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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.  
 

A real treat!  A RALLIART LAPTOP TRAVEL BAG!

A real treat! A RALLIART LAPTOP TRAVEL BAG!

Just before Rick closed the shop for the up coming Chinese New Year.  He told me he finally got his hands on the real deal Ralliart Swag that everyone has been asking about.  Myself included.    Since I walk around with tablets and computer gear all day.  This came as a real treat for me.  I think I was his first customer.   :)   Rick has this posted up for sale on his Ebay store.  Check it out at www.rickchong.com

Here are some pics from his webstore.

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.

 

 

 

 

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 Arm Rest for the Lancer/Ralliart/EvoX is finally done.

The Arm Rest for the Lancer/Ralliart/EvoX is finally done.

Rick Chong from www.RickChong.com has finally completed the arm rest option that I have been begging Mitsubishi to do for 3 years. Letter requests and all.   Bit now Rick and his team at Scorpion has stepped up.

Here is the sample that he sent to me.

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As you can see its pretty straight forward in design and adds a utility try where you can store you personal effects.   One thing I cant stand ia not having a place to put my keys or my wallet.   Sometimes my cup tray is full of crap or drinks and no where to put stuff.   This solves that.   But where this goes above and beyond is the arm rest sliding forward.   This is perfect to give you support for you elbow and makes driving a pleasure.   Here are some pictures comparing oem vs.  Rick’s option

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Price will start around 250 but to me it is totally worth it for a leatherette armrest with utility tray.   What do you think?

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.

April Sales Figures -->> Not So Good For Mitsubishi

April Sales Figures –>> Not So Good For Mitsubishi

I spend a great deal of my time up in Canada where I live, but from time to time I travel to the west coast USA to visit the EVOSOUL USA team and check up on projects.  After talking to my contact both in the States and up here in Canada half way thru April, it was clear that April was shaping up to be a “not so good month for Mitsubishi”.  And now we have the confirmation of that with official USA sales figures.   I always like to point everyone to the well put together briefs by John Neff over at the AutoBlog .

http://www.autoblog.com/2012/05/01/april-2012-not-how-it-appears-edition/

 

Brand/Company Vol. % April 2012 April 2011 DSR* % April 2012 April 2011
Fiat 336.39 3,849 882 390.94 160 33
Chrysler 56.43 31,879 20,379 75.98 1,328 755
Volkswagen 31.47 37,525 28,542 47.91 1,564 1,057
Mercedes-Benz 26.86 24,302 19,157 42.71 1,013 710
Jeep 19.45 38,684 32,384 34.39 1,612 1,199
Audi 15.00 11,521 10,018 29.38 480 371
Toyota 13.05 160,493 141,964 27.18 6,687 5,258
BMW 12.03 21,062 18,801 26.03 878 696
Ram 11.66 21,505 19,260 25.61 896 713
Land Rover 10.40 3,292 2,982 24.20 137 110
Porsche 8.35 3,437 3,172 21.90 143 117
Subaru 6.25 26,310 24,762 19.53 1,096 917
Infiniti 5.44 7,129 6,761 18.62 297 250
Acura 4.92 12,175 11,604 18.04 507 430
GMC 4.48 32,603 31,204 17.54 1,358 1,156
Mazda 4.21 21,506 20,638 17.23 896 764
Dodge 2.09 45,248 44,320 14.86 1,885 1,641
Kia 1.01 47,550 47,074 13.64 1,981 1,743
Hyundai 0.83 62,264 61,754 13.43 2,594 2,287
Lexus -0.14 17,551 17,576 12.34 731 651
Nissan -0.87 64,200 64,765 11.52 2,675 2,399
Honda -2.97 109,837 113,195 9.16 4,577 4,192
Ford -4.66 174,042 182,542 7.26 7,252 6,761
Chevrolet -8.43 155,487 169,794 3.02 6,479 6,289
Mini -11.09 5,731 6,446 0.02 239 239
Lincoln -13.90 6,308 7,326 -3.13 263 271
Jaguar -14.09 1,073 1,249 -3.35 45 46
Buick -16.11 15,446 18,413 -5.63 644 682
Volvo -24.30 4,848 6,404 -14.83 202 237
Cadillac -24.96 9,851 13,127 -15.58 410 486
Mitsubishi -34.66 5,280 8,081 -26.49 220 299
Smart NA 764 0 NA 32 0
Suzuki XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX
COMPANIES
Chrysler Group 20.42 141,165 117,225 35.48 5,882 4,342
Toyota Mo Co 11.60 178,044 159,540 25.55 7,419 5,909
BMW Group 6.12 26,793 25,247 19.39 1,116 935
Jaguar LR 3.17 4,365 4,231 16.06 182 157
Nissan NA -0.28 71,329 71,526 12.19 2,972 2,649
American Honda -2.23 122,012 124,799 9.99 5,084 4,622
Ford Mo Co -4.97 180,350 189,778 6.91 7,515 7,029
General Motors -8.24 213,387 232,538 3.23 8,891 8,613

