RSSAll Entries in the "Commentary" Category

Next Generation Technology Review Part 1

Next Generation Technology Review Part 1

Mitsubishi sometime ago shared a portfolio of new technology they were looking to implement in the next wave of vehicles.   Given that they were in a time crunch to develop an entirely new engine platform, the offerings were decent not plentiful.   For those who do not know,  the world engine platform was terminated soon after it was released by Dodge, Mitsubishi, and Hyundai.  This is where the 4B11 and 4B12 engine came from.   Dodge more or less decided they were going their own way with Fiat and bought out the other two participates.  While Mitsubishi could still crank out 4B11 & 4B12 engines, design changes and refinements would likely cost more in the long run and may incur additional fees or royalties of some kind.

While extremely disruptive, Mitsubishi did reactive some projects that remained dormant since 2007.  Many should know that Mitsubishi made great inroads in the mid 2000 and even dabbled in Diesel Tech. before focusing on the World Engine Project.  Fast forward to today,  Mitsubishi is now in the best position it has ever been in since 2008-2009 when the global market went to hell in a hand basket.  Operations are lean,   The Japanese currency has offered a 30% swing to make Japanese Exports more economical, and their new technologies are ready.

I constantly get email messages from people who know me and those who just follow my blog posts about Mitsubishi staying in the game.  (In North America).  As many of you know, Suzuki made decision to pick up gun and pull the trigger on exiting the North American Car Market.  Some would say…. myself included… if they just waited another 3 months, they would have benefited from the currency slide.  but they didnt… and decided to only focus on the Motorcycle side of the business.

Mitsubishi on the other hand I am sure picked up the gun even earlier decided to see where things go.  While I think the gun is in hand…. The increasing favorable currency situation and on time technology development seems to be keeping things calm for now.  While exiting the North American market is on the table anything can happen.  But… I would gamble that Mitsubishi stays in the game until the new wave of vehicles are released.  Some may come as soon as next year.

Mitsubishi’s focus will be on fuel economy!  The last generation of vehicles has a significant focus on Power (TQ) and reliability.   Fuel economy was in there somewhere, but vs. its peers, this was lacking.  Mitsubishi’s has been working very diligently on battery technology and there should be no surprise that it will start to appear in all vehicles.  The question is for many… how prominent will it be in the vehicle configuration.  Will it be an invisible hand or something that hinders what Mitsubishi owners do… typically modify and make it more powerful.

Some years ago.  Honda released a new car called the CRZ.  It was amazing because it was reaching back to a classic and they included hybrid technology that seemed cool.  But…. sigh…. the cool technology ended up getting in the way of enthusiasts and made any aftermarket development for the car a “bloody nightmare” as some tuners frequently say.  Hybrid Regenerative brakes were not fun to deal with.  The CRZ hybrid was not a failure…. Honda’s footing of not creating a non Hybrid version is what killed the platform.  Even after years of further production, Honda did not create a simple non hybrid version.  Some argued that Honda painted themselves into a corner about going green with this vehicle, and didnt want to back pedal from the mandate. :(

Getting back to Mitsubishi, they are designing a new EVO and while the body styling has been left until the end. (no one knows what it looks like), the guts underneath does look impressive.  But, the final combo of technology has yet to be determined.  One of the things that are in play is a Stop and Start technology for fuel savings when driving in the city.   There is nothing new about this technology.  Mitsubishi has experimented with this in other cars over the years . (Europe) The Mitsubishi Colt for example. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_z-lsxRG3w

The technology in 2014 will likely be in a passive state, meaning the driver will control when the engine turns off and resumes at stops.  (Not automatically) The simple logic is that an engine that isnt running doesnt consume fuel.  For an overview of past systems of Stop and Start.  Or as Mitsubishi calls it, Stop and GO.  Visit their technology page here. http://www.mitsubishi-motors.com/en/spirit/technology/library/idle_reduction.html

 

Another technology I have had the pleasure of testing is the new CVT7 and CVT8 technology which is the next generation of CVT transmissions coming on market.  The smaller engine vehicles like the Mitsubishi Mirage & Nissan Versa Note have been a pleasure to drive.  The low fuel consumption works to make these vehicles number 1 in their class.  I have logged about 6000km on a CVT7 transmission and when you fuel economy is 5.8L per 100 on a fuel tank of gas, you tend to realize that there is mega fuel cost savings.  So much so that I figure that if you jump from a Lancer into one of these small cars, the fuel savings alone will likely pay down half of your car payment…. maybe more if you drive as much as I do.

