconds (short wheelbase model with manual transmission) and a top speed of 180 (limited) km/h, the 3.2DI-D also makes the Pajero faster than the competition. And with a maximum towing capacity of 3500kg, there isn’t a single competitor that beats Pajero. And in spite of the increased outputs, the 3.2DI-D emits as much as up to 20% less CO2 than before. Refinement levels have increased, too, with substantially less engine noise entering the cabin.

    Mitsubishi L200 178PS 2.5 DI-D
    With class-leading power output, the optionally available 2.5-litre common rail diesel makes an ideal partner for the latest L200. With 178PS and 400Nm (with manual transmission) of torque, this engine provides the L200 with a 0-100km/h time of just 11.6 seconds, which is faster than all of the competition and very considerably better than the previous equivalent L200. Top speed is also a more than adequate 179km/h. Also significantly improved is passing acceleration – a full four seconds has been taken off the 80-120km/h sprint compared with the previous L200. Key technical improvements to the 2.5-litre common rail diesel include an optimised shape for the combustion chambers and the use of stronger alloy materials. The materials used for bearings are also stronger, and engine cooling has been improved. There are also improvements to the variable turbocharger and the fuel injectors.


    Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) is a shorthand description for a number of different electronic and mechanical devices that work together to create the way the Lancer Evolution X responds dynamically to the driver. Simply put, this system is unrivalled by any other in existence and it provides the latest Lancer Evolution with the ability to build further upon the already staggering dynamic reputation of its predecessors. S-AWC is comprised of four core systems, which include Active Yaw Control (AYC), Active Centre Differential (ACD), Active Stability Control (ASC) and Sport ABS.

    Active Yaw Control (AYC)
    AYC is a feature that remains unique to the Lancer Evolution and has been developed further for the latest generation. As in previous versions, an electronically controlled rear differential takes information about longitudinal and lateral acceleration, steering angle and wheel speed and apportions torque between the rear wheels according to need. In addition the new Lancer Evolution now has the ability to compare the attitude of the car to that intended by the driver. Using AYC, the system makes adjustments to ensure the driver’s intended cornering line is adhered to. As before, the S-AWC can be tailored to snow, gravel or tarmac surfaces at the flick of a switch.
    Active Centre Differential (ACD)
    At the heart of the S-AWC system lies an active centre differential. Unlike passive systems that react only to the detection of a loss of grip at either axle, the ACD also takes electronic information from the S-AWC system to determine the optimal torque split between the front and rear axles and distributes it via a hydraulic multi-plate clutch.
    Active Stability Control (ASC)
    Using sensors located around the car, ASC allows wheel slip at either end of the car to be detected immediately and, by strategically applying each individual brake according to need, prevents a loss of control developing. The system is so swift to react and so smooth in its actions, that the driver is often unaware of its operation.

    Sports ABS
    This system uses sensors at all four wheels to prevent them from locking even under the most extreme braking. The system has been designed to be as non intrusive as possible and comes complete with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), which ensures that each wheel has maximum possible brake force available at all times. 


    Mitsubishi Motors’ All Wheel Control (AWC) combines an electronically controlled 4WD system with Active Stability and Traction Control systems. AWC provides incredible grip and handling on slippery surfaces for vehicles such as our Outlander crossover and the more sporting Lancer Ralliart, to name two examples.

    AWC works seamlessly to keep the power under tight control and in the case of the Lancer Ralliart can be tailored to tarmac, gravel, or snow surfaces at the flick of a switch. This is the same function that you’ll find on the Lancer Evolution X with its Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC). In fact, the ECU of the AWC system uses exactly the same sensors as the S-AWC of the Lancer Evolution (wheel speeds, steering angle, longitudinal acceleration, lateral acceleration, yaw rate, engine torque, engine speed and throttle opening). Only the brake pressure sensors are not fitted to each individual wheel as with Evolution.

    Also in common with Lancer Evolution, the Lancer Ralliart’s AWC uses the same Active Centre Differential (ACD). It takes electronic information from the AWC system sensors to determine the optimal torque split between the front and rear axles and distributes it via a hydraulic multi-plate clutch. This approach significantly enhances steering response and traction.

