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2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart, In Detail

November 28th, 2008
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The new-for-2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart is based on the Lancer GTS platform, adopting powertrain and 4-wheel drive technology from the Lancer Evolution. The result is a unique model optimized for exhilarating yet balanced overall road performance. The Lancer Ralliart gets a modified version of the Lancer Evolution 4B11 T/C turbocharged/intercooled 2.0-liter DOHC MIVEC engine, teamed with the Twin Clutch-Sportronic Shift Transmission (TC-SST) from the Evolution MR model.

Starting with a Lancer Evolution long block assembly, the turbocharger, intercooler and valve timing are modified for impressive street-oriented performance in the Ralliart application. The Lancer Ralliart engine produces 237 hp at 6,000 RPM and 253 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 3,000 RPM. (Evolution: 291 hp and 300 lb.-ft.) The driver can manually shift using the console shifter or the Sportronic steering column-mounted magnesium-alloy paddle shifters, or can select fully automatic operation. The Lancer Ralliart's TC-SST unit features Normal and Sport shifting modes (but not the ultra-performance S-Sport mode featured in the Evolution MR.) 

Higher 5th and 6th gear ratios help enhance fuel economy in the Lancer Ralliart.

The foundation for the Lancer's agile handling is the performance-engineered global platform that also underpins the Mitsubishi Outlander SUV. (The Lancer Evolution models are built on a specially reinforced, wide-body version of this platform with forged aluminum chassis components and Brembo brakes.)

The Lancer Ralliart's All-Wheel Control (AWC) system is based on a competition-derived, computer-controlled Active Center Differential (ACD) unit that distributes drive torque between the front and rear wheels in response to driving conditions. The driver can set system response parameters using a "Tarmac, Gravel, Snow" selector. A helical limited-slip front differential and a mechanical limited-slip rear differential help optimize side-to-side torque distribution.

Ralliart-tuned suspension and 18-inch alloy wheels with 215/45 R18 Yokohama ADVAN summer tires complement the high grip afforded by the full-time active 4-wheel drive. Standard Active Stability Control (ASC) with Traction Control (TCL) contributes to safe handling.

Showing a clear kinship to the Lancer Evolution, the Lancer Ralliart sports its own aggressively styled front bumper and rear bumper cover and dual outlet exhaust. The lightweight aluminum, ducted hood delivers cooling air to the turbocharger and vents engine heat. The Lancer Ralliart interior shares much of its design and content with the Lancer GTS and Lancer Evolution, such as the GTS sport bucket seats. Lancer Ralliart borrows the Lancer Evolution leather-wrapped sport steering wheel with audio and cruise control switches. Like the Lancer Evolution, the Lancer Ralliart can be equipped with RECARO sport bucket front seats. Standard user technology includes the FAST Key hands-free entry system, a Bluetooth HFP system with voice recognition for hands-free calling and an auxiliary / MP3 input jack. A 40-gig. HDD navigation system with music server and a 650-Watt (max.), Rockford-Fosgate Premium Audio system and SIRIUS Satellite Radio (with 6-month pre-paid subscription) are available.

Standard safety features in all Lancer models include an advanced dual front air bag supplemental restraint system (SRS) with occupant sensors, standard front seat-mounted side-impact air bags and side curtain air bags, plus a driver's knee air bag.

Key Specifications

Wheelbase: 103.7 in.
Length: 180.0 in.
Height: 58.7 in.
Width: 69.4 in.
Engine: DOHC MIVEC 2.0-liter inline 4; intercooled/turbocharged
Horsepower: 237 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque: 253 lb.-ft.@ 3,000 rpm
Transmission: TC-SST automated manual with magnesium steering column-mounted magnesium shifter paddles
Dynamics: All-Wheel Control (AWC) with computer-controlled Active Center Differential (ACD) 4-wheel drive and Active Stability Control (ASC) with Traction Control (TCL)
Wheels: 18 x 7.5 in. cast alloy
Tires: 215/45R18 Yokohama ADVAN asymmetrical performance tires

Major Standard Features

Aluminum hood with heat extractor vents
Aluminum pedals and footrest
Automatic climate control system
Dual exhaust outlets
Front Ralliart grille and bumper
Rear Ralliart bumper
Leather-wrapped sport steering wheel with audio system and cruise control switches
Leather-wrapped shift knob
FAST Key hands-free entry system
Dual-stage front air bag SRS with front passenger occupant sensors, curtain side air bags, driver's knee air bag, and front seat mounted side-impact air bags
140-watt AM/FM/CD audio system with digital signal processing, MP3 playback capability and six speakers
60/40 split folding high-back rear seat
Anti-theft engine immobilizer and security alarm
Center floor console box with armrest
Chrome lower side door molding
Color-keyed outer door handles and side view mirrors
Cruise control
Floor mats
Fog lights
Front map lamps
Hands-free Bluetooth cellular phone interface system with voice recognition
Power door locks and side view mirrors
Power windows with driver's one-touch up/down
Premium Sport fabric seating surfaces
Rear spoiler
Tilt-adjustable steering column

