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Mitsubishi Motors to Premiere Tier 2 Bin 5 Diesel Concept at NAIAS

Sketch of the diesel Concept-RA

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) and Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. (MMNA) will premiere the Mitsubishi Concept-RA Tier 2 Bin 5-compliant diesel at the 2008 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit in January.

Mitsubishi says that the vehicle is being shown in Detroit due to its close links with the Mitsubishi Eclipse, which has successfully sold in North America for many years. If the vehicle receives a positive response from Europe, it is likely to be launched into these markets “in due course”.

The concept features the S-AWC vehicle dynamics control system driveline and the Twin Clutch SST automated manual transmission used in Lancer Evolution X in Japan, and is powered by a new high-output, high-efficiency diesel engine.

The Concept-RA is powered by a new high-efficiency, low-emissions 2.2-liter 4-cylinder DOHC 16-valve turbodiesel engine with MIVEC (Mitsubishi Innovative Valve lift & timing Electronic Control system). With piezoelectric injector common-rail direct fuel injection that allows a lower compression ratio and with a VD (Variable Diffuser)/VG (Variable Geometry) turbocharger, the clean diesel unit delivers a maximum output of 150 kW (201 hp) and maximum torque of 420 Nm (310 lb-ft).

For compliance with US emissions standards (EPA Tier 2 Bin 5 and CA LEV II), the engine relies on a new catalytic converter system that brings together diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC), NOx trap catalyst (NTC) and diesel particulate filter (DPF) technologies.

For improved crashworthiness and to reduce vehicle weight, the Concept-RA features a new body structure using an aluminum space frame made from extruded aluminum sections and die-cast aluminum members, as well as engine hood, fenders and other outer panels made from high impact-resistance and easily recyclable plastic resin.

The S-AWC driveline adds Active Steering and Active Suspension control to the ACD (Active Center Differential), AYC (Active Yaw Control), Sport ABS (Antilock Brake System) and ASC (Active Stability Control) component systems that constitute the system used on Lancer Evolution. S-AWC integrally manages all of these systems to realize advanced levels of control over drive torque and braking, thereby upgrading traction, cornering and vehicle stability.



They will premiere this at the 2008 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit ??

A fuel efficient Japanese super-coupe in Detroit ?

If this is sold across the pond i will eat my hat...

... people send me your hats.


2.2l putting out 200hp and 301lb-ft...i wonder what the fuel economy/co2 figures are, and a performance curve.
the torque should be strong enough on the low end to put this engine into a compact pickup. i can imagine it being much better than the 16/21mpg i get in my chevy colorado, with its giant 2.8l gas only putting out 175hp!




Put this drivetrain (or its like) in small/midsize pickups, SUVs, minivans. If you could improve mileage from ~15 to ~25 for such vehicles it would make a huge difference. Add idle-stop for more savings. There is so much that can be done to reduce consumption; the technology is off-the-shelf. Just do it.


If nothing else I'd like to see the aluminum space frame work go forward. Mitsubishi vehicles have become quite heavy lately (they seem to be following their partner Daimler-Chrysler to closely in that respect). I think the latest Eclipse with V-6 is somewhere around 3800lbs!

Rafael Seidl

Variable valve lift and cam phasing on a diesel? Why bother, a diesel is inherently unthrottled. It sounds like Mitsu took a gasoline turbo engine and converted it to diesel, an approach that hasn't worked all that well in the past. Tellingly, they spin a low compression ratio as a good thing - which it is, for engine-out NOx emissions. The relationship with fuel economy is more complicated. Starting the beast in the dead of winter will work well enough only if they also fitted high-performance glow plugs and a suitable battery.

Piezo injection, VGT, oxi-cat, DPF and 68kW/90hp per liter are all state of the art. Only the lean NOx trap is at the bleeding edge, made possible by the introduction of low-sulfur diesel in the US (also Europe but not Japan). That makes sense, given that the T2B5 hurdle is the top priority.

Bear in mind this is just a concept. While there are some diesel-powered performance vehicles on the European market, it's still anyone's guess if US consumers will actually buy low end torque over rated horsepower. Afaik, the Eclipse is a FWD platform coupe. The extra weight of a diesel will negatively impact its handling in high speed corners. Also, even a refined, modern diesel will clatter as long as the block is cold.

Because of their high torque reserves, turbodiesels work well with light manual gear boxes iff you know how to operate one. Automatics can better support fuel-efficient long gear ratios and kick down when needed. Mitsu's concept features a twin wet clutch manumatic (cp. VW DSG, Audi s-tronic), which is the best of both worlds but also heavy and pricey.

The proof of the pudding will come when Mitsu actually offers diesels in regular sedan and CUV models in the US market. Biodiesel certification and a stop-start system would be welcome upgrade options.

Reality Czech

Variable intake valve timing will help with low-speed torque on a diesel (working to maximize the effects of pressure pulses in the intake runners). The exhaust may help with emissions by allowing control of internal EGR.

Rafael Seidl

@ reality czech -

diesels use externally cooled EGR - the objective is to avoid having the fuel ignite too quickly after the start of injection. Scavenging efficiency is usually good enough with just a VGT turbo.

Some diesel engine designs feature one regular and one swirl intake valve. The air flow split is controlled with flaps in the intake manifold to precisely control the amount of charge swirl as a function of engine speed and load. This minimizes PM formation.

However, I still maintain it is overkill to apply variable valve lift plus phasing to a diesel engine.


I do think Mitsubishi's showing of a powerful US-legal turbodiesel engine could open the way for many more automakers to offer their latest turbodiesel engines in the US market.

Take for example BMW: they're already said the 3.0-liter 228 bhp turbodiesel engine is coming to the US market at least with the BMW 330d model, and don't be surprised we see the next-generation X3 "crossover" SUV offered with this engine. It may mean we'll see the 123d sports coupe in the USA, too.

In fact, by 2010 I expect a huge surge of turbodiesel cars here in the USA, especially now that the technology exists to make them just as clean as gasoline-fuelled engines.

Charles S

I can agree that there may be a surge in diesel offerings, but only because not every manufacturers can offer a hybrid variant for every model. Current diesels seems to be mostly on the premium end of the automotive spectrum. I'd like to know how well BlueTec is working for Chrysler right now.

Michael Weng

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joe blow

More spam, sigh...

I believe BMW has promised for the US market the 3.0L twin turbo diesel, that puts out closer to 300hp.

I cannot see why Americans would NOT want high performance diesels, with lots of torque. Especially if mated to a manual. Diesel takes away a lot of the need for an automatic tranny. All that torque means power is on tap in any gear - only real reason to change gears is to change speed (i.e. crawling traffic will still make automatic desirable). For the same reason, this makes diesels excellent highway cruisers, and Americans do a lot of highway driving. Just put it in top gear and relax. Low end torque also makes for very spirited, fun and effortless driving/acceleration around town.

Yes, Americans will like modern turbodiesels.

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