    Another feature of Lancer Ralliart’s AWC is the helical front limited slip differential (LSD), which is positioned between the front wheels and regulates the torque difference between the right and left front wheel and also brakes individual wheels. This is to enhance cornering performance and traction. A rear LSD mechanically regulates the torque revolution speed difference between the rear wheels.

    ABS and Traction control also work in concert with AWC to ensure that the absolute maximum traction and control is made available, either under power or during braking. And with Active Stability Control, if one of the numerous sensors located throughout the car detects unstable movement, such as lateral slippage, the Stability Control function automatically intervenes with the brakes and engine output to stabilise vehicle.
    The Super Select 4WD system featured on the Mitsubishi Pajero (SS4-II) and L200 is designed to handle every surface condition or testing terrain a driver might encounter. This advanced, full-time 4WD system allows you to shift from two to four-wheel drive at speeds up to 100km/h, and when things get really rough, the differential can be locked to deliver full torque to every wheel. The full-time Super Select system is unique in the pickup market, and the L200 is the only pickup that can be driven in 4 wheel drive mode at any speed, on any surface, anywhere.

    The four main operating modes are as follows:

    2H (2WD high range)
    This mode is rear-wheel drive only in high-range gear ratios. Ideal for city and highway driving, this is also the most fuel-efficient mode while also offering an extremely quiet ride with smooth on-road performance.

    4HLC (4WD high range with locked centre differential)
    By equally distributing power and torque between the front and rear axles, this mode can easily push you through rugged terrain with low-grip surfaces at reasonably high speed.

    4H (4WD high range)
    4WD control with the flexibility of a centre differential with a Viscous Coupling Unit (VCU) gives ready traction over changing road conditions or surfaces. Normally operating with a 50:50 torque split, it can adjust in response to wheel-slip, sending power where it is most needed for traction.

    4LLC (4WD low range with locked centre differential)
    This mode is for getting out of the most difficult spots. The lower gear ratio maximises low-end power for climbing steep inclines or crawling over rocks. It’s also ideal for encounters with mud or deep snow. 



    At Mitsubishi Motors we take the safety of you and your passengers as seriously as you do. Every one of our models employs the latest technology to ensure that driving a Mitsubishi vehicle is as safe as it is enjoyable. Our active safety features such as Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) cornering lights and Active Stability and Traction Control (ASTC) help you stay away from trouble and remain in control of the car, even when changing direction suddenly or braking hard. Of course, some situations are unavoidable, which is when extensive passive safety features such as whiplash reducing seats and a knee airbag significantly decrease the risk of injury. Euro NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) has given Lancer Sportback a maximum 5 stars for its combination of Adult, Child and Pedestrian Protection and Safety Assist – further proof of the results of our efforts. 



    A common cause of collisions is loss of control when braking heavily. By preventing wheel locking on even the most slippery of surface ABS allows you to steer away from potential hazards. EBD (Electronic Brake-force Distribution) ensures this controlled braking power goes to the wheels with the most available grip, making the strong brakes fitted to every Mitsubishi model (standard from 2006) even more effective. And in any emergency situation Brake Assist applies maximum braking force when needed, providing a third line of security against collisions. 


    ASTC (Active Stability and Traction Control) is a key safety system that has already prevented many accidents and saved many lives around the world. ASTC helps keep all vehicle occupants safe and comfortable by maintaining stability and grip on all road surfaces. Whenever wheel slip is detected, ASTC brakes individual wheels to prevent a wheel spinning or the vehicle sliding; situations that could otherwise cause loss of control. Under acceleration, ASTC also brakes wheels and regulates engine power, so that the performance of your Mitsubishi is predictable and smooth. 


    The auto light on feature is found on several Mitsubishi models and shows how smart technology can greatly improve the safety of you and others on the road. Whenever light levels fall, the auto light on feature turns the headlamps on at the appropriate level, allowing you to see and to be seen by others. When driving through tunnels, the auto light on feature takes care of turning on and off the headlamps, leaving you with one less thing to distract you. 
    afs-lights RISE-BODY



    Available on the Lancer family models, AFS (Adaptive Front-lighting System) cornering lights (until 100km/h) make driving at night much safer. At lower speeds, whenever the steering wheel is turned beyond 100 degrees, the AFS cornering lights illuminate the side of the road and will be switched off when the angle of the steering wheel is 20 degrees or less. When driving faster, the turning angle to activate AFS becomes smaller. The activation of the AFS cornering lights improves visibility at road junctions and when cornering, letting you see potential hazards that would otherwise not be visible. AFS cornering lights are combined with Bi-xenon headlamps for an even clearer view of the road.