Options:

RECARO Sport Package adds: RECARO sport front bucket seats, 650-Watt (max.) Rockford-Fosgate premium audio system with PUNCH control and 9 speakers inc. subwoofer, 6-CD/MP3 in-dash changer, SIRIUS Satellite Radio with 6-month service subscription and xenon HID headlamps. (RECARO is the registered trademark of RECARO GmbH & Co., KG)

Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) is unleashing a third performance-driven model in its Lancer series for 2009, the turbocharged, 237-hp 4-wheel drive Lancer Ralliart arriving this fall. Building on the basic architecture of the Lancer GTS model, Mitsubishi engineers adapted modified powertrain and driveline technology from the ultra-high-performance Lancer Evolution to create the Lancer Ralliart.

The 2009 Lancer Ralliart is a unique new model designed for driving enthusiasts who value exhilarating yet balanced overall road performance. The name is inspired by Ralliart, the performance and motorsports division of Mitsubishi, which has claimed World Rally Championships in addition to dominating the Dakar Rally. With the 2009 Lancer Ralliart, the Ralliart name is fomented as the performance brand for Mitsubishi Motors.

The 2009 Lancer Ralliart is powered by a modified version of the Lancer Evolution's turbocharged / intercooled 2.0-liter MIVEC engine, but tuned for strong low-end and mid-range torque. The standard Active Center Differential (ACD) full-time 4-wheel drive system is essentially the same as used in the previous-generation U.S.-spec Lancer Evolution models.

One transmission is offered for the 2009 Lancer Ralliart: a new version of the Twin Clutch-Sportronic Shift Transmission (Twin Clutch-SST) used in the new Lancer Evolution MR model. In the Lancer Ralliart, this new-generation automated manual transmission provides the same lightning-quick shift responses in manual or automatic modes. (Ralliart features the Normal and Sport modes, but not the ultra-performance-optimized S-Sport setting exclusively featured in the Lancer Evolution MR.)

The Lancer Ralliart also is equipped as standard with Active Stability Control (ASC) with Traction Control (TCL), which contributes to safe, secure handling in all types of conditions. Specially tuned sport suspension and standard 18-inch alloy wheels complement the high grip afforded by the full-time active 4WD to give the Lancer Ralliart sports car responses.

There is no mistaking Lancer Ralliart's distinct Mitsubishi design language highlighted by the wedge profile, sloping hood and shark-like front air intake. Showing a clear kinship to the Lancer Evolution, the Lancer Ralliart model sports its own aggressively styled front bumper and rear bumper cover and dual outlet exhaust. The lightweight aluminum ducted hood delivers cooling air to the turbocharger and vents engine heat.

Mission: Street Performance

The 2009 Lancer Ralliart inherits not only key technology from the Lancer Evolution, but also the core values that have made that model synonymous with thrilling performance. The key difference between the models lies in their purpose: Lancer Ralliart is optimized for exhilarating everyday driving while the Lancer Evolution is the brand's ultimate handing machine.

"For most enthusiasts, the Ralliart strikes an ideal balance of exciting turbocharged 4-wheel drive performance and everyday drivability," said Dan Kuhnert, vice president for marketing and sales, Mitsubishi Motors North America. "The Ralliart is a sophisticated, highly capable sports sedan, but with performance that is easily enjoyed in everyday driving."

Unique Model, Unique Powertrain

The 2009 Lancer Ralliart adopts a modified version of the 4B11 T/C turbocharged and intercooled 2.0-liter MIVEC DOHC engine teamed to the Twin Clutch-SST gearbox from the Evolution MR model. The Ralliart engine employs a smaller, single-scroll turbocharger compared to the twin-scroll turbo used in the Evolution engine. The intake tract and airbox are unique to the Ralliart, as is the smaller intercooler.

The Lancer Ralliart engine produces 237 hp at 6,000 RPM (Evolution: 291 @ 6,500 RPM) and 253 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 3,000 RPM (Evolution: 300 lb.-ft. @ 4,400 RPM). With nearly 250 lb.-ft. of torque available from 2,500 RPM to about 4,700 RPM, the Lancer Ralliart engine provides a "sweet spot" that translates into highly accessible everyday performance. The Ralliart engine's red line is 6,500 RPM compared to 7,000 RPM for the Evolution. As in all Lancer engines, the Mitsubishi Innovative Valve-timing Electronic Control (MIVEC) system controls valve timing on both the intake and exhaust camshafts to optimize performance at all engine speeds.

The TC-SST allows the driver to manually shift using the console shifter or the Sportronic steering wheel magnesium-alloy paddle shifters, or select fully automatic operation. As mentioned, there are two operational modes, Normal and Sport. The 5th and 6th gear ratios are slightly higher in the Lancer Ralliart than the Evolution MR to reduce highway-driving engine speed and to help enhance fuel economy (17 MPG city / 25 MPG highway).

