Japanese firm's domestic show stars are the ZT and iMiEV concepts
24 January 2007

Japanese show-goers got their first chance to see the production Evo and the general consensus is that the all-new super-saloon is far more handsome than the outgoing car.Brits will get their first look at the Autosport International show in January. UK cars are likely to be more powerful than the Japanese versions. Expect about 340bhp.

Concept ZT: a new Galant?

Aside from the Evo, Mitsubishi used the Tokyo show to give strong hints that it wants to move back into making big saloons, and finally give us a look at a future Galant replacement.The Concept ZT is an elegant Mondeo-sized four-door that deploys the company's new design language and technology.It uses the Evo's S-AWC four-wheel-drive system and its DSG-style twin clutch SST gearbox. However, a new 2.2-litre ultra clean diesel with 188bhp and 295lb ft of torque is providing the power.A lightweight aluminium spaceframe structure and recyled plastic doors, boot and bonnet add to the ZT's green credentials, although the company wouldn't say what it weighs.Inside, it's stylish and spacious, although much of the trim is made from organic material, so called 'green plastic'.Insiders admit that the car is going into production, although it may be made with more conventional materials.

iMiEV Sport: the all-electric hot 'mini

The Mitsubishi iMiEV Sport (pictured) is billed as a zero emissions sports car. But you can think of it as a coupe version of the electric i. Built on the same rear-engined, rear-drive platform as the i, it's a four-seater and uses a quick charge that powers it to around 100mph. Unlike the hatch however, it uses three electric motors. There are two extra motors, one on each front wheel, effectively making it four wheel drive.It also has a far funkier interior with lots of metallic trim on display, and mesh seats. Despite its odd looks, sources told us that there's a strong chance that it could go on sale, largely because the i hatchback has been a surprise hit. The coupe can also use the hatch's standard petrol engine.

Chas Hallett

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