Mitsubishi has announced that it will be entering an all new crossover "Racing Lancer" in the 2009 Dakar Rally in South America. The new car will be a three door platform inspired by the Pajero and Lancer Sportback, and will serve as a test bed for Mitsubishi's diesel program. That's right, this Lancer will be sporting a 3.0-liter, turbocharged, V6 diesel engine with 254 HP and a stonkin' 480 lb-ft of torque. Hooked to the engine will be a Ricardo-designed sequential six speed transmission and of course all four wheels will do the driving. We've got full details and all the specs below the jump.
MITSUBISHI 2008 PARIS MOTOR SHOW PREVIEW
* Mitsubishi announces all-new 'Racing Lancer' cross-over race car
* Euro V diesel, high performance technologies provide a clean link to the production Lancer family
* Dakar 2009 in South America to be full debut performance
A Fruitful History
Since Mitsubishi entered its first race in the 1962 Macao Grand Prix / Mitsubishi 500, the name of Mitsubishi and the term 'Motor Sports' have been inextricably linked.
No matter the discipline, the extraordinary skills of its drivers & co-drivers, the efficiency of its racing teams, the integrity of its cars together with the engineering excellence of its R&D have gradually built its reputation and credentials around the world:
* On Circuit: 1971 Japan Grand Prix winner / Colt F2000
* The World Rally Championship: 4 Drivers' titles + 1 Manufacturers' title / Lancer Evolution
* Or Cross Country: 12 Dakar victories in Pajero
From Motorsports to Production Cars
As a real-world test laboratory, Motor Sports birthed some enduring Mitsubishi legends such as the Pajero / Shogun, Lancer and Lancer Evolution. Supporting production car technological realities has been at the heart of Mitsubishi's ethos, including the recently introduced "Project Global" Lancer Family of Sports Saloon, Sportback, Ralliart and Evolution X.
Motor Sports has also extended the reach of Mitsubishi's Okazaki R&D Centre in areas ranging from 4-Wheel Drive technology to turbo-charging, all applied to its regular production cars and SUVs, from Lancer to Pajero.
A New Era
Now, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) has announced a new era of Motor Sports design and engineering with its next-generation racer, the all-new crossover "Racing Lancer".
With this car, MMC has added a new dimension to its racing activities, blending 35 years of Lancer prowess with 25 years of Pajero epics.
The end result is a cross over between on-road and off-road rallying as well as applying to passenger cars and SUVs. The Racing Lancer will reach a wider marketing audience than any of its predecessors while re-launching Lancer's racing career.
Sporting a silhouette inspired by the recently previewed Lancer Sportback 5-door hatch, Racing Lancer will support Mitsubishi's offensive in the passenger car sector, much like the Pajero Evolution in parallel to the production Shogun in 2006.
Clean Diesel Power
Our sporting heritage and green designs will come together at the forthcoming Paris Motor Show1, where Mitsubishi will launch its framework for its mid-term passenger car strategy for Europe, under the banner of "One segment, One Green Solution".
The Racing Lancer will become MMC's key ambassador for diesel technologies. Mitsubishi's long recognized expertise in engine development as a pioneer in clean emissions, balancing shafts, turbo-charging, and direct injection since the 1970s has again been mobilized to create a diesel engineering centre of excellence within the Company covering a wide range of diesel powertrains.
From the all-new 4N13 Euro V 4-cylinder engine to be launched in 2009 to Racing Lancer's 3.0 litre turbo-charged V6 diesel race engine, all will share the same fundamental know-how and the same essential low fuel consumption and low emissions 'green benefits' of Mitsubishi's diesel technology.
Overall length: 4,475mm
Overall width: 1,990mm
Track (front/rear): 1,750mm/1,750mm
Engine: 2,997cc V6 turbocharged diesel Maximum power: more than 190kW (260hp)
Maximum torque: more than 650Nm (66.3kgm)
Transmission: Ricardo five-speed sequential, manual 4WD system: permanent four-wheel drive with limited slip central differential
Target - Dakar 2009
Racing Lancer is a Super Production Cross-Country Rally car, which has been developed in compliance with the FIA's Group T1 regulations (modified cross-country rally cars). It also complies with the new rules due to come into force in 2010.
Supported by the highly successful trial period of the new engine, already raced several times with Pajero Evolution over the last months, Mitsubishi Motors is confident that the Racing Lancer will be a major player at the 2009 Dakar rally.
The Dakar race itself will break new ground next year with a switch from Africa to South America, just as Racing Lancer will itself mark a new start for Mitsubishi Motorsports.