Mitsubishi Motors Corporation unveiled the Concept-RA (Road Alive) two-seat diesel sports coupe concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Powered by a 2.2L 4-cylinder DOHC 16-valve turbo diesel, the Concept-RA will deliver fuel efficiency of more than 40 miles per gallon, according to Tetsuro Aikawa, Managing Director of the Product Development Group.
The engine features a MIVEC (Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control system) valvetrain that offers continuously variable valve timing control as well as low and high speed camshaft profiles actuating the intake valves.
The new diesel is equipped with piezoelectric injector common-rail direct fuel injection that allows a lower static compression ratio and a VD (Variable Diffuser)/VG (Variable Geometry) turbocharger whose internal vanes can control airflow over the turbine and compressor surfaces to produce optimum boost characteristics at all times. The engine delivers a maximum output of 201 hp (150 kW) and maximum torque of 310 lb-ft (420 Nm).
To comply with Tier 2 Bin 5 emission requirements, the diesel relies on a new catalytic converter system that utilizes diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC), NOx trap catalyst (NTC) and diesel particulate filter (DPF) technologies.
When mated to a Twin Clutch-SST automated manual transmission, the torque-rich diesel engine will help deliver sporty driving with fuel efficiency.
The Concept-RA’s Super-All Wheel Control driveline is a next generation all-wheel-drive system that adds Active Steering and Active Suspension control to the ACD (Active Center Differential), AYC (Active Yaw Control), ASC (Active Stability Control), and Sport ABS components that comprise the highly capable system used on the 2008 Lancer Evolution. Concept RA’s S-AWC system integrally manages these components to realize advanced levels of control over drive torque, steering input, vehicle roll, and braking at each wheel, thereby raising traction, cornering and vehicle stability levels.
In an effort to reduce vehicle weight to improve fuel economy, vehicle performance and safety, the Concept-RA features a new, rigid body structure using an aluminum space frame made from extruded aluminum sections and die-cast aluminum components. In addition, the engine hood, fenders and other outer panels made from lightweight, impact-resistant and easily recyclable plastic resin.
Mitsubishi was not alone in delivering a concept diesel sports car at the Detroit show. Audi took the ultra-high performance end of the spectrum with the unveiling of its Audi R8 V12 TDI concept—the first 12-cylinder diesel engine in a high-performance road-going sports car.
The 6.0L V12 TDI generates 500 hp and 1,000 Nm (737.56 lb-ft) of torque.