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New technologies boost Evolution IX performance

Tuesday, 7 June 2005

New technologies boost Evolution IX performance

The ninth generation and 12th model of the iconic Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution arrived in New Zealand late May, set to build on the marque's reputation as one of the most exciting and enduring sports sedans to emerge from Japan. The new Lancer Evo IX brings with it the very latest developments in Mitsubishi Motors' arsenal of innovative engineering.

"We are marketing two models of the full time four wheel drive sedan, a GT and a GSR," said Peter Wilkins, Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand general manager of sales and marketing. "There is also a specialist RS rally version for competitors through our Ralliart dealership."

"For the first time we are offering two specification levels for the Lancer Evolution, providing buyers with the options of the sport-biased GT or the slightly more luxurious GSR. The strength of the Kiwi dollar makes these models particularly attractively priced and there is nothing available that can deliver this level of technology at these prices."

"This is arguably the fastest accelerating sedan on the New Zealand market, capable of covering 0-100 kph in just 4.3 seconds," he said.

"For added peace of mind for buyers all cars are treated with data dots for complete vehicle security and with Mitsubishi's immobiliser technology it is impossible to start these cars without the correct key. The engine computer requires the correct signal from the chip in head of the key before it will start."

Improvements to the engine and refinements to the active suspension and handling systems delivering even better handling and responsiveness are key features of the new model.

The superbly reliable 4G63 engine, which is used by both the GT and GSR, is further refined in the Evo IX with the introduction of Mitsubishi's MIVEC variable valve timing technology for better fuel economy. The Evo's already breathtaking performance under hard acceleration is dramatically enhanced by use of a magnesium alloy turbo compressor wheel in place of aluminium alloy, peaking the torque curve at 407 Nm at 3,000 rpm in the GT and 400 Nm at 3,500 rpm in the GSR. Maximum power for both models is 216 kW, up from 206 kW.

To get the power to the ground the GT runs a five speed transmission derived from a close-ratio competition gearbox, while the GSR has a six speed box.

The GSR has a full time electronically controlled and integrated drive line and suspension system that includes:

. an active centre differential that adjusts according to road surface conditions
. an active yaw control that improves cornering performance by transferring torque between the rear wheels
. sports ABS with a steering angle sensor for improved steering response under braking. Electronic brake force distribution is also fitted to reduce brake fade by limiting the load on the front brakes.

On the GT model the system comprises an:
. active centre differential
. rear anti-sway bar
. ABS brakes with EBD.

Both models have limited slip front diffs.

High response shock absorbers, jointly developed by MMC and Bilstein carry over from Evolution 8 as do Brembo front and rear ventilated disc brakes and there are new rear springs that lower the vehicle height slightly, improving ride and steering response.

Externally the new model is marked by new front and rear bumpers designed to deliver minimal air resistance, plus a bigger new front mesh grille to improve cooling.

Mitsubishi have continued on the development path of lightening the rigid body shell and lowering the centre of gravity. The aluminium roof and bonnet contribute to this and new 17 inch Enkei alloy wheels are lighter than the previous model.

The rear spoiler, made from lightweight carbon fibre, is hollow. The spoiler is a key feature in smoothing the airflow and reducing drag on the car. Other aerodynamic changes include a new shape to the corners of the rear bumper and optional fit vortex generator vertical air vanes on the trailing edge of the roof to reduce the air drag over the back of the car.

On the inside new Recaro bucket seats in the GSR are faced with non-slip suede upholstery while the side bolsters are leather making the seats easier to get in and out. Both models have new alloy accelerator, clutch and brake pedals designed for sport driving and to accent the sedan racer character of the car.

The Lancer Evo has become an icon in the Mitsubishi Motors lineup and the Evo IX will build on the legend.


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