The Concept-CX looks like a Lancer supermini?
Close, but no cigar. This is Mitsubishi’s Concept-CX and it shares the frontal styling (which the company describes as ‘a tight and powerful wedge’) and twin-clutch gearbox with the forthcoming Lancer Evo X. What the hot Lancer won’t get will be the company’s new 1.8-litre diesel engine that's in the CX. Due to be unveiled at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show, the CX gives clues to how the Colt’s styling may evolve, and the concept should evolve into a production car in the mould of the Fiat Sedici/Suzuki SX4, as well as the Kia Soul CAR Online scooped this week.
So give me the full details...
The Concept-CX runs Mitsubishi’s all-new clean diesel. This 1.8-litre unit has 134bhp at 4000rpm and 207lb ft at a lowish 2000rpm thanks to a variable geometry turbocharger. Combine that with a particulate filter and the engine is Euro 5 compliant. And it all drives through Mitsubishi’s all new Twin Clutch SST (sports shift transmission), the Japanese equivalent to VW's DSG gearbox trickery. Mitsubishi has just announced that its July sales figures for 2007 are up 6.9 percent compared with the same month last year; combined with the success of the Outlander and the glitzier new Lancer the company is feeling rather bullish. At Frankfurt we should hear whether the CX is going to be made.
Is the Concept-CX a city car?
Mitsubishi’s marketing bumf waffles on about driving pleasure, but don't believe the spin. This is a compact city car: 4.1m long, 1.75m wide. The four-wheel drive system is switchable, but expect it to be optional should the car make production. The CX is all about practical family transport, both in terms of city driving (split folding tailgate and long 2.5m wheelbase) and because apparently the floor mats, door trim, tailgate trim and seat back panels are all made with a plant-based resin.
But again isn’t this all marketing hype to promote the company as green?
Well plant-based products have been used for years, but their usage is being expanded, though the cost is still prohibitive. And while they’re biodegradable they must obviously not biodegrade before you’re finished with the car! Like many companies, Mitsubishi is keeping its fingers in lots of green-fuel pies, so it doesn't pursue a dead-end technology should one in particular prove the best solution. That’s why Europe gets a diesel, Japan an electric car and Brazil a flex-fuel car.