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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.

 

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.  
 

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.

 

 

 

 

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

A new Mitsubishi Lancer Ad

Finally. Finally the Mitsubishi gets some love and some advertising dollars. Its taken a really long time to get a good ad focused on the Lancer.

Enjoy

News: Mitsubishi Motors Japan = Announces Production, Sales and Export Figures for July 2012

Tokyo, August 29, 2012 – Mitsubishi Motors Corporation today announced global production, as well as domestic sales and export figures for July 2012.

  • Production: total and in Japan
    Total global production for July came in at 94,019 units, 0.8 percent up over July 2011 and the first monthly year-on-year increase in three months since April this year. Production volume in Japan at 46,489 units was 8.5 percent down, the second consecutive year-on-year monthly decrease since May this year. Passenger car output at 40,008 units was 11.8 percent down. Commercial vehicle output at 6,481 units was 18.4 percent up.
  • Sales in Japan
    Vehicle sales in Japan in July totaled 11,134 units, 7.0 percent down on the same month last year and the third consecutive monthly year-on-year decline since April this year. Sales of passenger cars at 8,050 units were 7.5 percent down while sales of commercial vehicles at 3,084 units were 5.7 percent down over the same month last year. Registered vehicle sales volume at 3,861 units was 18.5 percent down while minicar sales volume at 7,273 units was 0.5 percent up on the same month last year.
  • Production overseas
    Overseas production volume totaled 47,530 units, 12.0 percent up over July last year and the fifth consecutive monthly year-on-year increase since February this year. By region, output in Asia at 41,928 units was 24.1 percent up year-on-year boosted chiefly by a 48.0 percent increase at 28,458 units at MMTh in Thailand, this being attributed to the addition of the new Mirage to the production line. In China, output at 1,811 units was 36.4 percent down on July last year. In North America, output at 981 units was 74.2 percent down over the same month last year, due in part to production of the Eclipse and other US-specific models coming to an end and to preparations for the production startup of the new Outlander Sport model. In Europe, output at 871 units was 50.1 percent down on last year. In South America output at 3,750 units was 21.4 percent up over July last year.
  • Export shipments from Japan
    Total exports from Japan of 30,934 units were 24.6 percent down on July 2011, marking the second consecutive monthly year-on-year drop since May this year. Exports to Asia at 894 units were 80.6 percent down year-on-year. Exports to North America at 3,886 units were 49.5 percent down over July last year. Exports to Europe at 16,907 units were 11.2 percent down year-on-year.

 

Source: http://www.mitsubishi-motors.com/publish/pressrelease_en/ir/2012/news/detail0852.html

Will Mitsubishi go back to it's roots? (PART 1)

Will Mitsubishi go back to it’s roots? (PART 1)


I think we can be brutally honest.  Mitsubishi has not had a good 2011 and a 2012.  Sales have been fallen dramatically and Mitsubishi’s line up has been dramatically reduced.  The past 3 months alone has shown USA sales falling by as much as 40 percent when comparing 2012 to 2011.  A considerable amount of resources have been invested in developing for the next generation Mitsubishi line up.  but the here and now story is tough to watch.

JULY Mitsubishi Numbers -47.39% down vs last year 2011=4,194  2012=7,972
JUNE Mitsubishi Numbers -34.80% down vs last year 2011=5,411  2012=8,299
MAY  Mitsubishi Numbers -26.33% down vs last year 2011=5,575  2012=7,568

Source: www.autoblog.com (by the numbers)

It’s like watching a boxing match and watching your guy in the first 3 rounds get “Chin Checked”.  But the fact that Mitsubishi hasn’t cut and run means they are in for the rest of the fight.  And that is something everyone wants to hear.

We all love Mitsubishi!  The EVOSOUL team in Canada USA and Globally have been working as a collective / “Think Tank” and analyzing what the Mitsubishi community is currently getting and what they may need.  We have had great success developing enhancements for the current Mitsubishi line up and we have been very fortunate to work on a few next generation projects that “MAY” be released in the future.

Mitsubishi has shown great character in bringing great products to market.  The ECO push with the Mirage and I-MIEV reflect that.  Some say it’s before their time and the technology isn’t ready yet.  But after reading engineering papers, I think it is safe to say that these cars well built, perform extremely well in all regions, and will last.  Something that you don’t hear or see in the headlines or Mitsubishi commentary.  I am very proud of what Mitsubishi has accomplished on the green front.