 

Next Generation of CVT Transmissions from Nissan and Mitsubishi

For those of you sitting around waiting for the next move by Mitsubishi, Good news is at hand.   For some who closely watch what goes on in Japan.  You already know that Mitsubishi has already been selling the Mirage all over Asia.  The Mirage and other small vehicles produced by Nissan & Mitsubishi are now using a new type of CVT produced by Jatco.  Jatco is the worlds largest manufacturer of Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVT) and if you drive a Mitsubishi Lancer. Chances are you have a CVT in there.

While these transmissions in general have had their draw backs.  The quest for reliability and fuel economy have been a chief concerns for all companies involved.  Jatco has raised the bar by address some of the criticisms of the CVT.  The main problem would be the lack of performance in acceleration RPM rev-up.    I myself own a Mitsubishi Lancer GTS equipped with a CVT.  I love the smooth ride and decent fuel economy.  But I could not bare the lack of initial response when the car was in D (Drive) mode.  I couldn’t a yellow light at an intersection if my life depended on it.  (Trust me… I don’t try)  Typically one would have to mash the gas pedal or use the manual mode shifter to get the car to dig in and go.

This was something that I solved by purchasing a Sprint Booster for my laggy CVT.  This solved the fuzzy logic of the transmission and allowed the driver to easily control the Power / RPM  to get the exact level performance without having to mash the gas pedal.   Sprint Booster is very liberating.

But…. getting to the good news about fuel CVT transmissions.  It appears that Jatco may have gotten the logic just right for transmission response.  Working with Mitsubishi and Nissan on integration of the new system, throttle response should be improved.  Even if the Mirage isnt your cup of tea…. The next generation of Mitsubishi cars will have the same enhancements.  I didnt even mention the 10% fuel economy bonus.  😉

If you would like to know more about the CVT.  Check out this video.

 

Mitsubishi shows of its "Concept" Diesel Hybrid Pickup

Mitsubishi shows of its “Concept” Diesel Hybrid Pickup

To a Mitsubishi owner familure with the last 20 years of the brand.  People will seem a little confused maybe disoriented.  But….. This is a very important technological step forward as Mitsubishi shows off the future hybrid powertrain.  The fact that this variant is a Diesel isnt important (believe it or not).  The important aspect of this will be the integration of the electric motor to the Drivetrain and the TQ being applied.  ???? What????

What am I getting at???  When Mitsubishi releases the next generation EVO X.  Low end TQ will be a huge focus.  The power figures will be significantly boosted over the current generation EVO on the market today.   Mitsubishi has been making great progress into a transmission system that can handle extreme amounts of TQ.  In the coming weeks or months look for Mitsubishi to start dropping hints of what is to come.

KIA gets with it and releases a Turbo Forte

KIA gets with it and releases a Turbo Forte

While Mitsubishi has been on hold with readying the next generation of the Lancer and EVO.  The Turbo sedan market just got a bit more crowded.  Hyundai and Kia have been hard at work polishing up their entire line up to be what Honda use to be a decade or two ago.  And to be honest, they are not doing a bad job of it.  Honda on the other hand couldnt hit the broad side of a barn for about 13 years.

While Mitsubishi is hinting of hybrid will be an important part of their 2014 – 2015 program.  The question remains how prevalent will turbo technology be?

