Mitsubishi announces Dakar vehicles

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Moderate Modifications to optimize the new Pajero* Evolution for the 2005 Dakar Rally Mitsubishi Motors continues to improve world beating Pajero* Evolution Increased torque and lower centre of gravity for new MPR11 Tokyo, December 7, 2004 ...

Moderate Modifications to optimize the new Pajero* Evolution for the 2005 Dakar Rally

Mitsubishi Motors continues to improve world beating Pajero* Evolution
Increased torque and lower centre of gravity for new MPR11

Tokyo, December 7, 2004 -- The Mitsubishi Pajero* Evolution was developed from the Super Production car regulations that came into force from 2002. Cars in the Super Production class are limited to a maximum width of 2000 mm and a maximum wheel travel of 250 mm. The original Pajero* Evolution MPR10 complied fully with these regulations, although a facelift version - the MPR11 - underwent several improvements and revisions throughout the summer months after two independent test sessions in Morocco.

Mitsubishi Motors Repsol ATS Studios Team presentation: the Mitsubishi Pajero Montero Evolution.
Photo by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation.
MMSP had introduced several modifications to the original Mitsubishi Pajero* Evolution after a detailed test session in Morocco back in July 2003. The major development was the successful transition from a 3.5-litre V6 engine to a 4.0-litre V6 unit. FIA Cross-Country technical regulations allow engine capacity increases in a minimum of 500 cc increments.

The power plant was built and developed in Japan. It was used for the first time during the two-week test in Morocco and powered the factory cars during the 2003 UAE Desert Challenge.

Torque and throttle response was improved considerably and maximum torque increased from 36KG-M to 43 KG-M at 3500 rpm - a 19% improvement. The original Pajero Evolution engine was lowered by 100 mm and placed 300 mm back for a lower centre of gravity to optimise weight distribution.

MMSP retained a six-speed sequential gearbox, although a new Kinetic and hydraulic anti-roll bar system was tested extensively in Morocco and used for the first time during the 2003 UAE Desert Challenge.

"The 2004 Morocco test was used to improve engine, transmission and differential cooling systems. "The changes we made were finally confirmed in the UAE that October prior to the 2004 Dakar Rally," said MMSP's Technical Director Thierry Viardot. "We changed the size and shape of the water radiator, improved the quality of the piping and the air ducts and made numerous other little revisions."

Modifications were also made to the suspension set-up and these were put into practice in the UAE last year. MMSP used Brembo brakes, a 500-litre fuel tank was retained, but the minimum weight was extended from 1750 kgs to 1825 kgs as per the FIA technical regulations. The interior roll cage was reinforced around the windscreen and roof areas.

But MMSP knew that to remain competitive against improving competition, then the MPR10 would need to be further developed and improved. The MPR11 was the result of many months hard work by the team at Pont-de-Vaux and it made its competition debut in the hands of Stephane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret during the 2004 UAE Desert Challenge. Team mates Hiroshi Masuoka and Andreas Schulz used the existing MPR10 to enable MMSP technicians and engineers to make a comparison between the two cars in adverse conditions.

The new MPR11 offers increased torque, especially at lower engine speeds, although it delivers a similar power output to the MPR10. Mitsubishi Motors carried out exhaustive tests in Morocco with various suspension settings and there have been subtle improvements to the suspension. The MPR11 benefits from improved weight distribution and has a lower centre of gravity to improve handling, cornering and road holding.

"The cars are very similar in terms of exterior appearance," said Peterhansel during the UAE Desert Challenge. "But you can see the differences when you drive the MPR11 for a short time. It handles very well and feels more like a conventional car. It is very responsive and has more torque."

* Montero in Spanish-speaking countries and USA

MITSUBISHI PAJERO/MONTERO EVOLUTION FOR 2005 Dakar Rally
(T2 Cross-Country Cars)
Technical Specification

OVERALL LENGTH 4222mm
OVERALL WIDTH 1978mm
WHEEL BASE 2775mm
FRONT TRACK 1750mm
REAR TRACK 1736mm

ENGINE MODEL Based on Mivec, 6-cylinder, 24-Valve, DOHC, adjustable inlet port, dry-sump oil system
FUEL SYSTEM ECI multi-point fuel injection
DISPLACEMENT 3997cc
MAXIMUM OUTPUT 270 PS / 5500 rpm

TRANSMISSION 6-speed Ricardo-type, sequential shift gearbox and mechanical gear selection
4WD system full time, mechanical centre diff lock
Front diff Xtrac self-locking differential
Rear diff Xtrac self-locking differential

SUSPENSION
Front Independent, double wishbones, coil spring
Rear Independent, double wishbones, coil spring
Dampers 2 shocks per wheel, fully-adjustable damping and hydraulic anti-roll bar system

STEERING Power-assisted rack and pinion
WHEEL STROKE 250 mm front and rear
BRAKES Front and rear: Ventilated Brembo discs with 6-piston Brembo calipers
WHEELS magnesium 7x16
TYRES BF Goodrich 235/85 - 16

MINIMUM WEIGHT 1825 kg

OTHERS Aeronautic steel multi-tubular frame Honeycomb body floor and carbon fibre body

FUEL TANK CAPACITY 500 litres

MITSUBISHI L200 Pick-Up FOR 2005 Dakar Rally
(T2 Cross-Country Cars)
Technical Specification

OVERALL LENGTH 4220mm
OVERALL WIDTH 1978mm
WHEEL BASE 2700mm
FRONT TRACK 1750mm
REAR TRACK 1736mm

ENGINE MODEL Based on Mivec, 6-cylinder, 24-Valve, DOHC, adjustable inlet port, wet-sump oil system
FUEL SYSTEM ECI multi-point fuel injection
DISPLACEMENT 3997cc
MAXIMUM OUTPUT 270PS /5500 rpm

TRANSMISSION 6 speed Xtrac type, mechanical gear selection
4WD system full time, mechanical centre diff lock
Front diff MMC self-locking differential
Rear diff Xtrac self-locking differential

SUSPENSION
Front Independent, double wishbones, coil spring
Rear Independent, double wishbones, coil spring
Dampers 2 shocks per wheel, fully-adjustable damping

STEERING Power-assisted rack and pinion
WHEEL STROKE 250 mm front and rear
BRAKES Front and rear: Ventilated Brembo discs with 6-piston Brembo calipers
WHEELS magnesium 7x16
TYRES BF Goodrich 235/85 - 16

MINIMUM WEIGHT 1825 kg

OTHERS Aeronautic steel multi-tubular frame

FUEL TANK CAPACITY 480 litres

-mitsubishi-

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Series DAKAR