WRC

Mitsubishi updates World Rally Car

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution WRC2 will compete in the Rally Finland, the ninth round of the WRC, the 2002 FIA World Rally Championship Mitsubishi Motors/Ralliart will unveil the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution WRC2 -- a modified version of the ...

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution WRC2 will compete in the Rally Finland, the ninth round of the WRC, the 2002 FIA World Rally Championship

Mitsubishi Motors/Ralliart will unveil the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution WRC2 -- a modified version of the previous Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution World Rally Car -- on the ninth round of the 2002 World Rally Championship, the Rally Finland, held from August 8-11.

Building on a highly distinguished, glorious record of four consecutive titles in the Drivers' Championship from 1996 to 1999 as well as victory in the 1998 World Championship for Manufacturers, Mitsubishi entered its first World Rally Car in October 2001, in place of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Group A car. This season Marlboro Mitsubishi Ralliart has been competing with two drivers, Francois Delecour (France) and Alister McRae (UK).

Modifications to the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution WRC2 have drawn on the technical data gained from the World Rally Car that appeared from the 2001 Sanremo Rally. It thereby harmonises the vehicle's behaviour with the driving styles of Mitsubishi's drivers, giving an overall improvement in performance. For the Rally Finland, Jani Paasonen (Finland) will drive a third car in addition to Delecour and Alister McRae.

1.---Specific modifications---

(1) Lower centre of gravity while maintaining sufficient ground clearance.

(2)Weight reduction and improved front and rear weight distribution.

(3) Lower drag and improved aerodynamics.

(4) Improved rigidity of the suspension, including subframe.

(5) Longer suspension travel from modifications to wheel arches.

(6) Re-positioned intercooler, increased radiator volume and improved cooling from re-designed openings in the front bumper, radiator grille and brake cooling ducts.

(7) Improvements to the active 4WD system under acceleration and braking. It is also matched to driving characteristics.

(8) Increase in performance at low and medium revs by employing an isometric --type exhaust manifold and single-scroll turbocharger.

(9) Engine weight and response enhanced through weight reduction of the crankshaft, flywheel and other internal parts.

2. ---Delecour's and Paasonen's comments on the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution WRC2---

Both Delecour and Paasonen have already tried the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution WRC2. The car has already been tested for durability and reliability in tests done in France (tarmac) and Finland (gravel) which have proved more than sufficient.

After testing on tarmac, Francois Delecour commented, "It has been improved in many areas," specifically:

-Improved performance and stability under acceleration and braking.

-Improved high-speed cornering characteristics.

-Car is now more precise and provides much more feel for what it is doing.

-Improved engine response under acceleration.

-More responsive to throttle thanks to increased low-rev engine torque.

In closing he said that the improved torque at low to middle revs will reduce the number of gearchanges, which should prove invaluable in competition.

Paasonen drove the WRC2 on gravel and praised the sharpened turn-in at high speed and the car's ability to hold its line through corners. Thanks to these modifications, there is less variation in grip, giving more even tyre wear front to rear. This has a high practical value as it allows the car to perform at its best when there are no service stops and consequently no opportunity to replace tyres for two or more stages.

-mitsubishi-

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers François Delecour , Alister McRae , Jani Paasonen