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How Mitsubishi will use Outlander PHEV for future EVO development

The new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV will compete in the grueling Asia Cross Country Rally 2014. Mitsubishi isn’t done Rally racing yet.

The Rally-bred 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is on its way out, but Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) isn’t done with Rally racing. In fact they will likely use the information gathered with the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV involvement in the Asia Cross Country Rally 2014 to use on the next-generation Lancer Evolution sports car. EVO may have a different name and it won’t be gas-powered, but its coming with this new technology and rally equipment.

What’s MMC up to?

Mitsubishi Motors will use the data gathered from this race to provide technical support for future electric vehicle development. Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will dispatch a team of technical support engineers for an Outlander PHEV entered in the T1.3 4x4 Electric class of the grueling 2,200km FIA-certified Asia Cross Country Rally 2014 (AXCR) from August 9 through 15.

Where will the race be run?

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV will run in the Asia Cross Country Rally from Thailand to Cambodia. This is the second straight year Mitsubishi will run an Outlander PHEV in the race. MMC engineers will provide technical support for the Two & Four Motor Sports rally team, headed by Kenji Ishida for the plug-in hybrid four-wheel drive SUV for the duration of the rally.

Why race the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV?

Just like the Mitsubishi MiEV Evolution III all-electric race cars they are bring to Pikes Peak, MMC will utilize the valuable data from these races for the future vehicle development. That will include the new-generation Lancer Evolution that is coming in the near future. Mitsubishi has been extremely “tight-lipped” about the project, but will use these two race to develop the sports cars new technology.

The grueling AXCR event is the perfect testing ground for the new technology as the race covers a total distance of 2,200 km and offers a grueling test of all-terrain performance and durability as it requires competitors to conquer mountains, forests, swamps and river crossings. This would be ideal for the new EVO successor in the future.

MMC turns Outlander PHEV into a rally car

The Outlander PHEV rally car will be set up with competition suspension and reinforced mountings to raise ground clearance and improve all-terrain performance over the changing surfaces. Mitsubishi says the vehicle's S-AWC integrated vehicle dynamics control system will be tuned for competition use to deliver better traction. Other modifications include the fitting of a roll cage and under body skid plate, the use of lighter engine hood, rear gate and interior parts, and additional sealing and a snorkel for water crossings.

The 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is the last of its kind, but Mitsubishi isn’t done with Rally racing yet and will use the valuable information the MMC engineers gather from the new Outlander PHEV for the next-generation Lancer Evolution development. Stay tuned.

Other 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution stories of interest.
How Pikes Peak will influence 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO successor