Autoblog photocredit

Save The Mitsubishi Colt = North American Variant Possible

Save The Mitsubishi Colt = North American Variant Possible

As many of you guys know.  I have been working with my EVOSOUL group in the USA and ASIA and there is a opportunity for change that I cant help but promote.   Mitsubishi as you know is working to bring next generation cars to market by 2014 and 2015.  one of those cars that Mitsubishi has been on the fence about is the Mitsubishi Colt.  Not much is known about this car because it is only available in Europe.  Or at least was.   Mitsubishi is looking to retire it without expanding it to North America.   Sadly, Mitsubishi did not feel it was the right car in 2007 for North America.  Sigh…… as you know many small cars have flourished in North America offering great fuel economy and stylish design.  Now Mitsubishi is release the Mirage as a small car / small engine option to score on fuel economy numbers.  But there will not be a Ralliart variant pegged to this car platform.

What we would like to do is to raise awareness and see if we can convince Mitsubishi to make another go of the COLT.  It is a classic and offers many options to the small car enthusiast.   We will be launching a “Support the Colt” website to raise awareness and to hopefully save the Colt from being terminated.  
 

Time for another oil change for the Lancer GTS

Time for another oil change for the Lancer GTS

As many of you know from my old blog, I change my oil at normal intervals.  But now that my car has passed its warranty threshold, I am not changing my oil at extended intervals.  There are very few oils that can do this.  The one I have relied on for many years is the Mobil 1 Extended performance oil.  I have many cars that I go 20k, 25k or 28k (kilometers) for oil changes.  I send the oil out for analysis and everything is fine and dandy in terms of wear.  Now with my older cars, oil consumption tends to happen a little more so frequent top ups during this extended period are needed.  The other day on facebook I was asked if I had to change my oil filter mid way.  My answer was no.  I rely on Royal Purple or K&N oil filters which have the capacity and filtration that I need for extended intervals.   For my lancer, I have gotten up to about 22k (kilometer) oil changes without a problem or oil consumption.  My weapon of choice is Mobil 1 Extended performance.  I purchase it when I make my USA boarder run from Toronto and bring back a few 5Qt jugs from Walmart. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Mobil-1-Extended-Performance-5W-30-Full-Synthetic-Motor-Oil-5-qt/17128876

A good investment which I can pass on 1 or 2 normal interval changes without sacrificing performance and wear protection.


Till the next oil change.

Happy Holidays and end of the Mitsubishi world?

 

We seemed to get thru the real Mayan end of the world just fine.  But again many out there tend to think that Mitsubishi may fall on it’s sword in the new year.  Many posted this video link on the internet which caused a bit of stir lately.  http://finance.yahoo.com/topics/financially-fit/finfit-6-brands-likely-disappear-150000624.html Is this true?  The short answer is…. No.  While yes Mitsubishi is suffering a huge cash crunch as they restart the franchise, and yes their marketing for the past 4 years has been less than stellar.   Mostly because of 3 big factors,  just bad timing, bad luck, and strategic partners that just wasn’t in it to win it.

 

The marketing and selection of cars in 2007 required a bit more of a broader line up.  The Mitsubishi Lancer was launched successful but because Mitsubishi cut of the cars that made its self great without offering greener options.  This hurt Mitsubishi big time.  The EVO, Lancer, and Outlander became its only winners.  Most of Mitsubishi sales have been because of these 3 variants.  Eclipse didn’t really go anyway.  The number one thing that Mitsubishi missed out on was the Mitsubishi Colt which met all of the objectives for what Mitsubishi wanted.  I have been told that at the time Mitsubishi felt the success of the colt would be marginal.  To be honest, if it was me, I think it would have been the gamble that could have changed the tide of the war.  The green push in my opinion is a good thing, but it was too radical and too quick of a timetable.   Mitsubishi released some ads that completely offended their customer base vs. converted their customer base to greener pastures.

Bad luck?  Yes the Earthquake really hit Mitsubishi and it’s semi sister company Nissan very hard.  A lot of production was tide together in Japan, and the earthquake caused massive delays.

