Despite its GT trim level and big, jet fighter grille, the 2010 Outlander GT is not some hyper-performance SUV. Its engine is adequate, without being overpowered, and its transmission is a typical automatic. Its one secret weapon is Mitsubishi's all-wheel-drive, a system developed for the rally circuit. In the Outlander GT, that means it has excellent stability while gunning it on slippery roads.
Mitsubishi also keeps up with the cabin tech, not only using a hard drive-based navigation system with traffic avoidance, but also being one of only three companies offering voice command over an iPod.
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The U.S. version of the Mitsubishi i-Miev electric car won't be here until next year, but we got to spend a week with the Japanese version to test out the power train and find out what life will be like with an electric car.
First of all, being a car built for the Japanese market, the steering wheel was on the wrong side. We found that fact relatively easy to cope with in the city, but this i-Miev also lacked anything like the cabin tech we will see in the U.S. version. It had merely a simple radio and a CD player mounted in the dash.
The Mitsubishi i, on which the i-Miev is based, was designed as a city car, so we found it easy to get along with it in the dense urban area of San Francisco. It is narrower than most American cars, which made it extremely comfortable to drive in traffic, as the lanes seemed very wide. … Read more
Possibly energized by the outstanding Lancer Evolution X, Mitsubishi is showing new energy as a brand, planning its future around two families of vehicles, the Lancer and the Outlander. The Lancer models stretch all the way from a sub-$15k front-wheel-drive car to the $40k all-wheel-drive Evolution.
The Outlander, a small SUV, boasts a variety of trim levels, from the $21,605 ES model up to the $30k GT. And now there's an additional car in the lineup, the Outlander Sport. This model's wheelbase is the same length as the standard Outlander, but more than a foot shorter in overall length, and shares no exterior body panels with its larger sibling.
We were afforded a short preview drive of the 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, and checked out the cabin tech.
The Outlander Sport, a compact crossover, is a new global car from Mitsubishi, sold as the RVR in Japan and the ASX in Europe. We got the better deal on the name.
We also got the better deal on the engine. The Outlander Sport will be powered by a 2-liter four-cylinder engine producing 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque, as opposed to the 1.8-liter engine in the rest of the world.
In its base ES trim, the Outlander Sport can be had with either a five-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). In the high-trim SE model, only the CVT is available, which is kind of a shame. We found that the most impressive aspect of the drive experience was the handling from the available all-wheel-drive system, which can best be taken advantage of with the manual transmission. Yet navigation and a 710-watt Rockford Fosgate system is only available in the SE model. We hate having to make these sorts of choices. … Read more
It takes a pro driver to send a car into a drift or tackle a highly technical racetrack like Infineon. Or does it?
I spent a Friday attending the Jim Russell Lancer Evolution Experience with a diverse group of amateurs. There was the father and son team from Arizona taking their annual outing. There was the businessman from Peru ditching a day of meetings. One man had already taken the course once, but had to go back for more, and one couple seemed to look at it as the perfect romantic outing.
The car--the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X--plays a big part in this day of high-speed instruction. Possibly no other car would let a group of people with mostly no previous track experience accomplish the Jim Russell program. Of course, the instructors, all being active race car drivers, contribute more than a little, too.
The first part of the day, a classroom session, was downright boring compared with what would come later. But the instructor imparted some very important information to better understand how to handle a car in a corner. I had previously been trained to plan a line through a corner, hitting the brakes before the turn, then powering on at the apex for the exit.
But now we were all being told about maintaining the car's balance in the turn, essential for truly high-speed driving. Load transfer became my phrase for the day as I thought about how the brakes or accelerator were affecting the amount of grip fore and aft.
Then we got out to the cars, a collection of Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Xs in both GSR and MR trim. For most of the day, I drove the MR version, because I like the SST dual-clutch transmission so much. The GSRs come with a manual six speed. The MR also benefits from a slightly stiffer suspension. Both cars employ an advanced all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring and yaw control, making them excellent cars for beginners to throw around corners.