Born Athlete with Advanced All-Wheel Control

The Lancer Ralliart All-Wheel Control (AWC) system is based on the competition-derived Active Center Differential (ACD). Using an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch, ACD distributes drive torque between the front and rear wheels in response to driving conditions. The system is controlled by the AWC computer, which takes input from a variety of engine and wheel speed sensors G-force sensors and steering angle sensor information. The AWC computer uses a proprietary Mitsubishi algorithm to calculate action of the ACD unit in response to road conditions.

The ACD provides an excellent balance between steering response and traction characteristics and allows the driver to set system response parameters using a "Tarmac, Gravel, Snow" selector. A helical limited-slip front differential and a mechanical limited-slip rear differential help keep traction applied during hard acceleration and through cornering maneuvers by controlling side-to-side torque distribution.

The foundation for the Lancer's inherently sporty responsiveness - and for sports car handling in the Evolution and Ralliart models - is the performance-engineered global platform that also underpins the Mitsubishi Outlander SUV. Lancer's highly rigid unibody structure, which makes extensive use of high-strength steel, allows for sport-oriented suspension tuning while also providing a compliant ride.

The 2009 Ralliart shares the body structure with the GTS model but features its own unique chassis tuning. Front MacPherson strut suspension employs strut tower bars that enhance lateral rigidity for precise steering response. The sophisticated multi-link rear suspension contributes to precise handling response and the compliant ride quality.

Ralliart-tuned suspension employs unique rear suspension trailing arms and different stabilizer bars and spring/shock damping rates than on the other Lancer models. Standard 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels with 215/45 R18 Yokohama ADVAN summer tires help make the Lancer Ralliart a twisty-road tamer (the GTS features same-size all-season tires). The Ralliart and GTS models use the same brakes as the larger, heavier Mitsubishi Outlander SUV, featuring 11.6-in. (294 mm) vented discs in front and 11.9-in. (302 mm) solid discs for the rear wheels. The Ralliart employs dual-piston front calipers vs. single-piston on the GTS.

(By comparison, the Lancer Evolution GSR and MR models are constructed with a specially reinforced "wide body" platform, inverted front struts (Eibach springs and Bilstein shocks on MR), unique forged aluminum chassis components, and Brembo brakes with Sport ABS. Most notably, the Lancer Evolution models are exclusively equipped with the Super All-Wheel Control system featuring both ACD 4WD and the Active Yaw Control (AYC) torque-vectoring rear differential.)

Premium Interior and In-Car Technology

The Lancer Ralliart interior shares much of its design and content with the Evolution models, including a leather-wrapped sport steering wheel (with audio and cruise control switches), aluminum foot pedals, leather-wrapped TC-SST shift knob, plus upgraded cloth upholstery. The 2009 Ralliart features its own sport-design gauges, distinct from the GTS and Evolution models.

Because the Lancer Ralliart is based on the Lancer GTS body structure, it includes a 60/40 fold-down rear seat. This feature is not offered on the Lancer Evolution models, due to their special structural bracing that enhances body rigidity for an even higher level of handling performance.

The Lancer Ralliart features some of today's most in-demand user technology. The standard FAST Key (Freehand Advanced Security Transmitter) entry system allows the driver to unlock the vehicle simply by carrying the remote in a pocket or purse and grasping the handle on either of the front doors. A standard Bluetooth HFP system features a voice-recognition microphone for making hands-free phone calls (when using a compatible phone).

The standard 140-Watt CD/MP3 audio system features six speakers, digital signal processing and speed-compensated volume and equalization control. The system includes a standard MP3/auxiliary stereo input jack.

The RECARO Sport Package adds the RECARO front bucket seats along with a 650-Watt (max.) Rockford-Fosgate Premium Sound System with PUNCH control, 10-in. subwoofer, plus a 6-disc in-dash CD changer with MP3 capability, and SIRIUS Satellite Radio with a six-month service subscription. Xenon HID headlamps are also included in this package.

Available as a port-installed option or as a dealer accessory is a 40-gigabyte hard disc drive (HDD) navigation system that features a 7.5-inch LCD display and integrates a digital music server. Mitsubishi-exclusive Diamond Lane Guidance™ provides route guidance information on high-occupancy vehicle and carpool lanes.

Comprehensive Safety Package

The 2009 Lancer is built around Mitsubishi's next-generation Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) unibody design. The RISE body structure disperses energy loads during side and rear crashes and controls distortion, enhancing occupant protection and also helping to protect the fuel system during a rear impact. The comprehensive safety package includes an advanced dual front air bag supplemental restraint system (SRS) with occupant sensors, standard front seat-mounted side-impact air bags and side curtain air bags, plus a driver's knee air bag.