    The advanced Mitsubishi Motors RISE (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) structure uses ultra-high tensile steels to provide you with a super-strong protective cell. The advanced RISE architecture creates an extremely stiff body that allows the areas furthest from occupants to deform in a controlled way, directing impact forces away from them. Because it is so stiff and torsionally strong the RISE body also provides the ideal platform for a better-handling car – making it easier to avoid accidents.


    All Mitsubishi vehicles are fitted with front seatbelt pretensioners that enhance the effectiveness of the seatbelts in the event of a frontal impact. Above a certain impact level, each pretensioner tightens and retracts the seatbelt to offer greater restraint to the occupant. Extra protection is provided by seatbelt force limiters that ensure that front seat occupants do not encounter unsafe restraint forces that could cause chest injury.

    ISOFIX anchorage points make securely fitting a compliant child safety seat a quick and simple task. The ISOFIX anchor points provide a solid attachment, reducing the risk of incorrect fitment and injury to a child.




    Airbags have been available in our cars for many years and have greatly lowered the effects of collisions on occupants. At Mitsubishi Motors we are constantly improving the performance of the airbags in our cars yet further. Our frontal airbags can anticipate impact and deploy in two stages, to protect against chest injuries even more effectively. Side and curtain airbags offer greater protection against side impacts and Lancer and Lancer Sportback models are equipped with a standard knee airbag that restrains the driver’s knees, shielding them from injuries. 


    Mitsubishi Motors has introduced whiplash reducing seats to Outlander and Lancer family models. A common form of injury after even low-speed collisions, whiplash is caused by an occupant’s back curving, putting pressure on the neck. The whiplash reducing seat helps an occupant’s back and head move in the same way, reducing curvature of the back and so making whiplash much less likely.



    At Mitsubishi Motors we understand that truly great cars must offer you a great driving environment. Our vehicles are much more than a way of getting from A to B. They need to inform, entertain and take as much strain away from the driver and passengers as possible. Your Mitsubishi vehicle can be equipped with cameras or sensors that make reversing simpler and safer; with premium audio systems that bring the concert hall to your cabin; or with an intelligent transmission that makes driving smoother as well as delivering good fuel economy. All these options demonstrate our intention: to use smart technology in order to make your life on board as comfortable and convenient as possible.
    entertained-1 involvement



    The unique Mitsubishi Motors Communication System (MMCS) combines hard-disk based navigation with great-sounding audio. Easy control of both is provided by the touch panel 7-inch screen that displays crystal-clear option menus, large-scale maps and entertainment information. Using a 40GB hard disk drive, the navigation system delivers Europe-wide directions at higher speeds than CD or DVD based systems can and offers real-time traffic information. The CD/DVD drive can play digital (MP3/WMA) music, while the hard disk drive can even take tracks directly from CDs and name them automatically via the Gracenote® CDDB database. These are then stored in a format that takes up the minimum of hard disk space while retaining sound quality so hundreds of your favourite tunes become available at the touch of a button. When stationary it becomes a DVD player that is compatible with an optional rear seat entertainment screen, meaning everyone on board stays entertained.


    INVECS-III CVT is an intelligent transmission that maximises the efficiency of the engine and provides seamless shifts. At the heart of the system, the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) keeps the engine in the rev range most appropriate to the driving conditions and driver demands, providing impressive fuel economy with responsive performance. Key to this double achievement is INVECS (Intelligent & Innovative Vehicle Electronic Control System), an advanced system that selects gears based on road and driving conditions, as well as being able to ‘learn’ how you like to drive.

    On Lancer, Lancer Sportback and Outlander, INVECS-III CVT is also equipped with a 6-speed sports mode that provides you with six defined gear ratios. These gears are changed manually by using the additional gear lever gate, or with paddles placed behind the steering wheel, creating a truly sporty driving experience that can be enjoyed in comfort and safety.