 

One of things that really huge Mitsubishi was the world engine alliance.  The birth of the 4B11 engine was both a great thing for the world but a bad bet/ investment for Mitsubishi.  Sharing technology with Hyundai and Dodge was something that definitely benefited the two others.  Hyundai used the technology in their Hyundai Genesis and made a better product as a result.  Albeit an engine with cast internals, they still understood well enough.  Dodge on the other hand. Took the technology and ran.  Buying out Mitsubishi and Hyundai’s share and making a new partnership with Fiat.  In other words, those wonderful people at Dodge ended their alliance with Mitsubishi again…. and bolted.  They executed the plan of smaller cars by themselves leaving Mitsubishi high and dry.

After all these kicks to the nuts.  Mitsubishi keeps on moving.  If Mitsubishi was not balls in to win this, they would not be signing production agreements for North America.  Mitsubishi Japan has an extensive financial arm that keeps pumping money into this fight.  But to be completely open here. Unless Mitsubishi A) brings in sport options to all of its cars.  (cough cough Mitsubishi Colt Ralliart)  B) Reactivates the Ralliart Japan program… I feel Mitsubishi’s days are numbered.

I am still hopeful that new management will see the light and make the franchise successful in 2013/2014 which they release new cars.

 

 

 

 

Ralliart owners have a little more to worry about!

Ralliart owners have a little more to worry about!

There have been reports circulating that Mitsubishi has taken stronger measures to find reprogrammed ECU’s and voiding the warranties.  Here is an image captured of internal documents demonstrating the procedures of detecting a compromised ECU.

If this is found to be true and official, then this makes things very interesting indeed!

 

What does this mean?  Use common sense and find a dealership that you trust.  In theory they should only perform this in the vent of a warranty claim on the powertrain.  That said, that doesnt mean a tech can’t do it to check.   Be careful guys!

Mitsubishi Wiper blades in the winter.

I almost laugh very year when the first super cold day of winter / fall arrives.   The reason is because my Mitsubishi Lancers wiper blades seem to tear themselves apart.   And here is why.   I the winter months we see some car owners lift the wiper blades of the windshield.  The main purpose for this s to prevent them from ripping.   Unfortunately many who do this dont know that this can lessen the lifespan and effectiveness of the blade.

The real reason why blades tear is not because of the cold or ice because of a dirty window surface.   It wasnt until I had some serious training with car care detailers that i understood this.  To be completely honest,  winter conditions aside, keeping your window surface clean as much as possible will go a long way to keeping even the cheapest of blades going an extra 30 percent like longer.  

So how do we do this?

Well I wanna come right out and say it.   I dont think you are doing anyone any favors by using the gas station squigee.  It will not clean your glass.   If anything it will make the situation worse and you risk scratching your glass or window with a crappy squigee.

You have to do all cleaning by hand and with a micro fiber and glass cleaner.   Now this is good for the spring summer and fall but since the winter months throw tons of stuff at your wine w.  You maybe better off buying a glass treatment that helps repel water.   The reason for this is because the treatment will act as a temporary barrier between the glass and outside environment.  Frequent cleaning of the surface will ensure you can go longer between treatments.    The wiper blades will benefit from the reduced glide resistance.   If you have a fear of ice on the glass there are some brands that offer sprays that quickly desolves thick ice.

There are many treatment brands out there and they work ok and as advertised.  People run into trouble and complain it doesnt work.   The key is when the surface is not clean the treatment cant bond to the window surface.  
On my last trip to the usa the rainx brand was what i picked up.  It does the job but is not the best out there.

Hope that helps guys.

Wanna show some Mitsubishi love while charging your phone or tablet?

Wanna show some Mitsubishi love while charging your phone or tablet?

Rick Chong has had a busy summer schedule.  Working on new mods for the lancer and getting into new projects for other cars.  But one of the new things he showed me that I just had to jump on was this Mitsubishi branded charge.  The thing that make me go crazy over it is that it would change different devices with one star adapter.  Rick says that this universal charger is a 6 in 1 adapter with retractable USB cable.  😉 Nice!

My girlfriend is an Iphone type,  I am a Blackberry / Android type of guy.  Great!  We both can charge our devices with it.

Your can order it now via Ricks Ebay webstore for about 30 bucks.  It is a novelty gift item as well. :)  Visit www.rickchong.com