The Lancer ES, GTS, and Ralliart models come equipped as standard with an anti-lock braking system (ABS) and electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), and this system is available as an option for the Lancer DE model. All Lancer models feature a tire pressure monitoring system. Active Stability Control (ASC) with Traction Control (TCL) is standard on the Lancer Ralliart and available for the Lancer GTS.

Lancer Ralliart Warranty

Lancer Ralliart is covered by a bumper-to-bumper, New Vehicle Limited Warranty of 36 months or 36,000 miles (whichever comes first.) The restraints system and the highly technical powertrain are covered by a 5-year or 60,000 miles Powertrain Limited Warranty, an Anti-Corrosion Perforation Limited Warranty for 7-years or 100,000 miles and a generous 5-year, unlimited miles timeframe for roadside assistance. All warranties are transferable to subsequent owners; coverage time begins on the original in-service date (does not start over with resale.)

Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA) is responsible for all manufacturing, finance, sales, marketing, research and development operations for Mitsubishi Motors in the United States. MMNA sells the athletic Outlander sport utility vehicle, stylish Eclipse sporty coupe and Eclipse Spyder convertible, handsome Galant sedan, and the world-class compact showroom of the Lancer, Lancer Evolution and Lancer Ralliart through a network of approximately 475 dealers.

The 2009 Lancer Ralliart is powered by a unique, modified version of the 4B11 T/C turbocharged and intercooled engine that debuted in the new-generation Lancer Evolution. Beginning with a Lancer Evolution long block assembly, the turbocharger, intercooler and valve timing are adapted for impressive street-oriented performance in the Ralliart application. The Lancer Ralliart engine produces 237 hp at 6,000 RPM (Evolution: 291 @ 6,500 RPM) and 253 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 3,000 RPM (Evolution: 300 lb.-ft. @ 4,400 RPM). With nearly 250 lb.-ft. of torque available from 2,500 RPM to about 4,700 RPM, the Ralliart engine provides a "sweet spot" that yields accessible everyday performance.

"The Lancer Ralliart engine is not simply a lower-horsepower Evolution engine," said Dan Kuhnert, executive vice president, sales and marketing, Mitsubishi Motors North America. "We specifically tuned the Ralliart engine to provide strong low-end and mid-range torque to make the car's performance more accessible and enjoyable in everyday driving situations. With Lancer Evolution, engine tuning has to take into account the many owners that use the car for ultra-performance driving."

The Ralliart engine's redline is 6,500 RPM compared to 7,000 RPM for the Evolution. As in all Lancer engines, the Mitsubishi Innovative Valve-timing Electronic Control (MIVEC) system controls valve timing on both the intake and exhaust camshafts to optimize performance at all engine speeds.

High-Strength Aluminum Construction

The 4B11 T/C is an intercooled-turbocharged 2.0-liter DOHC inline four-cylinder engine built with a cast-aluminum cylinder block and cylinder head. Although based on the architecture as the 4B11 naturally aspirated engine, the 4B11 T/C starts with a unique semi-closed deck block casting and is reinforced for turbocharging. Likewise, the internal components are reinforced to withstand high levels of boost. An integrated die-cast ladder frame contributes to engine block strength and also helps reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels. High internal rigidity helps ensure smoothness, and so the 4B11 does not use a balancer shaft.

The 4B11 T/C features a cross-drilled forged steel crankshaft that rotates in 4-bolt main bearing caps. Also unique to this engine are reinforced forged steel connecting rods that are attached to pistons unique for the application. The pistons are gravity castings made of a high strength aluminum material designed for durability and quiet operation, and also include a unique ring package optimized for this engine.

The 2.0-liter (1,997 cc) engine's bore and stroke both measure 86.0 mm (3.4 in.), making it a "square" design with a bore-stroke ratio of 1.0. Fully floating pistons improve reliability while reducing frictional loss. Compression ratio is 9:1, same as in the Lancer Evolution.

The Lancer Ralliart engine employs a smaller, single-scroll turbocharger compared to the twin-scroll turbo used in the Lancer Evolution engine. The intake tract and airbox are unique to the Ralliart, and the intercooler setup and plumbing differs slightly from the Evolution, as well (see illustrations).

Using a timing chain instead of a belt allows for a more compact design and also helps ensure reliability. Iridium spark plugs contribute to lower emissions and help extend major service intervals. Premium-grade (91 AKI) fuel is required. The 2009 Lancer Ralliart is certified to the LEV II / Tier 2, Bin 5 emissions standard. Aluminum is also used for the timing chain case and cylinder head cover, the latter being resin in the normally aspirated 4B11 used in other Lancer models.

Mitsubishi Innovative Valve Timing and lift Electronic Control (MIVEC)

The double overhead-cam (DOHC) 16-valve cylinder head also is aluminum and carries built-up (hollow) camshafts and a direct-acting valvetrain. Such a design yields a lighter, more compact layout than a rocker arm assembly, and reduced weight at the top end of the engine also contributes to a lower center of gravity.