    Mitsubishi Motors has created ETACS (Electronic Total Automobile Control System) to enable complete control and personalisation of many comfort features in your car. For example, now you can tell your Outlander, Lancer or Lancer Sportback how long it should provide its headlamp ‘follow-me-home’ facility for. Or that whenever you lock your Outlander, all windows should be closed and the electric door mirrors folded in for extra peace of mind. ETACS will also take care of the details, leaving you to enjoy driving: speed-sensitive windscreen wipers change their speed so you don’t have to, while the light sensor will turn the headlamps on whenever necessary.



    For straightforward manoeuvring and additional safety when reversing, Mitsubishi Motors offers the choice of two assistants. The rear view camera is optional on Pajero and Outlander and utilises the 7-inch display screen of the Mitsubishi Motors Communication System (MMCS) to clearly show what is immediately behind the vehicle, together with guides that indicate your path of travel. On other models rear parking sensors can be specified. These provide an audible warning when nearing an object, helping you to avoid making contact with anything or anyone close by.


    Captivating sound can enhance an already thrilling driving experience. On many of our models, Mitsubishi Motors offers premium sound systems across that will satisfy the ears of even the most demanding music enthusiasts. Each system has been purpose-designed to suit the interior of its particular model, delivering acoustics that are tuned to perfection.

    The Mitsubishi Power Sound System (MPSS) delivers awesome sound quality via a 420W power amplifier and eight speakers set across six locations. This mighty option can be specified on Pajero 3-door or in the spacious, car-like cabin of L200 Double Cab and is compatible with the Mitsubishi Motors Communication System (MMCS).

    Renowned audio experts Rockford Acoustic Design created the optional sound system for Pajero 5-door. Crystal clear and capable of producing 860W of music power, the system provides you with 5.1 surround sound quality through 12 speakers, putting you directly in the centre of the aural action. The system incorporates a 6-disc CD changer and is compatible with the Mitsubishi Motors Communication System (MMCS).

    Benefiting from Rockford Corporation’s three decades of experience, the Rockford Fosgate premium audio system uses nine speakers, including a 25cm subwoofer, to let you experience up to 710W of sound in the highest definition. It even adjusts sound equalisation settings automatically to compensate for vehicle speed. Naturally, there is an auxiliary socket so that you can connect your digital music (MP3) player. The Rockford Fosgate premium audio system is available on Lancer, Lancer Sportback, Lancer Evolution and Outlander models.




    While Mitsubishi Motors prides itself on making vehicles that are thrilling to drive and to sit in, we know that a car has to also be a practical proposition. Our vehicles feature seats that fold away at the touch of a button so that you don’t have to put down everything you are carrying. Occasional seats that fold into the floor let you choose between extra passengers or extra luggage without having to move seats in or out of the car. And intelligent luggage area features make carrying and loading items, no matter how large, easy and secure.  



    A number of Mitsubishi vehicles now feature flexible seating that’s even more convenient. Certain Outlander and Lancer Sportback models make extra storage space available at a touch. In Outlander models, a single pull of the switch in the boot causes the back of the 2nd row seats to fold down and the entire seat to slide and then tumble forward, opening up an extended load area of up to 1,691 litres. In Lancer Sportback, a single pull of a handle in the luggage area causes the back rest to fall forward, providing a larger boot that can accommodate up to 1,349 litres.


    Grandis, Outlander 7-seat models and long wheelbase Pajero models feature Fold 2 Hide 3rd row seats that quickly fold away into the luggage compartment. Unlike 3rd row seats that must be removed, Fold 2 Hide lets you choose between additional seating capacity and luggage space in an instant, not hours ahead. Even the headrests fold conveniently away with the seat, making finding the ideal configuration even quicker. When the seats are folded away, a completely flat luggage floor is available. And the 3rd row seats in Grandis can be folded independently, so that it is possible to carry people on one side and luggage on the other – ideal when carrying long items such as skis or furniture.


    The clever split tailgate of Outlander simultaneously provides a number of benefits. The upper section is both lighter and smaller than a full-length tailgate, making it ideal for loading smaller items and allowing it to open comfortably under low roofs and in tight parking spaces. Opening the lower part of the tailgate as well completely opens up the enormous cargo area offered by Outlander. The large aperture makes it easy to load bulky or tall items, such as furniture or bicycles. It also sits just 600mm above the ground and boasts a load capacity of 200kg, so that heavy items are much easier to lift into Outlander. Its height and capacity provides a useful platform for sliding heavy items into the luggage compartment, as well as providing a perfect bench on which to rest or enjoy a picnic.




