Monday, August 04, 2008

Mitsubishi Galant Fortis Ralliart in Japan


Those who pay attention to the automotive industry should know that the new Mitsubishi Lancer has grown so much in size that it is known as the Mitsubishi Galant Fortis in Japan, save for the Evolution version which is still called the Lancer Evolution X.

I was wondering if the warm Ralliart version will be called a Lancer or Galant Fortis, but now we know the answer as Mitsubishi Motors Japan has just announced the Mitsubishi Galant Fortis Ralliart. Read more about the Evo’s younger, less powerful but more affordable sibling after the jump.

The Galant Fortis Ralliart slashes the Evo X’s horsepower count down to 240 PS at 6,000rpm. Peak torque of 343Nm kicks in at 3,000rpm. Only the Twin Clutch SST is available, but its 5th and 6th gear ratios are different from the ratios in the Evo X’s Twin Clutch SST to optimize the highway speed gears for fuel economy rather than performance. Two shift modes are available - NORMAL or SPORT.

A full-time 4WD system remains featuring a helical front LSD, a mechanical rear LSD, an Active Center Differential which regulates the speed differential between front and rear wheels electronically to feed the optimal level of torque to each wheel, Active stability control which supresses wheel spin and sudden changes in vehicle behavior on slippery roads, and ABS brakeswhich can regulate the distribution of braking to each wheel. Brakes are 16 inch twin-pot brakes at the front, installed behind 18 inch alloy wheels wrapped with 215/45R18 tyres.

According to Mitsubishi, the Mitsubishi Galant Fortis Ralliart retails for 2,982,000 yen or about RM89,660 but this figure is excluding various costs like recycling surcharge, insurance, taxes (but inclusive of consumption tax) and registration costs. Not sure how much these additional costs are, but if anyone knows some light shed on this is appreciated.

Proton MPV reveal !

I have some preliminary details on the Proton MPV due to be launched in the first half of 2009. According to a source in Proton, the Proton MPV is on schedule and you can see one of the first chassis prototypes at the Proton Technology Week, so remember to head on there tomorrow from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM if you want to have a look at it.

The chassis reveals quite a bit about the car. There is also a model of the interior hidden in a box with holes cut into it, much like the peekaboo promo that Proton did for its previous two models. The following are what I gathered on the MPV:

Exterior

  • Overall shape is like the Toyota Wish but the rear section of the roof does not slope down slightly like the Wish to improve headroom for the third row.
  • Tail lamps use LEDs and have a vertical design extending from the top to down, unlike the Wish’s which do not extend into the D pillar. The tail lamps are slimmer at the top but curve out a little at the bottom, similiar to the Volvo XC90’s design. The signal lamps in the light cluster are positioned towards the top for better visibility. You can actually see this in the previously revealed sketch and the teaser video above.
  • There is a swage line on the side profile of the MPV.
  • The spare tyre is installed outside under the chassis instead of kept in the car so that you can get access to it easily when the luggage space is occupied.

Interior

  • The peekaboo box revealed a two-tone beige interior, but sources in Proton say the colour of the interior has not been finalised. It may be either beige or grey.
  • Luggage space is not that great with the third row of seats in place, but can fit one large golf bag. This means balik kampung with 7 people loaded and luggage for 7 will be a challenge.
  • Second row splits 60:40 while the third row is a 50:50 split. The seats fold flat.
  • Interior roof height is designed to be quite decent to accomodate people who want to ride with songkoks and turbans.
  • The shifter uses a gated shift and is dashboard-mounted rather than mounted between the front two seats, a common modern trend with MPV-like vehicles.
  • The in-car entertainment is a 2-DIN unit. There are options for a DVD player with an LCD display for the movie mounted at the second row roof area. There is also an option in the future for GPS navigation.
  • The 2-DIN head unit is at the top of the center dash area below the aircond vents, and below it comes the air conditioning controls which are three knobs arranged in a triangle shape. Below that is the shifter.
  • There are aircond blowers for the second and third row situation at the top left and right of the cabin roof (near the grip handles). Proton source says after testing this produced the best airflow.
  • There is no armrest between the front two seats but the armrest is instead a fold-down type integrated into the seat itself.

Chassis

  • The wheelbase of the chassis is estimated to be more than 2,700mm but less than 2,800mm. In comparison, the Honda Stream has a wheelbase of 2740mm, the Wish is 2,750mm, the Innova 2,750mm, the Livina 2600mm, and the Mazda5 2750mm.
  • The front suspension design uses MacPherson struts and the rear design uses a torsion beam to minimize suspension system intrusion into cabin.
  • The front end is designed, supplied and assembled as a single module for weight reduction and ease of installation to minimize QC problems.
  • The MPV is said to have very good crash safety design from Proton internal crash tests. A few MPVs will be sent for official crash testing and rating soon.
So there you have it. If you want to look at the interior and chassis for yourself you can head to the Proton Technology Week event tomorrow. The event is happening at the Proton plant in Shah Alam. On the KESAS highway heading towards Klang, turn left after the Center of Excellence and then turn left into the Proton plant.

MEM Proton Satria Neo Super 2000


This is the MEM Proton Satria Neo Super 2000 Rally Car. The Super 2000 Rally was proposed by the FIA because of the rising costs of running World Rally Cars and competing in the World Rally Championship.

The following are the specs for a Super 2000 Rally Car:

  • 3, 4 or 5-door models with length over 3900mm
  • Generic 4X4 transmission without active differential from Sadev or Xtrac
  • 2.0 liter normally aspirated engine from either a base engine used in any model from the manufacturer, or a engine licensed from another manufacturer with 2,500 units minimum production per year
  • Engine must comply to BTCC/ETC specs with 8,500rpm rev limit
  • Minimum weight - 1100kg tarmac, 1150kg gravel
  • Maximum bodywork and wheel arch extension width 1800mm

The MEM Satria Neo S2000 complies to these specifications, measuring 3905mm long, 1800mm wide with a 2440mm wheelbase and a weight of 1150kg. Its chassis is based on the road-going Neo and has been strengthened to comply with FIA regulations and the components of a S2000 rally car. It is fitted with a rollcage built from 35 meters of Chrome-Moly Steel Tubing.

Its 4-cylinder 1998cc DOHC normally aspirated engine is based on the 1.8 liter Renault engine in the Waja. It produces 280hp at 7,800rpm and a massive 271Nm of torque at 7,000rpm, and is installed transversely at the front of the car. This engine is mated to an Xtrac 6-speed sequential transmission with Alcon clutch and 3 player LSD.

Brakes are also from Alcon, with 300mm discs with 4 piston calipers at the front and 300mm discs at the rear on gravel. For asphalt, the front brake discs are uprated to 350mm. Wheels are 18 inch alloys for tarmac and 15 inch alloys for gravel. The car’s electronics system runs on the GEMS Multiplex System with Power Management, Data Logging and a Glass Dash Display