The Mitsubishi Innovative Valve Timing Electronic Control (MIVEC) - a continuously variable valve timing system - works on both the intake and exhaust valves, contributing to optimal power, high fuel efficiency and low emissions across the engine's operating range.

Variable valve timing systems optimize engine performance in response to operating conditions. In the Mitsubishi 4B11 T/C engine's MIVEC system, intake and exhaust cam timing is independently controlled to provide four optimized engine-operating modes:

Under most conditions, to ensure highest fuel efficiency, valve overlap is increased to reduce pumping losses. The exhaust valve opening timing is retarded for a higher expansion ratio, enhancing fuel economy. When maximum power is demanded (high engine speed and load), intake valve closing timing is retarded to synchronize the intake air pulsations for larger air volume.

Under low-speed, high load, MIVEC ensures optimal torque delivery with the intake valve closing timing advanced to ensure sufficient air volume. At the same time, the exhaust valve opening timing is retarded to provide a higher expansion ratio and improved efficiency.

At idle, valve overlap is eliminated to stabilize combustion.

Exhaust System

Spherical joints
Front pipe
Catalyst
Exhaust hangers
Center pipe
Pre-muffler
Main muffler
Tailpipes

The 2009 Lancer Ralliart shares essentially the same free-flowing exhaust system as the Lancer Evolution. The Ralliart has a slightly wider-bore center pipe (65 mm vs. 60.5 mm for the Evolution). In both models, the large muffler, along with the twin-pipe outlet with elliptical tips, yields a deep, powerful sounding exhaust note.

Lancer Ralliart Warranty

Lancer Ralliart is covered by a bumper-to-bumper, New Vehicle Limited Warranty of 36 months or 36,000 miles (whichever comes first). The restraints system and the highly technical powertrain are covered by a 5-year or 60,000 miles Powertrain Limited Warranty, an Anti-Corrosion Perforation Limited Warranty for 7-years or 100,000 miles and a generous 5-year, unlimited-miles timeframe for roadside assistance. All warranties are transferable to subsequent owners; coverage time begins on the original in-service date (does not start over with resale.)

The 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart is the latest in a long line of high-performance 4-wheel drive (4WD) Mitsubishi models. The Lancer Ralliart All-Wheel Control (AWC) system is based on the Mitsubishi Active Center Differential (ACD), which uses an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch center differential to distribute drive torque between the front and rear wheels in response to driving conditions. The system is controlled by the AWC computer, which takes input from a variety of engine and wheel speed sensors, G-force sensors and steering angle sensor information.

The AWC computer uses a proprietary Mitsubishi algorithm to calculate action of the ACD unit in response to road conditions. The ACD provides an excellent balance between steering response and traction characteristics and allows the driver to set system response parameters using a "Tarmac, Gravel, Snow" selector.

The ACD is essentially the same that was used in the previous-generation Lancer Evolution (Evolution IX in other markets.) Likewise, the helical limited-slip front and mechanical limited-slip front rear differentials are adapted from the previous-generation Lancer Evolution.

(The new-generation Lancer Evolution, in comparison, is equipped with the Super All-Wheel Control system featuring both the Active Center Differential and the Active Yaw Control torque-vectoring rear differential.)

Active Center Differential (ACD)

The heart of any four-wheel drive system is the means of power distribution, which is a key to establishing the vehicle's handling behavior. First employed on the Japanese-market Evolution VII model, Mitsubishi's Active Center Differential (ACD) made its North American debut in the previous-generation Lancer Evolution models. (The track-handling capability of that model was only recently eclipsed by the new-generation Lancer Evolution with Super All-Wheel Control system featuring both ACD and the Active Yaw Control torque-vectoring rear differential.)

The ACD splits torque up to 50:50 between the front and rear wheels using an electronically controlled hydraulic multi-plate clutch. The All-Wheel Control computer optimizes ACD clutch cover clamp load for different driving conditions, regulating the differential limiting action between a free state (where torque is split equally between front and rear wheels) and a locked state to optimize the torque split and thereby produce the best balance between traction and steering response.

The maximum limited-slip torque of the ACD multi-plate clutch is about three times that of a conventional viscous coupling. The hydraulic unit housed in the engine compartment regulates the hydraulic pressure of the multi-plate clutch within the range of zero to 145 PSI.

The All-Wheel Control computer takes data input from various sensors to continuously calculate the ACD 's limited-slip torque. Steering wheel angle, throttle opening, wheel speeds, and the vehicle's longitudinal and lateral movements are constantly measured to determine the vehicle's path of travel. Using this data, the AWC computer determines whether limited-slip torque should be increased or decreased at any given time.

As in the Lancer Evolution, the Lancer Ralliart offers three driver-selectable traction modes for the ACD, changeable while the car is moving using a switch on the dash: "Tarmac" for dry, paved surfaces; "Gravel" for wet or rough surfaces, and "Snow" for snow-covered surfaces.

