September 28, 2005 The second coming of the oil crisis will yield some very impressive automotive electronic technologies and Mitsubishi is planning to show one of the first that fits into the mouth-watering next-generation electric vehicle category at next month's 39th Tokyo Motor Show. The Mitsubishi MIEV has four high-efficiency direct-drive motors inside its 20-inch wheels, each producing 50 kW of power and 518 Nm torque adding to maximum output of 200 kW (270 bhp). And because this drive system allows precise regulation of power at each individual wheel, it opens the door to creating a vehicle dynamics control system in its ultimate evolutionary form. Mitsubishi will also show the Concept-D:5, a go-anywhere, high-performance concept car that embodies the company's "utmost safety" ideal; and, Concept-X, a concept car with styling that raises the bar on performance car looks and also boasts Mitsubishi's 4WD-based Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC1).
The MIEV is a proposal for next-generation electric vehicles that utilizes to maximum effect the environmental technology Mitsubishi has developed over the years. The offspring of a marriage between such environmental technology and Mitsubishi Motors' sporty characteristics, Lancer Evolution MIEV utilises the advantages offered by the electric powertrain to craft smooth and slippery, low-drag body lines and the styling imparts an aggressive wind-cleaving look to the body. Riding on large wheels and tires, Lancer Evolution MIEV projects a tempting taste of its potent new-age sport driving potential.
The in-wheel motors and the lithium-ion battery system, which is located under the floor to reduce the center of gravity, accelerate Lancer Evolution MIEV from 0 km/h to 100 km/h in less than 8 seconds and up to a maximum speed of 180 km/h. This is a level of motive performance that leaves today's EV's standing.
The foremost feature of the in-wheel motor is that it allows drive torque and braking force to be regulated with high precision on an individual wheel basis without requiring transmission, drive shafts, differential gears or other complex and heavy components. Housing the drive system in the wheels also gives greater freedom in designing the layout.
This will facilitate the conversion of internal combustion engine-powered vehicles into hybrid vehicles without requiring the introduction of complex hybrid power systems. It will also make it easier to provide room for space-consuming components such as fuel cell stacks and hydrogen tanks in fuel cell vehicles. The space-saving benefits of the in-wheel motor also offer exciting possibilities in terms of body design.
The major shortcoming of the EV to date has been its limited cruising range. This is now well on the way to being overcome with recent improvements in battery performance. MIEV uses the lithium-ion storage cell for its main power source, this offering advantages in terms of energy density and life over other types of secondary or rechargeable battery.
Concept-X (show car)
With an exterior that carries over the full flavor of Lancer Evolution's spartan road machine image and a high quality interior with a functional layout that encourages the driver to concentrate solely on operating his machine, MITSUBISHI Concept-X points to way a new-age Evolution design that is as handsome and purposeful as it is functional.
In the mechanical components department, MITSUBISHI Concept-X mates a turbocharged aluminum cylinder block MIVEC engine to a high-performance 6-speed auto-manual transmission. Extensive use is made of aluminum in the roof, engine hood and other body panels. Chassis performance has been substantially improved with the introduction of Mitsubishi's latest 4WD-based Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) vehicle dynamics control system. The incarnation of driving pleasure, this highly advanced technical specification makes MITSUBISHI Concept-X a showcase on wheels for Mitsubishi Motors' quintessential road performance technology.
The team has crafted a form with lines that are purposeful and handsome; a form that symbolizes the New Mitsubishi Motors Design while retaining the spartan performance image that defines the Lancer Evolution series. Distinguished by its eye-catching oversized grille, the front visage borrows design cues from a jet fighter to hint broadly at the huge quantities of air it draws in and at the car's road-hugging stability. The brand-identifying 3-diamond logo on the leading edge of the engine hood is another distinguishing element of the new-age Evolution design. The simple and functional layout of the cockpit is put together in a design that encourages the driver to concentrate fully on operating his machine. The design team has spared no effort in developing coloring and lighting that engender a keener competition look to the interior. The black keynote interior color uses silver counterpoints to impart the material look of aluminum and create a more dynamic and athletic looking interior space.
MITSUBISHI Concept-X is powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder DOHC MIVEC intercooler-turbocharged engine that delivers instant response at all engine speeds with flat torque that keeps pulling up to the red line. MITSUBISHI Concept-X uses a clutchless 6-speed auto-manual transmission that realizes slicker shifting and higher transmission efficiency than a regular manual gearbox. Paddle shifters mounted on the steering column allow the driver to concentrate on his steering better and enable drivers of all abilities to experience the satisfying pleasure of sport driving.
The ring-structure frame design realizes a significant increase in body stiffness, while the use of aluminum in the engine hood, trunk lid, fenders, roof and front and rear door panels reduces weight. Reducing weight in the roof and upper parts of the body lowers the center of gravity, while weight reduction in the doors, engine hood, trunk and other peripheral elements reduces the moment of inertia for better steerability. Weight reduction, lowering the center of gravity and reducing the moment of inertia all contribute to better motive performance and better handling. The suspension features a MacPherson strut at the front and a multi-link arrangement at the rear. Working in concert with Mitsubishi Motors' "Roll Control Suspension" technology, this design delivers very high levels of ride and road holding.
