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Lancer Ralliart and Concept-RA

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2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart Photo: Robert J Pennington
By Mark Wheeler
While Lancer Ralliart failed to get our pulses racing, it was all go time when the veil came off Concept-RA.
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2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart Photo: Sean Frego
2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart Photo: Sean Frego
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Mitsubishi Concept RA Photo: Robert J Pennington
Mitsubishi Concept RA Photo: Robert J Pennington
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Mitsubishi Concept RA Photo: Robert J Pennington
Mitsubishi Concept RA Photo: Robert J Pennington
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Mitsubishi Concept-RA Photo: Sean Frego
Mitsubishi Concept-RA Photo: Sean Frego
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Mitsubishi Concept-RA Photo: Sean Frego
Mitsubishi Concept-RA Photo: Sean Frego
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Mitsubishi Concept RA Photo: Robert J Pennington
Mitsubishi Concept RA Photo: Robert J Pennington

Mitsubishi’s slogan “Go Time” nearly became stop time when the veil was pulled off its Lancer Ralliart to a rather underwhelmed audience in Detroit. However, the company redeemed itself by next unveiling a stunning coupe — Concept-RA.

 

The 2009 Ralliart is called “the next chapter in the Lancer’s history” by Mitsubishi’s Managing Director of Product Development Group, Tetsuro Aikawa, sits between the Lancer GTS and Evolution. Unfortunately, in terms of auto show reveals, it just looked conservative alongside its radical Evolution sibling.

 

Concept-RA is anything but conservative. This is a car with serious street presence thanks to aggressive looks, wide stance and hugely flared fenders. Despite its looks, Concept-RA is the very model of environmental responsibility thanks to its low emission 2.2-liter turbodiesel powerplant and lightweight build.

 

Lancer Ralliart

Both cars feature high levels of innovation and technology. The Lancer Ralliart is powered by a new 235-horsepower 2.0-liter DOHC MIVEC intercooled and turbocharged engine mated to Mitsubishi’s Twin Clutch-SST gearbox with paddle shifters. The transmission also operates in fully automatic modes for Normal and Sport driving conditions.

 

The Lancer Ralliart’s full-time 4WD driveline features Mitsubishi’s Active Center Differential (ACD). The ACD unit electronically controls a multi-plate clutch center differential which adjusts the torque between front and rear according to different driving conditions.

 

The Lancer Ralliart exterior is distinguished by its more aggressively styled front bumper design, rear bumper cover, dual outlet muffler and a lightweight aluminum, ducted hood that delivers cooling air to the turbocharger.

 

The interior places greater emphasis on function and vehicle control. Available equipment and options include: FAST key, Bluetooth® hands-free telephone interface, Recaro seats, HID headlights, 650-watt Rockford Fosgate 9-speaker audio system, SIRIUS satellite radio, power sunroof, and a 30-gigabyte hard drive navigation system with digital music server.

 

Concept-RA

Developed as a technological showcase, 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 fenders house 21-inch wheels, an exposed engine cover highlights the presence of the car’s high output, efficient, clean diesel engine design.

 

The interior has been developed to show a fusion of tradition and leading-edge design. The cockpit’s wraparound control layout uses minimal visual instrumentation and optimizes the switch and control layout.

 

Concept-RA’s Super-All-Wheel Control driveline is a next-generation all-wheel-drive system with Active Steering and Active Suspension control. The car is powered by a new, high output, high-efficiency 2.2-liter 4-cylinder DOHC 16-valve common rail turbodiesel engine with MIVEC4. The engine produces a maximum output of 201 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. A new catalytic converter system has been fitted to comply with the latest emission regulations.

 

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

 

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