After looking at the numbers above, you kinda wish you could blow the whistle and stop the football defensive line mine from picking up the quarter back and throwing 34.66 yards back for an UGLY sacking.   After talking with my dealer reps that call me for consultations from time to time.  It was very clear that Mitsubishi Lancer sales were continuing to drop as younger customers look elsewhere for sport options.  Second, the gravy train of Mitsubishi Outlander sales has now started to significantly slow.  Outlander Sport aka RVR sales remained steady, but they were no longer carrying the team for the month of April.  In both cases, increased competition was seen carrying customers to other manufacturers.  Some with pricing valuations or better financing terms that could not be matched.  For others, the lack of options available in the Mitsubishi Lancer platform was seen as a hit.  Remember Mitsubishi now equip all of its Lancers with CVT transmission options, but does not offer the All wheel drive option mated to a 5speed transmission.  Other frustrations would be the not having the enhanced Rockford audio option or 18 inch wheels available for the Lancer SE AWD.  Another option that has been requested by owners and potential owners a like would be a 5 speed manual Lancer Ralliart model.

Is there any good news at all?   For the the month that just finished,  No.   For the months ahead, Yes and No.  After speaking to Mitsubishi Japan directly, there are a few sweetener possibly coming to North American dealerships for the Mitsubishi Lancer, Ralliart, and EVO X 2012.   But these may not arrive until later summer at best.  Or possibly not arrive at all if Mitsubishi Japan and USA are not in alignment on policy and strategy.  As soon as I find out more I will post it up for you guys to weigh on anything solid.

That said, getting back to reality.  While I love Mitsubishi to death, things may get worse before they get better.  Product cycle is still not in sync until new production of the Eclipse, Lancer, New Outlander, EVO 11 and new Flagship Luxury Mitsubishi Sedan comes up.  Not expected to happen until 2014-2015.  With increase competition from rivals like

Hyundai,

Kia,

Subaru,

Toyota

Mazda;

Mitsubishi may take some serious body blows as competition heats up in sportier sedan + two door options and more fuel efficient SUV or cross over vehicles enter the battlefield.  While Mitsubishi’s “i” electric car continues to win victories in the hybrid / electric space.  It has someone shocked many including myself how the overall market has slightly moved away from electric / hybrid cars in the past year and a half, the Honda CRZ may have been the turning point.  Even in the face of potential higher gas prices the market continues to design cars that are not green and in most cases not even better on gas.  That doesnt mean Mitsubishi is on the wrong track, just comes down to timing and what balance their is in the product line up.

Evosoul

 

 

 

PASMAG ARTICLE :Art of Rally: Mitsubishi Sportback Project

Two of the EVOSOUL project cars featured on in PASMAG.  Check it out below.  Special thanks to all those who worked hard on both project vehicles.

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WRITTEN BY PASMAG STAFF PHOTOS BY JACOB “OUT-FIRST-ROUND” LEVETON | 09 JUNE 2011

Art of Rally: Mitsubishi Sportback Project

Art of Rally: Mitsubishi Sportback Project Art of Rally: Mitsubishi Sportback Project

The original concept of building this 2010 Lancer Sportback Ralliart was to showcase their rally-inspired designs in the Mitsubishi niche. As with any car that has been built by Rally Innovations, they were able to utilize their marketing partners to come up with a great combination of functionality and marketability. The car has been featured both on and off the track and performs well under each condition.