The On-Board Multi-Media System complements the interior design in the way it encourages a dialogue between driver and machine. The high-definition LCD monitor provides a real-time display of vehicle and S-AWC operating status while also displaying on-board navigation system maps and DVD audio controls. Rear seat passengers have their own LCD displays at the back of the front seats that allow them to share with the driver driving-related information and to share fun-to-drive experience.
Concept-X showcases Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) vehicle dynamics control technology. A further step up the evolutionary ladder of Mitsubishi Motors four-wheel drive traction and handling technology well proven in the Lancer Evolution and other series, S-AWC realizes cutting-edge levels of vehicle dynamics control. Based on Mitsubishi's full-time 4WD system, as used in Lancer Evolution, that is built around ACD3 and Super AYC4 component technologies, S-AWC adds Active Brake Control, Active Steering System and Roll Control Suspension technologies to realize a fully integrated system.
Concept-D:5 (show car)
Concept D:5 is a concept for the next-generation Delica model. In a go-anywhere-anytime, high-mobility, high-functionality new 4WD mono-box concept, it wraps together the classy living space and functionality sought by owners in today's minivan and Delica's legendary all-terrain capabilities. Deriving from its advanced 4WD system, MITSUBISHI Concept D:5 offers a refined but rugged design that projects a reassuring sense of protective safety.
To deliver maximum driving pleasure and in line with Mitsubishi's All Wheel Control (AWC) philosophy, MITSUBISHI Concept D:5 employs the same electronically controlled four-wheel drive system as Outlander. The powertrain mates a new 2.4-liter MIVEC engine to a Sport Mode 6-speed CVT to deliver brawny all-surface go-anywhere performance. To bring a reassuring sense of safety that is more than skin deep, MITSUBISHI Concept D:5 incorporates active safety vehicle (ASV) technology that assists the driver in operating his vehicle safely and minimizes strain. MITSUBISHI Concept D:5 also brings new active and passive safety technologies to the minivan/SUV category. The styling creates a wide-&-lifted mono-box architecture that is unmistakably Delica in taste. Pushing the New Mitsubishi Motors Design, the styling threads and weaves handsome, purposeful lines into a function-oriented appearance. "Super-mobility" was the keyword driving design development: creating a vehicle that encourages driver and occupants to set off for any destination with a deeply reassuring sense of safety. This approach can trace its roots to the successive Delica series. In creating the basic form, the design team went for a mono-box architecture crafted with straight lines and with an understated nose. Minimizing design elements, the understated surface composition readily invokes the powerfully built lines of the Delica series while adding a fashionable tautness to create a robust and solid appearance. The major defining feature of MITSUBISHI Concept D:5's interior is its exposed "Rib Bone Frame"5 structure that serves as a visual device to accent the solidly-built construction and the stiffness of the body. Other identifying elements are the full-size glass roof panel, which creates a very airy and open ambience, and the use of both metallic and natural materials. This contrast between stiff and soft elements is used to express the melding of a reassuring sense of protective safety with an enriching sense of interior comfort that distinguishes the design.
MITSUBISHI Concept D:5 is powered by the same all-new 2.4-liter MIVEC engine as Outlander. This new-generation lightweight and compact aluminum unit delivers high output while returning low fuel consumption and low emissions. The powertrain mates the engine to a Sport Mode 6-speed CVT to deliver powerful and tough motive performance. In line with Mitsubishi Motors AWC principles, MITSUBISHI Concept D:5 employs the same electronically controlled 4WD system as Outlander. The driver is offered a choice of three operating modes: 2WD, which returns the best fuel economy on good surfaces; 4WD AUTO, which automatically tailors torque traction and handling characteristics to different surfaces; and 4WD LOCK, which maximizes traction for full 4WD performance over harsh terrain.
The suspension features a MacPherson strut at the front and a multi-link arrangement at the rear. The generous stroke enables the suspension to soak up punishment off-road while delivering superior road holding performance and a classy, comfortable ride on tarmac. The exclusive tires allow the owner to extract the full potential of MITSUBISHI Concept D:5's performance over all surfaces on and off-road.
Concept D:5 points the way ahead in terms of minivan and SUV active safety and comfort through the proactive introduction of the several advanced safety vehicle (ASV) technologies. MITSUBISHI Concept D:5 also features a comprehensive passive safety specification that provides effective occupant protection in the event of a crash or other accident.
Peripheral monitoring system: 10 approach sensors detect pedestrians or obstacles in the close vicinity of the car. The system promotes safety by audibly urging the driver to take extra care.
Lane Trace Assist. An on-board camera monitors the lane dividing lines and the system applies a corrective torque to the electric power steering when it senses the vehicle is starting to depart from its lane, thus alleviating driver strain and fatigue.
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC): The ACC system uses millimeter-wave radar to monitor the distance to the vehicle ahead and regulate engine power and the CVT reduction gear ratio accordingly. By maintaining a safe following distance at all times, ACC enables safe and strain-free cruising.