Auto blogThu, 27 Jun 2013 21:01:00 EST
The third practice day of the 91st Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is done. While the other classes got running time on the middle and top sections of the course, qualifying times were set on the bottom section of the course for the Open, Open Wheel, Electric, Exhibition and Vintage classes.
Everyone managed to keep it on the black stuff today, Greg Tracy setting the fastest time ahead of Hiroshi Masuoka, both men driving the Mitsubishi MiEV Evolution II four-wheel-drive prototype. Not even half a second behind Masuoka came Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima in his Monster Sport E-Runner, who has taken about 18 seconds off his time since the first practice day. Rod Millen was the fourth fastest on the day in his Toyota TMG EV POO2.
Topping the Open Wheel class was Clint Vahsholtz, followed by Donner Billingsley, Andy Figueroa and Rodney O'Maley. The only driver in that class not to be given a time today was Dan Novembre. Kenshiro Gushi took the Exhibition class today as his Lexus IS F CCS-R made it up the mountain in 4:27.248, followed by Sage Marie in the Honda CR-Z at 5:19.591. Simon Pagenaud and his Honda Odyssey weren't classified.
Mitsubishi has already announced that it will be returning as a competitor to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with a pair of all-electric MiEV Evolution II racecars. In addition to these entrants, the automaker will also be the presenting sponsor of the race as well as providing the official safety vehicles to the event using specially prepped versions of the 2014 Outlander and Lancer Evolution.
While it isn't clear what exactly will be demanded of the safety vehicles, this isn't going to your run-of-the-mill pace car duty. To get the Outlander and Evo ready for the 156-turn, 12.42-mile course, Mitsubishi teamed up with companies such as BBS, Cobb Tuning, AEM and Muellerized Suspension Systems as well as DC Sports and Kenwood to create these one-off safety cars. These vehicles, and all the racecars, will be at Pikes Peak later this month for the 91st running of America's second-oldest racing event. Scroll down for the official press release.
If you're keen to get a closer look at the upcoming Mitsubishi Attrage global sedan, we've got good news for you. A handful of brochure images have made their way to the web courtesy of IndianAutosBlog.com, complete with driveline details. The compact car looks to have its teeth set on taking a chunk out of the Nissan Versa. The Attrage will launch in Thailand with a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine good for 76 horsepower coupled to either a five-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission. The combination should yield a range of around 570 miles with an 11 gallon tank. We'll save you the math: that's over 50 miles per gallon, though we wouldn't be surprised to see a more powerful, less efficient engine show up on the US-spec model. Buyers can also enjoy snazzy 15-inch alloy wheels.
Expect to find a rearview camera, push-button start, Bluetooth audio and automatic climate control indoors. This information gives us a pretty good idea of what we can expect from the car once it touches down here in the US, though final details - including powertrain - remain likely to change somewhat.
It's been about a month since we first saw the Mitsubishi Concept G4 at the Shanghai Motor Show, but now the automaker has revealed the first images for the sedan in production trim. Wearing the Mitsubishi Attrage nameplate, this sedan will go on sale this summer in Thailand and could eventually makes its way to the US. Despite being essentially a sedan version of its subcompact Mirage, Mitsubishi refers to the Attrage as its next-generation global compact sedan, suggesting it's a fair bit larger than its hatchback counterpart.
We only have this single image to go on, but the new Attrage obviously has the same overall look as the Concept G4. As expected, it does lose some of the more conceptual bits, including the fancy headlights, grills and wheels. While the styling has us thinking back to the late 1990s, the true advantage of the Attrage is likely to be its fuel consumption. US fuel economy for the Attrage hasn't been released, but the closely related 2014 Mirage is expected to return 37 miles per gallon in the city and 44 mpg on the highway using the same 1.2-liter inline four-cylinder engine paired with either a five-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission. Scroll down for the brief press release for the Thai-built Attrage.
Preparing for next month's Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, Mitsubishi - the presenting sponsor of this year's PPIHC - has unveiled its entrant for the race: the all-electric MiEV Evolution II. Building off last year's MiEV-inspired entrant, the Evolution II has received numerous improvements, including a more powerful electric drive system, a lower center of gravity and even a more traditional racecar look. Driving a pair of MiEV Evolution II models this year will be Hiroshi Masuoka from Mitsubishi vehicle development and six-time PPIHC motorcycle winner, Greg Tracy.
