Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited has announced a 2009 model year update to its popular Lancer small car line-up, the highlight of which is the introduction of a new, range-topping 2.4-litre Aspire sedan.
Designed to widen the appeal of the acclaimed Lancer range which includes three well-equipped sedans and the giant-killing Lancer Evolution performance sedan, the Lancer Aspire brings a fresh level of prestige and performance to the small-car segment.
With a new 2.4-litre engine, the Lancer Aspire offers a more powerful, yet more economical driving experience than many of its competitors – including vehicles from the medium car segment. Generating 125 kW of power @ 6,000 rpm and 226 Nm of torque @ 4,100 rpm, the Lancer Aspire provides the perfect solution to drivers downsizing from larger, less fuel efficient vehicles – especially those who wish to maintain high levels of spirited driving performance without breaking the bank when they visit the bowser.
At the same time, the new Lancer Aspire provides a cosseted driving experience with its unique exterior styling, large 18 inch wheels, and upgraded interior specifications.
Launching the vehicles earlier this week, Mitsubishi’s passenger vehicle product planning manager, Chris Maxted, said the Lancer Aspire 2.4-litre sedan represents a real opportunity for the company in the still-increasing small-car segment.
“We have found that up to 32 per cent of our new Lancer customers are coming to us from both mid- and large-sized passenger vehicles,” Mr Maxted said.
“While they don’t wish to give up the luxuries of a richly appointed cabin or an energetic engine response, they do recognise the need to conserve their resources – and that’s where the Lancer Aspire 2.4-litre sedan is a perfect match.”
The Lancer Aspire’s standard specifications come directly from the ground-breaking Lancer sedan range released just twelve months ago and include a host of safety and comfort features such as Automatic Traction & Stability Control, ABS brakes with EBD, seven SRS airbags, rain sensing wipers and dusk sensing headlamps, “Smart” key entry, climate controlled air-conditioning, electric windows, Bluetooth connectivity and steering wheel mounted paddle-shifters for the standard Continuously Variable Transmission.
But what sets the Lancer Aspire apart, beyond the new 2.4-litre engine, are some important styling and equipment touches.
Externally, the Lancer Aspire can be distinguished by a number of stylish chrome accents, including highlights to the radiator grille, belt line moulding and across the boot lid, as well as a black surround to the rear combination lamp. High Intensity Discharge headlamps with an adaptive front lighting system add to the high-tech appeal of the vehicle, while providing real-world safety benefits to occupants.
The comfortable interior appointments include black leather trimmed seats and a distinctive wood grain finish to the instrument panel, shift panel, and front console.
Music enthusiasts are well catered for in the Lancer Aspire, with the inclusion of a standard Rockford Fosgate premium audio system, one of the most powerful systems in the segment, which sports a 650 watt amp and nine speakers including a sub-woofer.
Finally, to introduce the new variant to the market, Mitsubishi has announced an introductory special which includes the fitting of an optional Multi Communication System with satellite navigation at no extra cost, ensuring the Lancer Aspire represents exceptional value.
The Lancer Aspire will be available in a number of colours from the Lancer line-up palette, including Cool Silver, Effect Grey, Red Metallic, White Solid, Black Mica and Champagne. The vehicle is protected by Mitsubishi’s industry leading and comprehensive five year/130,000 whole vehicle warranty, backed up by its 10 year/160,000 km powertrain warranty and a five year/unlimited km roadside assistance package.
The Mitsubishi Lancer Aspire 2.4-litre prestige sedan, with numerous standard and unique appointments, will be priced at $33,990 (plus statutory and dealer charges) and will be available from Mitsubishi’s 200 plus strong dealer network from September 22nd.
New 2.4-litre engine for Lancer Aspire
The 2.4-litre engine now being offered in Mitsubishi’s new up-market Lancer Aspire was originally developed for use in the company’s popular compact four-wheel drive, the Outlander, and was the result of the World Engine project conducted by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC), DaimlerChrysler Corporation and Hyundai Motor Company.
While the cylinder block and other basic structural parts of the engine were jointly developed by the three companies, the intake and exhaust manifolds, the cylinder head’s intake and exhaust ports and other elements related to engine tuning were independently developed by MMC.
A major feature of Mitsubishi’s 4B12 2.4-litre engine is its high output and low fuel consumption, thanks to Mitsubishi’s Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control system (MIVEC), which has been applied not only to intake valves but also to exhaust valves. The engine’s cylinder-head intake and exhaust ports and intake and exhaust manifolds are shape-optimized for superior volumetric efficiency. At the same time, friction is suppressed through elastic grinding of the valve stems, adoption of a high-efficiency shroud equipped plastic impeller in the water pump, and the adoption of OW-20 low viscosity oil.
Low exhaust emissions are promoted by the optimized design of the cylinder head intake and exhaust ports, by intake-airflow control yielded by the intake and exhaust MIVEC system, and by injectors that give an ultra micro-droplet fuel spray. At the same time, a double-layered stainless–steel exhaust manifold is positioned at the rear of the engine to suppress the heat capacity of the exhaust system upstream of the catalytic converter, enhancing its quick activation.
MMC ensured the 4B12 2.4-litre engine remained extremely light by choosing die-cast aluminium for the cylinder block, plastic for the cylinder-head cover and intake manifold, and stainless steel for the exhaust manifold. In addition, MMC adopted a compact balancer module with integrated oil pump.
The engine remained compact thanks to the rear exhaust layout which helps limit the engine’s overall width by allowing auxiliaries to be located mainly on the intake side of the engine. A large crushable zone between the engine and body promotes collision safety.
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