In each mode, the ACD adjusts center differential locking behavior to suit the road conditions. The car's other dynamic handling systems respond to the road conditions and driver input. The multi-information monitor, located between the tachometer and speedometer, displays the selected ACD mode and also provide status indicators for ACD operation.

Active Stability Control (ASC) with Traction Control (TCL)

Integrated management of the ASC and ABS systems allows seamless control of vehicle dynamics when accelerating, decelerating or cornering. The ASC system, which includes stability control and traction control, helps to maintain optimum traction by regulating engine power and the braking force at each wheel. ASC helps the driver follow a chosen line more closely by comparing the car's path (as determined from yaw rate sensor data) to the desired path (as determined from steering inputs) and applies individual wheel braking or throttle control to correct any divergence. ASC also enhances vehicle stability by helping to prevent wheel spin on slippery surfaces, and helping to prevent sliding as the result of sudden steering inputs. Communication between ASC and the TC-SST ensures that the transmission selects and holds the best gear during cornering.

Increasing braking force on the inside wheel during understeer and on the outer wheel during oversteer situations, ASC helps maintain stability through cornering, and also enhances stability for hazardous road conditions. ASC is programmed to allow performance driving and can be turned off by pressing and holding the ASC button for five seconds. Turning off ASC does not compromise operation of the car's 4WD.

Limited-Slip Front and Rear Front Differentials

A helical gear-type limited-slip front differential reacts to torque input to govern side-to-side torque distribution at the front wheels. A mechanical limited-slip differential performs that task for the rear wheels.

The helical limited slip front differential, which is installed in the ACD transfer case, constantly biases torque to the wheel that has more traction. This type of differential reacts to torque input. Under straight-line acceleration, power remains evenly split between the front wheels. While cornering or accelerating out of a turn, the helical LSD directs power away from the inside wheel and toward the outside wheel, allowing the driver to begin accelerating earlier and exit the turn at a higher speed, without losing traction.

The helical front differential can also compensate for loss of traction when the front wheels are on slippery surfaces, biasing torque to the wheel with the best traction. In the rear, a plate-style, 1.5-way limited slip differential (also inherited from the previous-generation Lancer Evolution) is a competition-proven design for providing traction and durability.

The 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart is engineered to provide an exhilarating driving experience, with agile, responsive handling that does not force the driver to sacrifice everyday driving comfort. The basis for Lancer Ralliart's engaging, fun-driving character is a global performance-engineered platform optimized from the beginning to handle high levels of power, and the high levels of grip made possible by Mitsubishi's advanced 4WD systems. This platform was introduced first for the 2007 Outlander SUV, a vehicle that provides uncommonly energetic driving responses for its segment.

An advanced All-Wheel Control system with Active Center Differential (ACD) works in concert with Ralliart-tuned chassis to make the Lancer Ralliart an aggressive twisty-road tamer. (See separate release for Lancer Ralliart All-Wheel Control.) Standard 10-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels with 215/45 R18 Yokohama ADVAN summer tires and large 4-wheel disc brakes give the Lancer Ralliart outstanding grip and stopping performance. The standard anti-lock braking system (ABS) incorporates Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD).

Safety-Optimized RISE Body Structure

The Lancer models are built around Mitsubishi's next-generation Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) unibody design. The highly rigid structure makes extensive use of ultra-high-tension steel, a material that was not used in the previous-generation Lancer. A stiff body structure can allow sport suspension tuning without compromising a compliant ride.

Compared to the previous-generation Lancer, torsional rigidity is increased by 56 percent, and bending rigidity is up by 50 percent. These increases in both torsional and bending rigidity exceed body stiffness measurements of even the previous-generation Lancer Evolution (Lancer Evolution IX in other markets.)

Straight front side members with an octagonal cross-section and a three-leg support structure, as well as application high-strength steel, are designed to help Lancer models meet the highest crash test standards. The side pillars, roof joints and cross-car structure - combined with the standard front seat-mounted side air bags, driver knee air bag and standard front and rear curtain side air bags - give the new Lancer a higher degree of collision protection.

Rigidity Throughout

The lower body structure, where the suspension attaches to the car, also demonstrates the benefits of higher rigidity. Here, one can appreciate the holistic approach engineers used to achieve this goal. As one example, the Lancer's new-generation engines use a rear-mounted exhaust manifold, as opposed to the front-mounted exhaust manifold on the previous-generation Lancer engines. That change allowed use of a flat front suspension crossmember, where the previous model required a saddle-shaped crossmember to provide clearance for the exhaust pipe. A flat front crossmember can directly receive lateral loads from the front lower arms.

Strut tower, side and lower braces enhance lateral rigidity for precise steering response, and lower control arm attachment points and steering knuckles are strengthened. The combination of these enhancements, along with retuned lower control arm bushings, contribute to quicker steering response in the new-generation Lancer models.