Our first exercise was a corner, a single turn defined by cones in the racetrack paddock. We took turns going around this corner, an instructor on the inside of the turn watching and offering help over a radio. Keep your eyes up, looking through the apex of the turn, he advised. Slowly roll off of the brakes while entering the turn. Power on at the apex. Our favorite bit of instruction: "I want to hear the tires screaming all the way through the turn." … Read more
Mitsubishi is now shipping the 3D adapter it showed at CES in January, which allows the company's legacy 3D-compatible DLP-based rear-projection televisions, released between 2007 and 2009, to work with new 3D formats. Contrary to what was previously reported, Mitsubishi has confirmed that its adapter will not support legacy Samsung 3D-compatible DLP and plasma TVs.
The adapter, renamed model 3DA-1, costs $99. It's the only official way we know about to get 3D Blu-ray, PS3, DirecTV, and other 2010 sources in the home without having to buy a new 2010 3D-compatible TV.
The 3DA-1 is designed to convert current 3D formats, namely "frame packing" (used by most 3D Blu-ray content); side-by-side (used by DirecTV's 3D broadcasts); and top-and-bottom to the "checkerboard" display format employed by those Mitsubishi DLP TVs.
The small box has just an HDMI input and output, as well as connections for an IR emitter (not included). In addition to a 3D source and 3D content, owners of legacy Mitsubishi 3D-compatible TVs will also need to purchase 3D glasses and an emitter, or "DLP Link" glasses that do not require an emitter, to enjoy new 3D sources.
To that end, Mitsubishi will in July begin selling its 3D Starter Pack, model 3DC-1000, for $399. The kit combines a 3DA-1 adapter with an IR emitter, two pairs of 3D glasses, an HDMI cable, and "a Disney 3D showcase Blu-ray disc featuring 3D trailers of 'A Christmas Carol,' 'Alice In Wonderland,' and 'Toy Story 3,' along with an educational short on 3D presented by Disney's infamous Timon and Pumba," according to the press release. … Read more
During a press event for the Mitsubishi i-Miev, we also got a chance to see, but not drive, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. Already launched in Japan as the RVR and Europe as the ASX, Mitsubishi showed off the new small crossover at the New York Auto Show.
The Outlander Sport is built on the same platform as the Lancer, but it is a very different vehicle than Mitsubishi's Outlander. Although small, it has a burly presence and incorporates Mitsubishi's now standard big, open grille. The available all-wheel-drive system is designed for sport, similar to that in the Evo … Read more
The plan: Drive one of Mitsubishi's i-Miev electric cars from San Francisco to Sacramento. But there were two things wrong. No. 1, the i-Miev is based on Mitsubishi's i model, a Japanese Kei-class car designed for cities and not the length of high-speed freeway we would drive into California's Central Valley. No 2, it is 85 miles from San Francisco to Sacramento and Mitsubishi puts the i-Miev's best range at 80 miles.
We can solve one of these problems with a stop at a new Eaton rapid charger in Vacaville, about 55 miles outside of San Francisco. That charger should bring the i-Miev's batteries to an 80 percent charge in 25 minutes, reminding us that "rapid" is a relative term. Mitsubishi scheduled a lunch during the recharge stop, as five i-Mievs would need to take turns at the single charging station.
We were presented with a small number of i-Mievs, various test cars that had been brought over to California from Japan, all with right-hand drive. Our first lesson in right-hand drive is that you turn on the windshield wipers to signal a turn.
Bigger on the inside
At a little more than 11 feet long and less than 5 feet wide, the i-Miev is a tiny car; however, it is surprisingly roomy inside thanks to its high roofline. We imagined zipping around the dense urban streets of San Francisco, parking with ease at any spare bit of curbing and slaloming down narrow streets. But no, our route plan would put us amongst tractor-trailer rigs thundering down a multilane blacktop at speeds of about 65 mph. … Read more
If you sometimes feel like a lemming at work, at least you don't have to ride an elevator to the office with 79 other lemmings. That's the lot of those who toil at the new Umeda Hankyu Building in downtown Osaka, Japan. They get to work via five giant elevators, each with a capacity of 80 people.
Mitsubishi Electric's people movers can carry up to 400 people altogether. With each bearing loads of nearly 6 tons, they're the largest-capacity elevators in Japan. They measure 11x9 feet, which is about the size of a lower-end apartment in … Read more