JAPAN. Mitsubishi has unveiled the latest version of its high-performance sports sedan.
The Lancer RS Evolution 7 went on sale in Galant and Car Plaza dealer showrooms in Japan last Saturday.
Developed from the all-new Lancer Cedia that debuted in May 2000, the Evo 7 has a 2.0-litre engine and a developed version of Mitsubishi's four-wheel drive system.
Improvements to the 4G63 2.0-litre intercooled and turbocharged engine concentrated on boosting medium range torque. Peak torque of 383Nm is developed at 3500rpm.
Maximum power is 206kw (280bhp) at 6500rpm.
The new motor has improvements to the turbocharger, and is fitted with an uprated intercooler.
The aluminium rocker covers have been replaced by magnesium units, and the engine has hollow camshafts.
Back pressure in the exhaust system has been reduced through the use of a spherical joint for the front exhaust pipe and a straighter exhaust pipe. A variable back pressure valve in the main muffler provides better noise reduction at low engine speeds and lower back pressure at high speeds.
The five-speed manual gearbox used in the Evo 6 has been uprated for the increased engine torque. Some of the gears are made of stronger material, and a lower first-gear ratio gives better acceleration from a standing start. A higher fifth gear ratio improves comfort and economy at high cruising speeds.
The Evo 7 retains the MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension of its predecessor.
A newly developed Active Centre Differential (ACD) brings better handling response and traction. Integrated control of the ACD and the Active Yaw Control (AYC) handling enhancement systems improves acceleration and handling.
Replacing the viscous coupling-type with an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch differential, the ACD effectively regulates slippage in the 50/50 torque split centre differential from free to lock-up to match driving conditions. A three-way selector enables the driver to override the automatic system and choose among Tarmac, Gravel or Snow modes for different surface conditions (the system is standard on the GSR and a factory-fitted option on the RS).
Located in the rear differential, AYC uses a computer to regulate yaw moment in the vehicle body by actively transferring torque between the rear wheels in accordance with driving conditions (standard on GSR; factory-fitted option on RS).
ACD provides better traction when accelerating out of a corner. AYC enhances steering response and grip through corners.
The Evo 7 marries the latest version of Mitsubishi's Sports ABS system, which incorporates Electronic Braking Force Distribution, to the Brembo brakes of its predecessor. Braking force is controlled independently at each wheel for improved stability and steering response under braking when turning.
Front brakes are Brembo 17-inch ventilated discs with four-pot calipers. At the rear are 16-inch ventilated discs with two-pot calipers. An uprated tandem master cylinder improves braking action and feel.
The ABS system now includes a steering angle sensor as well as longitudinal and lateral G sensors and wheel-speed sensors. The revised system detects steering input to enhance steering response under braking.
The Evo 7's tyres are now wider - 235/45ZR17 instead of 225/45ZR17 - to further improve grip under high G cornering. The tyres are made of a high-grip compound and have a carcass design that gives superior resistance to lateral distortion. Lighter and stiffer, the new tyres give more consistent grip under high G cornering. They're standard on the GSR and a factory-fitted option on the RS.
Wider rim, mesh-styled 17 x 8JJ wheels replace the 17 x 7.5JJ wheels.
The car's torsional stiffness is 50 percent greater than in its predecessor.
The increase in stiffness stems from stronger suspension mountings and body frame joints, the use of special reinforcements in more than 20 additional places, extra welding spots and the use of front strut tower bars.
Weight increases accompanying the stronger body have been minimised by replacing the steel front fenders and bonnet with aluminium units.
The aluminium bonnet has optimally located heat extraction outlets and NACA cooling ducts. An oversize front grille and integral bumper has side slots that reduce drag while improving cooling efficiency.
Front and rear blister-type fender flares meld into the body lines. The bootlid spoiler has a variable angle of attack.
The multi-lamp headlight units house the auxiliary lights and provide superior beam distribution and light intensity. Xeon discharge-type headlights and foglamps are available as a factory-fitted option. The tail lights are three-lamp combination units using clear lenses.
Front seats are Recaro buckets and a new-design Momo three-spoke leather-rimmed steering wheel is fitted, along with a leather-trimmed gear lever knob and handbrake grip.
The GSR sells for 2.9 million yen. The RS is 2.5 million yen.