Diesel-engined sports car aims to prove mean and green can go hand-in-hand
27 November 2007

Mitsubishi has just released teaser sketches of the car that it will be taking covers off at the Detroit motor show in January. It's a small, lightweight, four-wheel drive sports car concept powered by one of its new four-cylinder diesel engines, and it's called the Concept-RA.This show car, says Mitsubishi, “fuses a passion for dynamic, exciting driving with a heightened sensitivity for the environment.” That’s not a new idea, of course, but the 2.2-litre, 202bhp four-pot turbodiesel engine in the car certainly is, which also produces a useful 310lb ft of torque, uses the latest version of Mitsubishi’s MIVEC electronic valve control system, and is compliant with all US emissions regulations.The Concept-RA’s cutting edge driving dynamics come courtesy of four-wheel drive, and specifically Mitsubishi’s new Super All Wheel Control system. This co-ordinates the actions of the car’s active steering, active damping, active centre differential, active yaw control, active stability control and sport antilock braking systems to maximise traction, cornering and braking potential. In other words, although this car is blessed with a relatively modest 202bhp, you can bet that it’ll put every bit of that power to good effect.It should be light too, with an aluminium spaceframe construction and plastic resin body panels. So are we looking at a new, 21st century Eclipse here, and if so, with a diesel engine under the bonnet, will this one be sold in Europe? Autocar will certainly be asking those questions at Detroit next month, so watch this space for some answers.

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