Auto blogMon, 19 Aug 2013 13:30:00 EST
If you've only got about twelve grand to spend on a car and you want something new, you've got options, but not many: You can get a Nissan Versa sedan for $11,900, a base Chevrolet Spark hatchback for $12,170, or - as Mitsubishi has just announced - a 2014 Mirage for $12,995.
Not only does that make it one of the cheapest new cars you can buy, but Mitsubishi also claims it's "the most fuel-efficient gasoline-powered non-hybrid vehicle in America," carrying an EPA highway fuel economy rating of 44 miles per gallon. But then that rating is for the CVT model, which will cost you an extra grand over the base five-speed manual version. The bog-standard DE model comes with features including automatic climate control, keyless entry and seven airbags, but for another $1,200 (with either transmission) you can upgrade to ES trim with a whole mess of other features. Regardless of which model you choose, though, you'll have to pay an extra *$725 for delivery ($920 if you live in Alaska or Hawaii), elevating the actual cost of entry to $13,720 in the Lower 48.
Fast cars and excellent driving skills might be the easy answers when asking how to succeed in rally racing, but after watching this video, a good teammate is obviously an important aspect of this sport, too. During the 2013 Rally of Coimbatore in India, driver Samir Thapar and his co-driver, Vivek Ponnusamy, didn't seem to be on the same page as the two attempted to navigate the course in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.
We'd probably hear drastically different stories if we talked to Thapar and Ponnusamy about this particular event, but you know things are bad when "stay on road" and "turn the wheel" are commands given by the co-driver (and yes, that's a man running for his life in the screen shot shown above). As it turned out, though, it seems like the Ponnusamy was justified in his concerns to take care of the racecar. Race results show that despite winning three of the seven stages, this team ultimately ended the race with a DNF.
Scroll down to watch the video, and even though it's been edited down from almost 40 minutes to less than four, we get the idea that it wasn't a pleasant experience for driver or co-driver.
The Mitsubishi Outlander officially is a safe vehicle, earning a good rating in all of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash test categories - good enough for the agency to give it the Top Safety Pick+ award. The small sport utility vehicle's little sibling, the Outlander Sport, received the Top Safety Pick award earlier this year.
According to the IIHS, to earn the Top Safety Pick+ rating vehicles must be rated good in at least four out of the five crash tests (including the difficult small overlap front test) and earn no less than acceptable in the rear crash test. The Top Safety Pick rating requires that vehicles be rated good in the moderate overlap front, side, rollover and rear tests, but there's no minimum rating on the small overlap front crash test.
Mitsubishi designed the Outlander to have greater roof strength (the roof now can support up to five times the SUV's weight) and to withstand the moderate overlap front crash test and the recently introduced small overlap front crash test, both of which evaluate the ability of vehicles to protect their occupants in crashes that bypass the traditional front crumple zone. Crumple zones are designed into vehicles to allow them to deform in a way that protects passengers in the event of a crash. The Outlander was one of two small SUVs to earn a good rating in the small overlap test, the other being the 2014 Subaru Forester. The Subaru earned a Top Safety Pick rating.
Just 305 units of the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport are the subject of a recall over a potential suspension issue. Crossovers made from January 17-25 of this year might suffer from a bad weld on the front left strut's stabilizer link. If it fails, damage to the brake hose or tire could result, in turn making steering or braking control of the compact CUV more difficult.
When the recall begins, owners can take their Outlander Sports to Mitsubishi dealers for inspection and replacement of the strut assembly if necessary. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration bulletin below has more information.
The news here isn't that 100,000 EVs have been sold in the US, although that's quite the accomplishment. It's that the 100,000th car is a Mitsubishi i-MiEV - a car that takes nearly a full day to recharge on a standard outlet and can only travel about 62 miles per charge (according to the car's Monroney).
Jabs at the Mitsubishi aside, the fact that US dealers have moved 100,000 electric cars is made more impressive in that it's only been done since the latest generation of EVs arrived, typified by the Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus Electric and aforementioned i-MiEV. Chronologically, that means roughly the last two years. It's a number that we can only expect to climb, as EVs gain a stronger foothold among manufacturers and consumers.
Plug In America, an EV advocacy group, crunched the numbers for a contest called #PIA100K, to find the lucky buyer, who would be given a ClipperCreek Level 2 charger (which takes the i-MiEV's recharge time down to just seven hours). The winner, Rich Salmon of Grand Bay, Alabama, picked up his i-MiEV from Pete Moore Mitsubishi.