Redesigned Front Suspension

The MacPherson strut front suspension is the same as used in the Lancer GTS, but with specific tuning for the Ralliart 4WD application, including higher spring and damper rates. The Lancer Ralliart employs a 22-mm front stabilizer bar (vs. 21 mm for Lancer GTS and 25 mm for Lancer Evolution) and higher spring and damper rates. The stabilizer strut helps ensure optimal roll rigidity and improved steering stability.

Multi-link Rear Suspension

The Lancer Ralliart is equipped with its own version of the trailing-arm type multi-link rear suspension used on other Lancer models, featuring specific cast trailing arms.

The Lancer Ralliart features the same 20-mm (0.79-in.) rear stabilizer bar as the Lancer GTS (vs. 23 mm for Lancer Evolution) but features higher-rate springs and dampers. Ball joint-type stabilizer links and a hub unit bearing provide high camber and toe rigidity.

Crisp, Responsive Steering

The Lancer Ralliart shares the same basic steering system as the Lancer GTS, with minor differences in pump specifications that create a sensation of steering speed and response that is between Lancer GTS and Lancer Evolution. The hydraulic system is optimized for greater efficiency, reliability and reduced pump noise. A variable-flow pump contributes to fuel efficiency. The optimized steering column layout features joint friction-reduction parts that improve steering feel (reduced torque fluctuation). Dampers used on the intermediate shaft help reduce shimmy. The smaller diameter Lancer Ralliart steering wheel, borrowed from the Evolution also contributes to a feeling of faster steering response.

Confident Braking Performance

The 2009 Lancer Ralliart not only tames curves, but does so with the confident stopping power of the same brakes as the larger, heavier Outlander SUV -- 11.6-in. (294 mm) vented discs in front and 11.9-in. (302 mm) solid discs in rear. This is essentially the same brake system used on the Lancer GTS, the differences being dual-piston calipers on the front brakes in the Ralliart, vs. single-piston on the GTS, and slightly larger-diameter pistons for the single-piston rear brakes. Front rotors on both models measure 1.0 in. thick, and the rear rotors are 0.4 in. thick. Both use high-friction coefficient pads to improve performance. The single 10-in. brake vacuum booster, with a long-stroke master cylinder, optimize boost power and brake feel. The standard anti-lock braking system (ABS) incorporates Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD).

The 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart is exclusively equipped with a modified version of the advanced 6-speed Twin-Clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission (TC-SST) that debuted in the new-generation Lancer Evolution MR. The TC-SST, is capable of executing lightning-quick upshifts with no drop-off in engine power.

In the Lancer Ralliart, the TC-SST provides two operation modes, Normal and Sport, but not the S-Sport mode provided in the Lancer Evolution MR model for ultimate performance driving. Also, 5th and 6th gear ratios are slightly higher in the Lancer Ralliart than in the Evolution MR to reduce highway-driving engine speed and to help enhance fuel economy.

As on the Lancer Evolution MR, the driver can manually control TC-SST shifting using the console shifter or the Sportronic steering wheel magnesium-alloy paddle shifters, or can select fully automatic operation. The TC-SST executes shifts more quickly and consistently than a driver could with a pure manual transmission. The TC-SST provides the engaging driving experience and engine-control benefits of a manual transmission, but without the need to use a clutch pedal. And in automatic "Normal" mode, the TC-SST provides quick, seamless shifts with better fuel efficiency than a conventional torque converter automatic transmission.

How TC-SST Works

The TC-SST, for all its advanced capability, uses a less complex structure than a conventional torque converter automatic transmission. Advanced electronic and hydraulic controls allow the precision operation required to make the transmission suitable for a road car. Essentially, the TC-SST is a manual transmission that can select two gears at a time: one gear is engaged by one of the two wet multi-plate, electro-hydraulically operated clutches, and the other is pre-selected, awaiting to be engaged by the second wet multi-plate clutch.

Gear changes are made - either manually or automatically, depending on mode selected - when the clutches are "swapped," which occurs simultaneously, with no perceptible lag time. Upshifts and downshifts occur in just a fraction of a second, with a longer interval necessary on downshifts for the engine control module to "blip" the throttle to match engine and transmission speeds.

In principal, the TC-SST behaves like two three-speed manual transmissions operating on the same output shaft. The odd-number gears and even-number gears are on separate input shafts, and each shaft is connected to an individual clutch. The odd and even gear shafts are linked via a transfer gear, which results in a shorter overall transmission length. The transmission ECU, sensors and solenoids are all housed within the transmission valve body. The TC-SST is equipped with a transmission-oil cooler. As do many manual transmissions, the TC-SST uses automatic transmission fluid (ATF).

Shifting Options

In the Lancer Ralliart, the TC-SST offers two drive modes - Normal and Sport - and within each, the driver may choose Automatic or Manual shifting. Whether the driver shifts manually or selects an Automatic mode, the TC-SST functions in the same manner.

The console-mounted shifter has four positions, similar to a conventional automatic transmission: P, R, N and D. With "P" or "N" selected, the transmission control module (TCM) pre-selects 2nd and Reverse gears, with each clutch free as preparation for selection.

