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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.

 

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?

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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 a good fuel system cleaning.

Time for a good fuel system cleaning.

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When comes to keeping the car in tip top condition, it doesn’t hurt to give the car a good dose of fuel system cleaner.  Red Line offers a product which does the trick and can give noticeable improvements on older cars.  Now that my Lancer has crossed over the 100k mile mark.  This is a good time to clean out the fuel system and injectors.

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Failed - Injen Cold Air Intake Install - WTF

Failed – Injen Cold Air Intake Install – WTF

When I saw this posted on my car club’s facebook page I almost fell out of my chair.  The reason is because, its really difficult to botch a cold air intake install.  I mean they even include super detailed instructions in every box. There is almost no excuse for this.  Unless you have an extreme fear of water or something, this goes down as an ultimate fail.

WTF

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.

Winterizing the Lancer for another season

Acter spending the better part of September planning for Sema 2012, I didnt notice old man winter sneaking up on us.   My check list is pretty straight forward.

WIPERBLADES
CLEANING AND TREATING WINDSHIELDS
RUSTCHECK THE UNDERBODY
CLEAN AND LUBRICATE HSD COILOVERS
RAISE THE SUSPENSION RIDE HEIGHT
INSTALL WINTER TIRES
SWITCH TO 0W20 OIL
CHECK ALL OTHER FLUIDS
CHECK SAFETY KIT DURING WINTER MONTH
CHECK FRONT AND TAIL LIGHTS

These things may sound ordinary and nothing special but each are super critical for safety and keeping your car in top form for the winter months.  Living in Canada, the temps start slipping below freeze around the last week of october.  So its important to get all this crap out of the way by then.   Freak snowstorms tend to make everything a miserable ordeal.

AUG. 2012 UPDATE.

August has been a very busy month.   I have travelled half way aroubd the world to help bring about change in Mitsubishi.  There are a number of projects that I am working on that will have the mass effect to do some good on multiple fronts.   After many dialogs I was fortunate enough to travel to asia.   There are a few special presents planned this fall.  SEMA will be an important date for Mitsubishi owners.

Sit tight guys.