Both MiEV Evolution II racers employ a quartet of electric motors (last year's car used just three), and output has been increased from 280 kilowatts (375 horsepower) up to 400 KW (536 hp). For improved handling, the cars' lithium-ion battery packs help provide lower centers of gravity, and both Masuoka's and Tracy's cars have received active yaw control, stability control and redesigned anti-lock braking systems. Hopefully, this will help them stick to the mountain better. As previously mentioned, even their look has changed, with less of a wide-body i-MiEV feel and more of a racecar appearance. We think the finished product would actually make for a pretty cool Le Mans Prototype racer, or perhaps an electrically powered rival for trackday cars like those from Radical.
Speaking to some of its dealers recently, Mitsubishi unveiled its plans for a new subcompact sedan offering in the US. Automotive News reports the automaker showed off a rendering of a new subcompact sedan and said the machine will debut sometime in 2015.
The little four-door could be based on the three-cylinder G4 Concept that bowed at the Shanghai Motor Show this year, effectively making it a four-door version of the current five-door Mirage. Mitsubishi dealers are currently starving for new products to entice buyers into showrooms. A redesigned Outlander will show up this summer, long before the teased subcompact sedan. The automaker is also planning to bring out a revised version of the five-door Mirage compact later this year.
Dealers are taking the announcement as a sign that Mitsubishi has finally begun to turn things around. Automotive News spoke with Scott Grove, who owns two Mitsubishi dealerships near Chicago. Grove said he thought the dealer meeting was more positive than it's been in years, and that he believes Mitsubishi is finally on the offensive.
Guido Tschugg is a professional mountain biker and a Red Bull-sponsored athlete in downhill and four-cross. He's also a fan of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and drifting in the snow, and with the help of filmmaker Mario Feil and drone videographers airv8, the rally car and the powder are combined to glorious effect.
We could continue talking about it, but that would delay you from enjoying the two minutes of frosty beauty in the video below.
An official with the transport ministry in Japan has some stern words for Mitsubishi, taking the carmaker to task for not being more proactive and honest about its recalls. An investigation into The Tri-Star last December found Mitsubishi was tardy investigating problems and didn't explain itself forthrightly to the transport ministry about the issues. None of Mitsubishi's actions were illegal, and we should stress that this is a dialogue with Mitsubishi in Japan, not Mitsubishi Motors North America.
The official advised the automaker to, "Come up with plans for improvement, implement them and report them to the ministry." It looks like the company will get more practice than it wants in that department, having to announce another recall for the Outlander PHEV over software and hardware glitches. Those recalls come just after Mitsu finally figured out the problem with overheating lithium-ion batteries that caused a production halt of the plug-in hybrid SUV.
To say we were unimpressed by the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage that debuted in New York earlier this year would be one heck of an understatement. So pardon us for not oohing and aahing over the Concept G4 that we're seeing for the first time here in Shanghai. It is, basically, a Mirage sedan. Try to contain your excitement.
Mitsubishi states that it intends to roll out the production version of the G4 Concept globally, powered by a 1.2-liter MIVEC engine mated to a continuously variable transmission that should at least be good for some substantial fuel economy gains. The Mirage, after all, is rated at 37/44 miles per gallon city/highway. We're also told that the car will be very lightweight, and that this should aid in making this thing not drive like a total dud.
We'll wait and see how the relatively sharp lines of the concept transfer to production form, but given that we already know what the Mirage looks like, we have a pretty good feeling that we'll be just as underwhelmed the second time around. Have a look below for the press blast.
Mitsubishi is recalling certain 2013 Outlander Sport models for a couple of brake-related reasons. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the brake lamps may illuminate continuously or intermittently. On top of that, the NHTSA report states that the vehicle's shift lever could be moved out of the Park position without depressing the brake pedal.
A total of 4,539 Outlander Sport models are being recalled for these issues. All of the affected vehicles were built between June 11 and September 11, 2012.
Obviously, both of these issues can be hazardous. If the brake lamps do not illuminate properly, other vehicles may not realize that the car is stopping. And if the shift lever can be moved from Park without touching the brake pedal, the vehicle could roll away unexpectedly.