Selecting D, shift fork #1 is moved to the 1st gear side, meshes with first gear and gradually engages clutch #1 (for odd-number gears). Simultaneously, the TC-SST pre-selects 2nd gear by moving shift fork #2 to the 2nd gear side, where it rests meshed with 2nd gear. With the transmission in D and the vehicle at a stop, the clutch is intentionally slipped (in R, as well) to provide "creep" as in a conventional automatic or continuously variable transmission. Pressing the accelerator pedal fully engages the clutch, and the car moves.

At an upshift (manual or automatic), clutch #1 disengages while clutch #2 simultaneously engages; the shift, or "torque handover," is accomplished through the clutch swap. Simultaneously, 3rd gear is pre-selected in the same manner, and so on.

Manual and Automatic

The choice of Automatic and Manual operation in the TC-SST makes this transmission a versatile choice for both maximum performance and convenience. If the driver leaves the shifter in D, shifting is fully automatic, and the driver has control over shifting behavior through two selectable drive modes: Normal and Sport. The default mode is Normal.

The drive mode switch is located behind the shifter on the console. Pushing it forward ("+") changes drive mode to Sport. The driver can switch between Normal and Sport modes at any time or vehicle speed. While in any drive mode, the driver can change to manual mode at any time by using the paddle shifters (details in next subsection.)

For most daily driving situations, Normal mode uses relatively low-speed shift points to deliver unobtrusive shifting for maximum comfort together with optimum fuel economy. Sport mode uses higher shift points and quicker shifting to deliver instant throttle response for better performance feel. Sport mode is also useful for driving in mountainous areas or when engine braking is required.

Special Automatic Talents

As it does in the Lancer Evolution MR model, the TC-SST provides near-telepathic response when driving in D (Automatic). While in D, in either of the two drive modes, the TCM continuously takes input from engine operating parameters, including engine speed and torque, as well as information from the AWC computer. The driver can expect, therefore, that the TC-SST will select the best gear for any given cornering situation.

As with a conventional automatic transmission, the TC-SST provides a kick-down function, quickly selecting a lower gear when the accelerator pedal is suddenly pressed to the floor. Shifting intelligence will hold lower gears while the vehicle is ascending an incline (for power) or descending (for engine braking). Here again, pulling one of the paddle shifters will instantly switch the transmission into manual mode to give the driver even more control.

Manual Operation

In either of the TC-SST's two drive modes - Normal and Sport - the driver can select Manual operation, and the drive mode chosen affects shifting speed. Normal mode provides the smoothest shifting and is ideal for urban driving. Sport mode will quicken the shifts and is ideal for country or mountain road driving.

The driver selects Manual operation in two ways: (1) with the console shifter, by pulling it back past D and then leftward into the Manual slot. Then, pulling the shifter rearward ("+") selects and upshift, and pushing it forward ("-") selects a downshift.

(2) If the driver selects D with the console shift (Automatic mode), pulling on either of the magnesium steering wheel paddle shifters at any time afterward will immediately switch the transmission to Manual mode. The right side steering wheel paddle is for upshifts ("+") and left side for downshifts ("-"). In either case, when the TC-SST is in Manual mode, there are absolutely no automatic shift changes, except at full stop when 1st gear is automatically selected.

If the console shift is in D, then the transmission will revert to Automatic mode when the car comes to a very slow crawl or stops. If the console shift is in the Manual slot, the transmission will automatically shift to 1st gear at a stop or very slow speed (as it will in D), but it will remain in Manual mode when the driver accelerates again.

While the car is in motion, the driver can switch between Manual and Automatic modes at any speed. Pulling the upshift paddle ("+") and holding it for one second will switch the TC-SST into Automatic mode. Pulling the downshift paddle ("-"), however, always results in a quick downshift. When the driver turns off the ignition, the engine will run for about two seconds while 2nd and Reverse gears are disengaged from pre-selection.

TC-SST Shifter

The magnesium steering wheel paddle shifters and the console shifter for the TC-SST in the Lancer Ralliart are the same as in the Lancer Evolution. Mitsubishi specially designed the console shifter to impart a different feel than shifters used on conventional automatic transmissions that offer some form of manual control.

In the Manual slot, the shifter will feel more like a manual transmission shifter, and there is even a pull-ring used to engage Reverse gear. (The shift knob, in fact, is the same type as used in the previous-generation Lancer Evolution MR, which used a pure manual transmission.)

For safety, like a conventional automatic transmission, the TC-SST features a shift-lock mechanism that locks the shifter in Park unless the brake pedal is depressed. The shift lever assembly is networked with the engine control module (ECM), transmission control module (TCM) and various ECUs via the CAN bus. As a backup, it is also networked via the Local Integrated Network (LIN), a new European standard making its Mitsubishi debut in the Lancer Evolution and Ralliart models.


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