Art of Rally: Mitsubishi Sportback Project Art of Rally: Mitsubishi Sportback Project Art of Rally: Mitsubishi Sportback Project

The Mitsubishi Sportback project began as a joint-venture with Mitsubishi North America Motors and Rally Innovations to create the sister vehicle of RI’s well-known Evolution X.   Rally Innovations was part of a program that would stir up interest for the Sportback in the sport compact scene before the car was released to the public. The plan was to find the right partners and debut the vehicle at SEMA as well as at International Auto Shows in both Los Angeles and San Diego.

Rally Innovations has been able to incorporate some truly exclusive products and showcase them on this car. Products such as the Soltek Fuego 4” HID fog lights, EvoSoul LED side mirror covers, EvoSoul interior trim pieces, HOS front lip, Ralliart mid & lip spoiler and carbon fiber overlayed aluminum fuel door transform this basic trimmed Ralliart to make one believe it’s an EVO X hatch.

The motor received some tweaks to crank a few more ponies out of it. With a custom intake and custom exhaust sporting an ANSA muffler, the motor was ready to breathe and exhale better. A load of AMS performance upgrades were added including and intercooler and piping kit as well as an AMS Performance tune.  Rally Innovations took the car to be dynoed at Mavrik Motorsports where they extracted 255whp and 253lb-ft from the 4B11 motor with a stock Ralliart turbo.  That’s about 10whp more than a stock Evolution X!

Art of Rally: Mitsubishi Sportback Project Art of Rally: Mitsubishi Sportback Project

On the exterior, the car received a dose of Rally Innovations styling. From the front lip spoiler to the 2-tier Ralliart wing the exterior is a bold new statement in automotive. The paint work was done by Banshee Auto Tunin before the vinyl graphics were cut to give some love to the sponsors.

The rollers also were replaced with something decidedly more aggressive. A set of Work Wheels 11R Emotion were selected in gunmetal measuring 18×8.5-inches. The rubber selected was an aggressive Hankook RS-3 R-Comp 245/35R18 on all four corners for maximum contact patch.

If you are ever in Orange County and have a Mitsubishi or Subaru be sure to stop in at Rally Innovations to see what they offer for your car. You might see the Sportback or one of their other Mitsus at the next car show or running around the streets of Anaheim in the unmistakable blue and silver color scheme.

Art of Rally: Mitsubishi Sportback Project Art of Rally: Mitsubishi Sportback Project Art of Rally: Mitsubishi Sportback Project
Art of Rally: Mitsubishi Sportback Project Art of Rally: Mitsubishi Sportback Project Art of Rally: Mitsubishi Sportback Project

The Essentials

Owner: Rally Innovations

Location: Anaheim, CA

Vehicle: 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Ralliart

Power: 255whp with 253lb-ft

Engine: Mitsubishi 2.0L 4B11 Inline-4 MIVEC

Engine Modifications:

Rally Innovations Intake

Rally Innovations ANSA Exhaust

AMS Performance Intercooler upgrade & piping

Engine Management:

AMS Performance

Sprint Booster

Wheels & Tires:

Work Wheels 11R Emotion 18×8.5-inch

Hankook RS-3 R-Comp 245/35R18

Exterior

Rally Innovations:

HOS Front Lip

EvoSoul LED Mirror Covers

Ralliart 2 tier hatch spoiler

Soltek 4” Fuego HID Fog Lights

Mitsubishi Aluminum Fuel Door wrapped in carbon fiber

Paint by Banshee Auto Tunin

Vinyl by Dynamic Graphics

Shout-outs:

Pentech Automotive, Sports Racing Fuel, Eibach, Mitsubishi North America, HKS, Dynamic Graphics, Perfect Color.net, Cool Tints, Hankook Tires, Powder Coat Services Inc., Speed Element, Revi-wear, L&R Promotions, Freelance West, Majestic REI.com, Velocity Motoring, Motive Club, Boys & Girls Clubs-Brea-Placentia-Yorba Linda, Frank’s Auto, Banshee Auto Tunin, Chuck’s Creations, South Coast Mitsubishi, ANSA Automotive, AMS, Tarmac Performance, HOS Automotive, Rally Innovations, Mavrik Motorsports

Art of Rally: Mitsubishi Sportback Project Art of Rally: Mitsubishi Sportback Project

Source: http://www.pasmag.com/features/top-rides/1831-art-of-rally-mitsubishi-sportback-project