    The flex board floor brings even greater adaptability and security to Lancer Sportback. By raising the height of the luggage area floor, it is possible to store objects under the floor of the boot, keeping them safely out of sight. This extra compartment is also ideal for holding muddy shoes, for example, ensuring that everything else in the boot stays clean. Alternatively the floor can be lowered to increase the overall boot height, maximising Lancer Sportback’s ability to accommodate larger objects. 


    Masaki Matsuhara led the design development of the Lancer Evolution, just as he had for Lancer. He works at MRDE (Mitsubishi Research & Development Europe) and is full of passion when he talks about his creation: “The new Lancer Evolution is now both a reality and our company’s flagship. During the years I was in charge of it, we had three main design aims. We wanted to improve functionality, so we pushed back the boundaries in all areas, lengthening the wheelbase for greater stability, lowering the centre of gravity and widening the track. We also reduced the front and rear overhangs to make the car more manoeuvrable both at speed and in town. The second aim was to create an optimal shape while taking the Lancer Evolution’s aerodynamics to a new level. We did this by undertaking an exhaustive wind tunnel test programme. The third aim was to give the car a design that appeals to the customer, the toughest task of all for any designer. But we believe there can be real beauty in a shape designed to be functional and if that design is executed with real skill and emotion, it will possess the power to ignite passion in those that see it. Now that development is finished, we the designers are confident that the Lancer Evolution is a fitting flagship for Mitsubishi. Please go and see it in real-life. Then feel it, sense it. You will not be disappointed.”

    clay-models  genuinely-functional 


    The Lancer Evolution story begins with two design proposals which were developed from initial sketches in 2004 at Okazaki, Mitsubishi’s R&D centre in Japan. Here, the exterior designer Norihiko Yoshimine was responsible for one of the two proposals and duly made a 40% scale model: “The basic form was unchanged, but the front fender was different. My proposal was based on WRC rally cars that adopt blister fenders for aerodynamic reasons and our goal became to implement this feature into a passenger car. I had the idea at the WRC Rally of Japan where I heard people saying how the functional beauty of such extreme shapes was really cool. I thought we could apply this thinking to a road car.” 


    Designer Norihiko Yoshimine and clay-modeller Norikazu Nakao were in the wind tunnel day after day, refining Yoshimine’s model in collaboration with engineers. Yoshimine: “The rally inspired blister fender’s purpose was to achieve functional beauty but it proved difficult to scale down. In the wind tunnel with the 40% model, we pursued pure functionality so had no time for design refinement.” When the time came to decide which of the two proposals for the 40% model to choose, Yoshimine received a call from Matsuhara himself: “Your proposal has been selected. Do your best”.

    The 1/1 model
    The next stage was to make a 1/1 model of Yoshimine’s proposal made of special clay. Yoshimine: “In two weeks in the wind tunnel we made sure everything would work as it should while Norikazu Nakao shaped the clay model according to the aerodynamic input. It was the cold season, so his hands were numb all the time. But we managed it.”


    The team now started to make a prototype with a glass fibre body. Yoshimine: “It was impossible to open an air duct in the bonnet of the clay model so Tsuyoshi Imaizumi from the digital group scanned the clay model. From this data came the FRP (Fibre Reinforced Plastic) body. Usually we don’t make a glass fibre prototype at this stage but the Lancer Evolution was different.” Matsunobu also wanted to ensure that the design was genuinely functional: all lines, ducts and outlets should have a function – no ornaments would be allowed. The team tested the design from every angle through which airflow could pass. Yoshimine: “Even the outlet behind the front wheels is not simply for show but to let engine heat escape. We made a shape in front of the hole so we could improve its efficiency and even conquered the aerodynamic disadvantage of the inverted slant nose.” Matsuhara adds, “Currently, our attention for all our cars is particularly focused on aerodynamic improvement. It allows us to eliminate waste effectively, especially in terms of solving energy problems derived from the global environment. In this area, the air handling system they use in the aviation industry is a good point of reference. In the sense of designing a form and aiming to decrease airflow resistance, I believe that both the aviation and motor vehicle industries take the same approach. There is a lot to learn from aviation.”