Ladies and gentlemen, meet Maggie Stiefvater, professional artist and musician, New York Times best-selling author and Mitsubishi Evo owner. Because, as she writes, "In my latest novel, The Dream Thieves, a character drives a car that looks just like mine. Only there's a knife painted on the side of his," she decided to graffiti a knife on the side of hers.
And that's how you get the time-lapse video below of Stiefvater, a few aerosol cans and a lot of stencils enjoying a sunny day in the park.
The panoramic roof offered on the 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is a great way to make the cabin feel more open, but some owners of the compact CUV could get a little more openness than they bargained for. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a recall for Outlander Sport models built between August 2010 and March 2011 due to the possibility that the panoramic roof could fly off.
On about 3,200 Outlander Sport models in the US and Puerto Rico, a potentially improper installation process could have resulted in a lack of adhesive primer between the glass and the roof, which could allow the glass to detach from the vehicle and become dangerous debris on the road. Fortunately, it sounds like there have only been two instances of detached roofs, and neither was in the US. As a fix, Mitsubishi dealers will check to make sure the primer was used, and if not, the glass will be reinstalled following the proper procedure. Scroll down for the official NHTSA recall notice.
With a second-place finish already in the books from 2012, there's only one thing on the minds of Mitsubishi drivers Hiroshi Masuoka and Greg Tracy: winning. As the presenting sponsor for the 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, there's no doubt the Japanese manufacturer is hoping for a good showing this year, and the video you'll see below explains how Mitsubishi changed things this year to help ensure a win... basically, more power and more downforce.
Winning in 2013 certainly won't be easy. With competitors that include Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima and Rod Millen, who's driving for Toyota, winners in 2012 in the Electric class. Our own Jonathon Ramsey sat down and spoke with the boys from Mitsubishi, and found that, if not for the over-the-top presence from Peugeot, the the all-electric MiEV Evolution II (which may be a sort of test-bed for potential Lancer Evolution-of-the-future components) may even be capable of challenging for the overall victory.
Their target: nine minutes and thirty seconds. We'll see how close they get later this afternoon. Scroll down below to watch the video.
The teams have all set up their pits and paddocks for today's run of the 91st Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and there's nothing left to do but take a shot at the title. At 8 am Mountain time (9 am EST / 7 am PST), the first of a field of 83 bikes and 63 cars - whittled from an original field of 157 - will race 12.42 miles through 156 turns from the start gate at 9,390 feet to the summit finish at 14,110 feet. The summit is where we'll be all day, having arrived on the media bus at around 5 am and not allowed to come down until the race is finished. If it's anything like last year that could mean a 14-hour day on the top munching on donuts at the summit café, begging for hits of pure oxygen and trying to stay hydrated and warm...
Here are the event with Hyundai, we enjoyed dinner with Rhys Millen got his take on what's happened and what's about to happen. Millen said the issue that caused his engine swap last week was minor, a head gasket (a production part) that was causing a bit of hesitation and a slight drop in top speed. He said it's the first time they've stressed the engines this hard, pushing boost pressures up to 19 psi at altitude, which equates to 25 psi at sea level. Offering testament to the strength of the engines, though, he said that Paul Dallenbach's engine did the entire 2012 drift season as well as Pikes Peak, and it's the engine being used again for the hill climb this year.
We also chatted with Dallenbach, who has come back from that beastly crash last year in the Unlimited category to lead almost every practice day this year in the Time Attack class. Telling us he's happier behind the wheel this year than he has been in 20 years, he asked us, "Know what my dashboard says when I turn the car on? 'Donuts at 14,000 feet.'"
The fourth and final practice day of the 91st Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is complete. Tomorrow everyone will make any last-minute adjustments and get their cars, their bits and bobs lined up in the pits for Sunday morning's this-time-it-counts run.
The Unlimited runners took on the top section of the course today, Sébastien Loeb and his big-mouth Peugeot acing the practice test again with a time of 2:11. Rhys Millen's team proved its got the engine issues of two days ago in the Hyundai PM580T sorted out, posting the next-best time at 2:27.16. The reason we had to dip all the way into the hundredths for his time is because he nipped Romain Dumas by just .31 of them, the Frenchman in the Norma M20FC PP running the course in 2:27.47. In fourth came the Frenchman in the monster Mini, Jean-Philippe Dayraut six seconds back at 2:33.
Time Attack competitors, also on the upper section, were led by Paul Dallenbach in the Hyundai Genesis Coupe with a time of 2:36, Porsche pilot Jeff Zwart crossing the line six seconds later at 2:42, fellow Porsche driver David Donner coming in another six seconds back at 2:48. Dallenbach has topped three of the four practice-day sessions, sliding into the second spot behind Donner only on Practice Day 2.