But the question EVERYONE wants to know is, will Mitsubishi answer the call and return to the hardcore motorsports front.  Mitsubishi Ralliart has been decommissioned for 3 years.  The Mitsubishi EVO still reign’s surpreme as one of the best 2.0L Turbo cars of all time.  And its a title that I don’t think has been contested.  But will they continue to lead the world in this technology or will they hang up the gloves.  We have all seen the building craze with rear wheel drive sporty cars. Hyundai has done a masterful entrance with a full line up of eco friendly yet sport cars.  Hyundai has spent millions in R&D to get to this point.  This is well deserved!   Toyota and Subaru have also kicked off a revolution in the entry level sports car segment with the introduction (or some may call it the re-introduction) of the GT86 line.

My opinion of the car is that it is the first true wake up call for Mitsubishi.  I think once Subaru weaponizes the platform with a Turbo engine.  I think it will lead to other things.  Make no mistake…. I think the FRS=BRZ are the first of many joint ventures and platforms that we will see in the next 3 years.  Everyone will tell you that Toyota and Subaru finally made the right decision and didnt complicate it with technology or trying to start new trends.  They simply made one uncomplicated rear wheel drive car with no frills or clever bundling of features.  Just a raw sporty car.

Return of the Eclipse (60 % likely in the next 2 years)

Mitsubishi has not confirmed if the next generation Eclipse (likely to be renamed) will be coming to North America or will be test piloted in Japan first.  The second question is what engine platform will it have.  Many have screamed at Mitsubishi for years… “Where is the turbo?”   Since V6 has somewhat turned into a bad word.  Turbo technology still remains popular and many companies have figured out ways to keep them fuel efficient.

Outlander Sport Turbo (50% likely within 2 years)

Mitsubishi has mulled this quietly at the engineering level since it’s inception.  Hell when we first so the RVR/Sport at head office events first thing we did was pop the hood and see what the hell is going on in the engine bay.  It was almost a war crime to see all the space around the engine and not have a turbo equipped.  Management at Mitsubishi is still looking at bringing hybrid technology to the Outlander to boost fuel economy numbers, but as for a turbo, they have officially stated that “there is no engineering team in place to develop a turbo version.”.  Now I dont want to say there was a wink behind that statement, but we all know that the 4B11 has really no guess work in it.  Slap in a SST transmission or a really fun 5speed manual and the car would be an instant hit!

COLT COLT COLT (10% likely that it will ever return)

You guys know  me.  I have been sending letter after letter since 2008 for Mitsubishi to bring the Mitsubishi Colt over to North America.  I was told at the time that it didn’t fit with marketing objectives at the time.  Fast forward 4 years, now the response is that it is an ageing platform that is being replaced by the much improved Mirage.  Which I do not doubt in the least.  It is true that its eco engine technologies were pioneered with the Colt in Europe.  This may shock people but they had a tiny engine variant that could almost do 1000km on a full tank.  But the reason why I loved the idea of the Mitsubishi Colt was that the car was simple, uncomplicated, and without bundled technology.  You had small engines and one small engine with a very nice TURBO in it.  Now I have been told that to go back to the Colt would be to undermine the developments of the Mirage…. but…. The sex appeal of the colt is just eating me up inside.  I could gladly if I was allowed (import that colt from the UK to drive here)  In a heart beat.  Actually the EVOSOUL team is making requests to do just that and bring the car over as a competition car 😉 I will keep everyone in the loop on those efforts.

 

The Projects leading up to MOD 2012

The USA Evosoul team has been hard at work prepping project cars and new products for mod.  Our focus this year will be both on the Ralliart and Evo X.  A lot has changed in the past month or so.  Our Evosoul team has been turned into a think tank and we are now at the centre of many new Mitsubishi projects for current and future platforms.

July will be the offical launch of my Evosoul select facebook page and will also start the migration to a new webpage.

I have reviewed over 50 products hands on and will be putting this matrix of info up to benefit those who own a Mitsubishi Lancer, Ralliart, and Evo.

more on that later.