    Speaking of the Design department, a number of designers visited the aircraft manufacturing site of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in search of inspiration for the design of the new model. They observed and gained direct hands-on experience of the cockpit in fighter planes and aircrafts, exchanged opinions and refreshed their skills to develop a design that enables drivers to focus on operation and minimise operational mistakes.”

    Now came the toughest challenge of Yoshimine’s design: the construction of the fenders that would provide both superior aerodynamics and a distinguished look. This turned out to be a mighty challenge. The ridge of the front fender above the front wheels goes fluently in a horizontal direction, but at the rear a small but unavoidable problem occurred: door handles! Yoshimine: “The ideal aerodynamic shape seemed impossible to create, because it would cover the recess for placing one’s hand on the door handle. Converting the CAD data to the clay model proved almost impossible, but finally we managed it. The blister’s bulge is now smoothly fused with the door.”

    With this important element conquered, the team turned to digital exterior-modeller Tsuyoshi Imaizumi for a final translation of all the hard facts to digital data and vice versa. Parts like the diffuser, the concave and convex surfaces and the intake and outlets in the bonnet, though complicated, were all gradually finished. In line with the ideas of Matsuhara, the Lancer Evolution had to be more beautiful than ever and achieve this beauty through functional shapes. Imaizumi: “I think, together, we got it right, even down to the smallest detail.” 




    Matsuhara explains how the use of advanced materials can benefit: “’Lightweight’ is one of the key themes for us. In fact, we have already incorporated this element into our product development. The aim of this is not only to achieve a significant positive impact on car performance but also to improve fuel consumption. Designing and creating something appealing with the latest technology or materials is always quite challenging and is also very exciting. Take aluminium, for example: we used it in the Lancer Evolution and the Lancer Ralliart models and, in spite of its high price, it doesn’t allow as many design possibilities as normal steel in terms of shaping. Sharp edges don’t work well with it and it tends to shrink at the corner. However, thanks to our innovations regarding this material since the last Lancer Evolution, we have excellent knowledge of the characteristics of the material as well as material suitability for each shape. We are even able to make use of the material’s own advantages and appeal.”






    Andrea Da Silva is Manager of Design with Mitsubishi Motors R&D Europe, Colour & Trim, in Trebur, Germany. The Brazilian is always excited when talking about her job of the past eight years: together with her team, she is responsible for many things that make driving a car an experience for all the senses. “In parallel to our exterior and interior designer colleagues developing the structures of a new car model, at Colour & Trim we look at the choice of colours and materials – everything you see, touch and smell. Our job is to create an ambience that engages your senses. That’s exciting. After all, we have to seduce people...”

    In an earlier stage of her career, Da Silva was a successful designer of children’s clothes. The move to one of the world’s most prominent car manufacturers, while not obvious, certainly seems to be have been the right one: “I studied fashion design and enjoyed working in the industry. The reason I started working for Mitsubishi Motors is simple: I loved the challenge. The automotive world is multi-layered and very demanding. Working in the car business means entering a world of complex processes – and that’s right up my street. We are an international team and all of us get on extremely well. We enjoy a lot of freedom.
    We can live our creativity. Yes, it’s just great working here.”

    In addition to the more obvious aspects of Da Silva’s job, the environment figures: “That goes for the design of products, their interior and also for marketing. Just look at the i MiEV. In this city car, Mitsubishi is planning to use recyclable green plastic – a great step in the right direction.”

    Da Silva talks enthusiastically about where her inspiration comes from: “Ideas really grow everywhere. Our society develops fast. For us, it’s important to keep pace, to know and understand the lifestyle of our customers and design emotional qualities that attract people who buy Mitsubishi cars.”

    While gaining enormous pleasure from her job, Da Silva also has to face challenges from time to time. “When we start on a new project, it can be rather demanding for all involved to combine areas like technical processes, design and safety – and then fine-tune them to achieve a fitting ensemble. After all, cars must have a sensual quality. They have to appeal to all aspects of human nature. Emotions, colours, scent – a car just has to be enticing for all the senses.”